Dolly Parton turned 65 today.
I was born a Dolly Parton fan. I didn’t want to miss this opportunity to post possibly my favorite childhood photo of all time. Well, maybe two of my favorites.
My love for Dolly was evident in that I loved wearing wigs as a child. Here I am sitting on my Aunt Gail’s lap practicing letting the crowd know I was happy to be in the spotlight, yet bashful at the same time.
Just a year or two later, I became the proud owner of a Dolly Parton Barbie doll. Let me just tell you how much I loved that doll. If I close my eyes, I can still feel the roughness of the red rhinestone jumpsuit that adorned the doll.
Now, before you scroll down any further, I must warn you that there’s a little bit of nudity ahead. But, I’m going to label it harmless as I have been looking at this picture for most of my life. This photo is a real treasure from my childhood.
I, of course, grew up in the 70s. I grew up in a small town, down a dirt road with neighbors and family members all around. We knew our neighbors well. My grandfather owned a rodeo arena across the road from our house and he later sold it to a local banker. Just up the road lived another banker who was also an artist. I will protect the names of the guilty here — unless they demand to be acknowledged.
One day, I saw the artist banker painting on the side of the old blue truck that the local banker used to feed out of each day. I was around five years old and I remember going over, saying hello and asking what he was doing. He said he was painting a present for the local banker. I kept checking in on his progress and I remember how excited I was that I actually knew the Dolly Parton fan club president. I think it was after several people laughed and talked about it that I realized it was a practical joke. I’m pretty sure that the artist banker wasn’t too excited about me looking over his shoulder every few minutes as he tried to paint this anatomically correct likeness of Dolly. However, from that day on, this old blue truck has been a fixture in my mind.
I would say this photo was taken around 1976 or 1978. Someone in my family will correct me if I’m wrong. I find it hysterically charming and I can’t think of a better way to say happy birthday to Dolly. I’m not sure she would agree. But, I do believe that she would think it was funny!