Dolly: My Life and Other Unfinished Business

Saturday, April 18, 2009


Today's book was suggested by Raggedy Girl. I didn't realize until I went searching for a picture of today's book that Dolly Parton has written two autobiographies, so I hope I read the right one.

Today's book; "In concerts, movies, and on TV, Dolly Parton's rafter-shaking signing and refreshing, honest personality has charmed millions and turned them into fans. She has never before talked openly about her life - until now. In her unique Tennessee twang, Dolly tells her long-awaited rags-to-riches story, as only she can - with integrity, insight, and her unfailing sense of humor."

I was only on page two of today's book when I already knew I was going to enjoy it. And here's the passage that made me feel that way, "I hope to tell in this book how I have become the best Dolly Parton I can be, largely through trial and error, I can assure you, but it is up to you to be the best (your name here) you can be. If I can help in any way, then I feel good about taking your money for this book. If I don't help, I still feel okay about taking your money because I think you will at least be entertained." I enjoyed that passage for two reasons: It reminded me of that SNL skit Stuart Smalley, ". . . cause I'm good enough, and I'm smart enough, and dog gone it people like me." Those were the good old days of SNL, before it was ruined, the days of The Church Lady, Coffee Talk, Stuart Smalley, Deep Thoughts, and Toonces the driving cat (by the way, when I looked that up to find out the correct way to spell it, all I had to put in was SNL and T and the search engine instantly knew what I was talking about). The other reason is that I like the honesty of Sure I'll take your money, and I won't feel guilty about it either.

I had to stop myself from skimming ahead to the part of the book that talked about Steel Magnolias, a movie my sister and I were totally obsessed with in the late 80's/early 90's. We watched it so many times that we had every word memorized and would reenact entire scenes while getting ready for bed every night. And then of course there was the cup-a-cup-a-cup incident that I think I already mentioned in an earlier entry. For those readers who are new; there was a scene in that movie where one of the characters mentions a recipe that consists of a cup of flour, a cup of sugar, and a cup of fruit cocktail with the juice, that you just mix and bake until golden and bubbly. Curiosity got the better of me, and I had to find out if it was a real recipe or not. It's not. It wouldn't bake and ended up being nothing more than a big wad of dough.

I learned two interesting things about the movie Steel Magnolias that I didn't know before reading this book:
  • The direction originally wanted Meg Ryan to play that part that ended up going to Julia Roberts. (I'm always startled when I find out the people who were originally considered for TV shows and movies, like finding out that Frances Fischer was originally going to be Jill on Home Improvement or that there was originally a different dad playing Danny on Full House. It's so alarming.)
  • The movie was based on a true story. (I'm so glad that I didn't know that at the time I first started watching it, because the only way I'm able to get through really sad movies is by telling myself over and over again It's not real, it's just a movie.)

Here's a fun little tip from Dolly: If you want to feel closer to God, run naked in the moonlight. According to Dolly, it will make you feel closer to God and nature. Since I live in a neighborhood with an association, I'm going to have to take Dolly's word for it.