“I’ll be honest; I used to think you were a bimbo,” reads the opening lines to Amy Rawe’s letter to Dolly Parton. Probably not the best foot to start on, but just hang tight. It gets good.
Rawe wrote the open apology letter to Dolly Parton after coming to realize all the amazing things Parton does for her community and beyond. At first, she thought Parton’s “big boobs, teased hair, tiny waist and syrupy-sweet southern accent was just to sell yourself and your brand as a country singer.”
“When I learned you’d created a theme park in your native Sevier County, I rolled my eyes,” Rawe says. But then the Indiana transplant moved to Knoxville and experienced Parton’s gratitude firsthand.
Rawe’s two-year-old daughter immediately qualified to receive books from Parton’s Imagination Library. The service hopes to wipe out illiteracy in young children and foster creative growth through reading at an early age. All children in the Eastern Tennessee counties of a certain age qualify. No strings attached.
Naturally, this struck a big chord with Rawe, a writer and editor. “I can’t imagine what a magical gift receiving a book every month must be for kids whose parents can’t afford to buy them,” Rawe says in her letter.
But Dolly Parton’s swift response to Tennessee wildfires commanded Rawe’s respect most of all. Between the telethon that raised millions and her newly formed My People Fund, Parton stepped up in a huge way. “Your generosity both reflects and inspires this region’s spirit and resiliency,” Rawe says.
So much so, that Rawe told her now 9-year-old daughter all about Parton, equating her to a “superhero girl.”
Since posting the letter, 47-year-old Rawe says the stories of Parton’s generosity keep pouring in. All she really wanted to do was apologize for not “getting” Parton sooner.