As many might guess, it's in part because Parton's not much of a thrill seeker, admitting to bouts of motion sickness and being "a little bit chicken."
That short, truthful answer, peppered with a little of that self-depreciating humor we expect from country music legends, would suffice for most with no desire to board the Tennessee Tornado roller coaster. Instead, Parton decided to delve deeper into why rides don't mesh well with her "It costs a lot of money to look this cheap" philosophy and old-fashioned modesty.
"With all my hair I got so much to lose, like my wig or my shoes," Parton says. "I don't like to get messed up. I'm gonna have some handsome man mess it up, I don't want some ride doing it."
The interview promoted Wildwood Grove, a kid-friendly new addition to Dollywood that debuted in May of 2019. Ever since the former Silver Dollar City's name changed in 1986 to reflect Parton's ownership, the pop culture icon has made a point to provide jobs, literacy programs, financial assistance and other forms of support to the East Tennessee region.
"I knew this would be a wonderful business venture, but I also knew it would really bring a lot of joy and happiness and a lot of jobs, too," she says. "That was important to me. Growing up poor, I know how important it is to make a living. And take pride in it."
This article was originally published in June of 2019.
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