UNIVERSAL CITY, CA – FEBRUARY 05: Actress/musician Dolly Parton attends the 24th Annual Movieguide Awards Gala at Universal Hilton Hotel on February 5, 2016 in Universal City, California. (Photo by Paul Archuleta/Getty Images)
Dear Dolly Parton,
I am writing to invite you to join me for lunch when it’s convenient for you, of course.
I write a positivity blog in Central Missouri, and without a doubt, you are one of the most inspiring individuals I can think of. Lunch with you would fulfill a great need I have for finding sources of positive influence to share with others. There are so many questions I would love to ask you and stories I think you would enjoy about how your music and words have aided in shaping my life and others I know.
“9 to 5” is my favorite song to sing with my kids. They love you because I have played your music for them since before they were born. There is not a happier sound than their sweet voices ringing out with, “Tumble out of bed and stumble to the kitchen…”
“Coat of Many Colors” is a song I am ashamed to admit that I often struggle to listen to all the way because it is a story that I can relate to well and the raw beauty of its tale rings true in the Lord’s calling to take pride in all we have and the messages founded in the Good Book.
To break up with me, my first boyfriend simply left a message to listen to “I Will Always Love You” and then a quick good-bye. While I know you sweetly wrote that song for Porter Wagoner, it was a bittersweet song for my 16-year-old self. However, it is one that has served in so many arenas for so many people. The fact that you wrote it is proof that you are a source of true inspiration and powerful influence. An influence that I would love to tap into.
Not only has your music touched me, but your generous efforts in the aftermath of the terrible fires that swept through the mountains of Tennessee and the tremendous ways you aid education are fuel for finding greater ways to serve others.
Your humor and honesty are so refreshing. Your laughter, I am certain, is a sound that makes even the angels rejoice. Honesty, humor, and laughter are all things I encourage in my daily encounters and writing. Please give me a chance to experience your contributions first hand.
This letter is the first of a series I plan to write to those I find inspiring. As I respect, admire, and aspire to be like you, there was no doubt that you HAD to be my first lunch invite!
Thank you for your time and consideration. You are truly one of my heroes.
All my best,
Melanie A. Peters
P.S. When I sat in RCA Studio B and sang on the Grand Ole Opry stage, it wasn’t Elvis’ spirit I tried to conjure. It was Dolly Parton’s.