Replace Confederate General’s Statue in the Tennessee Capitol With a Bust of Dolly Parton?
Dolly Parton is a true hero to many folks in Tennessee and everywhere music and movie fans can be found. There is a serious movement to replace the likeness of Tennessee native and Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest in the Nashville State Capitol with a bust of Dolly.
A group led by Taylor Swift has begun circulating a petition to make it happen, and it seems to have caught fire with over 20,000 responses this past week. Could it really happen?
Dolly certainly has done a lot of things to make her a beloved icon. She started in deep poverty in an East Tennessee shack with 11 siblings. Dolly said the children would sleep three or four to a bed. She said the cold Appalachian nights made her glad when she slept with the babies.
That was the only warm thing we knew in the winter time. That was almost a pleasure to get peed on because it was so cold
Dolly has never forgotten those days. From the rags her mother used to make her "Coat of Many Colors" to the riches she now enjoys, the 74-year-old superstar doesn't hesitate to spread around the fruits of her success.
Most recently she donated a million dollars to the Vanderbilt University Medical Center to fund research into a cure of COVID-19.
Her Imagination Library provides a free book every month for children from birth until they enter school. Over 100 million books have been distributed by Dolly worldwide.
Many of Dolly's good works have not received a great deal of publicity. How about her Buddy Program which was designed to keep kids in her home county in East Tennessee in school? Have you heard of this one? Every seventh and eighth grade student in the Sevier County school system chooses a buddy. When the student and buddy graduate high school, they each get $500 cash from Dolly. The dropout rate decreased from 30% in 1991 to 6% today.
I could go on and on listing Dolly's charity work. If there is an opening in the State Capitol building in Nashville for a bust of a local Tennessee hero--how could you do better than Dolly?
In 1987 a life size bronze statue of Dolly was placed in the center of the courthouse square in her home town of Sevierville, Tennessee, and draws thousands of fans each year.
The proposed one in the Capitol building in Nashville would only be a bust but, after all, what could be a more appropriate tribute?