Last night I attended high school graduation of my nephew Ryan Jones. He graduated from Sevierville County High School in Sevierville, Tennessee. The graduation was held on the University of Tennessee campus. He was the salutatorian. He gave an excellent speech was a Star Wars theme. He returns to the University of Tennessee in the fall as a computer engineering major.
The event was a lovely affair. We started eating out for a nice family dinner. Twelve attended at one of Knoxville’s finer restaurants. Ryan’s father’s entire surviving sibling’s attended the graduation.
It was 1 AM when I got back to my hotel. The evening was enjoyable, but tiring.
I got up at 8 AM. Again, we had breakfast at the Bavarian (Christmas themed) Denny’s Restaurant. Following breakfast, we headed to Dollywood where it is BBQ & Bluegrass month. Fortunately, I love both.
The temperature was in the mid 80’s. The humidity was high. Overall, it was comfortable.
We went to a different show with live music every 60 to 90 minutes. We enjoyed bluegrass gospel, southern gospel, traditional gospel, Irish, Scottish, and Celtic music. A pleasant surprise was the Dolly Parton Story Museum. In it was all her awards, pictures and an enjoyable trip down memory lane. It included:
Dolly Parton Story
- Dolly’s Friends – Several pictures of Dolly with her celebrity friends including: Cher, Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Carol Burnett, Johnny Cash, and others.
- Dr. Robert F. Thomas – Contains a copy of Dolly’s birth certificate and the original doctor’s bag belonging to the doctor that delivered Dolly.
- Tennessee Mountain Home – A replica of a cabin like the one in which Dolly grew up. This exhibit contains dolls like the one her father made for her as a child called “Little Tiny Tassletop,” which was the influence for Dolly’s first song written.
- Coat of Many Colors – The original coat that Dolly’s mother made for her is displayed next to the original lyrics from the song, written on the back of Porter Wagoner’s laundry slip which is also featured.
- Greene’s Rolling Store – A replica of a bus that traveled the area Dolly grew up is displayed.
- House of Prayer – A church house is replicated, displaying objects that belonged to Dolly’s grandfather Rev. Jake Owens including: a pair of glasses, a fiddle, an organ, and a family Bible.
- School House – A one-room school house like Dolly attended as a child. Objects on display include love letters written to Dolly by a schoolmate, a photo of Dolly in front of the United States Capitol her senior year, and her high school band uniform.
- Cas Walker Show – An area that is dedicated to Cas Walker and the show that introduced Dolly to show business.
- Early Career – A copy of Dolly’s first record “Puppy Love” and other objects from her start are on display.
- Do You, Dolly… – A copy of Dolly’s wedding certificate as well as other pictures of Dolly and her husband are displayed.
- The Porter Wagoner Show – Costumes belonging to Dolly, Porter Wagoner, Speck Rhodes, and Don Warden are on display. Also on display are “Dolly Dolls” made by Ann Warden.
- The Dolly Show 1970s – Costumes from that era of Dolly’s life are on display as well as video footage from The Dolly TV show.
- Lyrics – A collection of hand-written lyrics.
- Movies – Costumes from 9 to 5, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Rhinestone, Steel Magnolias, and Straight Talk are displayed.
- Dolly Remembers Porter – A video of Dolly remembering Porter Wagoner is presented along with a costume belonging to Porter Wagoner.
- Awards and Accomplishments – Dolly’s Academy of Country Music Awards, Grammys, Country Music Association, and other awards are on display in a two-story case.
- Listening Station – Listeners can listen to Dolly’s music.
- Videos – Viewers can select Dolly’s videos.
- Family and Friends – Using touch-screen, viewers can watch interviews with Dolly’s family and friends.
- Ask Dolly – Using touch-screen, viewers can “ask” Dolly questions.
- Dolly’s Closet – A display of Dolly’s old stage costumes, as well as costumes from her 1980’s TV show.
- Wear Dolly’s Wigs – Using touch-screen and cameras, viewers can put their pictures on a screen and select Dolly wig styles.
- Imaginary Library – A video plays of Dolly talking about her Imagination Library program through the Dollywood Foundation.
- Dollywood – An exhibit with Dolly at various events from Dollywood.
- Family Tree – Pictures of Dolly’s family.
- For God and Country – A room dedicated to Dolly’s love for her country.
- Rotating Costumes – Various display cases that showcase various costumes from Dolly’s career.
- Smoky Mountain Reflections – A room that is made to look like it’s outside, which serves as the exit of the museum.
Chasing Rainbows from door
Speaking of Dolly. She is in town for her 50th high school reunion. She graduated from Sevierville County High School, class of 1964. She is doing a benefit concert tonight in Knoxville. Most of my day was spent walking over the hills of Dollywood.
We had a nice dinner after our outing. Now I am resting and relaxing on the balcony overlooking the river, enjoying the cool of the evening. I will rest and relax. Miss Benita is watching a classic movie.
Some material is from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chasing_Rainbows_Museum