Today is the birthday of a person who truly has become, and is, a National Treasure!  She is a country music icon.  She is a talented actress.  She is an incredible business woman and an entrepreneur.  She created the Imagination Library so young kids could have books to read.  And by all accounts, she is one of the nicest human beings on the planet.

Yes, I am talking about Dolly Parton.

This human barbie doll turns 76 today, and we do not deserve her.  We really don't.  I have said it before and I will say it again.  I have not had the honor of seeing her in concert, or meeting her.  My uncle has, and this is the story he told me:

He was on a first class flight on Delta Airlines.  He was an employee of the airline at the time.  Dolly was seated in front of him.  He wanted to talk to her, but decided for the moment to leave her alone.  Word spread through the plane pretty fast that Dolly was on the flight.  Understandably, people wanted to get the autograph of the country star, and perhaps engage with her even for a moment.  Dolly was so generous with her time, and signed every autograph and talked to each and every person who came up to see her.  Everyone.  She treated each person with respect and kindness that she is so well known for.  We wish all celebrities could be like this, don't we?

This humanitarian has given us so much, including help to fund the research and development of the COVID-19 vaccine. 25 #1 hits on the country charts. She has 44 career Top 10 country albums, a record for any artist.  11 Grammy Awards, including the Lifetime Achievement Award.  10 CMA's including Entertainer of the Year, 5 ACM's, 4 People's Choice Awards, and 3 AMA's.  In 1999, she became a Country Music Hall of Famer.

So wish Dolly a Happy Birthday today.  She has given us so much, in so many ways.  It is the least we could do.  Now I am going to plan my vacation to visit Dollywood.

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