The reason Sam and I wound up at Dolly’s niece’s birthday party was that my sister Janet became very good friends with Dolly when she worked as an AD (Assistant Director) on a few of Dolly’s films (9 to 5, Rhinestone). Consequently, my family and I have had the privilege of interacting with Dolly on multiple occasions during the past few decades.
This episode in my diary illustrates this perfectly. Dolly, as host of this party, probably had a million things on her mind, yet she noticed a little girl’s tears and dried them by reaching out in a way that didn’t embarrass or hurt anyone (since the real birthday girl was too young to know it).
This degree of empathy would be impressive in any human being. In a star of Dolly Parton’s magnitude, it’s astonishing. I’ve met my share of celebrities and can truly attest that Dolly Parton is one of a kind – in the best possible way.
I wasn’t at this party, my sister Janet took the kids. When she got up to take photos, Dolly took her place and started to feed Alex. His and her expressions in response are priceless.