Monday, May 21, 2007


freak flag was flying high yesterday. First of all, I was attending a Dolly
Parton concert. This would be a freak flag for many but not for me. I love her
and it has been a dream of mine to see her live for a long time. Secondly, my
friend and I turned into Dolly-stalkers when we waited for nearly three hours
outside of her tour bus for a glimpse of Mrs. Parton.

started out innocently enough. Jacquelyn spotted the tour bus as we were
parking our car. We made a run to the convenient store for a six pack prior to
our arrival so our husbands each cracked open a beer and started their little,
“Why am I here again?” tail gate party. The tour bus was less than 50 yards
away and we decided that we absolutely had to have a look. So, we walked
casually up to the back of the bus. There was a crowd of about 30 people
standing around, a polite ten or so feet away from the gate that stood between
the bus and the building, guarded by a bouncer. We staked our claim in the
front of the crowd and started asking questions, “Is she in there? Has anyone
seen her? When will she come out again? How long have you been here?”

We found out
that Dolly was, in fact, in the bus and that she would have to get out of it to
get into the van that would take her to the stage sometime between now and the start time of the concert, a mere two hours away. Jacquelyn and
I inched our way, ever so gingerly, towards the gate. We wanted a front row
seat to the action. After some discussion, we decided to screw politeness and
stand right in front of that gate. We walked up to the bouncer, cleared it with
him and, within seconds there was a rush of people behind us. It was as much of
a “mad rush” as the fans of Dolly Parton are capable of. There was some
controversy about us getting a front row seat when we had only just arrived but
we didn’t care. Come on! That’s celebrity-stalking 101: you’ve got to be assertive
and stake your claim or someone else will. We basked in our accomplishment and
realized, the moment the other Parton fans came rushing up behind us, that we
were in it for the long haul. There was no turning back now. We were going to
see Dolly Parton.

we did. After 2 hours and forty five minutes, several new friendships, some
major drama involving a psycho fan and a cake and some group singing of Mrs.
Parton’s greatest hits (no I’m not kidding—this was my favorite part), we saw
her. She walked out of her bus, clad in a garish white sequined dress, looked
our way and waved. We held our breath and, within three seconds, she was
whisked away in her van to the stage. I got a snapshot of her exiting the bus,
did some major little girl squealing and booked it as fast as I could with
Jacquelyn to our seats. Our husbands were waiting for us, half-drunk, and still
wondering, “Why are we here again?”

watched Dolly sing her heart out, marveling at her undeniable talent. We sang
along to Coat of Many Colors, 9 to 5, Little Sparrow and
many more. After a relatively short but great concert, Dolly exited the stage.
We had a great night. I walked away feeling very satisfied and very surprised at my groupie behavior. I
would never have imagined myself waiting three hours for a three-second
encounter with a celebrity from 15 feet away. The actual Dolly sighting was a
little anti-climactic and disappointing but, taken as a whole, the experience
was great.  There was a definite sense of camaraderie, a couple major
adrenalin rushes when the bus door opened to tease us with random staff members
and some group singing.  I love me some random group singing. Do I regret
it? No way. Would I do it again to catch a glimpse of Dolly’s fake hair and
garish outfit up close and personal? Abso-freakin-lutely.


  1. Congratulations, after the trip with you to Dollywood last year, there will never be a need to call yourself a Closet Dolly-girl, and, I'm so happy for you that you can now remove an item from your list of "Fifty Things To Do Before I Die". That said, I have to share a story about a good friend of mine who is a Garth Brooks Mega-Fan, He returned from a concert by the above named super-star, and told a group of non-fans at the old Tractor Factory that he had been forced to stand about 6 rows back from the stage, and this was totally unfair, because he knew he was a much more devoted fan than those young and pretty girls in the first 5 rows that the security people insisted be placed up close to the stage. weird, huh? Thank heaven your not that much of a fan, and Dolly would probably never lower herself to wanting just good looking young guys to sing to. (also, probably couldn't find that many cute young guys who wanted to ogle a 60'ish monument to the plastic industry)

  2. Papa Dale-
    Oh, there were lots of cute guys there. Most of them were probably more attracted to Dolly's drummer than to her but they were there!

  3. Congrats to you two! You go girls!! I am sure you guys have heard her version of "Shine", love it!! I am now a jealous groupie.

  4. Kathleen-
    Yep, I love that song too. It's better than the original, much better.
    I love me some Dolly. She rocks my world inside out.