Dolly Parton has fans of all ages, including the older generation. The 72-year-old recently paid a surprise visit to a senior center in Sevier County, as part of the renaming ceremony of the center to change the name to My People Senior Activity Center, in honor of Parton's late parents, Robert and Avie Lee Parton.
"I am so excited to be part of this today. Of course, you know I'm a senior too. When I was over in Sevier County High School, I couldn't wait to be a senior, and now that I'm in my second childhood, I'm a senior again," Parton quipped at the ceremony (quote via Knox News). "Anyways, I saw one of my old boyfriends from high school. He said, 'Dolly, you look like a million dollars.' I said, 'Well, thank you. That's just about how much it's cost to make me look like this.'"
For Parton, who grew up in Sevier County, the visit to the senior center was in a way a homecoming for her.
"I'm so honored and so proud to be here, and I want to thank everybody that's had a part in this. For years, I talked about my brothers and my sisters, my mom and dad and my aunts, uncles, cousins, and I call them my people," Parton explained.
"Now of course, when I started Dollywood and the employees there, I thought of them as my family, and they became my people, and of course when we ... actually got involved in the fires up here in the heart of the Smokies. We call that My People. I'm looking out at you, and I think you are, all of you, you're my people, and this is great, and I'm so proud and so honored that I'm a Smoky Mountain girl, and I'm so proud of my home, and I'm so proud of my family."
The Country Music Hall of Fame member offered her own advice to enjoying life in the latter years.
"I just keep myself busy, and I think that's the key to staying young. I'm proud to be a senior citizen. Of course, we all wish we could stay 30 forever, but we can't, so I think it's important that we stay active," Parton said. "We stay with a good attitude and get out and stay involved, make friends and be whatever, and I think being a part of this whole thing is really great, and it is my pleasure to dedicate this to my people."
Parton didn't just stop by to speak. She also took part in exercise, quilting, wood-carving and wood-burning classes.
Photo Credit: Facebook/Dolly Parton