When I was a little girl I lived in a tiny little trailer with my young, sweet mother. I knew even then we didn't have much money...I'd see the people on TV...notice that everyone else was driving while my mom and I were walking in the one paying us any mind.

I never knew this was a bad thing, though because every night when I went to bed my mom would tuck me in and sing this one song... "Back through the years I go wonderin' once again..." and my excitement would grow. I loved that story...the tale of a little girl who had to wear a coat made of old rags to school and how she was so proud because it was made with love.

I swore up and down that this woman named Dolly wrote this song for me and my mom and I felt so special and loved. You would have never been able to convince me back then that being poor was something to be ashamed of.

Sadly I went to school and became a brat...I let the shame set in and would hang my head (and grow angry with my mom) when the kids at school would tease me for my knock off shoes and my Walmart clothes, but then I'd come home and hear her humming that song and that love and innocence inside would pop back up until one day it came back for good and the shame took a back seat.

And THAT is why I love Dolly Parton so VERY much.

Jersey came home from work yesterday and jokingly told me that one of his friends had found out that I, a black woman, was geeked to see this woman in concert. He he had found that strange and hilarious. "Really?! Tish likes country?...WHY?!"
...And just like that my smile dropped. I, of course, had to explain to Jersey once again why I loved her...just in case he too felt like laughing at the black girl anomaly. Then I told him I wished his ignorant little friend would have laughed in my face. I wish I could have been there to ask what a black woman should be listening to. (You know, since I obviously hadn't received my black woman's handbook!)

I honor my mixed heritage; but most of all, I honor, love and admire the white mother who gave her young daughter the words that helped shape her...the words that gave her bravery and backbone to boot.

Sad that I wanted to shove all that love right up that man's confused and stupid ass. (Pardon the princess talk) Music was never meant for boxes and definitely never meant for only specific ears to hear.

Friday night I will be at the Hollywood Bowl listening to Dolly...that brilliant songwriter and performer with my friends. In case you're there too, I'll be the mixed chick tearing up in the middle section.

I'll be thinking of my mom and a sweeter time...Heart and ears wide open.


  1. So many people give me the stink-eye because I prefer rock to rap. I mean, why can't I?

  2. Because it stresses their tiny little brains out! They've put us in the black = rap box. hmph

  3. oh Tish....I wouldn't put you in any kind of box!!!

    I love Dolly too.
    This is such a sweet sweet story, and now when I hear it, I'm gonna remember your young sweet mother.


  4. :) I'm allergic to boxes. Mo would LOVE knowing that song reminds someone of her...especially if that someone happens to be Mrs Painter ;)


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