Country legend Dolly Parton is still working "9 to 5," but she took time out of her busy schedule to return home to Sevier County, TN, on Monday, May 7 to make a surprise appearance at a special dedication of the My People Senior Activity Center. The facility, once known as the Fort Sanders Sevier Senior Center, is rebranding itself to stand out from other local medical facilities. And it got the "Jolene" singer to help mark the occasion, along with Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters and Sevierville Mayor Bryan Atchley.
"It was such a joy to be part of the My People Senior Activity Center dedication, in honor of my parents!" the 72-year-old tweeted afterward, tipping her hat to mother Avie Lee Caroline and father Robert Lee Parton Sr., both of whom passed away in the early 2000s. "And, of course, while I was there I had to try out the exercise class with my people!"
Not only did Dolly help lead that exercise class, but she also joined her contemporaries in quilting, wood-carving, and wood-burning activities. Plus, the My People Senior Activity Center gave the Grammy winner a membership card so she could come back for more fun whenever she wants.
And Dolly kept the crowd laughing through the dedication ceremony with her trademark humor. "I'm a senior, too," she said, per CMT News. "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. 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 [has] cost to make me look like this.'"
Then, though, the singer turned serious. "I'm proud to be a senior citizen," she said. "Of course, we all wish we could stay 30 forever, but we can't. So I think it's important that we stay active, 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."