For as long as I can remember, I have been in a passionate love affair with the south. Dolly, Loretta, Patsy- those chiffon clad, bouffant toting song birds were my heroes and Johnny, George and Hank were everything I found handsome and charming in a man. My favorite sayings have always been “y’all” and “do what”, specifically spoken in my grandfather’s twang, and I have always relished the subtle hint of an accent I have when I am tired or mad or, well, have had too much champagne.
I was raised, however, in a place I had the distinct displeasure of never being able to give my heart to. The sprawling expanse of concrete and smog that outlines the borders of Orange and Los Angeles counties in Southern California never did quite do it for me. As a child I sat at my grandmother’s feet and listened to the Opry Stars wail on the Ryman stage and longed to be a part of that down home glamour, longed to be anywhere I could sit a spell and gaze at the Magnolia blooms. Country music, especially, captivated my heart from the start. The more Dolly crooned about islands and streams, smoky mountain memories, and Cowboys with big ideas and little behinds, the more I wanted to be a part of that life. It grabbed on to me and held me tighter than any Hollywood dream ever could.
At nineteen years old I packed up my life and moved across the United States to come in to my own sense of Julia Sugarbaker meets the twenty-first century. I’d make my home in Virginia at a small, private, Presbyterian women’s college- on what would be a lot of my very own dimes. It wasn’t as far south as I’d wanted to be, but it would do. I wore pearls and a French twist to my convocation and felt like I’d discovered, truly, who I was and where I belonged for the first time in my life. I’ve never felt more at home than I did in that old church, signing my honor pledge that day. Except, perhaps, at my junior ball, where I was presented like I was some kind of debutante just south of Baton Rouge who needed to make the social register. I wore pearls that day too, and at my graduation and still today when the occasion calls for it- which sometimes is as simple as its Tuesday and I want to wear them.
order clomid online cheap, generic clomid. I’ve lived in the south now for coming up on ten years, and the summer thunder storms still take my breath away from time to time.Ai?? My favorite thing in the world is still to sit on a porch swing and watch the magnolias sway in the breeze- what little breeze can be mustered in the middle of a hot, sticky southern summer.Ai?? The south can be an unforgiving landscape and poverty and hunger are ongoing issues in the Appalachian and Smoky Mountain regions- and actually across all of North Carolina where I now live and love. My charmed southern experience is just that- dripping with privilege. But I can say there is complete joy in simpler things here. When I am back in Los Angeles I am often running to and fro, meeting this person or that for drinks or lunch to discuss another half baked business or social venture and I feel like I cannot stop to catch my breath from the moment I touch down on the Tarmac until the moment I take off again. When I am there I long for the plush green fields and the majestic blue mountains I’ve given my heart to here in the south.
I am still in a love affair with all things southern. I drink my tea sweet, let my twang out a little more; I’ve even taken to wearing hats and sundresses when the weather calls for it. I still love country music and miss Dolly is still the epitome of down home glamour and sass. So naturally, when she announced she would kick off her Pure and Simple tour right here in North Carolina, I was the first in line for tickets. Growing up hearing Loretta and Tammy, June, Johnny and George on the turn table in my grandparent’s living room meant most of my heroes were already long dead or wouldn’t live to see a year where I could see them and experience their art in person. I settled on belonging to a generation that was not my own a long time ago, knowing that the things I loved, the things I looked up to, were a part of a time already gone or severely diminished. Seeing Dolly in person last Friday was a magnificent culmination of that love and longing to be a part of what I could never generationally fit in to.
Dolly kicked off her tour at the Coliseum in Greensboro, North Carolina, on Friday, June 3rd, in a cloud of rhinestones andAi??fairy lights. Her set was a wash of white, gauzy curtains and soft light, keeping with her tour theme of pure and simple. With a sweet “Hello Dolly” as she approached the stage, the concert began and she crooned a ballad from herAi??newest album, set to come out later this year. Clad in her usual head-to-toe sparkle,the country queen herself cracked jokes and told heart warming stories between her songs, engaging the audience in sweet and meaningful ways. She was warm and inviting and at times it felt as ifAi??she were hosting a jam session for a few friends in her living room rather than opening a national tour to an arena of thousands.
The set list included everything from Nine to Five and Coat of Many Colors, Two Doors Down, Islands in the Stream and Here You Come Again to haunting a capellaAi??medleys about God, faith, and freedom of self. In a perfect mix of new and old, Dolly sang for just over two and a half hours and keptAi??her audience’s attention captive the entire time. As I sat in my ground floor seat and listened to her stories about her Mama and her grandfather and her little home in the Smoky Mountains, I thought of my own roots, of why I love the south, and that I am proud that this majestic part of our country is such an integral part of my past and my future.
If you have the opportunity to catch her tour this year, you wonai??i??t regret it. There is a magic in Dollyai??i??s music that cannot be duplicated or forgotten. Like fireflies and sweet tea on a back porch at dusk, her songs will stay with you like the memories of a hot southern summer night-soft, sweet, and ever lasting.
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