Southern Living">

Cookie banner

This site uses cookies. Select "Block all non-essential cookies" to only allow cookies necessary to display content and enable core site features. Select "Accept all cookies" to also personalize your experience on the site with ads and partner content tailored to your interests, and to allow us to measure the effectiveness of our service.

To learn more, review our Cookie Policy, Privacy Notice and Terms of Use.

clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Here's What's Going in Dolly Parton's Time Capsule

Dolly, via <a href="">Southern Living</a>
Dolly, via Southern Living

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

Dolly Parton sat down with Southern Living to discuss the time capsule she's putting together at her resort, DreamMore. The capsule, which will be opened in 2045 will include her University of Tennessee commencement address (because YouTube won't be around?), and a piece of wood from the porch of her childhood home. Her porch is so much more than just parallel planks nailed together:

It just makes me think of Mama and Daddy and my childhood. It's not just [about] being a star, but [about] who I was then—and who I still am—and the way [my parents] helped mold and shape [my brothers and sisters and me] into the kind of people that we've become. It says a lot about that family unit, about the people and the mountains. It's from my humble beginnings; in America all things are possible and dreams can come true. All of those little pieces of your past, they're all important. That's why I'm so thankful I can write songs. I can capture all those memories in my songs and keep those memories alive.

When asked about being called a hillbilly, Parton has what is probably the most upbeat response ever. Here goes:

Well, it's a compliment to me. I mean we were really Hill. Billies. To me that's not an insult. We were just mountain people. We were really redneck, roughneck, hillbilly people. And I'm proud of it. "White trash!" I am. People always say "Aren't you insulted when people call you white trash?" I say, "Well it depends on who's calling me white trash and how they mean it." But we really were to some degree. Because when you're that poor and you're not educated, you fall in those categories. But I'm proud of my hillbilly, white trash background. To me that keeps you humble; that keeps you good. And it doesn't matter how hard you try to outrun it—if that's who you are, that's who you are. It'll show up once in a while.

That's the spirit, Dolly!