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What Dolly Parton Did for my Ministry

I should like country music. I live in Nashville, in a house overlooking the Grand Ole Opry, next door to a well-known country music star.

"You gotta love country," people say.

"Well, I can't exactly say I saw the light, heard the Wabash Cannonball, or had an achy, breaky heart," I confess.

Yet I'll admit I've grown especially close to one performer. This is tough to write; I've never before acknowledged this relationship. I've tried to keep it quiet.

And I detest name-dropping.

Oh, well, I might as well blurt it out: Dolly Parton and I are friends. More than friends, in fact. We secretly rendezvous most summer mornings in a secluded garden near my house.

Lest you draw a wrong conclusion, I assure you I have my scruples. I'm never alone with her. In the garden with us are Patsy Cline and Queen Elizabeth. Nearby are John F. Kennedy, Lady Bird Johnson, and Lucille Ball.

I'm a rosarian by hobby. I've grown roses for years, and my favorites are the ones in my "Name Dropper's Rose Garden"--Dolly Parton ...

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From Issue:Winter 1994: Preaching
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