Sunday morning while I was getting ready for church, I had the radio tuned to our local station. They run an oldies music program with celebrity interviews, music and chatter at that time. I was half-listening to it but not gving it my full attention until I heard Dolly Parton laugh. The host asked her what she'd most like to be remembered for.
That's when Dolly's lilting laughter came through. Then, turning serious, she said, "I've never considered myself a very good singer. I've never thought I was even a good performer. But I can write (songs) pretty good. I'd like to be remembered as a good writer."
It was a simple statement by someone who has been a country music star, an actress, and a songwriter, but her words have stayed with me every day this week. As much as Dolly has given to the American people in the way of entertainment, she has only one real desire--to be remembered as a good writer. But, will she?
Perhaps in the world of other musicians she will be, but her songwriting abilities are not what she's been known for by most people. I think people will remember her showmanship, her promotions in Dollywood, her flamboyant physical attributes before they remember her writing.
It made me wonder about other writers. Will they be remembered for what they wrote or for other things in their lives? Those who have acquired fame with their writing probably will have that attribute listed first by their fans. People like Mark Twain, John Grisham, Charles Dickens, Nora Roberts. For other writers, who write but have not achieved greatness, maybe their writing will be far down the list of things they will be remembered for. But perhaps like Dolly, their writing is what they would most like to be noted for. It probably depends on how much the writer loves working with words that, when put together, create stories or informative articles or essays. If writing is something you love, you want it at the top of the list.
I hope Dolly's wish is realized someday. From now on, I'll think of her as a writer and others who heard her will, also.