Loretta Lynn: An Appalachian Inspiration

I just finished watching the movie Coal Miner’s Daughter.  Its a movie that I have watched many times over.  I guess you could say that I’m a little obsessed with Mrs. Lynn.  She grew up about 40 minutes away from where I did in Johnson County, Kentucky outside of Van Lear in Butcher Hollow.  That in and of itself is enough to make me curious about her.  I have read both of her autobiographies.  Both are great books.  Every time I watch the movie, I feel disgust toward Dolittle Lynn.  I think he treated her so poorly, but at the same time, I must  admit that Loretta Lynn would never have been the great singer that we know without Do.  Despite his abuse and cheating, he did push her to sing and pursue her true talents, even though she wasn’t on board with the idea at first.  I find it bittersweet that, despite his faults, she still cares a great deal for him.  She has a big heart, and this I know for a fact.

Mrs. Lynn had a relative in the hospital in Prestonsburg, KY back in the late 80’s/ early 90’s.  My great grandmother was in the same hospital at the time and my Grandma Bonnie, her daughter, was sitting with her.  Mrs Lynn stopped by my great grandmother’s room, a lady who she did not know, and she sat and chatted with my Grandma Bonnie for quite some time.  Before leaving she invited her to “come down and see me”.  This situation has endured me to this stranger more than anything.  She showed kindness to my family, whom she did not know.  She is the real deal, a real Appalachian Coal Miner’s Daughter, down to earth, beautiful inside and out.  Unchanged by fame, southern hospitality abounds within this woman.  She is an inspiration to all women, not just Appalachian women, but her heart belongs with us, in the mountains.  She is beautiful and still “plain as dirt” despite her great success.  I’m very proud to have her represent the area of Appalachia that I am from. 

Loretta, you are an inspiration to us all.  May we not forget where we come from no matter where we go.  Let us know forget our raisin’!

Leave a Reply