Two wonderful feel good stories made news this week on the very same day.
DOLLY PARTON story UP FIRST
Headlines on November 17, 2020 concerned the promising results from Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine trials. Fans including researchers were enthusiastic about Dolly Parton being listed in the acknowledgements for helping to fund their work, “the Dolly Parton Covid-19 Research Fund”. Thanks to a long friendship with Dr. Naji Abumrad, she donated one million to Vanderbilt University Medical Center to help support Covid research.
plus don’t miss jAD aBUMRAD’S terrific PODCAST “DOLLY PARTON’S AMERICA”
His son, Jad Abumrad, creator of Radiolab, produced a chart topping podcast about Dolly: Dolly Parton’s America. Fans of Radiolab and Dolly learned about his father’s friendship with Dolly there. Before I read the name of the doctor friend I was hoping it might be him. Here’s an excerpt from the transcript with some of the marvelously rich and layered story telling about Dolly and his dad:
JAD: The memory that kept intruding was from almost exactly 20 years earlier. I’d gone to Lebanon with my dad for a wedding. This is when I was just getting into recording, so I had my recorder with me everywhere I went. And the day after the wedding, my dad had driven us up the mountains to show us the village where he was born and raised. A little village called Wadi Chahrour. It’s this little enclave where literally half the village has our last name. It’s high up in the mountains, actually the exact same elevation as the mountain where Dolly lives. The air sort of has that exact same kind of thinness to it. And when we finally got to see his house, it looked a lot like Dolly’s.
JAD: When I saw her house …
JAD: I told him about it later.
JAD: It reminded me instantly of your house in Wadi.
NAJI ABUMRAD: Yeah. It’s almost identical like Dolly. There was one bedroom. We were five kids and two parents, and so you put your floor mat and you sleep side to side. And when you wake up in the morning, you stack the floor mats in the corner.
JAD: Wow. So seven people in one room?
NAJI ABUMRAD: Seven people in one room.
JAD: Jesus. How did you even sleep?
NAJI ABUMRAD: You sleep. You learn.
JAD: God! Tell me who you are, just so I have your introduction.
NAJI ABUMRAD: What do you mean? I’m Naji Abumrad. I’m your father.
JAD: [laughs] And what do you do when you’re — when yeah, what do you do otherwise?
NAJI ABUMRAD: Right now, I’m a professor of surgery at Vanderbilt. And …
JAD: I didn’t expect to want to put an interview with my dad in an episode about a visit to Dolly’s Tennessee mountain home. But as I mentioned at the top of the series, I mean, I really couldn’t have even done this series without him.
JAD: Can I ask you a personal question?
DOLLY PARTON: I guess.
JAD: This is something — it’s something I’ve always been curious …
DOLLY PARTON: It’s not that personal.
JAD: No. It’s like, it’s more personal but — for both of us, I guess. I’ve never under — how did you meet my dad?
DOLLY PARTON: Well, your dad was — I had — first time I met him was years and years ago. I was having some health problems, and then I didn’t connect with him again ’til my friend Judy and I had a wreck …
[NEWS CLIP: Dolly Parton suffered a few minor injuries in a car crash in Nashville on Monday.]
DOLLY PARTON: … several years back.
[NEWS CLIP: Police say she was riding in an SUV that was hit by another vehicle.]
DOLLY PARTON: And so when they rushed me to the emergency room, he came to the emergency room. And then after that, we just kind of …
JAD: They became friends.
DOLLY PARTON: Friendship.
JAD: That’s cool.
DOLLY PARTON: He’s a good man.
JAD: I feel like I have to be completely transparent about this. Now I had always been really tickled and a little bit confused. Like, what could they possibly have in common? But then seeing how similar his house looked to hers, and then also thinking back to something she had told me in one of our conversations.
JAD: To make a long story short, I decided to ask him some questions. And it turned out she was right. My dad and my mom left Lebanon same year that Dolly wrote My Tennessee Mountain Home. 1972.
…WELL, It’s a gorgeous listen. Go finish DOLLY PARTON’S AMERICA here
The SECOND HAPPY STORY involved baby Yoda.
Here are screenshots from the LIVE NASA video as the SpaceX new arrivals joined the Space Station 11/17/2020. Astronauts are all fist pumping and smiles at the “zero gravity indicator” baby Yoda in space.
Loved watching this feed (you can see the whole playback). I wonder if the crew already in residence had the time or inclination to watch any shows and if it was possible to see current content like the new Mandalorian season? In other words did those aboard get the cultural reference?
Mesmerizing ‘Floating Tall’ 😉 scenes – Baby Yoda hovering alongside the Mandalorian
The Mandalorian trailer
And yes, this is a deliberate, second rearranged post experiment here. Will lede Dolly or Yoda first makes a difference?