As children, the Parton sisters would always have to repeat their name.
“We’d say ‘Parton’ and they’d think we were saying ‘pardon’ and then slowly and loudly say to us ‘What’s your last name?’ To be clear we’d say ‘Parton, as in Dolly Parton’," said Pam Girard explaining her and her sisters' Patti Peiffer and Paula Moody’s maiden name.
Because of the name similarity, growing up the sisters became more and more familiar with the famous country star, so much so that they started to refer to her as ‘Aunt Dolly’.
Besides having numerous hit songs and albums, Dolly Parton is also known for her... um... busty figure.
“They say nothing grows in the shade - that’s why she has a skinny waist,” said Peiffer.
As the Parton sisters got older, their physical resemblance to country star in this manner wasn’t unnoticed.
Peiffer remembers one time when she was working at the Trading Post.
“We had this big line of customers and I was serving a guy whose his last name was Ladd, so I teased him and said, ‘Do you happen to be related to Cheryl Ladd, the actress, in anyway?' One of the guys in the back said ‘He’s too ugly to be her relative.’ So I told him that my maiden name was Parton and nobody believes Dolly’s my aunt. The guy in the back said loudly, “I believe that”. I was kind of, how do we put it... well endowed,” said Peiffer.
The three sisters have also noticed an uncanny number of synchronicities that, at this point, they feel can’t be ignored.
Dolly Parton’s husband is Carl Thomas Dean, who used to run an asphalt laying company in Nashville.
Peiffer’s husband is also named Carl and he works as a foreman at an asphalt company.
Dolly Parton got her first guitar from her Uncle Bill when she was only eight years old.
The sisters also had an Uncle Bill.
Parton had a Grade 3 teacher named Miss Moody who encouraged her to write.
Paula Moody‘s a teacher who, until recently, was a Grade 3-4 teacher.
The coincidences go on.
“One of her favourite foods is baked potatoes and spaghetti sauce. Isn’t it bizarre but that’s one of my favourites too?“ said Moody.
Moody was such a big Dolly Parton fan that when she got married in 1991, she sent the country star an invitation, but never got a response.
“We teased Paula when she sent her invitation out. We kept saying if Dolly shows up at your wedding you’re going to be forgotten about - it’ not going to be your day anymore,” said Peiffer.
“I wouldn’t have cared. She could’ve outshone me in a heart beat,” said Moody.
When Dolly Parton was a child growing up in poverty, her mother sewed her a colourful patchwork coat.
Parton famously sang of this in one of her most notable songs, Coat of Many Colours.
The Parton sisters’ grandma knit a similar looking sweater that eventually got passed down to Peiffer.
“My mom had it and she asked me if I wanted it and I said, 'Well yeah, that’s our Parton family’s Coat of Many Colours’,” she said.
The sisters have actually never had a chance to see Dolly Parton live, and when they heard that she was coming to play at the Essar Centre on September 10, they couldn’t believe it.
“She’s never been close enough that we could afford to see her,” said Girard.
“I never thought for one second in my whole entire life that she would stop in such a small town. When I think Dolly Parton, I think Toronto, Vancouver, you know, the big classy cities, and for her to come here, to have a place to meet her, I’m over the moon,” said Moody.
The sisters are hoping that they will get a chance to meet their ‘Aunt Dolly’ and tell her about all the coincidences and stories they’ve accumulated in the last five decades.
Whether they get a chance to meet her at the show or not, the sisters will be there, and Peiffer will be wearing her ‘Coat of Many Colours’.
“I have butterflies I’m so excited,” said Peiffer.