All right, so the post office isn't really going to war with the woman who wrote "Jolene," "9 to 5" and "I Will Always Love You." They'd have to be goddamned fools. But they are screwing with her charity, and I don't like that one bit, so I wrote a doodad about it:
As if the United States Postal Service didn’t have enough trouble, a little-noticed news item ran this week that suggests they are about to make a powerful new enemy: East Tennessee’s favorite daughter, Miss Dolly Parton. In 1996, Parton founded the Imagination Library, which sent a free book every month to children in Sevier County, the forever-impoverished mountain community where she was born in 1946. (Huh. Never thought of Dolly as a baby boomer.) In 2000, she took the program nationwide, partnering with local libraries and community groups to spread the love of reading across the United States. It’s an uncontroversial charity, because everyone likes reading.
Everyone, that is, besides the Post Office. The local newspaper from Maryville, Tennessee, reported this week that the Post Office has begun throwing out Imagination Library books that were returned due to a bad address. Although the local Kiwanis Club was once allowed to pick these books up free of charge, Uncle Sam has changed his mind. Post Office flunky David Walton said:
They are wanting to go pick those books up without paying that return fee. We can’t afford that. They are wanting to … bypass that fee that most other mailers pay. For some time, they have been getting away with that. It’s costing us money.
For the Post Office, I predict this will prove a fatal mistake.
Read on, if you'd like to know more about why I love love love Dolly Parton. Is this a Tennessee thing, or do people nationwide find her incredibly inspiring? I don't know the answer, but I do know that if I have a few too many beers tonight, this is the song I'm putting on the jukebox: