Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Coal Miner's Daughter Is 88 Today

Loretta Lynn is celebrating (presumably) her 88th.  She has much to celebrate as she lived an interesting life.  Married at 15, her husband was 21 at the time.  Unpleasant thoughts flicker here in this writer's mind.  Shortly after their marriage in 1948, husband Oliver Vanetta Doolittle Lynn moved them away from home to Custer, WA, where she knew no one. She particularly missed her father who would die age 52 of "black lung" specific to coal miners.

She was seven months pregnant with the first of their six children.  Two of them died - Jack Benny Lynn, drowned while crossing a stream on the ranch on horseback, age 34.  His sister Betty Sue died age 64 from COPD.

"Doo" himself would die age 69 of acute alcoholism. Loretta said "His alcoholism was a factor all of our married life," the widow is quoted as saying.

She wrote "Coal Miner's Daughter," her autobiography in the '70s which became the Oscar-winning movie of the same name with Sissy Spacek and Tommy Lee Jones as Loretta and Doo.

If you take the Loretta Lynn Hurricane Mills  Ranch tour (we did) you will see the museum's collections of oddments including the lipstick Patsy Cline had with her on her last flight.  The house ground floor is open to view and the stairway to the upstairs has at least two dolls on every stair.  Her fans, hearing she loved dolls, nearly buried the lower half of the house with them.  The grounds are beautiful there in October - the leaves have turned, the air is crisp and her old touring bus parked at the foot of the hill from the house spur's one's curiosity as to the stories it could tell.

We toured Memphis - Graceland - the security guy helpfully pointed out the window of the bathroom where Elvis died;  Memphis for barbecue and recording studios; Nashville and the Ryman Auditorium, Musicians Row (lots and lots of bars) and more recording studios.  Loretta's place was just the cherry on the sundae.

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