A Christmas Coat of Many Colors
My daughter came in for Christmas and told me she read on the Internet about “Dear Santa” letters. It seems the U.S Post office has some central location where they keep up with letters kids write to Santa, and then try to respond in some way.
Often in the past they’d see where kids wanted some kind of gadget; the latest X-box or whatever, but this year was different. They were overwhelmed with “Dear Santa” letters from kids who only wanted a warm coat for Christmas.
Dang. Here we live in the most wealthy country in the world and these kids don’t have a coat. We waste more here than some countries have. That got to me.
Dolly Parton’s song, “A Coat of Many Colors” came to mind. One year as a kid her winter coat was a patch-work item her mama pieced together, and Dolly wrote the song about it years later. I don’t know Ms. Parton, but one reason I believe her artistry rings true is I bet she hasn’t forgotten what it’s like to come up tough. She grew up in Sevierville, Tennessee, and used to sing on the early morning “Cas Walker Farm and Fun” show. I understand they had to set her up on Co-Cola crates so she could reach the mic.
Anyway, when my daughter told me that it got me to thinking. I wish there was a way we could all donate a coat to those kids. Just think about it; it’d be coats of many colors from all over the country.
Like all good ideas, it seems simple, but probably isn’t. You’d think everyone could just get up with their postmaster and see how to make it happen from their locale on a grass-roots (bluegrass roots) level. After all, like the Pony Express, those guys know how to deliver the mail, huh?
I think it’d be so cool for it to be a Christmas bluegrass coat of many colors. After all, bluegrass artists forever donate their time to all sorts of causes. It’s the bluegrass way. We’re music people, not money people, but a coat we no longer use sounds like something we could all do.
But even if the more global idea isn’t workable, at the very least I hope folks will take a coat down to GoodWill, the local women’s shelter, or whatever local outfit that does such things in your area and see that it goes to a child this winter. Tell ’em it’s a bluegrass coat of many colors, and in a roundabout way it came from Dolly Parton. That’ll make it special. If I were a kid, I’d dig a coat like that.