We lost one of the greats. Loretta Lynn. It reminded me of the day she came into my dad’s pharmacy in Paris, Texas.

It was a Saturday. I have no idea what year. I think I was in high school. I was working in my dad’s store. Well, I was there. Occupying space.

For some reason, Loretta Lynn’s tour bus was in Paris, Texas. She wasn’t doing a concert there. I have no idea why her bus was in the middle of my hometown.

Word spread quickly that Loretta Lynn’s tour bus was parked at restaurant down the street. It was just a block from my dad’s store. I walked over there. Sure enough, that bus was there. I walked inside. Sure enough, Loretta Lynn was in there.

No one like that ever came to Paris, Texas. This was when Loretta Lynn was BIG.

Here’s where it gets good. After she had lunch, Loretta Lynn came into my dad’s store. She and her crew bought a ton of stuff. I remember she bought a lot of hairspray. Hahaha.

The tributes to Loretta Lynn have been pouring in. Sissy Spacek, who played Loretta Lynn in “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” told The Hollywood Reporter, “Today is a sad day. The world lost a magnificent human being. Loretta Lynn was a great artist, a strong and resilient country music pioneer and a precious friend.”

Dolly Parton said, “So sorry to hear about my sister, friend Loretta. We’ve been like sisters all the years we’ve been in Nashville,” Parton wrote. “She was a wonderful human being, wonderful talent, had millions of fans and I’m one of them. I miss her dearly as we all will. May she rest in peace.”

There are plenty more. Tanya Tucker. Reba McEntire. All the greats of country music are weighing in. Loretta Lynn really did blaze the trail for women in her business.

Back to that time, Loretta Lynn visited my dad’s store in Paris, Texas. This was before the days of cell phones and cameras everywhere. When she left, we asked, “Did anyone get a picture?” Nope. We didn’t even get an autograph.

My last memory of that day. After Loretta Lynn left Dad’s store, she stepped on her bus. As they pulled away, the door stayed open. Loretta Lynn stood on the first step and waved. Regally.

That was the day the Coal Miner’s Daughter came into my dad’s pharmacy in Paris, Texas.

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