Dolly Parton photographer opens Dolly-themed tiny house vacation rental

Dolly Parton tiny house
Posted at 7:45 PM, Dec 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-12 20:55:09-05

TRACY CITY, Tenn. (WTVF) — There's that old saying: Never meet your heroes. One man says that saying just couldn't be further from the truth for him. A hero truly changed his life. And now, there's a place you can stay that's his tribute to that hero.

In little Tracy City, there's a tiny house owned by a fan of someone many of us love.

"I am a fan of Dolly Parton, yes," smiled Ron Davis. "I mean, who isn't?"

Ron is the owner of a 550-square-foot tiny home at Retreat at Waters Edge. People stay there as a vacation rental.

"This is one of [Dolly's] actual high heel shoes from her 1987 album called Rainbow," Ron said, touring around the Dolly-themed tiny house. "Here's a piece of carpet from Dolly's home in Brentwood. Autographed! Here's pictures from when she hosted Saturday Night Live. The Dolly Show! This is an autographed copy of the script from season one, episode one, autographed to me. Go up in the loft — it's decorated with 50 years of Dolly Parton newspaper clippings."

The truth is, Ron's more than just a fan of the unmistakable voice and the songwriting genius of Dolly Parton. The things in the house tell Ron's story.

As a 17-year-old living in California in the late '80s, Ron began attending tapings of Dolly's TV variety show.

"Twenty-two episodes of The Dolly Show, I was at 20 of them," he said. "Half the time I skipped school to go. My mom's just learning that now! I was sneaking a camera in, and you weren't allowed to take pictures. She came over to the audience riser where I was sitting. She goes, 'Hi! I've seen you a few times. I just wanted to say hi personally.' I said, 'oh my God.' I had very few words. I handed her a stack of prints that I had taken. She goes, 'y'know. You're not supposed to take pictures. I won't tell!'"

Still 17, Ron became a photographer for Dolly backstage at concerts. He even started the fan newspaper, Paper Dolly.

"At one point, I floated out, 'hey Dolly, could we do an actual photoshoot?'"

After that first professional shoot, Ron decided to become a photographer. From there, he went on to do photoshoots for Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears as well as four album covers for Reba McEntire.

"It changed the whole course of my life," Ron said. "If not for Dolly Parton, I would not have become a photographer."

In that tiny home overlooking a lake, there's a quote on one of the walls from the person who gave Ron the chance of a lifetime. "'Find out who you are and do it on purpose.' — Dolly Parton." Ron realizes he never got to tell Dolly something.

"I love you, and thank you," he said.

If you'd like to know more about the house or even stay there, visit here.

Get NewsChannel 5 Now, wherever, whenever, always free.

Watch the live stream below, and download our apps on Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and more. Click here to learn more.