Dolly Parton is a firecracker, even at 72 years of age. Her zest for life seems to be contagious, as demonstrated when she surprised the senior citizens of the Sevier County Senior Center on Monday (May 7).

"I am so excited to be part of this today," Parton said in comments made at the center and reported by the local WBIR-TV. "Of course, you know I'm a senior too. When I was over in Sevier County High School, I couldn't wait to be a senior, and now that I'm in my second childhood, I'm a senior again."

The purpose of the visit was for a dedication ceremony to rename the facility the My People Senior Activity Center in honor of Parton's dear parents, Robert and Avie Lee Parton. While there, the music legend also spent some precious time with the seniors of Sevier Country, whom she says have become like family to her.

“I'm so honored and so proud to be here, and I want to thank everybody that's had a part in this, and for years, I talked about my brothers and my sisters, my mom and dad and my aunts, uncles, cousins, and I call them my people," Parton said, according to Knox News.

"Now of course, when I started Dollywood and the employees there, I thought of them as my family, and they became my people, and of course when we ... actually got involved in the fires up here in the heart of the Smokies. We call that My People, so I was just thinking, you know, I'm looking out at you, and I think you are, all of you, you're my people, and this is great, and I'm so proud and so honored that I'm a Smoky Mountain girl, and I'm so proud of my home, and I'm so proud of my family," she added.

Parton couldn't help but share her secret to staying young at heart, telling the seniors: "I just keep myself busy, and I think that's the key to staying young, and I'm proud to be a senior citizen."

"We all wish we could stay 30 forever, but we can't, so I think it's important that we stay active," she added. "We stay with a good attitude and get out and stay involved, make friends and be whatever, and I think being a part of this whole thing is really great, and it is my pleasure to dedicate this to my people."

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