Merriam-Webster defines a fan as:  1 : an enthusiastic devotee (as of a sport or a performing art) usually as a spectator
2 : an ardent admirer or enthusiast (as of a celebrity or a pursuit) <science-fiction fans>

Being it’s almost Fan Fair time in Tennessee (I refuse to call it whatever it’s called now) it’s appropriate to direct you to this bizarre documentary that is currently showing (through June 3) on the Logo Channel.

For The Love of Dolly is a documentary that follows some totally obsessive Dolly fans.  In one way, it’s hilarious, another way it’s very sad and heartbreaking and then in another way…just plan beeee-zar. The ones that disturb me the most is the woman who has chosen to follow Dolly rather than have a life.  She’s built a replica of Dolly’s Tennessee Mountain Home in her backyard in California.  The look in her eye (while she’s dressed in a butterfly costume, chasing Dolly down the street in the parade at Pigeon Forge) is scary.  Seems like some medication would help her.  Poor thing.

The relationship between artist and fan is interesting.  Mr. Smiff and them have some very devoted fans.  After Hazel’s surgery, WFMS radio in Indianapolis (where she is a regular) sent her two huge books full of emails from listeners telling her that they were praying for her, sharing their own stories of cancer, etc.  It was very personal.

  My dad had some very devoted fans.  There were some people who would send my sister and me  birthday and Christmas presents.  I’m talking years after he was not on the air anymore.  I remember meeting some through the years and surprisingly, they weren’t freaks or weirdos.  They weren’t psychos who stalked him (ok, one time a jealous husband did show up at the station threatening to kill him). 

Difference in the 50’s and 60’s was you could actually go to a fans’ house and eat and visit with them and be friends with them.  I don’t know what happened that made it where you couldn’t do that anymore, but, that’s virtually unheard of now. 

Mr. Smiff has a cousin who follows Kenny Chesney all over the Eastern Seaboard.  So much, that Kenny knows her face.  In this documentary, Dolly was familiar with these people cause they’ve been following her around forever. 

There are some who laugh at die hard fans and say that they have no lives or whatever, but, I don’t think it’s that at all.  I don’t think there’s any difference in Cousin Lisa’s adoration for Kenny Chesney than the rabid Titans fan who slathers themselves in blue face makeup and those crazy looking red wigs or the die hard UT Vols fans who build their Saturdays in the fall around the football schedule.  Everybody has their thing, however, the line between devoted and nuts is pretty clear. 

Anyway, watch this film.