When John Ward announced he was stepping down as the Voice of the Vols in 1998, many fans and family members reached out to the legendary announcer to congratulate him on a job well done.

It appears one of those fans was Dolly Parton.

The Vol Network recovered an old note mailed from Parton to Ward. Dated November 3, 1998, Parton - who was 52 at the time - shared some of the fond memories she shared with Ward.


"It seems like only yesterday that you were trying to tell me what to do in Knoxville, when I was singing on the 'Old Man Schultz Hour' on WBIR-TV, and you were one of the show's producers," Parton writes.

"It really is true what they say...time flies when you're having fun!"

Parton recalled how many of her friends and family listened to the radio broadcasts of Tennessee football.

"It's like you are the 'voice of family.'"

Then - in a charming and witty moment that's totally Dolly, she joked: "If you get bored with retirement, give me a call. I hear you're a pretty fair gardener and sometimes we have openings on the landscaping team at Dollywood...I could put in a good word for you!"

She then wished Ward a happy retirement and congratulated him on this 30+ years behind the microphone.

Ward died on June 20, 2018 at the age of 88.