While Carl Thomas Dean has always shied away from the spotlight, he’s never stopped showing up for Dolly Parton. The couple got married in a private ceremony on May 30, 1966, and for all 55 years of their marriage, they kept their love as secret as possible. But that hasn’t stopped Parton from shining praise on her husband from time to time! She recently revealed that Dean isn’t one to just sit around when she’s cooking up something special in the kitchen.
In an interview with PEOPLE, Parton said that she likes to bake or cook in a quiet kitchen, humming along to soft rock tunes. The one person who is welcome to keep her company? Dean!
“I like it when he comes. A lot of times he’ll sit and watch me, or he’ll talk,” Parton said.
Dean often does the cooking himself, too. “He’s a pretty good cook,” Parton added. “Not a gourmet cook, but I tour so much he’s always, through the years, had to fix things for himself. So, he knows how to do that, but he loves my cooking.”
Carl Thomas Dean also cleans up.
Keeping each other company in the kitchen isn’t the only tradition that Dean and Parton maintain. While Parton loves to cook, she admitted that cleaning isn’t her strong suit. “I’m a messy cooker, and he’s good about cleaning up for me and keeping the stuff cleaned up around me,” she said. Most days, it seems to work perfectly for them! Parton does the cooking, and Dean does the cleaning.
Still, Parton has days when she needs a moment to herself. “Sometimes, I don’t want anybody around, so I’ll just say, ‘Why don’t you go to the den, I’ll clean this up later or you can help me later,’” she added. Dean seems to take it all in stride — he knows when to offer support and when to take a step back. (After all, Parton did once admit that they can get sick of each other.) Though Dean continues to stay private and we still don’t know much about him, it sure seems like he’s a keeper!
This article originally appeared on our sister site, Woman’s World.