Bob Howell

Many of the conversations we share here in the Auburn Villager begin with words from my lovely and talented bride of nearly 50 years, Paula, and this will be another one.

We begin in a familiar setting for most if us over 65 … your friendly doctor’s office. Have you noticed that most of our visits outside our home are to one or more MD’s offices? That’s not to mention dentists and other healers with assorted abbreviations at the ends of their names. And you see physical therapists, nurse practitioners and other specialists you’ve gotten to know on a first name basis. You know more about some of the people than you do about the new neighbors down the street.

Our conversation begins with Paula and I at her new oral surgeon’s office several years back. I went with Paula  on her first visit to meet this MD that came so very highly recommended. 

But believe it or not, the first thing we both noticed wasn’t his impressive resume … it was his red hair. In reading his resume, I noticed that he had gone to Montgomery’s Alabama Christian Academy … the home to an unusually high number of students and alumni who have red hair. 

This observation was purely unscientific and contained nothing close to any scientific methodology. 

Years ago when our boys played sports, ACA was a regular on our schedule. It was back in those days that we first made those observations. When the get-to-know-you portion of the conversation reached a lull, I told him our story and belief that ACA had an overpopulation of “gingers” as the British dubbed them. He smiled and laughed … and quietly categorized “the abundance of red-heads” idea to rest … but ever so gently.

So what do we know about hair color … especially the color red? It seems as though it’s pretty straight forward. The more of the chemical for red hair you inherit from mom and dad, the greater the likelihood you’ll become a ginger. One article said that only 3 percent of the world’s population has red hair. But that 3 percent of redheads shows up in about 30 percent of commercials and print ads in the whole world. I don’t know if I believe that — but I’m just sayin’. 

(The next portion of this conversation was written following some less-than-scientific observations of redhaired folks, mostly women who are models and actresses who make red look great!)

I must admit that upon further review, I have now noticed dozens of “gingers” in TV advertisements ... enough to keep the percentage of them easily within the 30 percent range mentioned earlier in our conversation. 

I also noticed that this also applies to female soap opera cast members. For instance, two of the “bad girls” on “The Young and the Restless” are carrot tops (another way to describe folks with red hair). If you’re a fan of YNR, you’ll recognize the two as Phyliss Summers and Sally Spectra. 

There’s also a “sho nuff” redhead, who plays Mariah Copeland ... who’s carrying Abbey’s baby on the show ... but, hey,  that’s a whole ’nother story.

So with that in the books, I feel somewhat more confident in the percentages from the earlier quoted statistics. Keep an eye out for gingers on TV and in print. You may be surprised at what you see.

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