published Monday, March 11th, 2013

Grand Thoughts: Call us 'Red,' my granddaughters and I can take it

Go ahead, call me "Red." I'm fine with it now.

As a teen, though, there were years when it made me fighting mad (not that I have a temper). Redheads are teased relentlessly. How would you like hearing, at least once a week, "I'd rather be dead than red on the head" or being compared to Little Orphan Annie, Ronald McDonald or Bozo?

It was in high school that I started loving being a redhead. I realized I liked being different. I liked standing out in a crowd. I liked that a boy wrote in my yearbook, "Blondes don't have all the fun."

While I am thankful to having been born a redhead (as I age, I'm helping it stay red), I'm hoping my two little red-haired granddaughters will feel the same. I'm certainly doing my part by telling them on an ongoing basis how beautiful their hair is and how lucky they are to be redheads.

So far, so good.

Redheads are plentiful in my family. My late father, a redhead, was known as Red. Few people knew that his given name was William. As he aged and his beautiful curly red locks morphed into gray ones, he was still called Red. He'd tell people the color was gone but the spirit was there.

Most every redhead I know is gifted with an outgoing personality and a sense of humor. It's evident in my own family. My father made me laugh every single day of my life and nowadays my granddaughters, 6 and 2, are doing the same thing.

Still, it's not always easy being a redhead. My granddaughters' hair is more a strawberry blonde than my bright copper red. Still, they are destined to be taunted for having colorful curls.

I'll back them up, though.

And, there's the issue of freckles. But that's another column.

about Karen Nazor Hill...

Feature writer Karen Nazor Hill covers fashion, design, home and gardening, pets, entertainment, human interest features and more. She also is an occasional news reporter and the Town Talk columnist. She previously worked for the Catholic newspaper Tennessee Register and was a reporter at the Chattanooga Free Press from 1985 to 1999, when the newspaper merged with the Chattanooga Times. She won a Society of Professional Journalists Golden Press third-place award in feature writing for ...

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