Old folk at lunch

Friday, April 25, 2008

Red hair and another seder recollection



A VERY late arrival (about halfway through the seder) at my table was what I took to be a mother/son couple. The son was a serious but polite young man who arrived wearing what the Scots would call "trews": pants with a sort of loud tartan check in them. I gather that he was a rock musician of some sort (I know nothing about popular music. I am a Bach man). I am searching for the right word to describe the impression I got of him: "Eccentric" comes close but only in a way that is in my experience rather to be expected of pop musicians. I was for a time involved in selling music computers (Atari STs) so I got to see a lot of pop musicians at that time. And they do rather seem to live in a world not much influenced by convention.

He had VERY red hair which he wore VERY long -- and a short red beard to go with it. And his skin was VERY fair -- the sort of light-red colour that I recollect my father as having. My father was also a redhead. So how was this unusual person greeted by those present? He was greeted with great affection by many people. They had obviously known him for some time and loved him for the individual that he is.

I was greatly impressed by that. I too value individuality greatly and tend to find eccentrics most interesting. And I am MOST biased in favour of red hair. My first girlfriend was a redhead; The first lady I lived with was a redhead and two of the four ladies I married were redheads. And it gives me great joy to see redheaded children -- which I often do in the places that I frequent. I am most pleased with my son the mathematician (Yiddisher Mommas stereotypically like to refer to "My son the doctor" but I have a feeling that "My son the mathematician" trumps that) but there is a tiny twinge of regret that he is a blond rather than a redhead. There is red hair on his mother's side as well as on mine so it could have been.... I don't really know why I am mentioning these things but why not?

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