Mrs. Crisler said it best when I complimented her on her bright red trench coat: “Honey, the older the barn, the brighter the paint!”
Red has always been a statement color — not the lighter shades, or even the darkest of hues, but instead think of Maraschino cherries, and you have got it. Politicians have long known the impact of the red power tie. A coat of the perfect red lipstick can dress up any affair, and the houses with the best curb appeal often don a front door that stops traffic.
It”s the Fourth of July weekend, and somewhere at a backyard barbecue you are perhaps celebrating this favored holiday with red, white and blue, but the fireworks are probably sparkling red. Fire engines, cardinals, even Coca-Cola products wear red beautifully. It”s a color that quite literally puts a smile on many faces.
I love red, but can only wear it when in the mood. A rainy day is the best day to let a red collar poke out from under a black sweater, and maybe grab a bright red umbrella for skipping around puddles.
Santa Claus has long been the ambassador of the red suit, complete with shiny red cheeks, and there is that reindeer with the nose we all remember from childhood holidays.
Valentine”s Day is the quintessential holiday for romantics who adore red, with red roses, crimson cards and red velvet cakes. The American Heart Association sponsors fundraisers and fashion shows that put fashionable ladies dressed in red on stage for a good cause.
I remember the old playground song that went something like this: “Roses are red, violets are blue … ” and I confess I never listened far past the first line because I do love red. Green has its place, blue is great, but can you ever think of a time when red was not the color of conversations?
The scarlet letter was scandalous. The parting of the Red Sea had theologians all in a stir. Red for some might symbolize war, but I like to think of it as the color of the war against heart disease and AIDS. It reminds me, always an incurable romantic, of love — star-crossed lovers in Shakespeare dying in the name of love, and our pre-teen niece with the harmless crush on young Justin Bieber.
On my last trip to New York City, red is the color that came across loud and clear, whether on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 44th Street or the flashing building-sized signs in Times Square. Handbags, bracelets, belts and shoes were red hot. So, this season I suggest that you pick one accessory — make it red, and as the old saying goes, paint the town, well, you know the rest!
The Dispatch Editorial Board is made up of publisher Peter Imes, columnist Slim Smith, managing editor Zack Plair and senior newsroom staff.
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