As promised, here is the story on the Bama Twins.
Two girls and a hat!
By Suzy Lowry Geno
Faith & Home Magazine
Race fans on-site and TV viewers from around the world for the Aaron’s Race weren’t seeing double race weekend when they saw two beautiful blonds in Victory Lane and throughout the weekend at numerous other racing events. Many may have thought the green-eyed beauties looked more than a little familiar.
Maegen and Ashley Bailey have been unofficially known as the “Bama Twins” for the last two years and have been featured in Sports Illustrated, newspapers around the country, and numerous CBS Sports shots showing the Blount County sisters wearing their trademark houndstooth “Bear Bryant” hats.
The girls were also two of the five finalists for the Aarons Super Fan Award presented during the Southern Sports Awards in Charlotte, North Carolina. Although the girls didn’t win, their all-expense paid trip there allowed them to see sports, music, and entertainment stars from around the world and to BE SEEN on the December broadcast of that show on TV markets around the country.
At that event, the girls said they grew tired of waiting backstage in line to have their photos taken with many sports stars because the lines were so long; but then they discovered folks like Evander Holyfield, Reggie Bush, Michael Jordan, and others coming to THEM asking to have photos made with the twins!
Maegen and Ashley seem to glow with vitality but their beauty secret is better than anything that comes in a bottle, or even the result of good genes or heredity: the girls have a genuine faith in God that has seen them through the good times and the bad that adds to their beauty and their confidence.
Their rise to fame began simply enough. The both graduated from Oneonta High in 2002. And surprisingly, neither attends the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa; they’re both seniors at the University of Alabama in Birmingham!
“It all started out just because we had some free tickets to an Alabama game,” Maegen told Faith and Home. “We have a friend who is a trainer on the Alabama football team. We went that first time and got really interested. We always like to dress a little different. We looked around and hardly anybody was wearing those little hats, just a few men. So we bought a couple of the hats and now we’re always wearing them.”
Anna Bailey said she and her husband Jim, the girls’ parents, were going to watch the first Alabama home game year before last because Ashley and Maegen’s last words before they left were “watch us, we’ll be on TV.”
When the Baileys tuned in and saw there were more than 94,000 at the game, Anna went on to do some other work around their Snead-Susan Moore area home and Jim was snoozing in his recliner. Jim suddenly awoke and there were Ashley and Maegen highlighted on the screen!
Since then Anna and Jim made certain they’ve been glued to every televised Alabama game!
The girls were then featured on the giant screen at the stadium and were regularly shown on TV every time CBS broadcast a game. Before long, the girls became stars in their own right, with as many as 400 lining up to have their photos made with them at every game!
(That first year, in one “football” weekend, the Montgomery Advertiser featured a small photo of Coach Mike Shula and a HUGE photo of Maegen and Ashley!)
Their trip to the Southern Sports Awards resulted in their being asked to appear at the Aaron’s Race as special ambassadors!
Ashley and Maegen were on hand for driver introductions, trophy presentations at the end of the race at Victory Lane, and just about every event in between.
They began the weekend Friday afternoon by signing autographs and having their photos made with scores of fans at the Aaron’s Corporate Display. On Saturday they were photographed at the cup qualifying event and more.
Who knows what the future may hold for these beauties!
But through it all, Ashley and Maegen are humbled and thankful.
Maegen was featured on Ken Lass’ “Heart and Soul” segment on NBC 13 in Birmingham in a special segment on the scarcity of piano teachers in the area.
Maegen not only teaches at the Music Conservatory in Trussville but has several students she teaches at her parent’s home. She serves as pianist and youth choir director at her Baptist Church and is also the Praise Team leader. The Praise Team learned all this year’s Vacation Bible School schools early so that they could teach them at the annual Friendship Baptist Association VBS Conference to other leaders from throughout Blount County! Maegen may be leaning toward a career in music therapy.
Ashley, who was majoring in nursing but has now switched to elementary education, teaches the first grade Sunday School class at her home church.
Anna says she feels her girls stay “grounded” because of their faith. “They want everybody to know you can have a good time; enjoy sports; have fun, without compromising your morals,” Anna explains.
“Don’t get me wrong, we’re all far from perfect,” Anna says. “But Ashley and Maegen’s activities to me are great examples of how folks can have good clean fun.”
Although Ashley and Maegen admit to really enjoying all the attention (and some of the financial rewards are sure helping with college expenses!), they insist they’re just “ordinary” girls who got a good break.
While they’ve become known as the Bama Twins, Ashley explains, “We’d like to be known as representing ALL of Alabama, not just the University.”
Looking through a scrapbook filled to brimming with photos and newspaper and magazine articles, Anna explains, “Who would have thought this all got started by two little girls and a hat?”
(Ashley and Maegen are the granddaughters of Donald and Adelia Kaestner of Sylacauga and the late Clarence and Olive Gailey of Pinedale Shores)