Ladies in Red not in waiting

Posted: Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Members of the Red Hat Society lined up last weekend to attend the KPC Comedy Night. Passers by thought perhaps they were a group of ladies in their Easter bonnets, however upon inquiry they were informed by the Queen mother of the society that all the lovely gray haired ladies were indeed members of the Red Hat Society.

"Our society is an officially disorganized organization with no rules, guidelines or membership fee. The only requirements are that you are over 50 years of age and that when you go out as a group you have to wear something purple and a red hat. Now if you're not 50 yet then you can be a lady in waiting, we have 4 of those in our group, and they have to wear pink hats and lavender until they are old enough to wear a red hat," explained Queen mother Marlene Duffy. The group has only been organized since January, but already had several functions and have been seen in the St. Patrick's Day parade and at other events such as the Chip & Dale show in Kenai, "I don't know who was more shocked, us or the guys when they came out and saw all these gray haired ladies in red hats," said Duffy. She says she earned the title "Queen mother" as the founder of the un-organization, "Primarily because I said so."

The local chapter is actually affiliated with the national Red Hat Society, which basically is a group of ladies over 50 dedicated to doing whatever they want whenever they choose they want to do it. There are already 12 chapters of the Red Hat Society in Alaska including one in Homer and Seward. "I learned about it when I was at a flea market in Arizona last fall and I saw a purple jumper and bought it and my friend said now you can belong to the Red Hat Society, so I got curious and looked it up on line when I got home found out there were already 12 groups in Alaska, so I decided to start a Kenai chapter," said Duffy. "It so happens there are chapters all over the United States made up of ladies who want to do because they're old enough to do whatever they want to and I joined the Kenai group because I live in Soldotna and I wanted to," added Red Hat member Joann Jones. Other members include Nadine Gabbett, Erma Best, Wanda Stewart, and Brenda Randall. For membership information call the Queen mother at 283-5319.

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