"Ladies of the Lakes"


"Ode to the Red Hat Society"
by Sue Ellen Cooper

A poet put it very well. She said when she was older,
She wouldn't be so meek and mild. She threatened to get bolder.
She'd put a red hat on her head, and purple on her shoulder.
She'd make her life a warmer place, her golden years much golder.

We read that poem, all of us, and grasped what she is saying.
We do not need to sit and knit, although we all are graying.
We think about what we can do. Our plans we have been laying.
Instead of working all the time, we'll be out somewhere playing.

We take her colors to our hearts, and then we all go shopping
For purples clothes and hats of red, with giant brims a-flopping.
We're tired of working all the time, and staying home and mopping.
We order pies and chocolate fudge, and rich desserts with topping.

We crown ourselves as duchesses and countesses and queens.
We prove that playing dress-up isn't just for Halloween.
We drape ourselves in jewels, feathers, boas, and sateen.
We see ourselves on television and in magazines.

We laugh, we cry, we hug a lot. We keep each other strong.
When one of us goes out for fun, the rest all go along.
We gad about, we lunch and munch, in one big happy throng.
We've found the place where we fit in, the place we all belong.

I first heard about the "Red Hat" Ladies of the Lakes from Sally Malagisi. She was so excited about the chapter that just started, not to mention that red and purple were a few of her favorite colors. Anyway I was supposed to take a few pictures of the "ladies" just before they embarked to the Glove theatre to see "Hello Dolly," but some circumstances beyond my control prevented me from taking the pictures. "Red" HOT Sally let me know in no uncertain terms that she was somewhat, to put it nicely, ticked off at me for NOT being there to take pictures. I decided I'd better get some pictures of the ladies before Sally scratched my eyes out. <grin>.

I discovered that the following Monday (8/9/04) they were to have another meeting at the "Coffee Shop" in Caroga around 9 am. Setting TWO alarms, the night before, so I wouldn't be late I got up early and  rushed to get there.

 I made it in time to see some of the locals, as they were driving by the Coffee Shop, almost crash into each other as they saw the ladies with their purple outfits, boas, and red hats entering the coffee shop! It was a riot watching the looks on their faces as they drove by, no doubt wondering what these wild looking ladies were up to!


"The Red Hat Society began as a result of a few women deciding to greet middle age with verve, humor and elan. We believe silliness is the comedy relief of life, and since we are all in it together, we might as well join red-gloved hands and go for the gusto together. Underneath the frivolity, we share a bond of affection, forged by common life experiences and a genuine enthusiasm for wherever life takes us next."
Sue Ellen Cooper, Queen Mother


I went inside and took the following  pictures of this delightful group. Of course Sally Malagisi wasn't there. She had to take her sister to the doctors and couldn't attend. Don't you think I didn't rib her a ton about not being there. :)




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