Woodville women join fast-growing Red Hat Society

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 9, 2003

WOODVILLE &045; Don’t be shocked or surprised when you see them. They didn’t all wash their dresses with some new article of clothing that bled purple. Nor did they all win their hats throwing darts in the same carnival booth.

But donning purple dresses and bold red hats in keeping with the Jenny Joseph poem that has inspired a nationwide society, the Red Hat Belles of Woodville have arrived.

And for ladies &uot;of a certain age&uot; who yearn for a bit more light-hearted spontaneity than most social and civic clubs traditionally offer, the Red Hat Society is a fun alternative.

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&uot;There are no rules. We are a disorganization,&uot; Ann Morris quipped when the Belles gathered for taco salads at Cohen House restaurant on Main Street recently.

Chartered by Morris in April, the Woodville chapter now has 14 members. &uot;Our membership is open. All you have to do is express an interest. But if you’re under 50, you have to wear lavender dresses and pink hats,&uot; Morris said.

The group meets on fifth Thursdays &045; or any month when members celebrate birthdays.

Morris and fellow member Lallie Owens were birthday honorees at this month’s luncheon. The two switched to red dresses and purple hats for the occasion. Purple and red balloons were tethered to a centerpiece on the table.

Retired teacher Mary Carter said the Red Hatters’ simple pursuit of enjoyment appeals to her.

&uot;You don’t have to review a book or sew a quilt or anything else &045; just go and have fun,&uot; Carter said.

During an outing at another restaurant last month, the group made a classic Red Hatters’ decision on dessert.

&uot;We ordered one piece of every dessert they had and passed the plates around the table,&uot; Morris said.

Urging women to greet middle age &uot;with verve, humor and elan,&uot; the Red Hat Society has grown steadily since it’s inception a few years ago.

The organization’s third annual convention is scheduled next year in Dallas.

Members can exchange information and shop for special clothing and accessories online at www.redhatsociety.com.