The extraordinary story of the Red Hat Society began with the purchase of a bright red fedora in a thrift shop, by a woman named Sue Ellen Cooper. After coming across a poem entitled “Warning” by Jenny Joseph, depicting older women dressed in purple and wearing red hats, she felt a strong sense of connection to the author. Perhaps it was a comfort to know another mature spirited woman, such as herself, could identify with her daring choices in life.
She decided to share the inspiration with her dear friend Linda Murphy, by purchasing a vintage red hat, along with a copy of the poem for her birthday. What happened next was the beginning of a powerful sister-hood as the gift of a red hat spread from one friend to another. Soon the group had grown so large they became known as the Red Hat Society.
Today, they’re over eighty-thousand members spread throughout twenty-nine countries with at least forty-thousand chapters worldwide according to their web site.
What ties these women together, besides the gorgeous red hats, is a bond of affection. There is a shared language of kindness, along with a sense of liberation. Regardless of age, or race, all encourage each other to live by a few simple rules, have fun, make friends, and live life to its fullest potential.
BlueKittyCool was both honored and inspired by the presence of these women, and Linda Murphy is a shining example of the heights we reach once we tear down the invisible wall that divides us.
Purple hats let other members know it’s your birthday.
The future of this organization belongs to the “Pinkies.”
The Opening Lines of “Warning” by Jenny Joseph:
“When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.”
Queen Carol Nobel (middle)
The Red Hat Flames
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The Golden Age of Glamour Vegas Style.
One thousand six-hundred and seventy-three Red Hatters, along with fifty-two Pinkies
filled the room with joy and splendor.