The Red hats are coming!

| 21 Feb 2012 | 10:52

    HAMBURG-Women are wearing red hats on their lapels, on their ears, around their necks, and, of course, on their heads. Not only are they wearing red hats, they are reading about them, decorating with them, and even sleeping on them. The Red Hot Hatters of Hamburg are the latest contingent to join the nationwide movement for women 50 and over. With Queen Mother Betsy Edsall at the head (get it, head?), the group had its second "meeting." They plan to meet once a month, if they feel like it. "Since there are no rules, if we do make them, we can break them," said the Queen Mother. "We plan to have fun," added Edsall. And their fun could be an elegant brunch all decked out in red hats on a Friday or rolling 550 meatballs for a school fundraiser the night before. The Red Hat Society began as a result of a woman deciding "to meet middle age with verge, humor and élan." Its credo reads: "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." Hamburg's Hatters will admit women who are 40, but they must wear pink hats and lavender boas. When you hit 50, then you "hat-tuate" because of your great "hat-itutde." The group's oldest member, Dottie Springer, is a life-long resident of Hamburg and still lives in the house in which she was born 82 years ago. She'll have the privilege of wearing a purple hat at the next event. The Vice Mother, Jean Steffy, designed her hat from a Santa hat which bears a rose she once used as a prop in a Christmas play. She teaches Sunday School at the Hamburg Baptist Church. Margie Yarton, better known as the "Sunshine Lady," is the Court Jester. With an attitude that cheers all who know her, she showed up at a senior citizens meeting toting a pink umbrella - after her condominium had been flooded from the apartment above. The Red Hot Hatters are prominent in the community and in their churches, and those who were not preparing for the spaghetti dinner at the school were sorting Christmas gifts that the Baptist Church was storing for the Salvation Army. Hamburg's Hatters completely subscribe to the group's tenets and the words of the founder and Exalted Queen Mother Sue Ellen Cooper, "Underneath the frivolity, we share a bond of affection, forged by common life experiences and genuine enthusiasm for wherever life takes us next." And one more thing, "always think outside the hatbox."