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The Ladies in Red

They have been accountable, adaptable, dutiful, dependable, lovable, and liable. Collectively, they have volunteered for everything imaginable, and now all they really wanna do is have fun.

They are the ladies of the Red Hat Society, and on Dec. 4, they held their annual tea party at the Hotel Colorado.

The national chapter formed in April 1998 when a woman named Sue Ellen Cooper decided that a woman’s 50th birthday should be a time for celebration.



The society plucked its name from the opening lines of the poem called “Warning” by Jenny Joseph that starts: “When I am an old woman I shall wear purple with a red that does not go and does not suite me.”

Nationally, groups have given themselves names such as: The Red Hot Flashes, The Grateful Red, and the Raspberry Tarts.



While women under 50 are welcome to come, they have to wear pink until their fiftieth birthday.

Monica Miller started the local chapter in 2004 with six ladies in attendance. Now the club, whose only rule is to fashionably clash red and purple, has 70 women who agreed on one thing: they really do not do anything. The Society is a disorganization with no agenda and plan.

All they really wanna do is have fun.

Even at the food table where the ladies have no worries about foregoing fruit and finger sandwiches for the white chocolate fountain.

Some girls have learned how to have fun.

The attraction of the society for women is the chance to meet other fascinating, vibrant women who have lived great stories and are willing to share them with others.

“You would be amazed at what these women have done,” Anita Moulton said. “You are looking at a history of Glenwood.”

They can be delicate. They can be distinguished, and, as one confessed, some can tell a rather discreet, dirty joke at the drop of a red hat. It’s sass with class, and the red hatters own it.

For an onlooker, eavesdropping on their party is like watching a good Steven Spielberg movie ” it simply makes the outside world disappear for two glorious hours.

For the Ladies in Red, life after 50 means more freedom, more fun, and a little frivolity.

They are, however, wrong about one thing.

The society does something very important.

They are proof that maybe all the world really needs is a few more tea parties.

From left, Joan Anderson, of Glenwood, is retired; Barbara Barnes, of Glenwood, is retired; and Angela Parkison, of Glenwood, is author of “Hope and Hot Water.”

From left, Elizabeth Pruett, of Glenwood, works at Pruett Enterprises; event organizer Monica Miller owns Anderson’s Clothing; and Carolyn Odell, of Glenwood, is retired.

From left, June Herrell, of Glenwood, is a retired counselor; Marie O’Donnell, of Glenwood, is a retired housewife and Jennie Metz, of Glenwood, is a retired business owner.

Glenwood ladies from left, Sheila Mincer, is a speech therapist for Re-1; Mary Ellen Woertz, is semi-retired; and Joan Chaffin, owns Mountain Peddler.

Linda Swanson, of Basalt works at Obermeyer; and Pati Truax-Edquist, of Glenwood, works in Human Resources at Alpine Bank.

Glenwood Ladies from left, Bonnie Broetzman, a volunteer; Ruth Pickard, a volunteer; and Pat Hamburg, a volunteer.

From left, June Robinson, of Glenwood, is retired; Nancy Barbee, of Glenwood, works at Aspen Research; and Sharon Petersen, of Glenwood, is retired.

From left, Val-le Fuehrer, of Basalt, is retired; Susan Zimmer, of Missouri Heights, is production coordinator at Obermeyer; and Jeri Durnan, of Glenwood, is an accountant at Obermeyer.


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