Monday, June 27, 2022
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20220302 RED Hat IMG 7432By Kathy Olivarez

Red Hat ladies from all over the Rio Grande Valley gathered for the first time in two years at Alamo Country Club on February 25 to view the elegant tables set by chapters from all over the Valley and to meet and greet old friends. A total of 25 tables with different themes were set for the ladies to enjoy. For an hour before lunch was served ladies browsed the tables to see which ones were their favorites.

One of the favorite tables were presented by Maureen Keppy and Dennis Ziaja. Though the theme was “Oriental,” Japan was emphasized by Keppy, who was wearing a brightly colored kimono.

20220302_RED-Hat_IMG_7411.jpg“I have had a Japanese pen pal for 66 years,” she explained. “I finally had an opportunity to go to Japan and meet her.”

The centerpiece of their table was a traditional Japanese doll in a glass case, wearing a kimono. Other items included fans with oriental designs, bento (lunch) boxes, and other colorful objects. Keppy spent her time telling those who stopped by her table about the things she gathered in Japan on her trip.

A second favorite table was entitled “The Fabulous Fifties” created by Judy Reynolds and Kay Beall who dressed in “poodle skirts” reminiscent of the 50’s. The ladies used a red tablecloth covered with things from the 50’s like a “Howdy Doody” doll, antique car models and children’s old 78 rpm records were used as chargers for the dinner plates. The napkins carried the 50’s theme and featured popular entertainers and events of the era.

“If we were voting, this table would be my favorite,” exclaimed one Red Hatter as she admired the elegant “New Year’s Eve” table prepared by Jan Bergman and Donna Reit. The table featured tall crystalware with tiny white lights inside the bowls and white rose balls on top. Black place mats with gray and white china from Jan’s hope chest and silver “crackers” over a white lace tablecloth completed the look.

Christmas is always a favorite theme and Barbara Gerlach and Ethel Gonzalez were ready with red plaid chair toppers featuring a snowman on the back that matched the lighted table runner on their table. Several decorated cone Christmas trees were placed along the runner.

20220302_RED-Hat_IMG_7441.jpg“Chocolate” is always popular, and the table designed by Terry Dutremaine and Jean Henry was covered with several types of chocolate candy and cupcakes for the lucky ladies at their table to take home.

For those looking for a healthy treat, a table named “Apples” offered bright juicy apples to those who sat there. Connie Gerrels and Linda Shaaf created the table. And for those who love going to the movies and eating popcorn, “At the Movies,” created by Sandy Eddington and Pati Jo Miller, featured a popcorn theme.

“Safari’ was the theme of a table covered with leopard cloth and black placemats and napkins. Animal safari bags filled with goodies added to the theme created by Apolyn Crist and Iris Lewis.

“Red Hat Tea Party” by Maggie Loney and Carol Shilling featured lovely china teapots with floral decorations on them that were filled with rose bouquets. Another “Red Hat Tea Party” was decorated with a variety of red hats. It was created by Matilde Buni and Eleonore Smith.

Other themes included “St. Patrick’s Day” with lucky charms and the traditional green theme, designed by Char Tiegen and Miriam Cartwright. A “Valentine’s Day” table covered with bright red hearts, was designed by Alicia Requenez and Alicia Lozano.

“Quilting” was the theme of a table by Sherry Petrie and Sue Heidenscheidt. Pin cushions and other sewing notions decorated the table. “Denim Dazzler” by Jane Simms and Karen Gerlach featured all shades of blue.

“Aloha,” featuring pink flamingoes in various forms, was designed by Jana Fleming and Vicki Okeson. More outdoor themes included “On the Beach” with a marine decorated tablecloth and a display of beach flip-flops by Pat Carey and Anne Westgate. Another outdoor table by Jo Anne Procek and Karen Goer, featured a display of “Lighthouses.” “Camping” was the theme used by Norma Forrest and Mary Goodwin, who displayed miniature campers on a red and white picnic cloth.

20220302_RED-Hat_IMG_7452.jpg“Wildflowers” was the theme used by Sandy Funk, while Mary Virginia Gerlach and Kathy Brown also used wildflowers in their “Springtime Magic” theme.

Following the browsing the ladies enjoyed a chicken luncheon catered by Balli’s of Mission. Jan Bergman, Exalted Queen Mother of The Rio Grande Valley, led a short meeting before introducing the entertainment.

20220302 VETERANS IMG 7279Pianist Jason Whorlow and his two daughters, Brianna and Amelia, entertained. Jason played the music of Elton John, Billy Joel, Rod Stewart, Johnny Cash and others. He also played and sang a special song he created for the Red Hat Ladies. His two daughters each sang two solos, sometimes walking the floor as they sang.