Red Hat Ladies Society visits special exhibit at Pratt museum

Fran Brownell
Pratt Tribune
A group of Red Hat ladies from Pratt, (from left) Tamie Pina, Donna Ewing, Janice Meredith, Jeanne Carson, Marsha Giggy, Flo Parsons and Ginny Houdyshell take in a special Red Hat Society exhibit now on display at the Pratt County Historical Museum.

Pratt County Historical Museum is currently honoring Red Hat Society Ladies with a special display, so it was a no-brainer that the Pratt Red Hat Ladies would drop by for a visit.

The Red Hat Society display in the Hess Room features items donated by Pratt Red Hat members, collected by Museum Curator Charmaine Swanepoel.

“It’s over-the-top creative --Charmaine is a wonder,” said Ginny Houdyshell, one of the Pratt Red Hat Ladies attending the group outing.

Other Pratt Red Hat Ladies in attendance were Jeanne Carson, Marsha Giggy, Tamie Pina, Flo Parsons, Donna Ewing and Janice Meredith, with Lee Sherer not joining the group for the celebration.

The museum display includes an array of red and pink wearing apparel-- stoles, hats and shoes.

There are also miniature Red Hat figurines, including a lamp shaped like a purse and one shaped like a red hat, among other items.

As an organization, Pratt Red Hat Ladies are unique.

“We have no projects, no officers, no dues,” Houdyshell said. “We meet once a month and do something fun.”

The Pratt Red Hat Ladies organization was chartered on August 26, 2003, dubbing their chapter “Serendipity Reds,” with Ewing, Houdyshell and Carson, deciding that they would each invite three friends to join.

Though the group has discontinued its international affiliation, the remaining eight members have maintained their loyalty to a legacy of things fanciful.

Over the years, the Pratt Red-Hatters have traveled the state and beyond for adventure, compiling six scrapbooks of fun-filled memories.

“We saw an Elvis impersonator in McPherson and we traveled to Council Bluffs, Iowa, for a Red Hat Convention and a little casino play,” Houdyshell said.

All of the Pratt group don purple and red for their outings and celebrations because they have all crossed the half-century line of birthday celebrations.

“Tammy joined when she was in her 40’s, so till she turned 50 she wore pink and lavender,” Houdyshell said.

Swanepoel chuckled over Sherer’s title as “Director of Nothing” and Ewing’s title as “Mistress of Anxiety.”

The historical society display will remain in place through October.

Museum hours are 1 to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Admission is $4 for adults; $2 for ages 12 to 18 and free to ages 11 and under.

Annual family memberships  to the Pratt County Historical Museum are also available at $40.