For six years, members of the Clifton chapter of the Red Hat Society have been meeting once a month at various locations for lunch, coffee or tea parties. The society is an international organization for women over 50 that prides itself on its lack of rules and bylaws and strives simply for its members to have a good time and enjoy each other's company.
"You're never too old to have a happy childhood," said member Orene Mckenzie Blum. "Something happens when you put on the red hat, you can forget about your responsibilities and just have fun."
On Friday, June 23, the Clifton Red Hatters met at the Coffee Mill in Clifton. Organizer Pat Younts explained how through the years, two of the women had lost husbands, while two others suffered from strokes. "Because we are a small group, we are able to help each other through terrible trials," said Younts. "We have to be able to laugh about things or else we'd cry."
According to the women, when one of their members is going through a hard time, they will leave small gifts on their doorstep. "We have been a real support group for each other for the past six years," says Susan Ricci.
As the women shared pictures of grandchildren and laughed at each others stories, it was hard to find any trace of sadness left over from difficult times. "We are making up for the sobriety of our youth," said Younts.