Members Donna Williams, Trudy Reese, Gail Swineford and Carla Kerr of New Mexico Roadrunner Chapter of the Red Hat Society in Alamogordo joined up with other Red Hatters from around the country in Tombstone, Arizona for the Tombstone Rose Parade and other festivities associated with it. There were 50 Red Hatters in attendance including fearless leader, Miss Kitty (Jan Roberts) of Miss Kitty's Social Club, a chapter of the Red Hat Society.
Friday's costume was "Rhinestone Cowgirls" and there was no limit to the imaginations these girls have in putting their costumes together. We rode the bus to town and shopped and explored and made it known that we were there. Then, we took a tour of the town with Arizona Bob telling all about each place and what it used to be back in the day and which are haunted places; where famous gunfights took place and who was killed. He was really very knowledgeable and FUN.
That night there was a dinner at the Longhorn Restaurant and an attempted hanging took place which was quite comical. After this came a tour of the Meltelton House where ghosts are said to reside. On the way back to the hotel, the bus driver took us to Boot Hill Cemetery where it was already dark and spooky.
On Saturday, April 8, the girls all dressed in their saloon girl costumes and rode into town on the bus where they formed up for the Tombstone Rose Parade. The costumes were varied and many carried parasols. Also, each member carried a white rose in her teeth to commemorate the Rose Tree. Along the parade route, the girls performed the Can Can at various times and received many hoots and whistles from the onlookers. Miss Kitty's Social Club won second place in the parade and Miss Kitty received a lovely plaque.
Afterward, each was on their own and a number of attendees went to Big Nose Cates Saloon where the owner was most receptive to the saloon girls. Lunch was enjoyed and many pictures were taken including some with shall we say "suggestive" signs, but all in FUN!
When we returned to the hotel, the staff had arranged for entertainment in the breakfast room. They engaged Jimmy Apel, The Singing Cowboy from Tombstone. He is an actor, songwriter, musician and he had many good stories to relate as well as singing and strumming the good old western songs from the 50's. Jimmy gave away posters and outlaw licenses to guests who answered questions he asked. We thoroughly enjoyed this little surprise, a perfect ending to a perfect day.
Sunday, April 9, the girls enjoyed wearing bloomers to breakfast and incidentally, the breakfasts at the Tombstone Grand Hotel were quite substantial and tasty. Afterward, Miss Kitty held a jewelry and clothing sale with mimosas as an encouragement to come and buy. From the looks of what little was left, her sale was successful. Then, it was time to dress and return to town to browse and shop. At 1:00 PM the Vigelettes (a group of Tombstone men and women who wear vintage attire) treated everyone to a fashion show and a lovely tea at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church.
Somehow, I got lost from the group and wound up being driven to the tea by a charming Arizona Ranger named Ken. As I was getting into his pickup, Bobbie from Arizona came walking down the street and said, "Carla, are you picking up a man?" I said, "No. He's picking me up!" She also got in and Ken ran a couple of errands on the way to the church including picking up another lovely lady named Pat.
The tea was what they called a High Tea with plenty of food, hot tea, ice tea and coffee. The parish hall was beautifully decorated and it was a great experience for those of us who attended. It was time to catch the bus back to the hotel for a short nap and new costume for the evening.
Dinner this evening was at the Crystal Palace and the girls all dressed Victorian. The Vigelettes did a walk around fashion show stopping at each table to talk about their attire and the vintage of their clothing as well as purses, hats and jewelry. The food was excellent and we closed the place as we all gathered on the stage and below it for a group photo.
The bus then took several of us who weren't ready to say "die" to Ringo's for Karaoke. Carla Kerr was brave enough to sing "Hey Good Lookin', " an old Hank Williams song, and the other girls were her backup singers and dancers. The regulars as well as the owner were very warm and welcoming to this wild bunch of women and we had a grand time.
If you have never been to Tombstone, you need to experience it at least once on your life. These townspeople go all out for their visitors and you won't find a friendlier place anywhere.
|Rhinestone Cowgirl Donna Williams|
|Would you look at those red eyelashes - Fabulous|
|Just a sampling of the group of Cowgirls|
|Gail Swineford and Trudy Reese, members of New Mexico Roadrunner Chapter|
|Just one of the colorful characters on the street|
|Three of Tombstone's finest law enforcement|
|L to R: Trudy, Gail and Donna in the Longhorn Restaurant|
|Vice Queen Donna and Queen Ladybird aka Carla Kerr|
|Joanne Quinn has been charged with alienation of affections and they are determined to hang her|
|Two of the Saloon Girls with their white roses|
|All loaded and ready to go to the parade|
|Gail and Trudy ready to march|
|This beautiful Saloon girl just had to take a selfie|
|Here are all the Saloon Girls lined up for the parade and the wind was blowing hard|
|A gambler with two of the girls in Big Nose Kates Saloon|
|Two of the Saloon Girls in a shot of Big Nose Kates interior|
|L to R: U/K, Nell, Carla and Bobbie|
|Trudy, behind the bar with the owner of Big Nose Kates|
|Gail with a handsome miner|
|This one managed to get herself arrested on the street|
|Some of the local flavor|
|Kimberly Gugliotta aka Queen Curvy from Tucson, Arizona with VQ Donna at the Bloomer Breakfast|
|Nell and Janet showing off their bloomer attire|
|These two had lovely bloomer outfits|
|Two more darling gals at the Bloomer Breakfast|
|Girls with schedules out trying to figure out what's next|
|Carla in her bloomers and sleep cap|
|These ladies look adorable in their creations|
|Couldn't overlook Georgean, who makes her clothing and hats and is an accomplished photographer|
|Miss Kitty with Georgean|
|Trudy on her trusty steed in her morning finery|
|Gail helping herself to that good breakfast|
|The girls drifted in as they woke up, a few at a time|
|Miss Kitty, so proud to announce that we won second place in the parade|
|The lovely and fashionable Cass from Las Vegas, Nevada|
|VQ Donna ready to go shopping in town|
|The food line at the tea in the church parish hall|
|Some of the members of the Vigelettes in their lovely vintage clothing|
|Vigelette, explaining about bringing tea cup and saucer in her reticule because, back in the day few people could afford to have enough cups and saucers to accommodate everyone.|
|The lovely Pat whom Arizona Ranger Ken gave a ride to the tea|
|The Vigelettes of Tombstone, Arizona in their finest|
|Lady in white feathers portrayed the founder of the church and gave some history on it|
|Tired and happy from shopping, they wait patiently for the bus|
|Lady with Kimberly also waiting on the bus|
|Ladies in front of the Bird Cage Theater greeting customers|
|Three of us with Afghan/Iraq veteran who will be riding a horse from the West Coast starting at Santa Monica Boulevard and ending in Washington, D.C. for the victims of Agent Orange sponsored by the American Legion Clubs|
|Carla and Donna in our Victorian finery|
|Kimberly, looking lovely as always|
|Isn't she just adorable as well as elegant!|
|Nell, looking feisty|
|Such beautiful ladies in their Victorian creations|
|Georgean, looking splendid as usual|
|Nell, cute as a button|
|Each lady was dressed differently from the others|
|Waving on the right is Donna with her friends|
|Miss Kitty elegantly dressed and giving us the scoop for the evening|
|VQ Donna W., Gail and Carla with Trudy in front from the New Mexico Roadrunner Chapter|
|More pretty ladies in their Victorian ensembles|
|Center is Carla Kerr singing Karaoke "Hey Good Lookin'" with Miss Kitty and girls as backup|
|Girls a bit blurred because they were doing their thing behind Carla|
Thanks to my darling Doug for processing all the pictures for me.
This is all I have to say for now.