Monday, October 23, 2017

Hatters Get Their Kicks on Route 66 Convention in Wichita, Kansas

October 6-8, 2017 in Wichita, Kansas

Wichita Red Hat Convention

This is the last event with photos until this coming Saturday. On Friday, October 6, 2017, I boarded a plane to Wichita, Kansas to take part in their "Hatters Get Their Kicks on Route 66" event. This was a FUNtastic event and I thoroughly enjoyed being a part of it. I got acquainted with Connie Pearl, Queen Mum of the Toto-ly Oz-some Red Hatters Chapter in NYC at the RHS International Convention this past February. When she realized I was from New Mexico, she said, "Oh, you simply must come to our convention in Wichita, Kansas in October." I told her I would think about it.

As time passed, we emailed each other and I made the decision to represent New Mexico on Route 66 at their convention. I arrived too late on Friday to judge the old car show, but I put myself together for the evening FUN as Janis Joplin and sang "Mercedes Benz" on the stage. Many attendees really got into portraying themselves as famous 1960's characters. The "singing" was hysterically funny and entertaining. We enjoyed a nice dinner in the ballroom. Michael Wallis, curator of the Route 66 museum, author and voice of the Sheriff in all the "Cars" movies, told a lot of great stories about Route 66 and making the "Cars" movies.

Saturday morning, we attended a breakfast and were entertained by LaDonna Gatlin (little sister of the Gatlin Brothers) gave a fun talk entitled "Sometimes You Just Gotta Laugh." She was originally a singer with her big brothers but gave it up for marriage and motherhood. She also has a great voice and sang to us.

The second person on the agenda was "Ms. Woman of the United States", Sierra Scott, also a television personality. She thoroughly entertained us with some great stories.

Saturday afternoon, we were to dress as a character in one of five choices of 60's TV shows. I had chosen "Gilligan's Island" as Ginger. But, alas, I discovered I had left my costume hanging in my closet at home. As all of you know, when Red Hatters get lemons, they tend to make lemonade. I walked across the stage in my red and purple and told Connie that I was Ginger fifty years later! I did have the poster I made for "Let's Make a Deal" which was next. I kept waving my poster and shouting "Pick me! Pick me! I finally got up there and took the money a couple of times, but they teased me with the "What's Behind the Curtain" routine and I went for it with everyone shouting, "Don't do it! Don't do it!" I won a "washer and dryer" which turned out to be a huge metal washer covered with silver glitter and a huge clothespin covered with purple glitter! I have it in a place of honor right now in my living room!

Saturday evening was dinner and big time dress-up night to vie for the title of "Divine Diva". I got number 13! We traipsed across the stage and the judges narrowed the group down to six. Amazingly to me, I was still in. We six went back onto the stage while the judges did some more figuring. Then we were sent off-stage to a small alcove. We were all talking among ourselves as Red Hatters are prone to do when Connie said, "We have a winner and it is number 13." I froze and the girls were saying, "Carla, that's you. Get up on that stage." I was almost in shock as I went back on the stage and Connie was there saying, "Tell us who and what you are." I was almost in tears saying, "I'm overwhelmed." I did regain my composure and the next thing I knew they were pinning a sash on me with "Divine Diva" printed on it; gave me a half-dozen long-stemmed red roses (plastic, of course, because how would you get them home on the plane alive?); and a red carry-bag filled with individually wrapped gifts. It was like Christmas!

We had a lovely breakfast on Sunday morning and we paid tribute to military and service professionals and it was amazing how many Red Hatters have served in the military. We were also entertained by Curtis the Mentalist. He was amazing. Very difficult to figure out how he reads your mind!

I wore my sash home on the plane and got quizzed about it many times. WOW! This is one memory that will stay with me forever. I must add that Carol K. Drake "Goddess of Design" was the person who created her version of "Let's Make a Deal" and it was spectacular, no wasted motion and tons of FUN. Kudos to Carol and the whole committee on creating a fabulous event. I'm so glad I went!

However, when my plane got to Phoenix, Arizona on my way home, there was a security breach in our terminal (suspicious package) and we sat on the tarmac over an hour. When we finally were able to deplane, my flight to El Paso was already gone and I had to sit there until 10:45 PM before getting another flight. When I arrived in El Paso, it seems my luggage had gone to LAX. My poor hubby, Doug, had spent the whole of Sunday afternoon waiting at an Applebee's Restaurant for my arrival. My luggage did arrive on Monday afternoon about 7:00 PM intact and everything was there and nothing broken. Boy, were we both tired!

Some of the Flower Children singing Karaoke
More Flower Children singing Karaoke
Michael Wallis, Curator of the Route 66 Museum, author and voice of the Sheriff in the "Cars" movies
Sierra Scott, Wichita TV personality and Ms. Woman of the United States winner
LaDonna Gatlin (little sister of the Gatlin Brothers) gave a talk "Sometimes You Gotta Laugh" and sang
L to R: Unknown, Mary Kay and Mary Stewart, table mates
Ana and Belle, table mates
Pam, a table mate
Cheryl Fiesbeck, table mate
Pam, Carla Kerr (just before I won Divine Diva) and Ana
Representing the U.S. Navy
U.S. Air Force veterans
Connie Pearl, U.S. Army Veteran and the Convention Chairperson
Red Hatters helping Curtis the Mentalist do one of his mind bending tricks
Curtis wrapped his head in duct tape while Connie looks on incredulously!
I do not have any photos of my winning "Divine Diva", but will be receiving a DVD of the whole event which I will share with anyone interested.

This is all I have to say for now.

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