My friends and I have made a sincere commitment to the support of The Florida Orchestra. Ours is one of America’s most distinguished orchestras and it is thrilling to hear them live at our beautiful Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center.
We are all members of an organization called “VIVO” (Vitally Interested Volunteers for the Florida Orchestra). We schedule events at various venues and favorite restaurants where we gather to eat, drink and generally “catch up” on friend’s activities and stories. Part of the event admission is donated to the orchestra.
There have been several of these events recently and by now you realize that, at any party, I will be wearing a hat! The first was a bright pink straw with an off-white flower arrangement, worn at a slight tilt. I wore a lime green and pink floral dress and see-through high heel sandals. I felt light and flirty.
You will generally find what I like to call my “Cast of Characters” in attendance at these events and I am anxious for you to get to know my unique friends, who each bring something fun and exciting to every gathering. Shirley, my “Comrade at Arms” is always ready to catch a great photo. Bill, our “Rough Rider” will usually spice up the evening one way or another. It was his Birthday, so Donna and Lucy gave him a “double-mint” kiss. His face is red, but I know he loved it.
You can see by the picture that our first priority is a great Martini. We are lined up at the bar like cattle at a trough!! I was delighted when my friend, Maria, walked in wearing a hat! She is my first official “hat convert” and she looked beautiful. She is threatening to wear gloves next time. I’m impressed. Looking equally smart was my dance partner, Ron, who would make the “Best Dressed” list at any function.
Our next event was held at a charming “Gourmet Lounge” – and they weren’t kidding about the lounge part! There were bright pillows on the floor and you could sit/sprawl/collapse? in these cozy corners. I just had to check it out!
I was wearing a simple but stunning hat. It was a wide brim light black straw with circular ribbing and a black & silver floral band with a few rhinestones and glossy black trim. I wore a simple halter style cocktail dress and black open-toe high heels. I added a black ruffled shrug. I felt cool and classic.
My fabulous friends had saved me a place at the table and I even got pretty “bartendress”, Audrey, to go to the back to search for cherries for my Appletini! It turns out that she loves hats and wears them often. Spirits were high and “spirits” were rapidly warming up our eclectic group. Joe, our “Life on the D-List” chum was in full character.
Bill was recounting all of the “shennanigans” that occurred at his Rough Rider’s Toga Party. TOGA….TOGA…TOGA… It sounds like they gave “Animal House” a run for it’s money! I wanted to go but couldn’t locate my “custom-made” Toga. – really, I do have one – probably hiding under my zillions of hats. I know that I missed a fun evening.
My friends Carol and Lucy brightened up the evening with their colorful ensembles. I am going to miss everyone when I travel to Portland, Oregon this week to visit my friends, David and Steve (you met them in a previous blog). I am going to attend – believe it or not – The 29th Annual La Femme Magnifique International Beauty Pageant. I will see some of the country’s best “drag performers” strutting their stuff with Las Vegas style head-dresses. ( Do you think Donald Trump will be there ??) I will take lots of pictures. You will NOT want to miss my blogs on this event!
All frivolity aside, we are proud of our contribution to The Florida Orchestra. We know that it inspires, entertains and educates a diverse audience with the unique experience of live symphonic music.
Dale Carnegie said “For bettter or worse, you must play your own little instrument in the orchestra of life”
I like to think that the instrument that sends a little gleam across the footlights in MY life’s orchestra is always a beautiful hat!