I majored in biology, minored in chemistry and mathematics at a small college in Minnesota in the 60s, which meant that I was the only female science major in the Science Hall. I proceeded to work in many different jobs that were dominated by men. I went back to school at age 55 to receive my Masters in Computer Information Management Systems where I was still one of the few women. I also learned to ride a motorcycle at that same time. I like to think that all of those men helped me become a stronger woman.
When I taught business and computer classes at a small college in Washington state. I offered my students some advice:
“For the first day on a new job, wear your best navy blue suit like the one I’m wearing today. If you have just moved into a new home, however, and can’t find your best shoes, follow Jenny Joseph’s advice. Wear a red hat with purple that does not match or as I have done, wear your red sneakers and make a statement.” I wore my red sneakers with a navy blue suit to start and end each school year.
“Life is too short to wear plain white socks, so go for something fun.”
“Set some long long-range goals.”
A) One of my long-range goals is to write the Great American novel. Now that I am retired, my husband and I have moved to Texas. With our house restoration completed, I have finally found time to write. That Great American novel is still a work in progress, but this first novel puts me on my way.
B) My second long-range goal is to become a stand-up comedian. My students were to be my practice audience. Being a stand-up comedian is yet to be explored, but who knows what the future may bring.
Being eligible for membership in the Red Hat Society™ can either intimidate or validate a woman as she faces the next chapter in her life. In Red Helmet On A Motorcycle, Maggie King, a 55 year old recent widow chooses validation. With the support of her close friends she buys a street legal motor scooter and adds a red helmet. As she learns to ride her bike she is able to move past her grief, and show her pride in being a Red Hat Society member. The bike also opens a pathway for independence, new friendships, adventures, but most of all the possibility of romance. Is she ready for romance? If so should it be with a conservative man who rides a Goldwing like the one her husband had or a wild man who rides a Harley?