11 October

The Mansion: A Soft, Sweet, Visit (Remembering Connie)

by Jon Katz
The Mansion

Some of you may remember Connie, Red and Maria and I became quite close to her in the last few years of her life. She was one of the first people Red and I worked with at the Mansion, one of the Army of Good’s first projects was to get her yarn for her knitting.

She set the tone for my work there, she also became friends with Maria.

This photo was taken in the hospital shortly before she died. She told us she was ready to go, and eager to go. She had suffered greatly.

Red still goes to Connie’s room quite often when we visit the Mansion, which we did today. Sylvie is in her room now.

Tomorrow the Mansion Director Morgan Jones leaves to take a job in Saratoga, she will be missed, I am so grateful to her for supporting my Mansion work, and Red’s therapy work.

I know she will thrive, I know she is special.

The Mansion residents loved her dearly, she always fought for them.

It was a soft sweet visit to the Mansion. I brought Sylvie 100 stamps so she can mail her letters to the people who write her (Sylvie, 11 S. Union St., Cambridge, N.Y., 12816).

Matt loves the four new sweatshirts we bought him so he can go outside in the coming chill.

Jean is walking well on her new wider shoes, and she dearly loves the comfort doll we brought her two weeks ago. She sleeps with it at her side.

Ruth is grateful for her sweatshirts and the photograph of the Memorial Service for her husband Ken that I took and had printed for her.

Joan is thrilled with her new CD music player, she especially loves Fleetwood Mac and the Beatles.

The staff says she lies down in the evening and listens to the CD’s, they calm and soothe her, she had been getting increasingly restless. She loves the music, and it has made an enormous difference to her, say the Mansion aides.

Gertha loves her new pants, they are comfortable and colorful, they supplement her dresses.

Tim is taking a lot of pictures with the used Canon Powershot we got him. He’s already worn out one strap. I hope to see some of his photos soon and share them.

Peggie is thrilled with the new laptop she was sent by a member of the Army Of Good, Kathy Gorman, she uses it every day, and says, thanks, thanks thanks. She means it. We’ll see Peggie Friday night at Bingo.

The new fireplace insert we bought is still in its box, awaiting approval from the state.

I am still searching for the right Karaoke machine to get for the Mansion.

The Mansion is a wonderful place for me to work, their needs are small and inexpensive, we can do so much good at little cost – small acts of great kindness.

If you would care to support the Mansion work,  you can send a donation – small ones are very much appreciated – to Jon Katz, P.O. Box 205, Cambridge, N.Y., 12816, or via Paypal, jon@bedlamfarm.com

We are doing a lot of good there.

I was thinking of Connie today, I think she thought me how to help people at the edge of life.


  1. Connie was very special to me also Jon. She had a toughness that reminded me of my mom and I knew how to break through it. She was an honest, good hearted person that was very appreciative of the love she felt from your readers. She will always be remembered. Thanks for sharing Jon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Email SignupEmail Signup