Tania Woodward told me I would be surprised by Lisa Cox, who came to the Mansion last November. I met Lisa today for my “Mansion Faces” portrait series, and I left thinking I’d need a book to tell her life’s story.
I admit I was surprised by her energy and wit, her mind is strong and active, and her life is full and fascinating. She is uncomplaining, vital, and cheerful.
I enjoyed getting to know her.
Lisa grew up in Long Island, studied art at Bennett College, design at the Parson School of Design at Benett College at the Parson School of Design in New York City, and Architecture at Pratt University in Brooklyn.,
She used her design skills as a successful businesswoman, but she married a horse lover out of college and became one herself.
Her love of horses changed the direction of her life.
She has devoted much of her life to horses, which she rode and worked with almost every day for decades.
She was wait-listed for the U.S. Equestrian Olympic Team and was an official of the U.S. Equestrian Federation.
Her favorite horses were Man O’War, considered the greatest racehorse of all time, and Sefton, the British Army Cavalry Horse, who was critically injured in London’s Hyde Park IRA bombings.
She never got to see either of them.
(The entire nation rallied to pay his surgical and medical costs, and Sefton recovered enough to return to active service and was named “Horse Of The Year.” Sefton also became a favorite of Queen Elizabeth.)
Lisa started a successful business selling British horse gear and clothing. That was when her design training helped her a great deal.
She and her husband ended their marriage amicably. She went forward with her life.
She came to the Mansion when a member of her family became seriously ill, and her family wanted to ensure he was cared for while they cared for him.
Lisa is cheerful, thoughtful, and articulate. We did hit it off, I invited her to come to meet the donkeys on our farm, and she lit up when I told her I had two donkeys.
Horses were her life, and she misses them dearly. Maybe the donkeys could help.
Tania offered to bring her to the farm.
I asked her if she needed anything at the Mansion, and she said she didn’t; she had everything she needed. But she did respond when I offered to get her the new book Palace Papers.
At Tania’s whispered suggestion, I also tracked down a book about Sefton – Sefton: The Story Of a Cavalry Horse. I got hold of the last one at a used care online service.
It’s on the way. She also loves murder mysteries, and I will be bringing her some.
I started the “Mansion Faces” campaign because I thought it essential that the people who live in the Mansion be known outside of their new home.
But I have been repeatedly surprised and delighted to meet some of the interesting, engaged, active, and compelling people who live there.
People in the Mansion have some beautiful stories to tell, and I want to tell them.
I was intrigued when Lisa told me she was a longtime member of the Old Chatham Hunt Club, located just an hour or so south of our farm.
I didn’t expect to find a fox hunter in the Mansion. She was quick to tell me that she loved fox hunting. It wasn’t, she said, about killing foxes. It was about working with dogs, something I very much relate to.
She said after years of fox hunting, the hunt had only caught up with one single fox, and he was old and sick.
“It isn’t cruel,” she said, “the boxes have plenty of places to hide. We love the riding and the dogs. I loved it.” She said a fox had befriended a member of her family and a regular visitor to her home.
That wasn’t a conversation I expected to have at Mansion. I enjoyed meeting her very much. I’ll see her again on Thursday when Maria goes to the Mansion to conduct an art class.
Lisa said she’d heard a lot about it.
I’m going with Maria and bringing Zinnia, with Covid under control; I’m going to visit the Memory Care Center and some of the residents who spend a lot of time in their rooms and whom I rarely see.
I’m eager to see Lisa’s art.
If you wish to write Lisa a letter, I’m sure she’d love to receive it. Lisa Cox, 11 S. Union Avenue, Cambridge, N.Y., 12816.