I met Red, whose real name was Elizabeth Mays, when I was living in Memphis and working on the A show hunter/jumper circuit. A recent high school graduate, she'd been hired by my bosses to baby sit their child and help out in the store.
Although Red's family had owned horses, she wasn't really a horse girl. She liked them well enough, but they weren't her passion. Despite this, she took to the horse show world like a duck to water. In fact, she eventually took over my job as manager of the travelling tack shop.
That was years later, though. Most of my best memories of Red happened in the Germantown store, where I worked between shows. Red and I always seemed to work the Saturday afternoon shift together, and we spent many a lazy afternoon building Dakins barns, oiling tack and hoping for no last minute customers.
|Oiling tack and goofing off, 1994|
I guess that's the thing I will always remember most about Red: She was really, really funny.
|"Essence of Elizabeth"|
|Red's beloved dog, Hopper, working hard at the mobile tack shop|
My friend Red died last night. I will miss her terribly.