Team Lincoln: Ginny Cobo
Abraham Lincoln always loved his “angel mother” as he allegedly referred to her. For this month’s Team Lincoln spotlight, we’re featuring a mom that’s closely tied to the Cottage. A retired teacher, avid history buff, wanna-be Museum Program Associate (ha), habitual Proclamation reader, and proud member of Team Lincoln all the way from Shreveport, Louisiana, meet Ginny Cobo:
I am a retired middle school American history teacher, as well as the very proud mother of Nora Cobo, who is the Associate Director for Development at the Cottage. I have always been interested in history, especially Civil War history, so when Nora moved to D.C. I felt like I had a treasure trove of places to explore. In 2012, she bought a condo in Petworth, literally down the street from the Soldiers’ Home, even though she was not working at the Cottage. I had seen references to the Cottage in my reading, and when I saw that I could just stroll over and check it out, I did. It was a gorgeous October day, one of those autumn days that D.C .does so well, and I was charmed from the moment I climbed the hill and caught sight of the house.
I arrived just as a tour was beginning. My tour guide was great, a young man who clearly loved history too, and was very knowledgeable and patient with all my questions (yes, I am that person on a tour). Afterwards I went to the Museum Store, which has a good selection of items for all ages, as well as a thoughtful selection of books. I decided on the spot to become a member, and as I left, I was slammed with the fabulous view of the Capitol dome. You just don’t get better than that. It turned out that there was a Cottage Conversation that week with Walter Stahr, whose biography of William Seward I had recently read, so my daughter and I attended. [Ed Note: Walter Stahr is coming back in March to discuss his semi-sequel, a biography on Edwin Stanton.] It was cozy and intimate in that upstairs room — an interesting talk with questions after.
Since then I have returned again to the Cottage many times. I have taken my son on a tour when he and I were in D.C. Plus I recently went to the reception for the couples (the ReUnion event this past December) who had had their weddings there or were planning to do so. It was fun for me to talk to those young people, not to mention enjoy the beautifully catered food. I really enjoy the feeling I get every time I am inside that house, a feeling of connectedness with Lincoln. Sometimes while there, I wonder if Lincoln is everybody’s favorite President; he is mine because he seems so humanly accessible. He said that whenever he heard a person arguing for slavery, he felt a strong impulse to see it tried on that person. Who wouldn’t love the guy who said that?
When my daughter called to tell me that she was offered a job at the Cottage, I felt like she was the luckiest person on earth. Since then, I have met the young men and women who are Nora’s colleagues, and feel like she is very fortunate to have found a job that is both interesting and congenial. I have felt a real interest (and a mother’s vicarious pride) in all the awards and honors the Cottage has received. I have no awards to bestow, but I always tell people about the Cottage, and recommend that they visit. Two thumbs up from me.