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Meet Your Neighbor: Victoria Cox’s passion for art led her to meet movie and music stars

Victoria Cox, 73, lives in Midland with her husband, Tom. They met through a friend and have been married for 52 years. They have two children, one of whom died two years ago. They have four grandchildren. Tom is a retired commercial artist. Victoria was born in Saginaw but moved to Midland when she was young. She graduated from Regina High School.

Victoria served in the US Air Force in the medical field at Lackland AFB in Texas at Wilford Hall Hospital. Tom is an Army veteran who served in Vietnam. Victoria’s uncle was the wing commander of the B-52 bomber. Her daughter served in the navy and became the first woman to lead a frigate. She was working at the Pentagon on September 11, 2001 but was on an errand when terrorists attacked the building. She died of breast cancer.

How long have you lived in Midland? Most of my life.

What is your profession and why? I worked in the medical field, now retired. I loved helping people, seeing the end results.

What are some of your interests and hobbies? Tom has worked in commercial art. I have always been artistic. I love art, music, live music, folk music, Americana, rock, classic rock. In 1964 I won a ticket to see the Beatles in Detroit and went. I had to babysit to earn money for a bus fare from Saginaw to Olympia to Detroit. Back then they had the Blue Light in Midland, Daniel’s Den, Bay City State Park had live music.

When the Clio Amphitheater restarted, they brought in domestic artists including Willie Nelson. I had two tickets from a radio station to see Shawn Mullins. We took cameras. Later we saw Billy Idol. Tom pulled out his old 60s camera. We were in the fourth row, took pictures. We were able to meet Billy, get autographs. We had the film developed. We had a nice photo of Billy and used it on some cards. The Clio Amphitheater then asked us to take pictures after seeing what we had done. Later, we went digital. We sent a picture to Billy Idol. They put it on his web page.

Later, we answered a call to be an extra in a movie, “Reel Steel” with Hugh Jackman, in Detroit. We got to meet him and everyone was great. Then we got involved with the Hell’s Half Mile Film Festival in Bay City, taking pictures, volunteering. We saw on Craigslist, they were looking to meet people involved in film/photography. That’s when we met Taylor Gradowski, the producer/director of “Red’s Shadow”. This will premiere on November 11 at the Temple Theater (in Saginaw). We have speaking parts and we are also the producers. It is based on the fairy tale of Red Riding Hood but from another point of view. Visit www.redsshadowmovie.com. I feel like the mother hen of the group.

We volunteer for the United By Sacrifice concert in Coleman. and do some photography for them. They work really hard for it. It’s a good cause. There is a beautiful memorial there. I love music and I love the connection that music creates. Tom handed me a camera at an Alice Cooper concert, and I said okay. We’ve done a few weddings for friends, but I like to take pictures when they don’t know I’m taking them. You get the real person.

What do you like about living in Midland? Midland is a great place to live, where to live.

What message would you like to convey to the community? Just be nice to everyone because you never know what they’re thinking or going through the moment you see them. With COVID and all, I know some people who are going through or have been through a crisis. We have so many friends who have lost family. It is unthinkable.

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