James Lee Porter of Cool, California, passed away on August 16 in Putney Vermont.
Porter was born and raised in Brattleboro Vermont and was the son of Margaret C. and James E. Porter. He attended Saint Michael's elementary school and graduated Saint Michael's High School in 1965. Since 1976, Porter was an extremely skilled farrier and took great pride in his meticulous work. He reluctantly and sadly retired from the trade in June of 2019 due to being diagnosed with stage four cancer. Over the course of his life-long career, Porter shod thousands of horses throughout the lower 48 states. The concentration of his work was based mostly in and around Northern California. He was introduced to the world of horses at around the age of 18 when he was hired as a horse groomer at the former harness racetrack in Hinsdale, New Hampshire. It was then and there that he began his life’s dedication to the equestrian trades and culture of the equestrian community. Porter enjoyed competing in endurance horse racing and accumulated over 1,700 competitive miles. He was excellent at crewing for riders and their horses and traveled to many rides to support the success of others, including helping his daughter Lainey achieve over 6,000 competitive miles. Besides Porter’s passion for the health and wellness of the horse, he was a diehard New England Patriots fan and loved Bob Dylan, as well as Outlaw Country music. He composed raw and profound prose, tried like hell to learn the guitar and took great pride in his gypsy roots, making countless cross-country road trips in his faithful Chevy pickup truck.
Porter is survived by his four children, Christa J. Porter of Putney, VT, Joel A. Porter Sr., of Northfield, MA, Lainey Porter of Georgetown, CA, and Jenna Charest of Henderson, CO, eight grandchildren and three great grandchildren. Besides his family, Porter leaves behind several dear friends, a bunch of horseshoeing buddies and a slew of loyal customers throughout the Northern California landscape and the great wild west.
written by Christa Porter, one of Porter’s daughters