Tuesday, December 10, 2019


In 1957 when I left for my undergrad education at Northwestern University, I was assigned a "Big Sister."  Her name was Cosman, sometimes Lisa, sometimes Elizabeth or Betty or some other variation.  The alumni mag tells me she has died last January.  After all, we're mostly in our Eighties now.  She was assigned because she was from Billings, as was Russell Lunday, and it was thought by NU people that Billings, MT, was close to Portland, my home town.

Lisa in her self-created dress.  I'm on the left and 
Claris Nelson is the nun in the background. 
In spite of the dramatic Elizabeth Taylor role, in Tennessee Williams' "Suddenly Last Summer," directed by Stu Hagmann for workshop theatre, it didn't develop into a career.  She was always struggling with her weight and had the background to become a dietician.  I talked to her on the phone when rounding up materials for the Alvina Krause archive at NU.  

Her brother was watching out for her.  She had not lost enthusiasm and looking at her old photos of herself in the costume she made for herself, she decided she looked better than she remembered.  She kept in touch with the NU crowd.  She was Zeta Phi Eta, the speech sorority, and DAR.

Among the appendages to her obituary was this one:
Tammy Ryan
January 30, 2019
I work at the Montana Historical Society and do believe that this is the Lisa Cosman that I have corresponded with for years. She subscribed to Montana The Magazine of Western History for herself and for her brother for as long as I can remember and we'd exchange delightful phone calls once or twice a year. If I am wrong about this, would someone be able to let me know? And if I do have the right family, I am very sad to hear this news today. 


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