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Elizabeth Dwyer Sandlin
Elizabeth Dwyer (known to Elissa as Besty)

For every performer, there is a moment when you know, with absolute certainty, that this is what you are meant to do with your life. For me that moment happened when I was 15 years old, and given my first lead role on stage. The play sprung from the imagination of one of the most clever and creative people I have ever known, Ms. Elissa Nelson. Even though we lost touch after school, it's no exaggeration to say my life would not have been the same without her. Thank you, Elissa. I hope that wherever you are there are countless books, zines, and inventive theatrical productions to enjoy. I raise my mug of tea in honor of you.

Maureen O'Connor
Maureen O'Connor
Hi, Elissa,

On this lovely October day in Minnesota I am remember your 9th grade short story and your lovely writing. Francie Cutter has been keeping me updated on you and your illness.  I am back at Vis this year for one year to teach American Literature to juniors and to teach writing. I have some fine writers, so am enjoying myself.
As I walk the halls, I remember you and send you prayer and energy.
Be blessed, lovely Vis grad.

Peace, Maureen





marti mogensen
aka auntie mm
hello eveyone, just a note to let you know that emilyn, margaret & megan are sharing your messages with elissa.  she really isn't using a computer these days and is rarely on the telephone---changes, changes!---but really loves to get all the wonderful, heartfelt notes that are coming to her!
endless thanks to everyone, marti

Kevin Casey
Kevin Casey
Elissa,

Being bored with Facebook, I started typing random names from my past. The unnecessary guilt that I felt from snooping was soon overshadowed by shock.  I always wish for the perfect thing to say to people in whatever situation, yet I never can write or say what I mean. I am so very sad for you though.

I would like you to know that I valued our friendship during our youth much more than you might imagine. You helped me through some really strange days.  I remember so much about you.  As corny as it sounds, Elissa, you changed my life. Really though, you saved it. I remember mix-tapes (most of which I still have) and so many late-night phone conversations.  I even wrote songs about you, yet kept them secret. Ha!

If this reaches you, please understand this: From one human to another, I am sorry that I never made an attempt to thank you for everything you've done for me. Although it has been so long, I will always see you as the person from my youth who sparked a significant and permanent change in me, and I know that there are others who feel the same. Thank you, Elissa. I hope for the best for you.

Love,

Kevin

Bruce Smith
Bruce Smith
Elissa,

Here in Syracuse, George Saunders was honored Friday is a lavish ceremony.  Needless to say his speech blew everyone away.  They made a film about him, too which they showed to my great delight: pictures of him and his wife Paula here as grad students and then pictures of him with his kids.  Remember the tent city article of his?

Anyway great event and George representing Creative Writing.

Love,

Bruce
Nina Shope
Nina Shope (from Syracuse) and Chris Narozny (also from Syracuse)
Hi Elissa,

Just heard from John Coyne about what's been going on with you.  So sorry for the struggles you have had to face, but so proud of you and your family for the incredibly brave and inspiring way you have responded to everything placed in your path. It sounds like you have an amazing group of loved ones surrounding you, which is wonderful.  I'm sorry I'm all the way across the country and can't visit, but I'm sending you love and healing thoughts and also sending them to your family and friends.  
Lots of love,


Gale and Gary Lasky
Gale and Gary Lasky
Hello Elissa


Gary and I are no longer with cough and cold and would so like to come say Hello at any time that is good. We are back and forth from home in Salem to Portland . If someone could e mail or call to let us know if when a visit is possible. Gagl2@comcast.net or 503 508 6549. We think about your sweet self and how much we enjoyed having dinner with you. Much love Gale and Gary Lasky
tammi turcina
tammi turcina
Hi Elissa
appreciate the updates your family posts. Mike and I play scrabble and he kicks my ass! He loved having you in the game to up the challenge and introduce the words "aa" and "za." I use my scrabble mug and say a prayer for you before i enjoy the coffee. (hope you got your mug in a package i sent) Went to take a friend to The Flyer Saucer for a cup of coffee and it is no longer there. :(  (But Sahadi"s was!)  Enjoyed those days sipping coffee with  you!! 
Glad to hear you are still writing....such a passion of yours.

hugs,
tammi

oh yeah, remember that coffee shop in queens that was odd and seemed like a front..that was quite the coffee!
Tiara Jewell
Tiara
It was so wonderful to be able to visit with Elissa all weekend. It's an understatement to say that a lot has changed in the two years since we last saw each other, but the things that have not changed are a lot of the things I love most about Elissa - constant visits to the coffee shop, an appreciation and love for the amazing people around her and the wish to take long walks all around the neighborhood. (Don't think that the loss of mobility has stifled that one!)

Deepest gratitude to Emilyn, Jeff, everyone on NE Rosa Parks Way, the Heart of Wisdom Zen Temple, the familiar workers at the neighborhood eateries and everyone else whose selflessness and gentle care seem to keep Elissa's attitude positive and her heart full.

I love you, Elissa! Thank you for letting me tire you (and myself) out with coffee and Annie's Donuts, a walk around the neighborhood, banana ketchup at The Oregon Public House, porch sitting, watching the Portland Girls Rock Camp perform at The Alberta Rose Theatre, browsing through art books and old postcards at Ampersand, coffee at Caffe Vita, happy hour at Good Neighbor, book discussion at the zen temple, walking the whole of Woodlawn Park, more coffee at Woodlawn Coffee and Pastry and a delicious BBQ back on the porch - all accomplished in three afternoons! I wish I could have stayed longer, but I will be back as soon as I can. I am in awe of your strength and humility. 

Keep strong, 
Kevin Casey
Kevin Casey
Elissa,

Being bored with Facebook, I started typing random names from my past. The unnecessary guilt that I felt from snooping was soon overshadowed by shock.  I always wish for the perfect thing to say to people in whatever situation, yet I never can write or say what I mean. I am so very sad for you though.

I would like you to know that I valued our friendship during our youth much more than you might imagine. You helped me through some really strange days.  I remember so much about you.  As corny as it sounds, Elissa, you changed my life. Really though, you saved it. I remember mix-tapes (most of which I still have) and so many late-night phone conversations.  I even wrote songs about you, yet kept them secret. Ha!

If this reaches you, please understand this: From one human to another, I am sorry that I never made an attempt to thank you for everything you've done for me. Although it has been so long, I will always see you as the person from my youth who sparked a significant and permanent change in me, and I know that there are others who feel the same. Thank you, Elissa. I hope for the best for you.

Love,

Kevin

tammi turcina
tammi turcina
Hi Elissa
appreciate the updates your family posts. Mike and I play scrabble and he kicks my ass! He loved having you in the game to up the challenge and introduce the words "aa" and "za." I use my scrabble mug and say a prayer for you before i enjoy the coffee. (hope you got your mug in a package i sent) Went to take a friend to The Flyer Saucer for a cup of coffee and it is no longer there. :(  (But Sahadi"s was!)  Enjoyed those days sipping coffee with  you!! 
Glad to hear you are still writing....such a passion of yours.

hugs,
tammi

oh yeah, remember that coffee shop in queens that was odd and seemed like a front..that was quite the coffee!
Elizabeth Dwyer Sandlin
Elizabeth Dwyer (known to Elissa as Besty)

For every performer, there is a moment when you know, with absolute certainty, that this is what you are meant to do with your life. For me that moment happened when I was 15 years old, and given my first lead role on stage. The play sprung from the imagination of one of the most clever and creative people I have ever known, Ms. Elissa Nelson. Even though we lost touch after school, it's no exaggeration to say my life would not have been the same without her. Thank you, Elissa. I hope that wherever you are there are countless books, zines, and inventive theatrical productions to enjoy. I raise my mug of tea in honor of you.

Maureen O'Connor
Maureen O'Connor
Hi, Elissa,

On this lovely October day in Minnesota I am remember your 9th grade short story and your lovely writing. Francie Cutter has been keeping me updated on you and your illness.  I am back at Vis this year for one year to teach American Literature to juniors and to teach writing. I have some fine writers, so am enjoying myself.
As I walk the halls, I remember you and send you prayer and energy.
Be blessed, lovely Vis grad.

Peace, Maureen





marti mogensen
aka auntie mm
hello eveyone, just a note to let you know that emilyn, margaret & megan are sharing your messages with elissa.  she really isn't using a computer these days and is rarely on the telephone---changes, changes!---but really loves to get all the wonderful, heartfelt notes that are coming to her!
endless thanks to everyone, marti

Bruce Smith
Bruce Smith
Elissa,

Here in Syracuse, George Saunders was honored Friday is a lavish ceremony.  Needless to say his speech blew everyone away.  They made a film about him, too which they showed to my great delight: pictures of him and his wife Paula here as grad students and then pictures of him with his kids.  Remember the tent city article of his?

Anyway great event and George representing Creative Writing.

Love,

Bruce
Nina Shope
Nina Shope (from Syracuse) and Chris Narozny (also from Syracuse)
Hi Elissa,

Just heard from John Coyne about what's been going on with you.  So sorry for the struggles you have had to face, but so proud of you and your family for the incredibly brave and inspiring way you have responded to everything placed in your path. It sounds like you have an amazing group of loved ones surrounding you, which is wonderful.  I'm sorry I'm all the way across the country and can't visit, but I'm sending you love and healing thoughts and also sending them to your family and friends.  
Lots of love,


Gale and Gary Lasky
Gale and Gary Lasky
Hello Elissa


Gary and I are no longer with cough and cold and would so like to come say Hello at any time that is good. We are back and forth from home in Salem to Portland . If someone could e mail or call to let us know if when a visit is possible. Gagl2@comcast.net or 503 508 6549. We think about your sweet self and how much we enjoyed having dinner with you. Much love Gale and Gary Lasky
Tiara Jewell
Tiara
It was so wonderful to be able to visit with Elissa all weekend. It's an understatement to say that a lot has changed in the two years since we last saw each other, but the things that have not changed are a lot of the things I love most about Elissa - constant visits to the coffee shop, an appreciation and love for the amazing people around her and the wish to take long walks all around the neighborhood. (Don't think that the loss of mobility has stifled that one!)

Deepest gratitude to Emilyn, Jeff, everyone on NE Rosa Parks Way, the Heart of Wisdom Zen Temple, the familiar workers at the neighborhood eateries and everyone else whose selflessness and gentle care seem to keep Elissa's attitude positive and her heart full.

I love you, Elissa! Thank you for letting me tire you (and myself) out with coffee and Annie's Donuts, a walk around the neighborhood, banana ketchup at The Oregon Public House, porch sitting, watching the Portland Girls Rock Camp perform at The Alberta Rose Theatre, browsing through art books and old postcards at Ampersand, coffee at Caffe Vita, happy hour at Good Neighbor, book discussion at the zen temple, walking the whole of Woodlawn Park, more coffee at Woodlawn Coffee and Pastry and a delicious BBQ back on the porch - all accomplished in three afternoons! I wish I could have stayed longer, but I will be back as soon as I can. I am in awe of your strength and humility. 

Keep strong, 
Maureen O'Connor
Maureen O'Connor
Hi, Elissa,

On this lovely October day in Minnesota I am remember your 9th grade short story and your lovely writing. Francie Cutter has been keeping me updated on you and your illness.  I am back at Vis this year for one year to teach American Literature to juniors and to teach writing. I have some fine writers, so am enjoying myself.
As I walk the halls, I remember you and send you prayer and energy.
Be blessed, lovely Vis grad.

Peace, Maureen





Kevin Casey
Kevin Casey
Elissa,

Being bored with Facebook, I started typing random names from my past. The unnecessary guilt that I felt from snooping was soon overshadowed by shock.  I always wish for the perfect thing to say to people in whatever situation, yet I never can write or say what I mean. I am so very sad for you though.

I would like you to know that I valued our friendship during our youth much more than you might imagine. You helped me through some really strange days.  I remember so much about you.  As corny as it sounds, Elissa, you changed my life. Really though, you saved it. I remember mix-tapes (most of which I still have) and so many late-night phone conversations.  I even wrote songs about you, yet kept them secret. Ha!

If this reaches you, please understand this: From one human to another, I am sorry that I never made an attempt to thank you for everything you've done for me. Although it has been so long, I will always see you as the person from my youth who sparked a significant and permanent change in me, and I know that there are others who feel the same. Thank you, Elissa. I hope for the best for you.

Love,

Kevin

Nina Shope
Nina Shope (from Syracuse) and Chris Narozny (also from Syracuse)
Hi Elissa,

Just heard from John Coyne about what's been going on with you.  So sorry for the struggles you have had to face, but so proud of you and your family for the incredibly brave and inspiring way you have responded to everything placed in your path. It sounds like you have an amazing group of loved ones surrounding you, which is wonderful.  I'm sorry I'm all the way across the country and can't visit, but I'm sending you love and healing thoughts and also sending them to your family and friends.  
Lots of love,


tammi turcina
tammi turcina
Hi Elissa
appreciate the updates your family posts. Mike and I play scrabble and he kicks my ass! He loved having you in the game to up the challenge and introduce the words "aa" and "za." I use my scrabble mug and say a prayer for you before i enjoy the coffee. (hope you got your mug in a package i sent) Went to take a friend to The Flyer Saucer for a cup of coffee and it is no longer there. :(  (But Sahadi"s was!)  Enjoyed those days sipping coffee with  you!! 
Glad to hear you are still writing....such a passion of yours.

hugs,
tammi

oh yeah, remember that coffee shop in queens that was odd and seemed like a front..that was quite the coffee!
Elizabeth Dwyer Sandlin
Elizabeth Dwyer (known to Elissa as Besty)

For every performer, there is a moment when you know, with absolute certainty, that this is what you are meant to do with your life. For me that moment happened when I was 15 years old, and given my first lead role on stage. The play sprung from the imagination of one of the most clever and creative people I have ever known, Ms. Elissa Nelson. Even though we lost touch after school, it's no exaggeration to say my life would not have been the same without her. Thank you, Elissa. I hope that wherever you are there are countless books, zines, and inventive theatrical productions to enjoy. I raise my mug of tea in honor of you.

Bruce Smith
Bruce Smith
Elissa,

Here in Syracuse, George Saunders was honored Friday is a lavish ceremony.  Needless to say his speech blew everyone away.  They made a film about him, too which they showed to my great delight: pictures of him and his wife Paula here as grad students and then pictures of him with his kids.  Remember the tent city article of his?

Anyway great event and George representing Creative Writing.

Love,

Bruce
marti mogensen
aka auntie mm
hello eveyone, just a note to let you know that emilyn, margaret & megan are sharing your messages with elissa.  she really isn't using a computer these days and is rarely on the telephone---changes, changes!---but really loves to get all the wonderful, heartfelt notes that are coming to her!
endless thanks to everyone, marti

Gale and Gary Lasky
Gale and Gary Lasky
Hello Elissa


Gary and I are no longer with cough and cold and would so like to come say Hello at any time that is good. We are back and forth from home in Salem to Portland . If someone could e mail or call to let us know if when a visit is possible. Gagl2@comcast.net or 503 508 6549. We think about your sweet self and how much we enjoyed having dinner with you. Much love Gale and Gary Lasky
Tiara Jewell
Tiara
It was so wonderful to be able to visit with Elissa all weekend. It's an understatement to say that a lot has changed in the two years since we last saw each other, but the things that have not changed are a lot of the things I love most about Elissa - constant visits to the coffee shop, an appreciation and love for the amazing people around her and the wish to take long walks all around the neighborhood. (Don't think that the loss of mobility has stifled that one!)

Deepest gratitude to Emilyn, Jeff, everyone on NE Rosa Parks Way, the Heart of Wisdom Zen Temple, the familiar workers at the neighborhood eateries and everyone else whose selflessness and gentle care seem to keep Elissa's attitude positive and her heart full.

I love you, Elissa! Thank you for letting me tire you (and myself) out with coffee and Annie's Donuts, a walk around the neighborhood, banana ketchup at The Oregon Public House, porch sitting, watching the Portland Girls Rock Camp perform at The Alberta Rose Theatre, browsing through art books and old postcards at Ampersand, coffee at Caffe Vita, happy hour at Good Neighbor, book discussion at the zen temple, walking the whole of Woodlawn Park, more coffee at Woodlawn Coffee and Pastry and a delicious BBQ back on the porch - all accomplished in three afternoons! I wish I could have stayed longer, but I will be back as soon as I can. I am in awe of your strength and humility. 

Keep strong,