While browsing Facebook last night, I scrolled into the kind of sad news I hate to learn about on Facebook. Alan Mosser, the sparkling highlight of everyone's costume shop experience at the University of Vermont, died on Thursday. I don't know the details, other than that it was unexpected, and everyone misses him.
I looked through all my photos trying to find one of me with Alan, but I sadly don't have any, at least not digitally. Probably because I graduated in 2005, a time when taking digital photos and cataloging them on social media wasn't an everyday thing (hi, I'm feeling old). So instead, here's a great one I stole from Facebook (credit to UVM Department of Theatre):
I don't even know what Alan's real title was at the Royal Tyler Theater. I want to say it was Costume Shop Manager or Costuming Assistant, but it might as well have been Resident Costume Shop DJ or Constant Laugher or Encouraging Supporter of Students Afraid of Sewing Machines. I loved going down into that basement shop, even though I hated sewing, because he'd be there with a joke and bowl of candy. He even forgave me for always sneaking in just to pick out all the mini Reese's cups.
I visited the theater in the summer of 2010, during a lame attempt at a five-year reunion which ended up being just me and my fellow 2005 Theatre Department graduate Emily (hi, Emily!). The campus was pretty empty and most buildings were locked. But then, by way of the magic side door, we found our way into RTT. We walked around in the half-dark, checking out posters and laughing at "old" photos of ourselves, when who popped out of the darkness but Alan. He said "I knew I recognized those gossiping voices!" and gave us big hugs. We went down into the shop and caught up. I forget why he was there working in the middle of summer, but it made sense. I couldn't imagine him being anywhere else. That was the last time I saw him, and I'm sad it was so long ago.
Rest in peace, Alan. I'll think about you every time I'm struggling to sew something, wishing you were there with a joke and a mini Reese's cup.