Well it was a long shot but Google got me an answer and was a convoluted process. I really could not find much on Risser. I could find references to James Risser but that was about it. It was by was by way of other people associated with the name that I was able to track down Lise the writer of the letters. At first I was off to Mucduff Everton (a fabulous photographer) and then to his wife Mary Heeber, an artist whose name had been associated with Risser.
She is an artist & a writer and had written about visiting her daughters Godmother, Lise Apatoff in Italy. When I saw the name Lise I almost fell off the chair. Is it possible? I emailed Mary and she replied back that indeed she knew of Mr Risser but he had had a very difficult life and passed away early in life. He had known Lise as a student in Santa Barbara and then Lise went to Italy to study art and the correspondence took place. They had an affection for each other and it shows in the one letter that was in the envelopes. Mary seemed to feel it would be OK to contact Lise and gave me her email. Well I was pretty excited and then all hell broke loose in my life and the project went by the wayside. I lost all my contact informations. That was as far as I got.
Doing these posts has inspired me to take up where I left off and try and trace down Lise in Italy and make contact with her and let her know about the letters. I'm hoping there is fodder for a book perhaps. A quick search tells me she has now co-authored a book on what Italians do best.
I'll let you know if I make any progress. Any way it just goes to show how the world is rapidly shrinking. Tommorow back to Beatrix.