I drove home stroking my pink fuzzy press-on mustache Tuesday night pondering the loss of a remarkable woman. Foxy Goat Lisa as she was known in the Chicago Burlesque and Alternative community had an enigmatic smile and wanted everyone to appreciate their own ideas of what “Smutastic” meant to them. The party was originally planned to celebrate her birthday, at her home bar, the Liquid Lizard’s Lounge—but this had become her wake as a result of a gruesome tragedy.
The bar was filled with family, friends and people who had their lives touched by Lisa—whether by her performances, her jewelry, or just by her joy for living. We toasted her unbelievable sweetness with Dragonberry Bacardi and hot tears. Everyone shared stories of how he or she had met Foxy or how she had left an impression on him or her. Like most wakes, we drank, we laughed, we cried, and most importantly remembered a beautiful young woman filled with so much promise.
The news is filled with stories of tragedy happening to other people. It feels completely different when the person who was cut down by an insanely depraved act of humanity is one of your own. Many guests spoke of how he or she could not fathom how Lisa could be taken from us. Family members, friends, fellow artists and performers all shared one goal at the party to seek understanding of how deal with the incredible loss of such a beautiful person. We managed to grieve through laughter, tears, and generosity of spirit throughout the evening.
There were several tributes to Foxy’s quirky charisma and her belief that we should be proud of ourselves for not being afraid of who we are. They included a memorial poem “smutted” up to represent her personality and musical performances by David Bates [Sinister Fate]. Karaoke was sung anyway you wanted it to be without prejudice. J.D. Chicagodom [Rev] brought everyone to tears with his eulogizing using Ralph Waldo Emerson’s words on the impact one life like Lisa’s could have on the world. He also made the crowd laugh constantly throughout the evening so we smiled through the tears.
In between memorializing acts, the celebrants reminisced with each other their favorite stories about Lisa as we watched the multiple screens in the bar show slides and snapshots. Several times in crowd conversations, the speaker stopped when they realized that Foxy wasn’t actually attending the party in person. With guests dressed in “big hair” and Foxy’s jewelry crafts it was hard not to see a bit of her out of the corner of one’s eye.
Some of the conversations spent time wondering if we would ever understand or have a reason why such a beloved person in the scene could have been so violently taken from us. But while there were many tears, the gathering’s main energy was one of “family.” Foxy Goat Lisa was a warm, sweet, creative talent who was halted from the promise of a brilliant future. Guests gave generously to support the family with funeral arrangements and a fund has been set up to place a reward for catching Lisa’s killer. Contributions can be made at the following links:
Lisa Koziol-Ellis – Your donations will go towards a reward for information leading to the arrest of the murderer of Lisa Koziol-Ellis
As we ate vagina shaped cookies, and had our mascara run Foxy’s spirit coalesced in the crowd—in the stories, the performances, and the love flowing around the room. Foxy Goat Lisa, this is the one instance where every single one of us would give anything for just one more smile. I am so very glad I met and performed with you. Rest in peace Beautiful Girl, we will keep thinking your Smutatstic thoughts.
Special to Chicago Den