“He was extremely charismatic with a wonderfully clever and quick sense of humour.” Roz Van Zaig, Leonard Cohen’s Stepsister, Talks About Leonard, Esther, & Masha

Back, from left: Roz Ostrow Van Zaig, Eddie Van Zaig, Leonard Cohen. Front: Esther ohen

Yesterday’s post, Photo: Leonard Cohen At Family Wedding – 1956, drew so much interest that I went into my archives to unearth these never before published observations by Rosalind (Roz) Van Zaig nee Ostrow, Leonard Cohen’s stepsister and the bride in that 1956 wedding photo (thanks to Jodi Van Zaig, her daughter, who collected and forwarded this information):

The relationship between Leonard and his sister Esther was very good as she was a librarian who graduated from McGill summa cum laude. She and Leonard were able to have interesting conversations dealing with various authors.

My relationship with Leonard was friendly, he was very easy to get along with. He excelled at debates and was president of McGill debating society. When home, most of his time was spent writing or strumming the guitar. I did hear him play at home with his friends and alone.

He had many friends from all different walks of life and a few very close friends. He had girlfriends, girls were crazy about him.

He was extremely charismatic with a wonderfully clever and quick sense of humour.

His mother was Russian; she had an earthiness and sexiness about her. She was subject to mood swings and was not consistent in this way.