I lived with my parents in a lily white suburb on Long Island called Massapequa Park from 1956-1963. Upon graduating from Massapequa High on my 17th birthday June 23, I quickly moved into Greenwich Village in Manhattan to attend NYU Washington Square College on a scholarship. Although I began Zen meditation and read a lot in Eastern religions, I had no contact with people from Asia. I had never met any Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Indians; like many Americans I had a stereotyped image of East Asians in my head from TV and movies and my father's war stories fighting in the Pacific. And bias against the enemy North Vietnam.
My first two years 63-65 I lived in the Judson Memorial Church Student House at 237 Thompson Street just off Washington Square Park. One hot day in 1964 or 65 I undressed, wrapped a towel around myself and walked to the men's communal shower down the hall. I left my dorm room door open since the building was quite secure. Dripping wet in a towel I returned to my room and was shocked to find a woman sitting on my bed wearing panties and unhitching her bra. She screamed. I screamed. What the hell! What was she doing there! She shouted that she had just moved into the room. She had mistakenly gone to the men's quarters on the 3rd floor. All women were housed on the second floor for. Her room was right beneath mine. I walked back to the shower and gave her time to get dressed and move downstairs.
She had long, black hair and was not particularly pretty but she was half naked. She was also the first Asian woman I had ever encountered in my life, not even in a Chinese restaurant. Since we were both residents in the small dorm and shared a kitchen, we saw each other afterwards for about a year. She had a baby girl. She was not very friendly, sometimes rude to me, soaking me with her wet raincoat one night when she forgot her key to get into the dorm in the middle of the night. I guess she had greater ambitions. I was a punk teenager from Long Island.
Her name? Yoko Ono.