Friday, August 22, 1969
Johnson Hall has occupied my mind all day. It began when I vaguely heard the phone ring about noon. I heard Mommy say if it was that important, she'd wake me. On the phone was J [high school classmate also going to Barnard], at Barnard and very excited at the prospect of an available suite in Johnson Hall, the graduate women's dorm at Columbia [now named Wien and used for undergrads http://www.columbia.edu/cu/reshalls/roomsel/]. She had visited the Housing Office, where she was told Fairholm [scuzzy building on 121st St.] was available, but this was so much better!
Our mothers got on, and Mrs. W gave us more information - she raved about the 24-hour security guard service, beauty of the place, convenient location in back of the law school, and price with meal plan. Both girls are studious, she said, so the fact that both rooms didn't have hall doors wasn't vital. She wanted us to come down ASAP to see it. She promised to get the application to us soon and Mommy said we would take it anyway, sight unseen.
After the call, I thought about the prospects, and excitement mounted. Mommy called Daddy, telling him to see if Mr. S [trustee of Daddy's hospital and also a Columbia trustee] could put in a good word. She also called Nana and Ann [her brilliant, hilarious friend, Barnard '54 who was friendly with Joan Rivers], who hadn't heard of the hall. "Where's Barnard?" Ann asked.
After dinner, J called again. The news looked bleaker - grad students were on waiting lists for the hall. The woman in charge, unfortunately, is on vacation. J and her mother trekked to the Fairholm, and found it disgusting - dirty and smelly. R [Barnard soph from our high school], who J called last night, hated it. The regular dorms won't have any openings until Feb. at the earliest.
Even if we get the rooms, I'll still miss out on some dorm life. Grad students are REALLY old compared to underage me (on the phone tonight J also said they wanted older kids, which wasn't encouraging). It will be fun, though. I really hope it comes through. February is a long time from now.
Just now was very scary. Though 3:30 a.m., the doorbell rang and knocker sounded. Daddy, rudely awakened, opened the window and a girl said she wanted to use our phone to call the police. I told Daddy to call for her and he did. They arrived very speedily, 3 cars. A policeman waved his flashlight at our window, saying it was OK. Boyfriend trouble, the answer turned out to be. [We lived across from a park with high hedges in front, making it a lover's lane. We found a bra on the lawn once.]