My wife lived in Lesley Gore's room.
Let me explain that a bit more fully: the recently deceased pop singer Lesley Gore was a Sarah Lawrence College student (Class of 1968), and for a year she lived in a dorm room, Garrison B10, which my wife the Tiny Goddess (Class of 1972), later occupied for one year. Pretty close connection, huh.
Actually, the death of Lesley Gore – of "It's My Party," "You Don't Own Me," "She's A Fool," and "Judy's Turn to Cry" fame – reminded me of Sarah Lawrence and all the wonderful, distinctive women who studied there. Sarah Lawrence a/k/a "Sadie Lou" is a very small, very particular college, and those of us who went there are very proud of our breed.
Barbara Walters ... Carly Simon ... Alice Walker ... Jill Clayburgh ... Meredith Monk ...
Yoko Ono and Linda McCartney (though Linda didn't graduate) ... Tea Leoni ... Juliana Margulies ... Jane Alexander ... Louise Gluck ... Vera Wang ... and so many others. There is just something special about a Sarah Lawrence woman. Independent, free-thinking, adventurous, self-sufficient, the women I met at Sarah Lawrence were quite a challenge for the average young man, looking for female companionship. Sarah Lawrence girls were never easy ... and that's why they are so special.
"You don't own me, I'm not just one of your many toys
You don't own me, Don't say I can't go with other boys
And don't tell me what to do
And don't tell me what to say
And please, when I go out with you
Don't put me on display, 'cause
You don't own me, Don't try to change me in any way
You don't own me, Don't tie me down 'cause I'd never stay
Oh, I don't tell you what to say
I don't tell you what to do
So just let me be myself
That's all I ask of you
I'm young and I love to be young
I'm free and I love to be free
To live my life the way I want
To say and do whatever I please"
That could be the Sarah Lawrence alma mater!! (Who knows what it actually is?) But I don't think it can be denied that Sarah Lawrence attracted, and probably still attracts, the kind of young woman who wants a special, concentrated, deep educational experience. Usually artistic, usually smart, definitely independent, the Sarah Lawrence woman is on a crusade for self- and/or world-improvement. They are not to be trifled with.
I always say that the best decision I ever made in my life was transferring from Columbia to Sarah Lawrence when it "went co-ed" in 1969. Most people (like President Obama) try to transfer into the Ivy League; I transferred out. But I've never been too concerned about prestige or status. (If I had, I would have applied to Harvard/Yale/Princeton, but I wanted New York.) What can I say? I'm a stubborn, independent person. I've always wanted what I want, and the personal, individual attention I got at Sarah Lawrence was the right educational choice for me over Columbia's bureaucratic disinterest.
And during my first week at Sarah Lawrence in the fall of 1969, I met the Tiny Goddess. The rest is history.
Here's Lesley Gore – singing "You Don't Own Me" at the T.A.M.I. show in 1964.
Not bad, live.