February 19th - June 12th, 2010

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Ray in New York City

Photo by Marie T. Stilkind, circa 1970

Marie T. Stilkind, in an email:
I met Ray Johnson through a series of events.
I had to move from my apartment within 10 days (the woman who had the lease decided that she didn't want my friend Achla Chib who was coming from the UK to move in as she realized she might be dark skinned ... Achla was from New Delhi and a Hindu Indian). I went to a party that evening with Norman Solomon and told him all my woes and what was I going to do. He said his friend Phil Glass (who later became Philip Glass, the minimalist composer) was moving from his uptown apartment to a new big loft downtown.
I met Phil the next day and we arranged the move. At Phil's apartment at 69 W. 96th St., Albert M. Fine (later a Fluxus artist and composer) was sitting on the floor. He was very kind and helpful and we later became good friends. We shared our life stories and when he heard I'd been to BMC, he told me his friend Ray Johnson had also been to BMC and I ought to meet him. I was working at Juilliard at the time as assistant editor of the alumni magazine, THE JUILLIARD REVIEW. One day when I working at my desk in "the fishbowl", a large round office surrounded by windows when Juilliard was still on Claremont Ave (near Grant's Tomb), Albert walked in with a tall blonde young man who he introduced as Ray Johnson. Ray was very shy, as was I at the time. But we arranged to meet again ... mostly in the early meetings Albert would be with us .... but even later when we became more comfortable with one another, Albert was still a big part of our friendship.