New York Times, “Coca Crystal, Avatar of Counterculture and Provocateur, Dies at 68”

In April 1977, the conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly was about to be honored by the Women’s National Republican Club at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in Manhattan when she was hit by a well-aimed apple pie.

“A group called the Emma Goldman Brigade claimed responsibility,” The New York Times reported. It went on:

A woman identifying herself as Coca Crystal, who telephoned The New York Times, said the group was anarchist, had five members and had had the pie thrown by Aron Kay, who she said was a professional pie-thrower who previously had hit Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan and E. Howard Hunt, the convicted Watergate burglar.

The caller’s name might not have been familiar to the Times reporter, but to New Yorkers south of 14th Street, Coca Crystal was a countercultural celebrity, a Holly Golightly for the Aquarian age.

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