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Interesting Conversations and Events I've had over the years and when, where, who, and what happened... (and to note, I could not put these stories in 'The New Math' like this because how do you get permission from dead people?  And on that same token, how can people like Albert Einstein and Edgar Cayce copyright their names so that no one can use them without their permission when they are dead and can't give their permission?)  Just some thoughts here.  These are the full stories as best as possible.  If I do not capture my own thoughts as they actually are, then who can other than me, myself, and I?  These are the events that I remember and how those thoughts and ideas came about, what those thoughts and ideas were, and the reason(s) and event(s) behind those thoughts and ideas.  This is not to dignify nor indignify myself or others, but to remember.  And imagine trying to remember this stuff off the top of your head and hope you get all the details in the right order and such.  Now imagine trying to tell all this many times to different people and hope that they heard what you said the right way and hoping that you got all the details.  Better yet, why not just write it out?  So I did.  This page is kind of a reference and a lesson to myself and others of why it may be important to write stuff down even if you do have a photographic type memory.  And as you can tell by length, there is definitely a lot to remember here.  Read on... (yes, this page is public, but I am keeping this page kind of hidden because...).  And yes, this contains adult content.


When : March / April 1973 (near the end of Second Grade)

Where : Severn Elementary School, Corning, NY

Who : Mrs. Harris

What happened : Well, I realized it said Name________ on the top of the tests we were taking and little old me decided to put 'Me' in the name blank.  Mrs. Harris came over and said "Your name is not me, change it."  And then I said out loud, "If I'm not me, who am I then?"  And after about five minutes of arguing back and forth and the class laughing, Mrs. Harris asked me to copy out of the dictionary.  The next test I put 'Myself' then the next test I put 'I'.  On the fourth test, Mrs. Harris had been talking with Mr. Siegler and Mr. Siegler suggested that Mrs. Harris put "Your Name_____________" on the test.  So Mrs. Harris put "Your Name________" at the top of the fourth test and when handing me the test, Mrs. Harris stood there pointing at the test and saying "I want you to put your name YOUR NAME on the test", and of course if my name is not me, myself or I then your name is definitely not you is it?

What came of this : Henceforth was the search for 'progressive education' where a four year college graduate MAY be able to deal with a second grader on a more intellectual level.  Look for the 'Your Name_______' blank on these kinds of tests.  Lo and behold, progressive educators did not think of 'Legal Name________' yet which would have actually solved the problem.  Common Core is even more of a joke.


When : September 1973 to June 1974

Where : Severn Elementary School, Corning, NY

Who : Julie Sage

I was walking home from school one day and I saw two younger boys that I recognized, Billy and Dickie, walking together, going home, after school.  I spoke out and said, “If you two are gonna hold hands, you’re gonna need to learn to fight, wanna learn?”  And the two boys stopped and at first it was one on one, but even two on one I was easily tossing them around.  Next thing that happened was a girl’s voice calling out, “You two leave him alone.”  And I said back, “I started it.”  Then Julie Sage said, “I know those two and they better leave you alone.”  The two kids were stunned and I let go and they took off running after about a minute when they realized I wasn’t going to fight anymore with them.

Julie and I then started talking and the first words out of my mouth were something like, “Seriously, I started it.”  And Julie said, “Doesn’t matter.  I know you’re a nice boy.”  Next I said, “Want me to carry your books for you?”  And she said, “Yes.”  So off we went towards home.  Next I said, “Does your dad ever hit you with his belt?”  And she shook her head yes.  Next, “Hair brush?”  And she nodded yes again.  Then I said, “My parents tried using the bristle end once but it bounced too much so they turned it back around.”  And Julie said, “Mine haven’t done that yet.”  Next question from me, “Switch?”  And Julie asked, “What’s a switch?”  I said, “It’s when you take a branch off a tree.  I try to get a big branch because it is hard for them to lift unlike the smaller ones.”  And Julie said, “Nope, they’ve never done that.”

We talked an awful lot for two blocks and both our parents smoked and we didn’t like that.  And both our parents fought and argued which we didn’t like either.  Julie’s favorite color was red and she loved monarch butterflies.  My favorite color was silver and black and then came the end of the walkway and time to cross the street.  So I said, “Which way?”  And she said, “I gotta go this way.”  And I was like, “I gotta go the other way.”  I then said something like, “Nice talkin’ to ya but I gotta go before I get in trouble for bein’ late.”  She said, “Me too.”  I then said something like, “Oops, you’ll need your books.”  I had never done anything awkward that I could remember.  But yes, I dropped the books, hers and mine.  I said, “Sorry, I’m such a klutz.”  And she said, “That’s OK.  I’ll see you again sometime.”  We then picked up our books and went our separate ways.

The next day I showed up for class and Mrs. McKendrick, my third grade teacher, noticed that I was not wearing my belt around my pants.  The teacher asked, “Why aren’t you wearing your belt?”  And I responded, “My dad hits me with his belt and I don’t want to do that to my kids, so I’m never gonna wear a belt again.”  The next day nearly all the boys in the class were not wearing belts.  The night before I just couldn’t understand why Julie’s dad would ever want to hurt her with a belt.  Julie was a nice, quiet girl in school, and for the first time in my life I had met someone that I just could not think about hurting.  I was a fighter and not a hippy, tree-hugging pacifist and such.

The next day Julie was also telling people how she met a nice boy named Bubba and more than one kid asked if Julie was stoned or high on something.  Julie only knew about the quiet kid, Bubby, in school, not the “Hi, I’m Bubby, wanna fight?” kid that most others knew.  Also, things got twisted around at school the next day as well.  Julie was known now as the girl that had beat up two boys at the same time!

Oh well, Julie had met a nice boy that was what mattered and if Bubby was a “nice boy” then no one wanted to argue about it with a girl that had just beat up two boys at the same time!  Plus, Bubby was always looking for a fight anyway.  Julie went from the “nice and quiet” girl to being known as a fighter and I went from being the fighter to being “a nice guy”.

A few people came up to me and asked me, “Are you really a nice guy now?”  And I said, “If Julie says I am then I must be.  Do you wanna fight about it?”  Then they would say, “No, no, just askin’.”  Then came “Bubby and Julie sittin’ in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G, first comes love, second comes marriage, then comes Bubby in a baby carriage.  Suckin’ his thumb, wettin’ his pants.  Doin’ the hula hula dance.  Bubby’s in love.  Bubby’s in love.”  And I would say, “Yeah, wanna make somethin’ of it?”  And then they would back away.  I was still Bubby after all.

Julie and I walked together a few more times but it started getting close to the end of the school year and I wouldn’t see Julie again until next school year.  So near the end of the year I asked Julie, “Julie, you know my real name, Adrian, Andrew, and Bubby, Bubba, but I could use a better name.  Can you help me?”  And Julie said, “If you wanna go out with a girl, what’s the first thing you look at?”  And I answered, “Face.”  And Julie said, “How about Ace?”  And I said, “Cool!”  Then I said, “”I’m gonna tell everyone my name’s Ace from now on.”

So the next day at school I said, “Hi, my name’s not Bubby anymore.  It’s Ace now and I’m a nice guy.  If you call me Bubby again I’ll kick yer ass.”  What a nice guy, right?

But after Julie came up with the nickname Ace for me, I said to Julie, “How does Jewels sound?”  Then I explained, “Not like the Crowned Jewels that just sit on a shelf and collect dust, but the Family Jewels that someone would want to start a family with?”  Julie said, “OK” and we finished our walk only I had forgotten in all the excitement and actually walked all the way to Julie’s house this time.  Oops.  Julie had a younger sister that she named Pasa (passa), not like in 'que pasa', but as in pass the (passa) potatoes.  Julie's younger sister was about 7 or 8 years younger than Julie.

Anyway, on the way, we did the dandelion test where you put a dandelion under your chin and if your chin turns yellow… which of course it did.  Was a big time of change for me throughout third grade.  The biggest change was that I did not feel like fighting anymore.  As well, Julie’s next door neighbor, Brian Bavisoto, who started the Marquis de Sade jokes last year, was doing Family Jewels jokes at the end of this year.

Another oddity.  At this time in the history of the USA, there were a bunch of brats that were trying to get away with stuff by holding their breath.  A “childish” form of suicide so to speak.  Adults’ response at the time was “Oh whatever shall I do, my baby”.  My response was, “Let the spoiled brat ‘do themselves in’ then realize that all the brat is going to do is turn red or blue in the face then pass out then start breathing again.  Spoiled brat, don’t give into this and definitely don’t give them what they want.  The ones holding their breath are just trying to get away with something bad.  Don’t let them get away with it no matter what!”

Adults listening to a nine year old?  It happened.  After getting a headache then NOT getting what they wanted the “I’m gonna hold my breath and you won’t have me around anymore” hoax stopped.  Dumb nine year old.  Adults should never listen to kids.  But then again why not?  It worked didn’t it?

What came of this : Julie Sage and I met.  The 'no belt' rebellion of third grade.  I changed from being a fighter to a nice guy and from Bubby to Ace.  Julie Sage changed from being quiet to being a fighter.  And adults listened to a kid for a change and learned something finally.


When : September or October 1973

Where : Sunday School House First Episcopal Church (corner of First and Cedar Streets), Corning, NY

Who : Substitute teacher for Mrs. Harvin (?)

What happened : I was in Sunday school at church and I raised my hand and asked the teacher a question.  The question was, "We know Jesus was born on December 25th and surely if you know the month and day then surely you must know the year, what year was Jesus born in, do you know?"  And the teacher replied, "The year zero".  Then another kid responded, "There is no year zero in the Julian Calendar."

What came of this : Well, I was happy with the answer, but others weren't.  This pretty much has become a rallying cry against the Roman Catholic Church.  The Church used the date to convert a group called the Mithrites who danced around pine trees awaiting the return of their savior, Mithra, who was born on December 25th.  December 25th was and is not Jesus' birthday.  The calendar also used to start in March and end in February (hint, Sept is 7 not 9, Oct is 8 not 10, Neuf (Nov) is 9 not 11, and Dec is 10 not 12).  The calendar months were changed to coincide with 'the new year' coming a week after the birth of Mithra.  Yes, I was the kid who helped take Christ out of Christmas.  Others actually did it.  I was just kind of caught in the middle.


When : October? 1973 I believe on a wednesday a week after the "Jesus was born in the year zero" incident.

Where : Sunday School House First Episcopal Church (corner of First and Cedar Streets), Corning, NY

Who : the Archdeacon of Canterbury, Bernard Pawley & his Second? Assistant, Sir Nicholas Boehr (Boer, however spelled)

Back in 1973 or 1974, proceedings were arranged to excommunicate me from the Roman Catholic Church (which had not been done in over 200 years from what I heard, but not sure how accurate the comment was).  The event was scheduled.  This person was the Archdeacon of Canterbury, Bernard Pawley.

What happened to bring this about? Well, I asked the Sunday School teacher, "We know Jesus was born on December 25th, do you know what year it was? Surely if you know the month and day, someone must know the year." And I believe it was a substitute teacher (maybe Mrs. Harvin, but probably not) who responded, "The year zero."

At the meeting before the excommunication ceremony was to take place, the gentleman from the church came and talked with me in private. I was led up to him by his assistant, Sir Nicholas Boehr.  This was not a standard preacher or such.  He was definitely older in his 70s or 80s even and was very thin and had white robes with red trim and a pointy white hat I believe.  He also had 'flabby' jowels looking almost like a bulldog type face on a person.  Anyway, he started talking to me like this, "I am the Archdeacon of Canterbury and you have already met my faithful servant, Sir Nicholas.  I imagine that you are wondering why I am here.   I am here because the Pope issued a signed order that you are to be eliminated immediately before the next sunrise.  He also told me personally to try and do this as discreetly as possible so as to not draw attention to the church.  So I said to myself, if the Pope wants this done, why doesn't he do it himself instead of putting it on my shoulders.  Why should I have to do the Pope's dirty work?  So here I am.  I am here because I am shocked that such a little innocent child could cause such a ruckus. I know you are not really the one responsible for this ruckus, but there is a big ruckus none the less. The church is all up in arms over something as simple as a child's innocent question and an answer that a teacher should not have given without authorization from the church. No one has been excommunicated from the church in over 200 years and I do not wish to be the one to reinstate that terrible practice now. Boiling people in oil, burning at the stake. Terrible practices. Barbaric practices. And honestly, knowing who you are, chances are if we did try to boil you in oil, you would be dangling from a rope while the oil vat spilled over and killed everyone else while you would remain safe.  I know who you are and your coming was foretold long ago.  I actually came here to protect you not harm you.  There are others that if they knew you existed and who you were, they would try to hunt you down to try and make sure you did not fulfill the prophesies about you.  In order to protect you, I need to have you sign a paper for me that my assistant has.  After you sign this paper, I will explain some things to you.  And what this paper does is make sure that your name does not appear in the international or national news for any reason whatsoever.  Like I said, I am here to try and protect you.  If certain people find out that you exist, they will try to kill you.  I also have a feeling that Someone else is watching over you anyway, but I wish to do what I can as well.  Just an added precaution if I might say.  Sir Nicholas?"  And Sir Nicholas just said, "Sign here and we'll explain."  I signed.  Then the archdeacon continued, "This paper also helps protect me as well, because what I am about to tell you is very sensitive information and if it became public, there would be many problems for all of us.  After signing that paper, you can not have anything written about you in the national and international news for any reason.  Anything you say or do will be blocked from being published internationally and nationally.  It is an Order of Suppression and it forbids your name from being used in any articles of significance, local news does not apply.  With that being said, The year zero never happened and there was never a year zero on the julian calendar. The answer the teacher gave was incorrect. The true answer I will give to you now, but be forewarned, the Roman Catholic Church, after all of this hullabaloo, does not want people to hear this answer, but I feel you deserve it after being put through all of this through no fault of your own. In the early days when the church was forming, the church saw that there were a large group of people known as the Mithrites, who every 25th of December would dance around naked around a pine tree in a fertility festival as it was believed by the Mithrites, that the Mithrite's saviour, Mithra, was to be born on December 25th at some future date. This was a large group of people at the time on the eastern border. As the birthdate of Jesus was unknown, the leaders of the church seeing this large group of people, realized that if they could convert these people, it would be a large addition to the number of Christians in the world. The Ottoman Turks also wished to convert these people as well. The early Roman Catholic Church, seeing that the birthdate of Jesus was unknown, and realizing that these Mithrites were waiting for their saviour, Mithra, decided to make Jesus' birthdate December 25th. Mithra fit the description of Jesus in working miracles of healing the sick, making lame beggars walk, raising the dead, and such. So the Roman Catholic Church decided to make December 25th Jesus' birthdate to try and convince the Mithrites that their saviour, Mithra, was Jesus Christ. As a result, most of the Mithrites converted to Christianity instead of joining the Ottoman Turks. Placing presents under a pine tree replaced the original fertility part of the festival, the three wise men, and all that. But Christmas was born from the Roman Catholic Church wanting to convert the large group of Mithrites to Christianity. In addition, the calendar was changed from starting on March, to starting on January as January 1st was one week from December 25th in honor of starting the new year one week after the birth of the saviour, Jesus Christ, as the Mithrites believed that a new beginning was to happen after their saviour, Mithra, was to be born. Rest assured, the church does not want people to know this story and after the Mithrites were converted the documents were either destroyed or hidden to never be seen again. But this story was relayed to me and I feel it is only fitting that you should know too. You did nothing wrong outside asking a simple question, and your teacher did nothing wrong outside provide an answer that she thought to be correct. But you are an innocent and in light of all that has happened, I can not in good conscience excommunicate you. Two wrongs do not make a right. But, however, in light of what has happened, I would recommend that you do not attend this church anymore for yours and their own good. If you do attend this church, I probably will have to excommunicate you if anything more were to happen beyond what has already happened. Also, I hope you do not talk to others about this as the church does not want people having this information.  I hope you understand.  You seem to be a bright child, but a child none the less.  Sir Nicholas, use the secret exit so as not to be seen leaving by the others.  You are free to go now."

I was then escorted out by Sir Nicholas and Sir Nicholas said, "Oh good, I get to use the secret passage.  I love secret passages.  Follow me." and that was that. Sir Nicholas told me that he had gone to the local butcher shop and got a bag of pig's bones that they were going to present to the Pope saying that they were my bones.  Also, Sir Nicholas said that they had special ceremony brochures printed up with 'excommunication' printed on them that they were going to present to the Pope as well.  I saw Sir Nicholas again in 1979 and Sir Nicholas told me that the Pope figured out that the bag of bones were pig bones and not mine but the Pope was happy that they had got me to sign the Order of Suppression and that should be good enough.  Let someone else deal with it in the future.  The Pope and the Archdeacon were fine now and used to have disdain for one another but became very close friends after that which was what mattered.  The Pope also admitted that he didn't have the heart to carry out his own order either.  I was close, but I did not get excommunicated from the church. The teacher was asked to ask the church first before responding to a difficult question like that. The teacher was not excommunicated either that I am aware of.

What came of this : This event apparently was what started the "Keep Christ in Christmas" movement. As far as I know, I never wished to take Christ out of Christmas (Xmas, whatever). My guess would be that if the documents do still exist they would probably be hidden somewhere in the tomb of Saint Nicholas if such a tomb exists. But then too, many years later I noticed where it said "Sower of Seeds" in the Bible and it seems unlikely that the Sower of Seeds would be born in the middle of winter when seeds are unlikely to grow.


When : April 8, 1974

Where : Shea Stadium, New York, New York

Who : Me and my sister Robin

What happened : On our way back from a family trip to Mystic, Connecticut, we stopped and watched the New York Yankees play the Texas Rangers and it was free helmet day.  Well, I looked at the helmet guy and I asked, "Any helmet?" and he said, "Yes".  So me and my sister each picked out Oakland A's helmets.  Lo and behold, every time we put the helmets on, the TV cameras turned towards us.  A's helmets at a Yankees / Rangers game stood out.  And I could hear Phil Rizzuto's voice up in the box each time the camera came around saying, "Holy cow, I think those kids are in the wrong ballpark."  Anyway, when we got back to Corning, everyone knew we were at the Yankees / Rangers game.

What came of this : Well, things were kinda stale back in the day.  The Yankees were doing so well this year that the "Holy Cow, wrong ballpark" footage was used several times throughout the season as a highlight on TV.  After this, a lot of people started doing odd stuff to draw attention to themselves.  Well, this and that streaker guy at the 1976 Montreal Olympics.


When : 1973 / 1974

Where : 265 East Third Street (basement door), Corning, NY

Who : Shaddai (God Himself) & Son

What happened : It was third or fourth grade that I also had a very odd thing happen.  My father was practicing with the band downstairs at night and I was getting ready to go to bed so I turned out the light.  When I turned out the light there was a very defined image in light by the basement door of a man sitting in a chair with a child on his left leg.  The man was sitting but looked to be about six feet tall and around 160 to 170 pounds (slender/medium build) with a beard that stopped at his neck line and mustache and wearing a long white robe with sleeves that came down to his wrists on his arms and also was pleated about his waist and below to about a foot above his feet but flat above his waist and completely covered his torso.  Upon his feet were open-toed sandals like the sandals found on the 'ice man' or the 'bog man'.  The man had dark brown hair and brown eyes and his hair was full and wavy and brushed back off his forehead and just passed his shoulders in back.  The man looked to be between the age of 35 and 38.  The child had short blond hair and blue eyes and was wearing a boys’ suit with tied black shoes and looked to be about three years old.  The chair was solid with decorations all over it including a rounded top with two doves with olive branches in their mouths etched into the top, wings outstretched forward towards each other and facing each other in the middle.  In the late 1980’s I realized that this chair fit the exact description of the “mercy seat” or Throne of Judgment mentioned in the Bible for the Ark of the Covenant.  Solid alabaster with solid arms and the etched panels by his feet depicting wheat, vines and such.  I couldn't see what was etched into the back of the seat behind him.  Nothing spoken and I turned the light off then back on again and still there.  Then I looked under the bed and out the window to see if it was some weird light source but nothing.  I then left the light off and closed my eyes and tried to go to sleep thinking... And during the night, within an hour or two, the image disappeared.  I didn't get any sleep, but I also had my eyes closed.  I'm pretty sure this happened after I was kicked out of Sunday School, but not 100% positive because it has been a long time since then.

What came of this : There is a God and I saw him.  With that being said, He definitely is nothing like Zeus (the Roman God of Gods who uses the 'thunderbolt' aka lightning and scraggly gray hair and the like).  Seeing is knowing not believing.  Well, things happen.  You can't undo what's been done.  But how much of the Holy Bible is actually from God Himself and how much is 'man made'?  The truth always will be the truth.  Why me?  Why not me?  It is what it is.  Next...


When : May 31, 1975

Where : Corning National Minor League Field by Corning Building Company, South Corning, NY

Who : Jimmy "Cool Papa" Bell

What happened : It was a rainout game between ourselves, McCarty's Insurance, and Harris Foodlines for either a three-way tie for first place or a two-way tie for second place.  It was the last game of the 1975 baseball season and on Memorial Day no less.  It was a six inning game and in the top of the fifth inning we were ahead either 13 to 6 or 13 to 7.  If we held Harris Foodlines in the top of the fifth, we win because of the five run inning rule and tie for first place with Stuart & Sons Dairy and Modern Home Improvement.  I pitched the game and it was my usual slow balls around the plate up until the fifth inning.  In the fifth inning it was Tom Hope, Scott Iddings, Ty Good, and possibly Mike Stafford due up for Harris Foodlines.  I took the mound in the fifth inning and for the only time in a game I actually threw my fastball.  From the windup until the ball went across the plate was around a second long for nine straight pitches.  Tom Hope and Scott Iddings both never even came close to hitting the ball.  After the first pitch to Tom Hope, the lady that lived across from the ballpark came out of her door and yelled out, "Are you alright?  Why's nobody running?  Someone's shooting a gun off out there and I'm gonna call the cops."  To which my father replied back to her, "That's not a gun, it's my son's fastball."  And the lady said, "Oh, are you sure?  I guess I won't call the cops then" and she went back inside her house.  The ball was in the glove before the bat came off of Tom's or Scott's shoulders.  Two outs and Ty Good came up to bat.  On the first pitch Ty's bat came off his shoulder about two inches before the ball was in Kenny Prisella's catcher's mitt.   Strike one.  A person on the bleachers came over to the coach of Harris Foodlines and started telling Ty to lower his bat along his side and try swinging from there.  Ty's bat moved about two inches again and strike two.  On the third pitch, this other person told Ty to just stick his bat out in front of the catcher's mitt and line it up with the mitt, which Ty did.  The ball hit the bat and you could hear Ty yelling, "You broke my bat.  You broke my brand new bat.  You owe me a new bat." and Ty banged his bat on the ground and you could hear the 'tink' of a broken wooden bat.  Meanwhile the ball was soaring high into the air and people started yelling to Ty, "Run.  Run.  it's a fair ball.  Run.  Ty.  Run."  And Ty started running and rounded second base when, lo and behold, Ted Ughetta, our second baseman, caught his first ball of the season.  How Ted even managed to stay with it the rest of us don't know as me, Paul Garvey, Sammy Young, Kenny Prisella, Justin Miller, Tommy English, Mark Maraglia, and the rest couldn't even see it because it was so high and in the sun.  At least a thirty second fly ball and the ONLY ball that Ted didn't drop or miss all year.  Game over and the person that had told Ty what to do asked if he could go out on the field and shake hands too. 

The person was Jimmy "Cool Papa" Bell.  Jimmy came over and shook my hand and said, "I'm Jimmy Bell.  I used to play centerfield for the Homestead Grays and Kansas City Monarchs with Satchell Paige and Josh Gibson.  They used to call me 'The fastest man in baseball'".  I used to round the bases and the coach would have the stop watch and would say 12 seconds every time.  I remember one time the coach told me the watch said 11 seconds and I said, "The watch must be broke coach, I run the bases in twelve seconds."  During the 1932 olympics Satchell Paige and Josh Gibson used to go over to the phones in the dugout and pick up the phone and say "Hey Jimmy, it's Jesse Owens.  He said he wasn't able to catch up with you and get his baton back after the 500 meter relay."  That was unusual for Josh because Josh was usually pretty quiet.  The story that Satch says about me being so fast that I could flip off the light switch and be under the covers before the lights went out was true and happened, but there was something wrong in the hotel room so the lights went out a couple seconds after the switch was turned off.  HBO did a special a couple years ago but I declined to talk because I figured what would I have to say that hadn't already been said.  When I played I used to look out into the bleachers and see all these people that wanted to play baseball too so I always did my best. 

It was tough when I realized I was getting old and couldn't run like I used to and I retired.  I always played baseball and I've never been much for sitting on the benches and watching baseball.  I never really felt like a fan until watching this game and remembering what it was like when we used to hit against Satch.  Satch had long, lanky arms like you do and he always said he used to throw even faster when he was around 10 years old but I never believed him until I just saw what you did.  I was the lead off, contact hitter for the teams.  I told him what to do because I remembered that's how we used to hit against Satch back when Satch had his stuff.  The only pitchers I couldn't hit were Satchell Paige, Walter Johnson, and Bob Feller.  Bob Feller wasn't really that fast, about 96 or 98 miles an hour because they timed him with a guy on a motorcycle and that's about right.  Bob wasn't that fast, but he curled up in a ball and I just couldn't time him.  I haven't seen pitching like that in about 40 to 50 years.  I scouted Nolan Ryan and I could hit him.  Nolan was fast, but you could time him.  I never got a chance to hit against Cy Young because of the league rules and Cy didn't have the money like Babe Ruth did to pay fines if he got caught. 

And so you know, Babe Ruth still had a 92 mile an hour fastball.  Whenever Babe would be in town, he'd give us a call and say, "You wanna play some ball" and we always said yes.  Babe used to grab a couple umpires from the game he played and tell them, "You wanna make an extra couple a bucks."  And most were pretty willing.  Babe did get caught but he still did it afterwards, he just wouldn't use certain umpires again.  We'd all go off to some sandlot and choose up teams and play.  Shirts and skins and Babe was usually the shirts team because like he said, "Ain't nobody wants to see that."  I always wondered and one day I got up the nerve and sat next to Babe and then Babe said, "You know Jimmy, you're one heck of a ballplayer and I know what you're gonna ask and you should know what happened that day".  Babe said that everytime he came up to the plate in that game Gabby Hartnett was back there saying, "Babe, where was ya last night.  We and the boys missed ya Babe.  Where wuz ya?  And the first time up I hit a home run.  The second time up I struck out and it just got to me.  Babe, where wuz ya...  So my third time up to the plate I turned back to Gabby and said, Gabby, you wanna know where I wuz.  I'll tell you where I wuz, you see that hot little number in the fifth row out there, THAT'S WHERE I WUZ!!!"  And then Babe said to Jimmy, "And the good Lord willing, I hit the ball."  As Jimmy said, "Babe was always like that, respectful to the Lord and humble".  Babe said he was sworn to secrecy by the coach about it so he never told anyone.  Jimmy was driving around in the area scouting for the PONY leagues and this was the only game he could find.  But he said it was weird, it was like something was drawing him here for some reason.  "I finally realize what it is to be a fan now.  I always thought that the people on the bleachers came to play too."  And we both left the field.

What came of this : Ace reliever, Ace pitcher.  Jimmy realized that most likely Cy Young, Walter Johnson, and Satchell Paige were faster than Nolan Ryan, but no one had a radar gun back then.  It was decided that it would be noted, for the record, that Nolan Ryan was the fastest pitcher caught with a radar gun.  Cy, Walter, Satch, and Ace were never caught on a radar gun.  Well, actually, Satch was caught with a gun in later years but Satch was either not allowed or not able to throw his fastball after radar was available.  And the stories of the good old days were priceless especially about Babe Ruth's "called shot" story.


When : April 1976

Where : Severn Elementary School, Corning, NY

Who : Mr. Davis

What Happened : A long discussion on 'rhetorical questions'.  The discussion started with "Does anybody know what a rhetorical question is?" and nobody, not even myself, answered.  Next, Mr. Davis had 5 or so questions written on index cards in his hands and he proceeded to read off the questions.  First question, "Why did the chicken cross the road?"  Of course a kid raised his hand and answered, "To get to the other side."  Index card placed under Mr. Davis's leg as Mr. Davis said, "Bad example I guess.  Next question."  "Which came first, the chicken or the egg?"  I raised my hand on that one and then answered, "Chicken."  And Mr. Davis said, "Are you sure about that.  Was the first chicken hatched from an egg or did the chicken just appear as a chicken?"  And I said, "I'm sure it was the chicken because every rooster knows you can screw with an egg all you want and it ain't never gonna cum."  Mr. Davis then said, "Another wrong example I guess.  Next question."  Index card under the leg again.  Next index card.  "Why are we here?"  I raise my hand again and Mr. Davis calls on me again.  I answer, "Because we can't be two places at once."  And Mr.Davis says, "Explain."  So I said, "We can't be two places at once and since we aren't there, we must be here, right?"  Mr. Davis then said "Can't argue with that."  Then the index card gets put under his leg again and again he says, "Bad example.  Next question."  "Why is the world round?"  Of course I raise my hand again on this one and he calls on me again.  I answer, "Because if it was flat everyone would have fallen off the edge by now."  Then Mr. Davis puts all the index cards under his leg.  Then Mr. Davis says, "A rhetorical question is a question that doesn't have an answer, does anyone have an idea for a question that doesn't have an answer?"  And one of the other kids raises his hand and says, "Why do they teach us such stupid stuff in school?"  To which Mr. Davis said, "Anyone got an answer for that including Mister Smart Ass over there?"  Then Mr. Davis said that on the next test would be a question asking for an example of a  rhetorical question and feel free to use the question as the answer on the test.  Everyone except me got the answer right.  Unfortunately, I put 'Why do we have to learn such stupid stuff in school?' on the test, but after that I wrote 'because the board of education makes us do stupid stuff'.  Oh well.  Grades aren't as important as learning stuff is it?

What came of this : Definitely not chicken eggs.


When : April / May, 1976

Where : Craft Fair, Severn Elementary School, Corning, NY

Who : Julie Sage, Karen Stirpe

What happened : Well, the school has a craft fair near the end of the school year (fifth grade).  For the Craft Fair, Julie had decided to be a 'medium' wearing a gypsy style outfit and having a crystal ball and all that.  Her best friend, Karen Stirpe, was Julie's assistant.  They staged it in the bathroom of all places and it cost whatever (can't remember how many tickets) to get in.  So I paid the tickets and Julie started her routine and of course Julie and I were kind of enjoying this a bit and almost giggling together.  Then Julie asks to see my palm as she is an actual palm reader (she read up on what the lines meant and such.  Julie was always fascinated with gypsies and that kind of stuff).  Anyway, left hand given, right hand yet to come and Julie has both of my hands and comments, "Your hands are sweaty.  You're fine.  You're nervous aren't you?"  And I shake my head yes.  And then she said, "Let's see what we got here.  You have a long life line.  Your head line says you are very smart.  You have a chained heart line which means a lot of girlfriends.  You son of a b*tch."  And I kind of lean back a bit thinking that Julie was going to punch me.  Julie's friend Karen starts giving me a dirty look like I had cheated on her best friend type look.  And then Julie says, "Oh wait, I kind of misread that, you have a chained heart line which means a lot of love in your heart for someone.  You love me, don't you?"  And I was like, "You know I do."  And then she looked at my pinky lines and saw two lines.  The top line was already 'darkening' on my 'to come' hand.  And her eyes started beaming and she said, "That's alright because I have a short life line and it is alright if you find someone else after I die." And she showed me her hand which had a very short life line, maybe about three quarters of an inch to an inch at the most.  She was like, "That top pinky line that is darkening means that you have met your first true love already.  It's me isn't it?  That's my line."  And I was like, "Yes, it's definitely you.  I don't know about another yet.  It definitely has to be you.  You know I still love you.  I always will."  And then I look over at Karen and I say to Julie while Julie and I are holding each other's hands, "I know Karen is your best friend and after we get married, Karen can come over any time she wants."  And Karen just gives me a dirty look and then whispers something in Julie's ear.  And then Julie said something like, "Who says we are going to get married?"  And then I just give Julie a blank stare.  And then Julie says, "I don't ever remember saying that."  And then Karen starts laughing.  And then I just break hand contact with Julie and I leave the bathroom while Karen and Julie are laughing together.

What became of this : More to follow.  But Julie explained to me later that Karen thought I was 'hitting on Karen' when I made the "She can come over anytime" remark.  Julie knew what I meant but Karen took it the wrong way.  Julie also said that she noticed too that Karen was acting a bit jealous over me because she thought I was going to take Julie away from Karen.  Honestly, Karen also referred to herself in the third person.  She would say out loud, "Karen, remember your homework."  or "Karen, what are you having for lunch today?"  And stuff like that to herself.  And then Julie wondered if I knew someone for Karen too.  I really didn't know anyone at the time because my best friend was Joe Andrews and he was into military stuff (guns and planes and stuff) and not into girls at the time and Karen wouldn't have liked him anyway.  Also at this time, both mine and Julie's parents had been turned into the child abuse program and the program was pushing "take things away to discipline your kids.  Don't hit them."  Well, the most important thing to Julie and me at the time was each other.  And with that thought, if we stayed as a couple, our parents would have tried to keep us apart until we did what our parents wanted.  And honestly, what our parents wanted was not what we felt we needed to do.  So yes, we decided that we had to wait until we were 18 or older to run away together whether our parents wanted us together or not.  After 18, our parents didn't really have a say anymore anyway.


When : May 1976

Where : Severn Elementary School, Mrs. Larson's room, Corning, NY

Who : Julie Sage, Karen Stirpe, Ty Good, Cort Anastasio, others

What happened : Both Mrs. Larson and the next door teacher (I think Mr. Siegler) got called down to the office for an emergency.  I was in the classroom, but I knew what the call was about.  The day before, two kids had held me up with a knife and asked for money.  Both teachers were called down to the office to make sure that these two kids did not come anywhere near their rooms.  And while the teachers are away, the kids must play.  And what better than a game of strip poker?  Ty Good had the cards and Cort Anastasio was kind of the 'enforcer' so to speak.  There was a problem and Julie noticed it too.  Ty handed out the cards and then realized that when Ty got to me, Ty dealt from the bottom of the deck.  So of course, I was given the low hand.  But think about it.  There was to be me and Ty in the bathroom and I was to strip?  Yeah, it didn't sound right to me either and would have came off as Ty and I being gay, queer, or whatever, so I refused and then Ty dealt again and did the same thing again.  Julie and I then exchanged cards and Julie took the low hand.  After that I said, "Well, now there's a girl, I'll strip now.  I'll go in."  And then Cort kind of held me back (honest, I just made it look good was all) and Ty and Julie went into the bathroom.  After that, Ty and Julie were considered a 'couple' and the problem of Julie and I being split up by our parents was solved.  Ty and Julie lasted maybe two weeks at the most being seen as a couple.  But it worked.  As far as Karen was concerned, Julie and I were over.  Karen didn't seem to be jealous anymore.  Karen still seemed to hate my guts, but that was fine too.  Karen was Julie's best friend, and if Karen thought that Julie and I were done, then Karen wouldn't run her 'big mouth' to everyone about Julie and I being a couple anymore.  Julie and I both knew that Karen liked to tell people's secrets.  In all honesty, if Julie was with Ty and such, I am not the jealous type anyway.  So long as Julie was happy, that was fine with me.  And in less than two weeks, it was very evident that Julie was not happy with Ty at all.  In all honesty, the only reason why I was happy that Julie and Ty broke up was that I did not like seeing Julie upset and unhappy.  Ty was usually competitive with me, but I really could have cared less as I was not really competitive myself.

What became of this : Julie Sage and I didn't have to worry about our parents hating either of us for possibly being a bad influence on each other.


When : June / July 1976

Where : Dr. Robert Wylie's office, Corning, NY

Who : Dr. Robert Wylie

What happened : It was found through X-rays that I had a double-nerved upper left bicuspid and my mouth was swollen so Dr. Wylie decided to do a double root canal on the tooth.  During the root canal, Dr. Wylie told me that he was taking the nerves and sending them to the University of Berkeley California for further study while he was so nervous, he just couldn't seem to stop shaking for some reason.

What came of this : I learned I had a unique tooth was about it.  More later.


When : April / May 1977

Where : Corning Free Academy, lunch room, Corning, NY

Who : Julie Sage and me

What happened : During a lunch time when Karen Stirpe was not at school, Julie Sage came over to sit with me at lunch.  Honestly, I had to move to another table.  I know that Julie and I needed to talk, but the other kids would have ratted on Julie and I talking in lunch.  I just had to move away and I saw Julie start to cry as I moved, but I didn't have a choice.  Also, Julie and I were in sixth and seventh grade chorus together, but so was Karen Stirpe.  Julie and I just could not get a chance to talk like we needed to without someone eavesdropping on our conversation.

What came of this : I felt really bad.  Really bad.  I hurt Julie.  I know I hurt her bad, but I also know I didn't have a choice.  Someone would have told on us talking and sitting together during lunch.


When : February 1978

Where : Corning Free Academy Auditorium Balcony, Corning, NY

Who : two graduates from Harvard that later landed the National Transportation Safety Board contract

What happened : Two distinguished gentlemen showed up at the school and showed, of all things, a movie called "Extreme Snowboarding".  The whole class got out of going to class to see this movie but afterwards went back to class.  Before the movie started, I was escorted, by my english teacher Mr. Goldberg, to the balcony of the auditorium, to meet privately with these two gentlemen and, twist my arm, get out of english class for today.  They introduced themselves and we shook hands and I said I was Ace or something like that (maybe we didn’t shake hands, memories fade).  They said they were looking to form a new company and were looking for ideas on how to improve the safety of school buses.  I told them that I walked to school but I would try to help anyway.  One of the two gentlemen then proceeded to tell me that a school bus in Missouri had gone into a river in 1976 and that two different school buses in Colorado had been caught in flash floods in 1977.  They said that all the people were rescued using lines from shore and such but that the rescues were difficult.  They also said that they had talked to a bus driver whom had suggested adding trap doors in the floor like in coach buses.  My response was, “You definitely don’t want to add trap doors in a school bus.  They are rattle traps and sooner or later one would fail and a kid would fall in and get hurt.  Also, kids tend to play with stuff…”  I then continued, “I understand that with high water it would be difficult to open the doors or the emergency windows because the water pressure would push against the windows and doors and make them difficult to open.  And who would want to open a trap door in the floor underwater and let the water in?  Have you thought about adding a roof hatch like in a submarine?”  They said it sounded like a good idea and asked if I had any more ideas.  At first I said I couldn’t think of any ideas, but then I said, “Hey, I rode a bus before going to my friend, Greg’s house and the emergency windows would bounce open.  Might want to put a latch before a kid bounces out some day.”  Then they asked again, “Anything else you can think of?”  And I said something like, “No, not off hand, wait a minute.  I read in the paper recently where they had some multi-car pileups.  With a school bus you have the emergency door in back and the normal doors on the front passenger side.  If a bus gets rear-ended and pushed into the car in front and the bus front fender got pushed into the side doors then both doors might not open…  Have you ever thought about adding a door about in the middle behind the driver’s side just in case?”  We both agreed that was about all I could think of.  They also said I could come along with them and help them pitch their ideas.  I said something like, "Thanks, but who ever listens to kids anyway.  You can do it though."  They then said something like, "If you ever want to go to college let us know and we can get you in, just use us as a reference if you want."  Then Mr. Goldberg took me back to class.

What came of this : Well, Harvard landed the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) president's position thus adding to their prestige.  A 13 year old giving Harvard more prestige?  Stuff happens.  And if you look at school buses after 1978, I guess my ideas were used.


When : April / May 1978

Where : Corning Free Academy, Corning, NY

Who : Thee Ace Man

What happened : The IQ test happened and my getting a 119 on the test raised some eyebrows.  Not so much because of the score, 119, but because of the way I addressed the test itself as being inferior and that the 'a**holes' that made this faulty test ought to follow their own blank, blank, blankity blank directions and then some.

What came of this : IQ test was changed from the fill in the blank format to a multiple choice test in 1979.  More on this in the next one, Sir Nicholas Boehr.


When : June 1978

Where :  Corning Free Academy, Corning, NY

Who : Mr. "Spanky" Baker & Mary Frick

What Happened : It was the seventh grade math final and Mr. Baker said he was worried because every year he made an offer that if a student got a 90 or better on his final exam that he would give them $50.  Me and Mary Frick were both in his class this year and we were both the types to possibly get that 90 (even though if you added up the points on the final, I believe it only added up to 89).  After the sweating was over and the test was done, I got an 81 and Mary Frick got an 86.  The difference between us was an extra credit question that everyone except me got right.  I read it as X = 1 + 2 and put X = 3.  The real question was X + 1 = 2 which of course X = 1.  Mary beat me on a 'challenge' type test and as such has been the only one that has ever scored higher than me on such a test.  I finally met my match on a 7th grade math test.

What came of this : About time, really.  Mary Frick aced the ace.  Pretty cool.


When : September 6, 1978 to June 22, 1979

Where : Corning Free Academy Middle School, Corning, NY

Who : Miss Bihuniak (Karen Carpenter), Patricia (Patti) Carpenter, Richard Carpenter, my younger sister Robin Downing, my mom and dad, Paul Williams, Max Baer Jr., Cubby O'Brien, Rod Temperton (phone), John "Jack" Heib, Ed Mishrell & Lois, Marcel Marceau, Buddy Ebsen, Phil & 'Itchie' Ramone & Itchie's dog, Olivia Newton - John, Dionne Warwick, Mrs. Woeppel, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Sir Nicholas Boehr (Born?), You (the reader) & others too

I. Introduction

What happened : Well, I forgot about a lot of this stuff until around May 28, 2019 (Questions 543, 544, and 545 on the html page).   What brought my memories back was that I drive a school bus and the radio stations play a lot of recent music with a lot of profanity and adult content and such.  So I got to thinking about trying to make up a music CD of stuff without the profanity and such, but also with real singing too (not this off key junk of most recent singers).  The third song on the CD I came up with was "Sing" by the Carpenters.  You know, a nice kids' song that is about singing.  After doing this, all of a sudden I remembered stuff about 8th grade and my homeroom and english teacher.  And so the story goes...  (Note, last edit was March 16, 2021)...

II. It is written. Sloppy writed. But written none the less

A note to english majors and such...  Yes, I am well aware of paragraphing structures and all that as Karen was my 8th grade english teacher, however, as this is a real life accounting of events and thoughts and such, rules needed to be broken to keep this documentary from becoming retarded because of outdated rules and such.  Yes, retarded.  Yes, I could add in sub topics and such and then break up the paragraphing, but when I did that (and yes I tried it, but...) it became very disjuncted and more difficult for a reader (I need to read this too you know) to follow and understand in all honesty.  Because of the variety of things covered, breaking this up into smaller sub topics and paragraphings and such breaks the thought process and the reader is left trying to figure out which might be relating to what.  Yes, very confusing.  Try breaking this up by 'accepted english grammar and paragraphing practices' yourself; you'll see.  Each paragraph is a separate event or a separate thought.  Break up the paragraph and you break up the thought or the event and things get confusing.  I am not looking to baffle people with nonsense.  So I broke some rules, big deal.  It ain't the first time that I've felt that I had to ace (ace = go beyond what is thought to be possible) something to get something done properly.  Seriously.

III. About Karen

About Karen, herself.  Actually Karen was a very down to earth person and enjoyed it when people did not think of her as a celebrity or pop star or such.  Karen liked being just a regular person.  When I first met Karen, she was my english teacher, Miss Bihuniak, and I did not know she was Karen Carpenter.  Some things happened and she "spilled the beans" to me after about a month and a half to two months.  In all honesty, Karen's 'celebrity' status or such was no big deal to me.  I never really thought of her as such because her and I had such great times together, I just enjoyed being around her, whoever she was.  And she had some great times around me as well.  We always enjoyed meeting lots of people and just talking about whatever without the others knowing that she was Karen Carpenter.  A lot of people just knew her as Karen, the sweetheart that seemed to care about everyone.  But Karen worried about being mobbed and such because Karen liked talking to people as being a person and not some big celebrity or such.  And those that thought of her as a celebrity tried to make a big fuss about it, and Karen was not one to like being the center of attention.  Karen never felt 'attention starved' or such.  Karen also noticed that most people that thought of her as a big celebrity usually didn't say too much when around her but would be talking up a storm to other people that they knew her or met her.  Karen was always a very caring person and always tried to include as many people as possible.  When Karen was younger, Karen had reddish colored eyes and hair and some of the other kids would pick on her and call her "Evil Karen" and such.  Karen also had a lot of freckles too and would get called "Freckle Face" when she was younger as well.  Karen never forgot how it felt to feel excluded and picked on which is why she always tried to make everyone feel at home and included whenever possible.  But then too, no one is perfect so picking on someone in a joking kind of way is all right (like Karen calling Richard 'four eyes' and Richard calling Karen 'fatso' back.  Not meant to be hurtful.  Nobody's perfect).  It is that mean spirited picking that Karen wasn't fond of.  'Put downs' as they were called back then.  Of course being on the road and touring did not leave much time for socializing and such.  Karen always tried to do the best she could in the time she had.  Karen loved seeing people smiling and being happy.  Karen seeing people being happy made Karen feel happy herself.  We can't all be happy all of the time, but we can try.  And really, which is more fun, joking around or being serious?  Seriously having fun?  Is that possible?  And, oh, what times we had...

IV. In the beginning. Getting to know you and me

I did not know who she was at first, but Miss Bihuniak was my homeroom as well as my last (8th) period english teacher in eighth grade.  I used to come in early to school every day because I always tried to do my homework in homeroom.  Miss Bihuniak would be there and I would come in and start doing my homework and she would sit there and drink her morning tea ([I believe chamomile] tea with lemon and honey because she said it helped soothe her throat from all of the talking that she did during the day.  Karen also usually drank coffee from a tea cup and tea from a coffee mug.  As Karen would say, "I like doing something different").  I was usually the first kid in school and I would usually go to my locker and grab my books that had homework and do that in homeroom.  Early on in the year, Miss Bihuniak asked why I didn't do my homework at home.  I just told her, "I like the challenge of trying to do all this stuff in a hurry instead of taking it home.  I only have a half hour or so in homeroom.  I have all night at home."  Or something like that.  She said something like, "That explains it.  I like challenges too.  Does it bother you if I talk while you work?"  And I was like, "No, not at all.  I can do both.  Is there anything special you are thinking about?"  And she was like, "I grew up out west and I am kind of new to the area.  I have some relatives here, but I still feel kind of lost at times.  Is it alright if I ask you questions and stuff?"  I was like "Sure, anytime, anything.  Feel free anytime."  This was like in the first week of school.  And at times we would talk about all kinds of stuff like music, poetry, books, food, school, ideas, whatever.  She asked me what music I liked and I said the Beatles and she was like "Me too when I was younger.".  My favorite was Paul, and I am pretty sure she said her favorite was Ringo.  I told her that my mother liked the Carpenters, my father liked the Beach Boys and played drums in a country band, and my younger sister liked the Osmonds, especially Donny.  She said her favorite color was burgundy (dark red) and black (and note, I definitely remember Karen talking about this and Karen saying something like, "Shh, don't tell anyone, but most people think I like bright red like Mickey Mouse but I actually like that deep red burgundy color."  And I think I said something like, "You mean like kidney bean red".  And I think she was like, "Yeah.  Kind of.  But most people have got me something with bright red and I have grown kind of fond of that color too so I guess it really doesn't matter").  I told her my favorite color used to be silver and black because I liked the contrast, but I changed to clear as my favorite color now.  Karen, always wanting to be different, decided to change her favorite color too and changed to red and black and yellow.  And I asked Karen, “did you catch jaundice?”  And Karen was like, “Yeah, are my eyes still yellow?”  And I was like, “I think they cleared up but I can’t really tell for sure, there’s too many stars in the way.  You’ll probably have to ask someone else.”  And Karen was like, "Actually, yellow is the going bananas color and you've got me going bonkers lately."  Karen's favorite movie was "Gone with the Wind" and mine was "Blazing Saddles".  Stuff like that mostly.  She was just a very nice and down to earth person and at times she felt kind of out of place as it was a new area to her.  She also liked having someone that wasn't family to just talk to as well.  Families always seem to say the same things, the same way, and it is nice to get a different perspective sometimes.  She also told me that at the ripe old age of 28 that she ran away from home and didn't tell her family where she was, but she knew her family would track her down eventually.  It is actually a small and very close family and Karen told me, "I heard from my cousins that my family has already put out an all points bulletin on me so it is only a matter of time before they find me here.  I'm having personal problems so I am just looking to do something different and see if I can get myself back on track again.  I know my family cares about me and I care about them too.  I sent a few messages back letting them know I am all right through the family grapevine, but I know with the problems I've had that my family is very concerned about me and will want to make sure that I am all right.  It's OK if they find me.  Actually I was looking to teach grammar school kids but this was what they had so I took it.  I'm not sure if I'm up for dealing with teenagers but it seems to be going all right so far."  And I was like, "I'm glad you're here and I hope things work out for you.  Feel free to talk about anything, anytime.  And yeah, teenagers don't really have much experience but start thinking they know it all.  I understand where you are coming from on that.  I'm surrounded by teenagers myself and I know what a handful they can be."  And we both laughed.  And then I said, "My dad works as a machinist for Corning Glass and my mom works as a lunch monitor over at Kent Phillips school.  My mom is a Leo and my dad is a Taurus and so they both are really stubborn and argue a lot.  I have a younger sister that is a Taurus too.  I'm a Sagittarius so I'm the little thinker of the family or is that little stinker, I keep forgetting.  Most of the time I either go outside or sit in my room just to get away from all the yelling and such.  My parents smoke too which is a disgusting habit."  My teacher was like, "My dad is a handyman, you know, jack of all trades and master of none.  He's a sweetheart though and has a heart of gold.  My dad has a good reputation in the area because he always stands behind his work.  My mom is a homemaker and is a little different.  My mom can't stand dirt.  I've caught my mom cleaning the neighbor's windows because she didn't want to see any dirt.  I know it sounds kind of weird, but it's kind of funny too watching my mom clean the neighbor's windows.  My dad's speech is kind of slow so he doesn't usually talk too much.  I think it may be because my dad was born over in China but I'm not sure.  My mom will talk your ear off if you get her going.  My mom loves to talk about problems and such and anytime I have a problem, she always has time and we sit and talk at the kitchen table."  My teacher just said that things were not going well for her and that she just needed to get away and do something different.  Kind of a mid life crisis type thing.  It wasn't her family being mean or anything like that because they weren't mean or such, but she needed to find herself again and she knew she couldn't find herself in the same place with the same people doing the same things over and over again.  Karen said something like, "I just needed to get out and get away and try something different.  I also knew that if I didn't just do it that I would probably talk myself out of doing it so I just packed up my bags and I left."  My teacher also mentioned that she had been sleepwalking and it had her kind of worried.  So she ran away from home and became a school teacher.  She also told me that she had to pull quite a few strings to get her job as a teacher at the last minute.

Around mid to late October Karen told me the rest of the story on how she came to live with her step cousin Wendy in Corning, New York.  On September 3, 1978 after a Las Vegas show Richard just said, “I quit” and Karen asked him, “Are you sure?” and Richard said, “Yes”.  So Karen got a hold of her step cousin Wendy and I believe on September 4 or 5, 1978 Karen moved in with her step cousin Wendy.  I know that Karen was approved by the school board as a teacher on September 5, 1978 which was the day before school started on September 6, 1978.  The school board was hesitant to hire Karen not because of her qualifications (having a high school diploma) but because Karen had a slight drawl in her voice.  After hearing that, the 8th grade science teacher, Max Baer Jr. stood up to the school board and said that if they didn’t hire her that they would need to look for a science teacher as well.  For some odd reason, Max Baer Jr. has a goofy sounding voice just like the Jethro Bodine character on the Beverly Hillbillies show.  The school board hired Karen (under the alias she used with a high school diploma as Karen had college under her name, but using her own name would bring up that ‘celebrity’ status and Karen did not want preferential treatment because she was a celebrity and she also didn’t want publicity as Karen was looking to get away from the limelight for a while and try to figure this anorexia and arrhythmia stuff out).  So needless to say, Karen was hired as an 8th grade english teacher on September 5, 1978 the day before school started.  Karen and I talked about a lot of stuff before I knew she was the actual Karen Carpenter in mid October 1978.  The other part, I was a Beatles fan really and my mom was the Carpenters fan.  I knew a little bit of stuff, but I really didn’t know that much about Karen personally except from what she told me.  But it was kind of obvious after Karen told me that she was Karen Carpenter and then all these other people started showing up like Paul Williams and on and on.

Karen and I met on Wednesday September 6, 1978 and Karen and I both agreed to the rule of not physically touching each other after Karen had said something like, "you can give me a hug if you like?  I don't bite." and my saying something like, "I would love to, but you know how some people talk and it probably wouldn't be a good idea with me being jailbait and all that.  Corning is a small area so why give gossipers more to talk about?" or something like that on I believe Friday September 8, 1978 for a reference here and it was originally my rule suggestion as a precaution because of the 'jailbait' issue and being in a 'small town where people like to gossip and spread rumors' for another reference as on September 8, 1978 I knew Karen as a teacher and not as a celebrity or such at that time.  And as a teacher... no physical contact between us to be on the safe side as people like to gossip and accuse in a small area and Karen had told me that it was her first time teaching and that she was new to the area.  I did not know about the celebrity part until roughly mid October 1978 and the celebrity part was just an added reason as Karen being a celebrity would have made an even bigger mess than just her being a teacher.  And yes, Karen used an alias too which was another problem publicity-wise.

V. Karen's teaching voice

Karen actually taught using what she called 'my Marlene Dietrich' voice.  That low 'basement' voice she had.  Until after the Paul Williams meeting and our 'heart to heart' talk, Karen used only that voice with me.  Afterwards, Karen started talking to me in her normal voice when others weren't around.

VI. Night lights and diaries

We talked about a lot of different stuff like she had a night light because sometimes she would just get up in the middle of the night and walk around if she was feeling restless.  With the night light, she didn't need to turn on the light.  I told her that my sister had a night light because she was afraid of monsters under the bed.  I said that I didn't use a night light myself, but a night light wouldn't really bother me.  And that seemed about the only thing in all the talks we had that we didn't have in common with each other.  Well, that and she kept a diary.  Several times she would say, "hold on a minute, I'm writing stuff in my diary."  Once she even said, "I'm writing some really good stuff about you, do you want to read it?"  And I was like, "Not really.  We pretty much know so much about each other that it is kind of nice having a secret once in a while."  And she was like, "Fair enough."  And one time she asked, "Do you keep a diary?"  And I was like, "No, that's girl's stuff.  My sister keeps a diary and pretty much all she writes in it is I love Donny Osmond."  And she was like, "You don't read your sister's diary do you?"  And I was like, "No, I see her write I love Donny Osmond all over it and that's personal stuff anyway which I really don't want to know.  I'm a guy and I'm not really interested in her girl stuff."  And she said, "That's good that you respect her privacy.  She probably has some personal things written in there that she doesn't want you to see or know."  And then she was like, "I keep a diary because I can look back at my diary and see what happened and when and what I was thinking at the time.  And it is nice sometimes to look back at when I was younger and remember things that happened that I forget about.  My hopes and dreams and that kind of stuff too.  I try to at least write a little something in my diary every day.  I guess guys call them journals, but it is the same thing really.  You ought to try it."  And I was like, "I have a photographic type memory so I don't really do a diary.  I did it for a short while when I was little, but it got boring for me very fast.  I do things every day, but I don't really consider myself to be a writer and I would rather be doing stuff than writing about it."  And she was like, "Actually, you are a good writer.  Your papers are usually the first ones I look for when I am correcting stuff because your writing is usually very thoughtful and fun to read.  And that's also kind of my point.  I do stuff every day too like you, but I feel by writing about it, I can remember it better if I need a reference later on.  Stuff like who I talked to, where I was, what happened, what I was thinking.  It's kind of my life's encyclopedia set.  My reference book.  Really, you should try it.  I have a feeling you have a lot more to write about than you realize."  And then she looked at me again and said, "I can see this is falling on deaf ears with you.  But also I can see a time down the road when you are going to say you wish you had listened to me when you are trying to remember stuff that you could have very easily have written down after it happened, but you didn't because you thought it was a girl thing.  It isn't.  Ernest Hemingway kept a diary and most great authors kept a diary too, excuse me, journal, same thing.  But anyway, I am not going to keep harping on you about this because I know you aren't really listening anyway.  I have said my piece."  And truthfully, we were both right.  I do have a pretty good photographic memory, but still, it probably would have been even better if I had written this stuff down when it happened to be more accurate.  We are both correct, but, yes, I agree, Karen, my eighth grade english and homeroom teacher, is definitely more correct.  Thanks Karen, Honey, I guess I am still learning from you even though you are not around to teach me anymore in 2019.  And a note about Karen's diaries.  I know I was mentioned frequently from September 1978 until.  Karen had an old boyfriend named John Adrian, but John was a citizen of the UK and Karen was a USAn citizen.  John and Karen broke it off way back when and John married someone else.  John was not wishing to be a USAn citizen and Karen was not wishing to live in the UK.  Karen's diary references starting September 1978 and later for 'Adrian', 'Ace', 'Darling', and possibly 'Smart Ass' are for a guy named Adrian Clair Downing, III who is the guy writing this page that you are currently reading.  Also, if I remember right, Karen told me something like, "After I married Tom I stopped keeping a diary for a while because I really didn't have much privacy around him and I was worried about him going through my diaries so I really stopped doing a diary as I couldn't write what I wanted to write anymore" or something like that.

VII. Arrhythmia, signs, the unexplained, past lives intro, Kristi Lynn, and baseball

Before I knew she was Karen Carpenter and a little while before our past lives talk, Karen had mentioned to me that doctors had diagnosed her with arrhythmia.  Karen also told me that the arrhythmia diagnosis was the reason why she would exercise and check her heart rate (pulse) at times on her wrist or her neck.  Exercising puts on muscle which muscle makes it difficult to lose weight.  Karen knew that very well.  Karen's exercising was not a side affect of anorexia.  Karen was honestly not trying to lose weight by exercising, but was making sure that her heart rate did not slow too much because of arrhythmia and the possibility of her heart stopping.  Karen was very adamant about not having a pacemaker or any type of machine keeping her alive.  So Karen exercised.  Arrhythmia is the medical term for a person that has a heart beat that is not always steady.  An irregular heart beat.  I had told Karen also that my mother had the same diagnosis of arrhythmia as well.  My mother never went on a diet nor had anorexia and was native american, 5 feet 3 inches tall and weighed around 103 to 104 pounds.  My mother weighed around 124 pounds when she had her first mini stroke in 1995.  My mother had slowly started gaining weight since around late 1993 and had her mini stroke around September 1995 if I remember right.  The reason why the heart does not beat regularly is not usually a problem with the heart itself, but a problem with either the brain stem which is what controls involuntary activities in the body, or with the nerves that go from the brain stem to the heart (cardiac [heart] in the case of arrhythmia or pulmonary in the case of lungs).  And after mid October when I found out who she was later on, we discussed the nerve issue and we kind of wondered if maybe the electronic pulses from the microphones and such may be possibly causing interference with Karen's nerves.  But it seemed if that were a problem, Karen would have had a lot more problems than just a couple times.  So we kind of ruled out the interference issue.  The microphones and amplifiers and such did not seem to be causing any problems.  A person with arrhythmia will have a stroke at some point in their lives unless the brain stem or the nerves between the brain stem and the heart repair themselves.  My mother had a non fatal stroke in 1995 and several more in recent years but my mother is still alive.  I honestly feel that Karen died on February 4, 1983 from a stroke but maybe not.  I feel it is always best to keep an open mind as you never know.  Physical heart problems usually have signs of chest pains and numbness and such.  Karen did not have these symptoms that I have ever been aware of, however, I do know that Karen did have arrhythmia.  I also do appreciate many people drawing awareness to anorexia nervosa and its side effects and such.  It has helped many people realize that it can be a serious problem and that 'losing weight' can be a dangerous, if not deadly, situation with some people.  Karen being anorectic was not a good thing, however, it appears that Karen had actually got passed the anorexia as she had the same weight of 108 pounds for at least 4 months before she passed away.  The suddenness and lack of warning in Karen's death honestly points to arrhythmia and a stroke.  And at the time, doctors had started to develop a thing known as a pacemaker which would help the heart beat at a more normal rate.  Karen did not want to be kept alive by a machine.  That was that.  As Karen would say about herself, "No artificial ingredients or preservatives, just little old me.  (And depending on person talking to) The way God (or nature if non Christian) intended me to be."  And as Karen would say, "If God wants me, He can take me."

Karen would use a whitening tray at times to whiten her teeth.  And of course Karen there with her mouth full of a whitening tray would lead me to start asking Karen stupid questions to get her to talk with the tray in her mouth.  Stuff like, "Does that taste good?", "How long has it been anyway?", "So what's up for today?", "Are you tired of me asking you stupid questions when I know you can't talk with your mouth full?".  Stuff like that.

Karen always believed in signs from God and praying.  Karen believed that if you asked about things that a sign would be given to point you in the direction you needed to go.  Well, actually Karen believed in three signs after the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.  And remember too, we all make mistakes and we don't always read signs properly, be careful what you wish and pray for, and that God has a sense of humor too so try not to take things too seriously.

Karen was also a Methodist (Christian).  Karen did not believe in bigamy or polygamy so any rumor about Karen being Mormon or such is untrue.  Karen was also not one for a rigid structure like a Catholic or such.  The Church I was asked not to attend Sunday School any more was Episcopal for a reference here.

We also talked about Ouija and horoscopes and that kind of stuff too.  Neither one of us really believed that stuff, but still it was something different to think and talk about.  She held her hand up and said, "See, my life line is really short and just barely makes it to my thumb.  It is what it is."  And I held my hand up and I was like, "My life line goes to about the bottom of my thumb.  It is what it is too."  She also mentioned that she was a Pisces and I was a Sagittarius, water and fire.  Like said, we didn't really believe in that stuff.  Either of us.  We rather liked to just look through all of the horoscopes for ideas regardless of the zodiac sign and all of that.  There is a lot of great advice there as far as relationships and such.  As far as Sagittarius and Pisces being fire and water, um, the zodiac guy never met Karen and me for sure.  As far as a Ouija board, I actually can't remember on that.  It was popular at the time, that is about all I remember about it.  I don't think either of us tried it, but I can't remember for sure.  Neither of us was into witchcraft or the dark arts and that kind of stuff.  The Magic 8 Ball stuff was funny because you could ask the same question three times in a row and get three different answers.  Definitely magic in that one for someone's bank account. 

Karen did talk about having regressive hypnotism done but she didn't talk about it much to people.  Apparently, she was called Edna in a past life and was Methuselah's mother.  She said it made her feel old which is why she didn't talk to people about it much.  I think she said she had a great grandmother named Edna too, but her great grandmother didn't have a boy named Methuselah.  Karen apparently spoke in Aramaic when she talked about Enoch, Edna, and Methuselah as well as Gainad too.  Karen said that Enoch was pronounced Ē nō ch (long e, long o, not a k but a ch sound as in chip as Karen said that one time).  Karen joked too and said that her last words as Edna were, "glub, glub, glub."  Karen also talked about Enoch's father Yared (yar ed) being the one to name Methuselah as that would have been the name for Enoch's brother, but Yared did not have another son.  Methuselah was the one who named his sister Eliza or Elizabeth (and after Enoch and Edna named Gainad, could you blame Methuselah for not wanting Enoch and Edna to give a child another corny type name?).  The bloodline was Yared, Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech (lam ech, ch as in chips), and Noah (No a and the a as in cat, so not no uh, but no a).  Also, apparently, Karen was known as Yahtsodharai and had a son named Rahula that was the son of Buddha.  According to His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama, I was the 'Enlightened One' Buddha as His Holiness was only able to see me through Karen by having Karen, Yahtsodharai, see me as having dirt on my face and then Karen using her thumb to wipe that dirt off.  It was a very short time, but in that short time, His Holiness was able to see inside me as I was directly blocked from His Holiness in 1979.  Karen also mentioned Muhammad and Khadijah. 

Of course Karen and I talked about naming kids and of course Adrian IV for a boy and Karen Junior for a girl (but Karen asked what my sister's name was and I said Robin Lynn, and Karen said that was kind of ominous because her brother's name was Richard Lynn, and Karen thought that two Karens running around would get confusing so Karen Lynn was out.  And Karen was not going to name her daughter Junior.  During school that day I made it a point to stop by her classroom and poke my head inside the door and I would say, "Junior, Junior, Junior" and Karen would kind of smile and then look down at her steno pad.  Like I told Karen, "Junior is a nice tomboy name.  She'll like it."  And Karen said, "I'm not calling my daughter Junior."  We thought of Roberta Lynn, but we didn't really like Roberta as a name [Roberta had 2 things going for it - Burt Bacharach and starts with R].  Rhonda Lynn?  Rikki Lynn?  Rita Lynn?  Rachel Lynn?  Racquel Lynn?  We couldn't really think of a good girl's name that began with R.  Adriana, Adrienne, Claire, Clara, nope [yes, even girls don't sound good with variations of my name].  Olivia?  Dionne?  Stella?  Scarlet?  Edna and Agnes just sounded too old.  Elizabeth and Mary were common like Karen.  My mother's maiden name was Lee Ellen Bardo.  Bridget was out too.  Karen made a rule that the name had to have three things in it related to things like family, names, and stuff Karen loved.  And after about six pages of cross out names on a green steno pad, Karen asked again about my mother's name, and I said, "Lee Ellen".  Karen liked the name Christie because of Christie Lee Brinkley [Billy Joel's band worked on Karen's solo album] and also Kristy McNichol [Christina Ann McNichol, which Ann and Lee were 'signs' as well] was on the 1977 and 1978 Christmas specials.   So Karen thought of spelling it Kristi instead of Kristy or Christy or Christie because Karen realized that many girl's names ended in y and ending in i was a bit different and distinctive, plus Kris Kringle with the K's [Kris boy, Kristi girl] and Christmas because Karen loved Christmas and Karen was also a "tea totaller" at the time as well, so ti [tea] hit the spot too, and Karen was proud to be a Christian so Kristi Lynn for a girl after at least 6 to 8 hours of Karen thinking hard about it.  Karen needed three things for the name and Kristi had way more than three.  We were both surprised that smoke hadn't come out of Karen's ears that day so I checked her ears with a flashlight just to be sure.  No smoke or flames, and the flashlight didn't shine through to the other side so all was good.  Honestly, someone at the school had ear mites and we were asked to check each other's ears just in case.  I liked my stories better.), but then I asked the question, "If we could name the kids anything we wanted, what would we name them?"  After thinking for about ten seconds, I said Fuzz Nuts for a second boy and Karen said Gitchy Goo for a second girl in honor of naming Methuselah's brother Gainad for Fuzz Nuts (nad is spanish for testicle, nuts) and Karen loved to play 'Gitchy Goo' with babies because "babies are so cute when they giggle".  Yes, we were joking about the second names which was why it didn't take us long at all

I called Karen "Yaz" (because of Yahtsodharai mainly but also Carl Yastrzemski) for a little while after this and we talked about baseball a bit here and there.  She said she liked baseball better than softball because the ball was a lot easier to handle.  We both agreed that we would rather play baseball than watch it.  We could still watch it, but we weren't really much for sitting still too long.  We would both get kind of restless if we sat too long.  I know we were in 'Yankee territory' but Karen liked the California Angels and I liked the Oakland A's.  The California Angels had Nolan Ryan and Frank Tanana at the time in 1978 and Karen loved to pitch.  After baseball season started and Nolan Ryan got traitored, I mean traded to the Houston Astros (or was that the Houston A**holes if you said it with your teeth closed while trying to hold your breath), Karen switched to the New York Yankees with Billy Martin and team captain Thurman Munson.  As baseball season approached, April 1979, Karen’s favorite player was Thurman Munson as he wasn’t one to showboat.  Steady as a rock.  The same as Johnny Bench and Johnny could hold five baseballs in one hand too.  Joe Morgan and his pump in the batter's box.  Karen also liked watching Pete Rose (Charlie Hustle) as she liked his nickname but also his work ethic of hustle on and off the field.  Karen's favorite manager was Billy Martin because as people knew, Billy was a bit "different” and Karen liked being different too.  I liked Reggie Jackson but Karen wasn’t too fond of him as she felt he showboated too much.  Karen also mentioned that when they first moved out to California and because Karen liked to play baseball and she was a little over 4 foot tall and about 120 pounds or so, the other kids came up with a nickname of 'Pudge' for her around 1963.  It wasn't meant to be mean or make fun of her or anything as Carlton Fisk had that nickname too (Karen had it first, copy cat) and Karen kind of liked that nickname as it was a baseball nickname (but Karen was a pitcher and not a catcher).  Pudge wasn't "Richard's little sister" any more.  And since Pudge was a tomboy and played baseball with the cute baseball jocks, some of the girls would ask Karen to try and fix them up with the baseball guys.  After a little while, Karen learned to play 'matchmaker' in high school.

(Oops, added on September 25, 2021) And to try and help explain why Karen had a difficult time remembering that I was just 13 then 14 years old at the time...  There was a girl in class that had a problem and she approached Karen (Miss Bihuniak) about it.  Originally she tried to talk with just Karen in private but she realized how the school 'grapevine' operated and that people would find out eventually anyway so the girl allowed me to listen as well.  But the girl's problem was that she had kissed a boy and because of what she had been told, she thought she was pregnant.  After hearing this, Karen was at a loss for words as what do you say in a situation like this as you don't want to be their actual parent and you don't want them thinking their parent(s) would not be honest  or such.  So Karen actually had an ept (Early Pregnancy Test) in her purse, so her and the girl went into the bathroom and of course, negative.  When they came back, I said "Negative, right?" and the girl said "How'd you know?"  And I was like, "You're not old enough or developed enough to get pregnant yet so you dodged the rabbit this time but you need to start being more careful" or something like that.  And of course the girl was very thankful and we kept it secret between the three of us.  Well, kind of secret as after this if a girl had a problem, this other girl would recommend Miss Bihuniak (Karen) as someone to talk to about it.  So at times, Karen and me and a few others would have what Karen and I called "pow wows" on occassion with others in Karen's classroom during lunch or after school.  I was only 13 at that time, but Karen kind of scratched her head many times trying to remember that, as many times the stuff that came out of my mouth didn't sound like stuff a 13 year old would know or say.

VIII. Past lives explained, getting close to you

(Written September 7, 2019) As far as past lives, this gets interesting as far as Karen and I.  Through the past regressive hypnotherapy that Karen had, Karen was able to remember in the present what happened after the therapy.  Karen could remember the past lives in her current life, but only the parts that came up during hypnotherapy, not the whole life itself.  And it was kind of confusing to Karen because many of these memories were in other languages, but she could repeat what was there even though she didn't understand what she was saying.  To explain...

Karen's lives.

Edna (ed nuh). Aramaic.
Rachel (Ray chell) Hebrew.
Tsoporo (tsoap poar oa). Midian Hebrew.

Delilah (de lile uh) Hebrew.
Mekada (meh kah duh), Queen of Sheba. Hebrew dialect.
Yahtsodharai (yaht sod har ay). Chinese dialect.
Mary Magdala (mayree mag duh luh). Hebrew.
Khadijah bint Khuwaylid (kuh dee j[long j sound, zh?]ah bint koo way lid). Arabic.
A black queen with a nice butt, Mrs Shaka Zulu? Swahili.
Barbara Allen. English.
Karen Anne Carpenter. English.

Which correspond with...

Enoch (ee noa ch)
Jacob (jay kub)
Moses (moa ziss) Egyptian.  Mosha (moa shuh) Hebrew

Samson (sam sun)
Solomon (sol oa mun)
Siddhartha Gautama [Buddha] (Sid hart ha gow tah mah)
Ieshua [Jesus] (yehshuah)
Abu al Qasim Muhammad bin Abdallah bin Abd al Mutalib bin Hashim (ahboo al kayseem moo hom id bin abdahlah bin abd al mootaleeb bin hayseem)
A black king with a nice butt, Shaka Zulu? Swahili.
Nothing that I am aware of? American Civil War.
Adrian Clair Downing III. English.

And for those that wonder (myself included), there can be talk of the prophet Isaiah which would fit between Mekada and Yahtsodharai or Solomon and Buddha in the timelines.  Isaiah did have a wife and children, however, I do not remember Isaiah being brought up by Karen during this.  As such, I know about the speculations and like that, but I can not say a definite yes or no about this.

For the Shaka Zulu reference, the sound tsulu was in the past life vision.  There were several tongue clicks and such and it was a preparing for war scene but not much more than the tsulu reference.  Senzangakhona kaJama (me) did not come up directly nor did Nandi kaBhebhe eLangeni (Karen) that I am aware of, but it would most likely be these two that were the ‘couple with nice butts’ referenced above.  No way to be positive though.

At the time, I did not know she was Karen Carpenter.  At the time, she was my eighth grade teacher, Miss Bihuniak.  Anyway, we would sing songs together here and there and this one day I sang "Close To You" to her with slightly altered lyrics.  I altered "All the girls in town" to "All the guys in town" and "blue eyes" to "brown eyes" and at the end Karen was like, "I noticed you looked at my eyes before singing."  And I was like, "Yeah, your eyes are kind of a reddish brown but that is kind of a mouthful so I just shortened it to brown."  And Karen was like, "As you notice, my eyes change color a little bit and go from a milk chocolate to a deep red brown.  That song means a lot to me, thank you for singing it to me."  And then Karen continued, "I was born with red eyes and platinum hair and people thought I was going to be an albino but my eyes got darker as I got older.  Some of the kids used to call me Evil Karen because my eyes were reddish color when I was younger.  As I got older my eye color got darker and I didn't get picked on as much."  And I was like, "When I was born I had slate gray eyes and platinum hair too and people thought I might be albino as well, but my eyes got a light blue color as I got older with a little bit of yellow here and there.  I didn't get picked on though."  And she was like, "Can you keep a secret?"  And I was like, "Sure, like I said in the beginning, feel free to talk about anything, anytime."  And Karen was like, "I was having problems with eating so a hypnotherapist tried regressive therapy on me to see what might be causing my problems."  And I was like, "Sounds interesting.  I can keep secrets.  Outside you, I really don't talk much to people anyway.  Just hi here and there and idle chit chat."   And Karen was like, "Do you promise not to tell?"  And I was like, "I know we play jokes on each other and such, but honest, I promise I won't tell anyone."  And then Karen was like, "I'll know if you tell anyone and you'll regret if you ever tell anyone about this, trust me.  But they did what they call past regressive hypnotherapy on me to see if something in my past may be causing me to keep trying to lose weight.  They looked at my past and then the hypnotherapist actually went back further by accident.  The weird part is that I actually remember what the hypnotherapist did and I still remember the stuff that came up.  There are a couple that I haven't been able to figure out, but the really weird part is that I remember the stuff as it was.  In the couple I haven't been able to figure out, I apparently was a girl (either 13 or 16 years old?) and I was raped and killed by a Union soldier during the American Civil War.  The other seems to be about being a black woman and a black man speaking an african dialect of sorts with tongue clicks and such but I can't really make it out too well.  It's kind of fuzzy,"  And I was like, "That rape one must be tough to think about and is probably blocked somewhat.  I actually see the black man and woman one with the warriors with shields and spears and such looking like they are preparing for war, but like you said, it is a bit fuzzy and nothing really stands out except there is a lot of red color and we have nice butts as black people."  She was like, "I agree on the nice butts on that one.  I like butts too.  I actually got a name and the story checks out on the rape one.  [and then Karen looks at me kind of funny and then says] It was you.  You raped me."  And then I said, "I wasn't around during the Civil War, but I'm sorry, I didn't mean it.  Are you sure it was me?"  And Karen was like, "He looks exactly like you but it could be a coincidence, but he would have to be your exact double.  I've heard that we all have someone that looks exactly like us so maybe that was him.  Your exact double.  He doesn't sound like you."  And I was like, "That's a relief.  Thanks.  I'll try to be more careful and I definitely know that I couldn't ever hurt let alone rape you, so I'm pretty sure that was someone else."  And Karen continued, "I'll give you the benefit of the doubt on that but watch it.  I've got my evil eye on you.  Her name was Barbara Allen and I found out where she was buried (I think Karen said Chattanooga but not sure) and I visited her grave and left flowers.  Her grave seemed very lonely and abandoned and I kind of got chills when I was there.  But it is tough to remember so I try not to think about that one if I can help it."  And to note here, later on after I knew it was Karen, we both kind of wondered if maybe Karen was a singer this time after we got to thinking that maybe that old song, "Barbara Allen" or "Barb'ry Allen" may have been written about this past life of Karen's, but maybe not.  But that was later on after mid October.  And I was like, "I can imagine."  And then she was like, "The rest is kind of weird.  I remember some details in other languages and definitely some names too.  Promise you won't tell or make fun of me?"  And I was like, "I might still pick on you about other stuff, but I promise I won't bring this stuff up with anyone else except you."  And she was like, "Fair enough.  I'll trust you.  Like I said, the hypnotherapist went back too far and I started talking in odd languages.  The hypnotherapist didn't speak the other languages, but he recognized the stuff I was talking about and a few names and such.  But anyway, after the therapy sessions, I remember the memories that I talked about to the hypnotherapist.  How religious are you Ace?"  I was like, "Well, honestly, they kicked me out of Sunday School at Church when I was 9 if that helps."  And she was like, "OK, well one of my memories is about Mary Magdala.  I know people say Magdalene, but Magdala.  Mary spoke hebrew so I don't really know what she actually said, but I can kind of figure it out.  Mary definitely wasn't a prostitute.  [And Richard Carpenter please try to ignore what is written here between the brackets and kind of grayed out, Karen figured you would know who this was and get mad at him for it, so Karen kept this secret as far as I know because in a way, Karen felt kind of flattered about being considered sexy enough to get the offer...  But then Karen told me that one of Richard's friends at college asked Karen if she would be interested in making some money.  All that Karen had to do was show up at a hotel room and have sex with a guy and Karen could keep the money.  Richard's friend gave Karen the hotel and room number but Karen couldn't go through with it.  Karen said, "For all I know, that guy could be still waiting there for me but I just don't have it in my heart to have sex with just anybody.  I could never be a prostitute."]  Mary had all of these different guys around her which I think were Jesus' apostles and it appears Jesus had a problem and approached Mary about it.  Jesus' problem was that he was a bit large for most women to handle.  I know what Jesus looked like naked.  Jesus was hung like a horse, so to speak.  I feel kind of naughty about remembering it.  I, Mary, called him Yeshua, not Jesus.  We both took our robes off and when he tried to get on top, I squeezed around his sides with my legs and I rolled him over on the ground and I got on top.  We held each other's hands and I did all the work.  He had green eyes and curly dirty blond hair.  Oops, I'm sorry, was that too much information for you?  Are you alright?"  And I was like, "I'm fine.  I forgot to tell you that I'm not a virgin either.  Do you remember when you froze up in class because I had those wild thoughts in my head?  Well, I just saw what you saw just now.  He's about 10 or so inches long and about an inch and a half to two inches around and circumcised too.  I think you or Mary or whatever made the right choice on that one.  That one might have hurt a bit otherwise.  I'll definitely keep my mouth shut on that one.  I know the Church would probably have you boiled in oil on that one if it became public so to speak.  Also, I can't tell, did he have an inny or an outy belly button?  I can't really tell because there's something in the way [and I kind of giggled]."  And Karen continued, "Thanks.  He definitely had an inny.  I can tell.  He has a hairy belly but there's nothing sticking out outside you know [and she giggles a little].  You see it too?"  And I was like, "Kind of I guess.  He is kind of hairy there, not there, but you know what I mean."  And Karen said, "I know what you mean and you're being naughty.  Anyway, it seems that the others thought of me as his mistress or whatever and seemed to be jealous or angry at me most of the time except his mom.  It seems like we spent a lot of time talking with one another and not just you know.  I'm not sure where Jesus came from because his name is Yeshua and there's no J sound in it.  Yeh shoo uh, no J.  Then I have this other one where I am speaking aramaic and I'm with a guy named Enoch, long e long o and ch as in chips, not E knock or whatever.  But I had a great grandmother named Edna, but she didn't speak aramaic, nor do I.  Me and Enoch had I think seven children with one of them named Methuselah and another Gainad [and she laughed] and the others (and she said one of the girls was either named Eliza or Elizabeth, but she named them all.  I just can't remember that part now).  I think Enoch's dad Iared (Yar ed) named him Methuselah.  I am apparently Methuselah's mom and I don't talk or think about it much because it makes me feel old.  I kind of joke around and say my last words were glub, glub, glub.  I actually remember being swept away in a big wave of water and being underwater for a while and then this hand reached in and grabbed me and pulled me out of the water before I drowned.  The one that pulled me out looks exactly like you and sounds like you too.  After you pulled me out we both floated off into the clouds and that was the last I remember on that.  Thank you.  But it is kind of freaky me being Methuselah's mom a long time ago."  And I was like, "Yeah, that sounds like something I would do at the last minute.  I'm still sorry about the rape one even though it probably wasn't me.  Do you forgive me?"  And Karen said, "I'm a Christian, of course I forgive you, but don't ever let it happen again or else" and Karen kind of giggles and I smile back and say, "Thanks.  I needed that.  Definitely better than a V8 [hint, Karen used to drink a V8 juice once in a while and the commercial at the time was "Thanks.  I could have had a V8" and the person slaps their head or something like that] that stuff's yucky.  Well, I guess you're as old as you feel.  Being Methuselah's dad doesn't exactly make me feel like a spring chicken myself."  And then she was like, "I guess I was Moses' wife Tsoporo too.  I remember seeing us sitting around a bunch of sheep.  His name was Moses in Egyptian and he was called Mosha in Hebrew and he didn't stutter, but he had a lisp.  My name started with a ts sound, not an s or z."  And I was like, "Mothith with a lithp (lisp), like thith."  And she was like, "You shouldn't make fun of people like that.  How would you feel if someone made fun of you."  And I was like, "Actually, I wasn't mocking, I was just kind of mimicking and besides I understand because as you can see, four eyes are better than two if you can't see too well."  And she was like, "Exactly.  You made your point.  There's a bunch more, and I think we got time, but I'll try and hurry it up a bit, so...   Apparently, I was also the Queen of Sheba (Be'er Sheba?, I think Karen actually said "bear sh*t" and then I think she said, "I can see why they may want to change that name in the Bible to Sheba instead of sh*t"), Mekada, and I had a son, Menelik (Men eh lick), from Solomon.  That one is a kind of hebrew dialect.  I seem to remember taking the Ark of the Covenant to Ethiopia or such in a caravan with me and my son.  I can see the area where the Ark was placed, so I would know where it is if I was there.  Then there is another one where I was Delilah."  And I was like, "Why Delilah, why?  I guess I need to stop cutting my hair then, that or I need to start singing Tom Jones songs"  And Karen was like, "I like long hair but it can look kind of funny on some guys.  You might want to keep yours short though just in case.  Then there is another one in chinese where I am Yahtsodharai with a guy named Siddhartha Gautama.  We had a son named Rahula.  Apparently this guy is the one known as Buddha."  And I was like, "Sounds really interesting so far, there's more?"  And she is like, "You were a bad boy on this next one.  We're not turning Mormon and moving to Utah.  I won't allow it.  If you are going to be with me, it is going to be just you and me, understand?"  And I was like, "Indubitably or whatever that word is, I'm only a one woman man, but what did I do this time?"  And Karen was like, "Well, I was your other wife Rachel and you were a very naughty boy Jacob.  Four women.  Shame on you.  You should be ashamed of yourself, but I guess it couldn't be helped.  My father wouldn't let you marry me, so you were forced to marry my older sister.  Then you cheated on my sister with two other women.  What do you have to say for yourself?  I thought so.  You men are all alike.  Then you finally settled down after I finally told your mom, Rebekkah, and she got a hold of you and straightened you right out.  Serves you right and don't you forget it."  And Karen is almost laughing and I was like, "I won't; I promise I won't forget it.  What was I thinking.  Imagine four women all asking do you love me all of the time.  What in the blazes was I thinking?  Good thing I don't remember it because that must have been horrible.  I probably just blocked that one out of my mind completely it was so bad.  I promise I won't do that again to myself, er, um, I mean you."  And Karen was like, "I'm pretty sure you learned your lesson after that one.  Serves you right too.  You got what you deserved."  And I was like, "I'll say and then some.  That'll teach me."  And then Karen continued, "Well, apparently I was the prophet Muhammad's first wife, Khadijah, and I was a wealthy business woman too before I met him.  Her last name was Koo way lid and I remember her last name because it sounds like kool aid.  We had seven kids I believe but one or two died young.  His name was [and she read from a piece of paper] Abu al Qasim Muhammad bin Abdallah bin Abd al Mutalib bin Hashim which is a mouthful which was why I wrote it down."  And I was like, "Abdullah.  That's actually kind of cool.  Don't worry, I definitely won't tell.  I probably won't remember half this stuff anyway.  Any more?"  And she was like, "I think that's about it.  My eating problem seems to be from when I was growing up and I noticed that all the boys liked girls that were skinny, so I picked up some bad habits to try and be thinner.  But I have big bones so it is kind of tough for me to stay slim looking.  That and I felt awkward because I was a late bloomer (note, Karen said she developed bosoms about age 16 and a junior in high school at another time during a talk about tissues of all things).  I also feel awkward because I feel the need to stay skinny to attract the right guy when he comes along, but when I'm skinny I start feeling like guys are watching me more and I start feeling like some guy is just going to rape me someday.  It's a vicious cycle.  I've never been raped or such.  I just get these weird thoughts in my head at times about it.  I don't know why I get these weird thoughts, I just do."  And I was like, "You look great for being Methuselah's mom.  I know it's not funny, but it's true.  You would look great being anyone's mom really.  You definitely don't look old enough to be a grandma yet.  I probably ought to shut up before I put my foot in my mouth again.  Let's face it, we're both the types that show up on a blind date and next thing you know the date has to go to the bathroom and never returns.  A nice personality doesn't go too far nowadays.  We definitely aren't going to win any beauty pageants.  But then too, you don't need to please everyone, you just need to find that one special someone.  I think we're both special in our own ways."  And then she was like, "I've had that blind date thing happen a couple times myself, both ways.  You almost did put your foot in your mouth, but nice save.  That beauty pageant comment is what saved you.  And please don't put your foot in your mouth again like you did before.  I know you were just trying to be funny, but that was disgusting.  Actually, would you sing Close To You as a duet with me?"

IX. The cactus

My teacher also had a cactus on her desk.  She grew up out west and her cactus was her reminder of home.  Mike Corcoran and I used to take the needles off the cactus and poke one another.  After a little while, her cactus was not doing so well.  A cactus without needles does not absorb water from the air very well as we found out.

X. Dreams come true?

I remember early on (about the first or second week of school) that one time Miss Bihuniak had this big smile on her face and said something like, "Am I the girl of your dreams?"  And I answered back, "I honestly can't lie to you Miss Bihuniak.  I think about you all the time, but I have honestly never had a dream about you.  I used to have some pretty wild dreams and such until over this summer when I had a weird dream where I fell off a plateau like in the Road Runner / Wile E Coyote cartoons and I actually hit bottom.  It was so cool that I replayed it in my sleep three times and then I had a thought in my dream of 'I think you may have just had a heart attack and you better wake yourself up'.  So I woke myself up and kind of gave myself CPR just in case.  But ever since then, once in a while I get a weird tone in my ear like in the ear test."  And she said, "I think they call that tinnitus."  And then I continued, "But anyway, I guess according to the dream experts or whatever, it is supposed to mean that you can accomplish whatever you set your mind to do.  But after that dream, I haven't actually had a dream since."  And she was like, "I heard that when you hit bottom you die."  And I was like, "I heard that too, but I don't think it's true."  She was like, "I thought it was weird too because usually when I meet a guy that I like, I start getting dreams about them, but I haven't dreamt about you yet.  I still have dreams though."  And I was like, "You are really more like a dream come true, maybe that's why."  She was like, "I kind of feel the same way about you, like you are my dreams come true too."  And we both locked eyes in a starry type gaze for a bit then I started feeling a little dizzy so I sat down and said, "Sorry, I just got a little dizzy there and I had to sit down."  And she was like, "Me too, but I was already sitting down.  Are you alright?"  And I was like, "I never felt better.  I always feel wonderful when I 'm around you for some reason.  I don't usually feel dizzy though.  This is a first for me."  And she was like, "I've had it for a while myself.  You start feeling like you are dizzy and floating on air.  I think you caught the love bug."  And I was like, "I think you're right.  You've got it too?"  And she was like, "I've had it for a while now.  I was wondering when you were going to notice."  And I was like, "I thought you were just being nice to me because I was a kid."  And she was like, "At first I was just being nice, but you kind of grew on me in a hurry.  The way you always smile around me.  The sound of your voice.  I just feel so relaxed when I'm around you.  You just have this calming effect on me like no matter what happens, everything will be alright.  I just couldn't help myself."  And I was like, "You're a really nice person and I just can't help but be nice around you.  I like seeing you be happy because it makes me happy too.  I just can't help myself either.  I really like seeing you smile."  And then she was like, "Me too."  And then, "It's getting late, we probably ought to get going.  I'll see you tomorrow."  And then we both got up and we both left.

XI. Freckles

And then another time Karen said this to me, "I know you fantasize about me, but I have a lot more freckles than that.  Could you please add some more freckles?  I almost feel like you are fantasizing about someone else."

XII. Hidden but not for long

There was also this one time early on (probably in September) where I was standing in front of my teacher who was sitting in her chair and she had this sheepishly "I'm trying to hide something" look on her face.  I kind of looked at her and wondered, and then a musky smell hit my nose and I figured it out.  I smiled at her with a big proud smile and she started smiling back.  Then I pointed to myself and she nodded her head yes.  Then I kind of hugged myself and she hugged herself too.  Then I used my finger and drew a heart on my chest [love] then I pointed at her [you] and then I held up two fingers [too] and she did the same back.  Then I kind of walked back over to my chair and we both lovingly stared into each other's eyes and had our arms on our desks kind of reaching towards each other for a bit until someone else walked into the room.  Oh well.  If they hadn't walked in, we probably still would have been staring into each other's eyes forever if possible.  So the first time, we didn't actually say "I love you" to each other, we actually mimed "love you too" to each other.

XIII. It's the thought that counts

Around the second or third week of classes, we both had an odd event happen.  I was looking at my teacher with my gazing eyes and I just started thinking, wouldn't it be great if we could just run off to the closet for a little bit and make out (foreplay).  And an odd thing happened a short while after I was gazing into her eyes while she was teaching class.  After that short while, my teacher just paused in class in the middle of her discussion and kind of mouthed the word yes while she stood there and just froze up while staring back at me.  I looked away and down towards the ground and then I could hear her say, "Where was I?  Just a second".  And then I kind of saw her go to her desk and look at her daily note sheet.  I could still kind of see her looking at her sheet and the other kids in the class were kind of snickering a little bit, but I still kept my head down and kind of glanced up to see her looking and then she leaned over towards me and asked, "where was I?" and I told her where she was in the discussion.  And then she was like, "OK, got it."  And then she continued her class discussion.  Of course after school, we talked.  She was like, "What was that?  I know it isn't your fault, but all of a sudden I just got some thoughts in my head after we made eye contact.  And thanks for looking away and reminding me where I was, I just lost it there because I felt you staring.  And I know it wasn't one of those undress me with your eyes type stares either.  It felt like you wanted me to meet you in the closet and make out with me.  I could feel you caressing every inch of me and it felt great.  I was enjoying every minute of it.  And then I could feel you trying to guide me to the closet and I just froze up.  It was really odd.  I just can't explain it, but I felt it."  And I put my hands over my mouth and then my teacher's eyes just got really wide and she said, "You were?"  And I just shook my head yes with my hands still over my mouth and then she put her hands over her mouth too.  I then said, "I just couldn't help it, you were up there and those thoughts just came into my head.  I like a lot of foreplay and I just couldn't help it.  It just happened."  She was like, "I know.  I like a lot of foreplay too.  I couldn't help it either.  I actually wanted to go into the closet, but I froze up somehow."  And then she said, "We couldn't have gone in the closet anyway."  And then she opened the closet door and it had shelves inside the closet and there was no way we could have fit in the closet as the shelves were full.  And I was like, "I don't think we want to go through that again.  It was wonderful and all, but the rest of the kids in the class would start talking if they figured out we were staring at each other like that.  When you start teaching, I'll just stare down at your desk or the floor, and then when I hear chalk on the chalk board, I will look up again.  When I see you put the chalk back in the tray, I will start looking down again.  I would rather look at your front, but if I am going to memorize every inch of you, I should probably look at your caboose once in a while too.  You have a really nice caboose too, just as a reference."  And she was like, "Caboose?  I'll go with that I guess.  I can think of a few other choice words people have used over the years for it, but caboose wasn't one of them.  I kind of like it.  Caboose it is."  I was like, "Me too, it's nice and shapely like the rest of you.  Just enough in all the right places without overdoing it."  And she was like, "Everyone's a critic.  Presence by Led Zeppelin is a really good album.  I think you would enjoy it.  The album cover has this obelisk on it...  (note here, I remember the Presence album being mentioned by Karen at one time, but I am not sure if she may have mentioned Led Zeppelin IV [the Runes] at this time and maybe Presence at another time) I haven't really noticed my caboose lately for some reason I guess I have fallen a little behind on that, but you have a nice caboose too you know."  And she just gave me a slight look and started to sip on her tea.  And I was like, "I'll try not to look directly at you while you're teaching.  I don't think we want this happening again too many times.  The other kids haven't figured it out yet.  I think we'll be alright so long as we don't stare at each other while you're teaching."  So most of my english classes, I remember my teacher talking about stuff while I looked down at her desk or the floor (I sat in front in the middle, right in front of her desk so I could see her without other kids blocking the view.).  There were about 4 or 5 times that we accidently made eye contact, but it worked well for the most part.  My teacher also moved her tabletop book rack from her left side of her desk towards the center to kind of help block mine and her view a little bit too, just as a precaution.  Her cactus got moved to the left side instead of the center of her desk for some reason.

Another time, Karen is teaching english class and I am in another class (I believe French class but not sure).  I get called on to answer a question in another class and Karen is just all of a sudden repeating everything I say and do in the other class while Karen was trying to teach english.  Another teacher (my Math teacher, Mr. [Steve?] Swanson) is out in the hallway and hears and sees this too and can't believe it.  The kids in Karen's class are kind of laughing a little because Karen just started going completely off subject and she didn't have a clue about what she was doing or where she was.  Yes, Karen wore a black wig, but the kids kind of looked at it like it was a 'blonde moment' and laughed a little about it as Karen was a normally very focused person.  After Karen snapped out of it she went into the hallway and the other teacher was standing there in the corner of the hallway.  Karen said, "What just happened?  Do you know?" to the other teacher and the other teacher that was standing in the corner of the hallway just said, "It was the darndest thing but I just heard Ace down the hall answering a question and I heard you start saying exactly what Ace said at the exact same time.  I don't have a clue either.  I was just heading to the bathroom and I saw it and I heard it, but I still don't believe it" or something like that.  It was noted that there was something odd going on between Karen and I that just couldn't be explained.  Nothing bad, but how do you explain two different people in two different places doing the exact same thing at the exact same time?  The teachers agree not to call on me to answer questions in class if it can be avoided.  After this was when I started hearing, "Believe only half of what you see and nothing of what you hear."

And yet another time, Karen is sitting there and just looking at me and looking kind of puzzled.  And I was kind of like, "OK, What did I do now?"  And Karen was like, "Nothing, but I've been kind of going through your thoughts and I noticed you have some blank spots in there."  And I was like, "Yeah, you know how guys are.  Sometimes we just zone out and don't think of anything."  And Karen was like, "That's kind of weird, I'm thinking all the time and my mind is running constantly.  What's it like?"  And I was like, "Nothing.  Nothing at all.  Space, the final frontier.  To boldly go where every man has gone before to the land of peace and quiet and happy happy.  That's what it's like."  And of course Karen, "And you guys call us brain dead.  It figures."

XIV. I quit chorus. Why?

I also talked to my teacher about how I was in chorus the year before, but I quit.  I talked about the chorus being made up mostly of sopranos and how I used to try and falsetto the chorus to try and get a more even sound than just 40 sopranos and about 20 'others' (bass, baritone, tenor, alto I, alto II, and soprano, plus that 'dog whistle' range that no one could hear anyway except maybe a dog or such).  The music teacher added the Beatles' Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da song to the repertoire (fancy word for playlist) and it was just terrible.  The teacher's piano playing was terrific.  But the song does not work well in the soprano range, and as I tried to sing louder to balance the sound out with my teacher's piano playing (I worked as a scorekeeper and announcer at the local Little League minor league ball park, so I learned 'voice projection' there at an early age without knowing what it was called) the sopranos kept getting louder to try and drown me out.  And I kept getting louder to try and balance the song out.  Louder and louder, and it just got to be a huge mess over this one song, so I quit chorus.  It just wasn't worth it anymore for me to try and override 40 sopranos that did not want to be overridden.  Just a huge mess that I needed to stay away from.  So I quit and stayed away from chorus after the seventh grade.

XV. Singing together. Dueting?

And seeing as how I used to be in chorus, my teacher asked if I still sang.  I was like, "Usually in my room to records anymore.  I don't sing on stage or such."  And she was like, "I used to sing in a choir but it's been a while.  Would you want to sing with me sometime?"  And I was like, "We could try.  I can't really promise too much.  I was never really into choir music."  And she was like, "Do you know the Beach Boys' Barbara Ann?"  And I was like, "My dad listens to it.  It's pretty simple.  Besides, they laugh half way through it anyway.  I guess we could try that maybe."  So she was like, "You take the low part and I'll take the high part."  And I was like, "OK."  And so we harmonized a Barbara Ann duet which didn't sound half bad really.  I messed up a couple of the verses but not too bad.  But Karen had a really low volume singing voice and it was difficult to hear her at times.  I joked around and called her Marcel Marceau a couple times because I could see her lips moving but I couldn't hear anything coming out.  Then I came out with Hey Jude by the Beatles and she was impressed and joined in on the na ne na nas.  We also did Wake Up Little Susie and Bird Dog by the Everly Brothers, and many others.  I remember that we did We Can Work It Out by The Beatles as a duet and Karen commented, "The flip side, Day Tripper, was about hookers."  I also remember singing Listen To What The Man Said by Paul McCartney & Wings and Karen commented, "Paul wrote that one about Jesus / God."  And after singing Dear Prudence by The Beatles, Karen commented about the song being written about Mia Farrow.  Helen Wheels being written about Paul McCartney's car.  Martha My Dear about Paul's sheep dog.  And Karen and I talked a bit about remakes too.  The Sgt. Pepper movie had just came out and there were a lot of Beatle remakes in it, but Karen noticed that I wasn't too interested in it and asked me up front, "Do you have a kind of shrine built up around the Beatles' stuff, because I noticed that you tend to like their versions over everyone else's?"  And I was like, "Not really, but it is one of those things where I like something different, more personal or whatever, and not just a tempo change or such.  I like Aerosmith's Dream On and such, but I never really liked their version of Come Together.  It was just too much like the original and kind of fell flat with me."  And then I was like, "Here, I was messing around with Strawberry Fields and I came up with some altered lyrics."  And the altered lyrics went like, "Let me spin you 'round while I'm sucking on, my blueberry bong, singing this song, because I found what life is all about, blueberry bongs forever."  And Karen was like, "That's kind of interesting and I like it.  Do you smoke pot?"  And I was like, "No, it would be just a waste with me because I can't get stoned.  I tried it and nothing, not even a slight buzz."  Karen was like, "I tried it too in college by accident because I walked into a room where they had been smoking pot and I got a buzz, but then I got the munchies for two days afterwards and that was it for me."  And then I was like, "I messed around with Yesterday, what the heck."  And then I started singing in my Paul voice, "I masturbate, because the hour at hand is getting late, All my dinner is still sitting on my plate, because I just need to masturbate."  And Karen just lost it and so did I because she laughed so hard she almost fell over in her chair and her tea she was sipping on came out of her nose.  Karen was like, "You should warn me before you do something like that.  But thanks I really needed a good laugh.  I kind of understand what you mean now when you said you like something a little different and not just a remake.  Something that makes it a little more personal or a different mood or feeling.  That kind of stuff."  And I was like, "Yup.  You got it."  Karen and I also took naps together during lunch time (which I think was 6th period).  We both found out that we both drooled in our sleep.  With that we started singing "Row row row your boat, gently down the stream..."  And we also would stagger the singing so that we overlapped.  After this Karen mentioned that she had a boat named the Lucia that took four crew to run it.  She said she bought the boat originally and named it after Lucille Ball, Lucy in the comic strip 'Peanuts', and the island of St. Lucia.  Lucille Ball lived and was later buried in Jamestown which was about 150 miles from Corning.  (Much thanks to Sammy Bear [Jason] for reminding me about Karen's boat in late October 2019.  Karen used to babysit Jason when he was younger).  Another time (before I knew who she was) I was like, "My mom listens to the Carpenters and I know it's a girl's song, but I'd like to try this one on you.  Do you know Close to You by the Carpenters?"  And she was like, "Kind of.  It sounds interesting.  I'd love to hear you give it a shot.  It's actually in your range."  And before I sang it I looked at her eyes and then I started kind of playing piano on the desk and going, "Da da de duh, da de duh, da de da de da de duh".  I changed "eyes of blue" to "On the day that you were born the angels got together and decided to create the best around.  So they sprinkled moondust in your hair and golden starlight in your eyes of brown" and "All the girls in town" to "All the guys in town".  I said afterwards that her eyes were reddish brown, but that was a bit too long so I shortened it to just brown.  Karen was like, "When I was born, I had reddish eyes and they almost thought I might be an albino, but my eyes darkened up later.  Sometimes I would get called Evil Karen because of my reddish eyes and hair.  When I was about 8 or 9 years old my mom started dying my hair a darker color so the other kids didn't pick on me as much.  We didn't really have much money at the time but my mom would sneak it in and then we would sneak into the bathroom later.  I learned to dye my own hair after I got a little older.  I always liked the darker color because it frames my face better."  I was like, "They thought I was almost an albino too.  I had platinum hair and grayish eyes, but my eyes turned pale blue later on."  She liked my singing the song but she said she couldn't figure out how I went from the long close to you directly into the wahs without pausing to take a breath.  I explained to her that somehow I had learned to breathe in through my nose while singing out of my mouth.  And she was like, "That's how.  I never thought of trying that.  Mind if we try a duet on this one."  And I was like, "Sure, I don't think you could mess it up any worse than I did."  And she was like, "You shouldn't be so hard on yourself.  I liked it.  You did a great job.  You should be proud.  It's not really a guy's song you know."  And then we dueted on Close To You with me doing the guy lyric and her doing the original lyric.  It was actually really good.  Karen and I harmonized well together.  After that I was like, "There's another Carpenters song I think I know that has some great harmonies called We've Only Just Begun.  Do you want to try that?"  And she was like, "It has some tempo changes, but I think I can do it.  Why not?  We can at least give it a shot."  So we did We've Only Just Begun as well with full harmonies together even on the verses.  It was pretty good considering there wasn't a bass or drums to fill in the gaps so we kind of drummed on the desks which helped.  We also tried Yesterday Once More but I was weak on the lyrics so it wasn't as good as the others we did.  Also, a few times I started singing, "I say goodbye to love" and then I dropped down an octave and sang, "And say hello to horny".  Karen laughed a few times when I did it, but then she said, "Could you stop doing that goodbye to love thing, I almost sang it that way on stage."  Honest, it was in September or October 1978 and I didn't know it was actually her.  Usually either I sang by myself or we dueted.  I don't actually remember her singing by herself.  We sang some Buddy Holly - That'll Be The Day, Oh Boy, Everyday and a couple others.  After we started singing together, we started getting strong urges to make out together.  The dueting lasted maybe a month or two.  We only sang together a few times, but she loved Christmas and Christmas Carols.  So during the month of December (and I knew who she was by December), Karen and I sang a lot of Christmas Carols together to keep in the Christmas spirit.  Including the messed up Batman version of Jingle Bells with "Jingle Bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg, the batmobile lost its wheels, and the Joker got away, hey" only a couple times though.  But we did Silver Bells together several times and Winter Wonderland several times too and probably about every carol there was at one time or another.  Then after Christmas, Karen told me she needed to rest her voice for the studio, so we didn't really sing much in 1979. 

Also, later in the school year Karen came in and was all excited.  We were doing similes, metaphores and puns and Karen had got permission from her brother and such to use "I Need To Be In Love" as an example.  Karen handed me a copy of the lyric sheet and was just so excited.  She was like, "This is my favorite song to sing.  I begged Richard and John over the phone to use this in the class and they said I could.  I have them on speed dial anyway.  The problem was getting a hold of Albert Hammond who is the guy that did that train song that you sing once in a while."  And I was like, "Sounds pretty cool.  You know I like that I'm a ch ch train song (and I changed it into a kind of old McDonald remake with stuff like I'm a duck, I'm a quack quack duck.  I'm a cow, I'm a moo moo cow and like that.  Cool song)."  And Karen was like, "He sent me a letter back that said it was all right to use the song for educational purposes and that I really didn't need his permission, but he was glad that I asked anyway.  It has all of these references in it.  What do you think of it?"  And I was like, "I like the pocketfuls [note, I did say pocketfuls and not pockets full] of good intentions, hanging on a hook [instead of hope intentionally] and a few of the other references, the song will definitely work with what we're doing in class.  But you know how guys are with that love word.  About the only time guys use the love word is if they are horny and trying to get laid."  And I started kind of laughing.  And Karen kind of tapped me on the head with her stack of papers and said, "You goof.  I hadn't thought about that as a guy's perspective.  That is kind of funny.  I appreciate your feedback on this.  Thanks.  I was kind of nervous about it and I needed a good laugh.  I'll see you in class later."

XVI. Dancing lessons

Another time, I mentioned to my teacher that we had been doing dance lessons in gym class.  I know that this definitely happened before I knew she was Karen Carpenter.  On that day in gym class, we did the Charleston with the hands on the knees and all that.  She was like, "Sounds like fun, I'm not really that good of a dancer.  I have two left feet, but I'll put my flats on and you can show me."  I was like, "OK.  Don't worry about it.  I can dance on the bottoms and you can dance on the tops of our two left feet if you want."  So she changes her shoes under the desk and then stands up and we do the Charleston together as I'm explaining how to do it.  Then we did the Mashed Potato, the Swim, the Crawl, the Twist, and a few others.  I think we even did a waltz without touching each other, "1,2,3,2,2,3,3,2,3,1,2,3..."  Then we started improvising and did the Rinse Cycle, the Agitator, the Spinner, the Bunny Hop, the Tug of War, and a few other off the wall kind of things including the Hokey Pokey.  As luck would have it, the principal was giving a tour to a grammar school class and they had gathered outside the door while we were doing this.  Karen looked over and saw people there and Karen just darted to her chair behind her desk and put her head down on her folded arms on her desk.  The people at the door clapped and I scooted around in my chair and sat down.  Karen had her head down and said, "Are they gone yet?  I'm so embarassed." with her head still down in her arms.  I said, "You look like an ostrich.  I think they liked you.  I think you may have a fan club, but yup, they're gone."  And then Karen lifts her head up and everyone claps again then everyone leaves from the door.  Karen put her head back down in her arms and was like, "I'll get you for this."  And I was like, "I know you'll get even with me, but I still had a lot of fun while it lasted."  And she was like, "Me too, but I'm still going to get you for this."  And finally I was like, "Honestly, they're gone now."  And she lifted her head up and had a big smile on her face.  For the next few weeks I cleaned the chalkboard and the erasers and such.  We both had a lot of fun, and she got to relax for a couple weeks too.  We honestly danced really well together and we were both light on our feet.  This was when I realized that Karen really was very body conscious about herself.  Karen's body consciousness seemed to stem from her not wanting to send a wrong message and attract a guy she was not interested in.  Karen was not really one to 'show off' so to speak.  OK, actually, Karen and I were doing the Hokey Pokey Dance and we had got to the part of “You put your butt cheeks in, you put your butt cheeks out, you put your butt cheeks in and you shake them all about, you do the Hokey Pokey…” and they showed up at the door just as Karen turned around doing ‘butt cheeks’.  Karen wasn’t really that shy or modest; it was just a bit awkward with 4th or 5th graders and the principal standing at the door while singing about butt cheeks.  The principal and the kids liked it and the principal even commented about “progressive education” as the principal had a big smile on his face as he knew he caught us in an awkward situation and Karen was embarrassed.  Karen also felt that guys liked thin women because in high school, Karen noticed that the boys there always seemed to ask out the skinny girls.  Karen also said she was a "late bloomer" and she felt awkward at times in high school.  And I was like, "Well, I guess those guys missed out on a lot of fun chasing after skinny girls that look nice but usually aren't much fun to be around.  I guess that's why I seem to always be attracted to tomboys that like mud pies.  I would rather have a lot of fun than worry about what I looked like or what she looked like.  Being popular ain't always what it's cracked up to be.  It's nice having people around and such, but it's nice being able to relax once in a while too.  But then too, if you look too good, usually people are too afraid to talk to you because others feel they aren't good enough.  Most people are pretty messed up.  I'm glad we're not like that."  And she was like, "You can say that again.  The grass is always greener on the other side is the shorter version of what you just said."  And I was like, "I like my grass the way it is.  They use some funny smelling fertilizer on the other side.  Sure, it looks nicer, but is it really worth it?  But enough about fertilizer, has anyone told you lately how beautiful you really are inside and out?"  And Karen just started crying and she said, "Sorry, but I know when you just said I was beautiful right now that I know you really meant it."  And I was like, "You know I do."  And then she said, "Here, you need a tissue too.  Thank you.  I needed to hear that from you finally."  And I was like, "Me too.  I usually think it but I don't say it."  And she was like, "I know.  We probably ought to head to the bathroom and clean ourselves up before others see us like this."  And we left and came back to the room after cleaning up a bit.  Things happen.

XVII. The pranksters and Little Sneak and 'secrets'

Karen and I had an early history of being pranksters at the school.  We would each pull some prank on each other.  From rubber frogs, rubber snakes, plastic spiders, a rubber bat, a rubber chicken (not from me), mexican jumping beans, and even a rubber shark in her desk drawers to her putting silly string in my locker.  The rubber animals weren't really the problem as much as the sexually suggestive positions these rubber animals were placed in with each other.  Karen even nicknamed one of the frogs "Petey" and she would say, "Oh Petey, I had no idea."  And then Karen would start laughing.  Karen had a step cousin named Peter who had a sister named Wendy but Peter also married a woman named Wendy as well.  So Karen had two step cousins named Wendy with the same last names because Peter's sister was single and not married.  Karen was staying with Wendy the sister.  Karen would start laughing because Peter was a very normal business executive type but Petey the Frog was definitely something else.  Whoopee cushions.  Fake poop and fake puke.  I would turn all of her books in her book rack upside down.  I would tape a 'kiss me' sign on her back and she would tape a 'kick me' sign on my back. 

My original 'pet name' of sorts from Karen was 'little sneak'.  Anytime some prank got pulled, Karen would be going, "Where is that little sneak.  I'll get him back." and people would start laughing because they knew that I, Ace, was 'little sneak'.  Karen had always talked about how she was good at and how she enjoyed playing practical jokes on others.  But Karen never mentioned anything about someone "getting her back" that I knew about.  But my big prank came when Karen and I were just kind of goofing around one day and flipping a coin and going "heads or tails".  It was a nickel and towards the end I managed to get the nickel to land on the edge leaning up against her book so it was technically a draw because it wasn't heads or tails.  After this I took the nickel and I said, "You would be surprised how difficult it is because you need a lot of coordination to take this nickel and run it down the middle of your face like this."  And then I took the nickel and started at the top of my forehead and went down under my chin down the middle of my face.  Secretly, under my desk, without Karen seeing, I had taken another nickel and colored around the edge with a pencil.  After I did the nickel down my face with my left hand, I handed Karen the nickel that had been colored from my right hand to Karen.  And Karen ran the nickel down the middle of her face and she said, "Actually, this was easier than I thought.  I figured that I would either go to one side or the other because you almost have to look cross-eyed to do this.  That's kind of neat."  And I was keeping a straight face as best as I could as she now had a large black racing stripe down the middle of her face and onto her neck.  And then I said, "Well, you did it.  Congratulations.  Keep the nickel and I'll see you later."  So I left the room and went to get my books at my locker and I kept trying not to bust out laughing.  This was during fifth period lunch I believe.  I made a point to stop by her room and see how she was doing and if she'd figured it out yet between sixth and seventh periods.  Karen had a couple friends visiting her.  Karen introduced them as Gertrude (or Trudy played by I believe Olivia Newton - John) and Loretta (played by I believe Dionne Warwick).  Of course Karen was Wendy (played by I believe Karen Carpenter).  And of course there was a big secret as far as not telling Wendy about the racing stripe down the middle of her face.  And Trudy and Wendy talked about how they had a secret where only Trudy and Wendy knew who this famous well-known actor was that was trying to get Trudy, but Trudy managed to get out of it so the actor didn't score with Trudy.  Trudy didn't tell Wendy, but Wendy guessed it.  Trudy and Wendy were about the same age whereas Loretta was about ten years older and sometimes Loretta would kind of feel a bit out of place like a 'third wheel' or such.  Loretta had been around a bit longer in the business so Trudy and Wendy looked up to Loretta too.  Wendy and Loretta had rough exteriors in their personalities whereas Trudy didn't really have that rough exterior.  So Wendy and Loretta were fairly protective of Trudy.  Trudy also had to sit on a cushion because Trudy had recently cracked her tail bone.  And a joke too because most of us were born with a cracked 'bum' and it was about time that Trudy had a crack in her bum too like the rest of us.  And of course a joke from me, "Do you know why your bum is cracked vertical instead of horizontal?  So that when you slide down the stairs you don't go blblblblblbl (say the letter B and move your index finger up and down your lips to make the blblblblblbl sound)".  A good laugh can many times help ease the pain.  Trudy was also talking with Wendy as Trudy had found a nice guy that was 10 years younger than her.  Wendy had a nice guy in the room who was 15 years younger so Wendy and Trudy had a bit to talk about between themselves.  And they were all laughing and having a good old time and I believe Loretta pulled me over off to the side and asked, "Did you do that to her face?"  And I said, "Shhh, yeah, I did.  It's only pencil so it will wipe off."  And Loretta said something like, "I know she likes to play practical jokes on people and this is priceless.  This is just too funny.  She is in rare form today.  I am so enjoying this.  I'm not going to tell.  Don't tell her now because I'm enjoying this, but you definitely need to tell her later before she finds out from someone else."  And Loretta was on the one side and Wendy was on the other side and Gertrude was in the middle behind Karen's desk so that no one could get direct access to Gertrude without getting passed Wendy or Loretta.  Date bait.  Put the cute girl in the middle to draw in the cute guys.  Guys do the same thing, only with guys it is called the 'lieutenants' who are there to screen the girls to see who might be good enough for 'Mr. Perfect'.  From 1989 to 2004, I was a hunk and I used to walk around town without my eyeglasses on and I had at least 5 or 6 offers from guys to be my lieutenant during that time.  I never accepted any of the offers, but that never stops them anyway.  "To get to him, you've got to get passed me."  "To get to her, you've got to get passed me."  It works both ways.  Date bait.  I went to reach around and tap Gertrude to get her attention to not tell Wendy, but I accidentally bumped Loretta and Loretta asked something like, "What are you doing?"  And I was like, "I was going to ask Trudy not to tell Wendy about the mark on her face." or something like that, and Loretta said, "Don't worry, I'll make sure she doesn't tell her."  And then Loretta said something like, "Of all the times I have been around guys, all of the guys have always made a bee line for Trudy, but I noticed that you aren't interested in Trudy but you sure have eyes for Wendy.  You really like Wendy, don't you?"  And I was like, "I like tomboys and mud pies and I'm not much for girly girls.  Trudy seems to be nice and all, but Trudy's not my type.  Wendy's just my type.  Wendy knows she's my type too."  And sometime during this Dionne said something like, "I think we're using the wrong bait to catch you.  I think we ought to move Wendy in the middle to catch you.  This is getting confusing, you know who we are, right?"  And I was like, "Yeah, I know you're Dionne Warwick and that's Olivia Newton - John and Karen Carpenter is my teacher.  I think I'm still Ace but I'll have to ask Karen about that."  And Dionne kind of laughed and was like, "You're funny like someone else I know and I can see a definite attraction between you two.  I know those puppy dog (I think she said puppy dog but not sure) eyes and I feel like I need to give you some advice now.  If you love her, tell her how you feel.  I know you're a guy and girls like hearing that kind of stuff from guys.  Make sure she knows.  Tell her every chance you get." or something like that.  It was good advice.  And I think I said something kind of smart alecky and Dionne kind of laughed about it.  I think I said something along the lines of Karen and I sharing our feelings would make a sailor and a porn star blush or something like that.  And then I went over to Karen and Karen kind of said in my ear, "This has been a really great day.  Everybody has been laughing and joking and having a great time.  I'm not sure what it is, but everybody has been happy around me today for some reason after lunch ended."  And I whispered back, "I think you're being happy is contagious.  Keep it up.  I'll see you later." and then I was like, "Nice meeting you" and then I left for class.  This part is still a little sketchy, but a little while later I heard a commotion and I had Olivia come over and get me from my class across the hall.  Karen had got jealous that Dionne and I laughed together and Olivia had got between Karen and Dionne to keep a physical fight from breaking out.  Yes, Olivia can be one tough bird when she needs to be.  When I came into Karen’s classroom, Karen had her arms straight out on the corners of her desk and Karen said, “Don’t touch me.  Don’t come near me.  I’ll be fine but before I kill you I need to hear from you what you and Dionne talked about.”  And I answered, “The first laugh was from when we talked about the names and I told Dionne that I would have to ask you if my name was still Ace.  The second kind of laugh was when I mentioned tomboys and mud pies.  The third laugh was when I told Dionne that if you and I shared our feelings about each other that we would probably make a sailor and a porn star blush.  We talked about you was all.”  And Karen was like, “Thanks.  That’s about what Dionne said was that you two were talking about me.  I can see your thoughts and I know what you told me is the truth.  I’ll be all right in a little bit but I got jealous and I had these thoughts in my head that just didn’t seem right.  Luckily it popped into my head that Dionne had told me that she only liked dark meat so my jealousy didn’t make sense.  But I did get jealous and I was ready to kill someone just a little bit ago as you noticed.”  And then Karen came out with something like, “You know I was ready to kill you just now but I also know that you weren’t scared.”  And I said something like, “I know you were ready to kill someone but as you know I can’t hurt you.  If you were gonna kill me, you were gonna kill me, but like always, if I can make you feel better somehow, I’m gonna try and make you feel better even if you need to kill me to feel better.  The truth.” or something like that.  And after that I think I left and went back across the hall (I am pretty sure it was during 7th period science class for me).  At the beginning of 8th period english class, one of the girl students walked up to Karen's desk before I got there and said, "How are you feeling?"  And Karen said, "I'm having a great day.  Everybody has been so happy.  Why do you ask?"  And the girl said, "Miss Bihuniak, do you have a compact?"  And Karen said, "Yes."  And the girl said, "I think you ought to look at your face in the mirror.  You'll see."  So Karen pulled out her compact and looked and at first I could see anger in Karen's eyes and then Karen looked over at me, and then Karen said in a low voice to me, "I thought you were up to something.  So this is what you were up to?"  And I just smiled and said, "Yup, honestly I was just going to tell you about it but she beat me to it." in a low voice.  And Karen went out into the hallway and then Karen just broke down and started laughing so hard that she literally sat down in the hallway next to the wall.  She was laughing so hard that she couldn't stand up any more and she just started crying and laughing off and on at the same time.  And I went out with her but I stayed back a little and then Karen just started talking in her normal voice and started saying while she was crying and sitting against the wall, "Thank you.  I knew he was the one and I asked you for a sign and I always knew it was going to be the one that got me back for all the pranks I've pulled on others.  Just look at my face.  [And she giggled] He got me good and I love him so much.  I just love him so much.  [And Karen had her knees up and her arms wrapped around her knees and her head buried in her arms] I've waited so long for this to happen and thank you.  Look at me.  I'm so happy that I'm crying.  I just can't help it because I've been through so much and I love him so much.  Thank you for bringing him into my life."  And then one of the other teachers helped Karen stand up and get to the bathroom finally so that she could touch her face up.  The teacher that helped her kept turning his face to the side so that she didn't see him laughing because he knew how much Karen loved practical jokes and he also knew that Karen could be a bit sensitive about her appearance too and didn't want her to think he was laughing at her appearance which he thought would have made her cry more.  Yes, for a simple prank to pull off, this actually ended up being quite complicated afterwards.  And later that day during dismissal homeroom Karen said to me, "Did you hear what I said in the hallway?"  And I said, "You know I can't lie to you and yes, I heard every word you said."  And then Karen said, "Well, now that you know my secret what do you have to say for yourself?"  And I said, "You know I love you too but I never prayed for you, you just happened.  And as you can tell by the big smile on my face, I am very glad that you've happened.  I do pray though just not very often.  I remember the one time I prayed that if He really existed that a 20 dollar bill would fall out of the sky.  Of course it didn't happen but then a week later my mom told me that she had a twenty dollar bill just fall out of the sky and land in front of her about a week before, so she picked it up.  I didn't really need the money or such; I was just curious, but you know how my luck goes."  And then Karen said, "You should know by now that He has a good sense of humor.  Just look in the mirror.  We're all funny looking in our own ways.  I know you really do love me but you could really hurt someone's feelings doing something like that.  What if I had to be at an important meeting at the last minute or whatever.  Luckily I didn't.  You got me good.  I'll admit that.  I should be furious about this right now, but I did ask for it in a way as you heard out there in the hallway.  This one is going to be tough to beat.  I'll think of something though.  You know me.  I am not a spoiled sport, but I can never admit defeat."  Karen pulled her own prank back by saying, "Rest assured that I am going to teach you a lesson that you'll never forget and I'm going to get even with you if it's the last thing I do."  And then, of course, Karen didn't do anything for at least a week.  All in good fun.  Seriously.  And who was the one that Karen told all of her inner most secrets to?  Mush?  Lucky dog.

I taught Karen another prank too I think around mid January 1979.  The quarter and the funnel prank for those that know.  Anyway, you take a funnel and put it in the top of your pants and tell the other person, "this is tougher than it looks".  After the funnel is positioned in the top of your pants then you take the quarter and place it on your forehead while leaning your head back and then you bring your head forward and the quarter usually drops into the funnel in the top of your pants.  I did this a little differently to teach Karen the prank, but normally you would hand the funnel over to the other person (the prankee) and of course you had a glass of water (preferably with ice cubes) and when the other person positions the funnel and leans their head back, you pour the water down the funnel and usually the quarter goes flying somewhere and the pranker looks for a place to hide after pouring the water in the funnel.  Instead of the usual way, I did it a second time and told Karen to pour the water instead.  Not sure if she ever pulled that one on someone else, but I knew where she learned it from.  The nice part is that the pants and / or underwear dry fairly quickly in most cases (or would have been a skirt in Karen's case but it was my pants which dried in about a half hour).

But a little while after the silly string in my locker, the pranking stopped between us.  After the silly string incident, the other kids were starting to think of Karen and me as boyfriend and girlfriend.  Not something you want to hear about from a teacher and a student in a small area.  So we both decided to call a truce and end the practical jokes on each other before Karen may have got wrongfully accused of something which would be a serious problem and not a prank.  And it was probably the most weird experience in either of our lives, because for both of us, Karen and me, we actually had more fun being serious and helping ourselves as well as others solve problems than the fun we had from making jokes and pulling pranks and such.

XVIII. Not nuts, butter knives part 1

One time, I mentioned to my teacher that someone had said they had seen her put her finger down her throat to make herself puke and some of the kids were talking about it and I overheard them talking but I didn't say anything.  Honestly, my teacher said that it was true and said she had a problem with feeling like she was fat.  She also then said something in a kind of concerned voice like, "Do you think I'm nuts too?" And I was like, "No.  Not at all.  You are definitely not fat or crazy.  You stuck your finger down your throat and it did not taste so good.  My finger doesn't taste too good either.  No big deal.  I have a step uncle, Clary that stripped down naked because he thought it made him invisible and then he got on my grandfather's kitchen table and threatened to do everyone in with a butter knife.  That's nuts.  They had to straight jacket him and take him away in a rubber truck with bouncy walls inside.  I don't think you're nuts.  But if you do go nuts would you let me know because I think that would be quite a sight and I like tomboys that aren't afraid to make mud pies and such."  And wouldn't you know it, just after we gave each other big starry-eyed smiles, someone else walked into the room.

XIX. Still not nuts. Butter knives part 2

Within a couple weeks of the 'finger down the throat' talk, Miss Bihuniak came in one morning and sat down in her chair all sad and grumpy and saying, "I guess I am not used to home cooking.  I gained ten pounds.  I feel like a beached whale."  I then looked at her and then I looked to her left and right side, and then I looked straight at her again and said, "I don't see a water spout or fins yet.  Are you sure you are turning into a beached whale?  You look fine to me except maybe a little grumpy."  And she was like, "I gained ten pounds.  I'm fat.  I was 94 pounds and now I am 104, what am I going to do?  I feel fat."  And I was like, "I probably gained ten pounds of muscle myself climbing up and down those stairs, and now I probably need to go down those stairs again to the cafeteria and grab two butter knives."  And she was like "Grab two butter knives for what?"  And I said, "Because you can exercise to lose fat, but I am not sure how to lose muscle and I am probably going to drive myself crazy trying to figure out how someone can lose ten pounds of muscle.  You are already a beached whale, so I figure if I get a couple butter knives and clear off your desk, we can go crazy together like my uncle Clary did."  And she was like, "You're probably right, I hadn't thought about going up and down the stairs and toning up and gaining muscle and all that."  And then I was like, "From what I see, even though you are a beached whale now, you still look the same as you did before.  But it's not looks, but what's inside that counts anyway and if there's some guy that can't see what a wonderful person you are because of ten or even a hundred pounds, then you're with the wrong guy."  And she said, "There's no other guy.  No guys actually.  Would you hurry up and go down to the cafeteria and get those butter knives while I clear off the desk and barricade the door?"  And then I said, "There is someone behind me, isn't there?"  And she put her hand over her mouth to keep from laughing out loud and shook her head yes.  And then a male teacher's voice, Mr. Baer, came from behind me saying, "Am I interrupting something?"  and she was like, "No, come on in.  We were just sharing some jokes we heard to help start the day off right."  And I just went around her desk and sat in my chair with a big old smile on my face while her and the other teacher talked about whatever (I think it may have been about posing together for the school picture and not really anything teacher/student/education related).  And at the end of the day, we talked again.  She was actually mad at first, And she said, "We needed to talk, why didn't you leave the room?"  And I was like, "You were so down in the dumps earlier, I wanted to make sure you were alright."  And then it dawned on me, when her and Mr. Baer were talking, she was kind of motioning me to leave the room and I didn't.  I was like, "You're mad at me, aren't you?  I'm sorry.  Please don't be mad at me.  [and I'm almost in tears now]  I'm sorry.  Is there any way I can make it up to you.  I can't handle you being mad at me.  I'm losing it, ain't I?  I can't help it.  I just wanted to make sure you were all right."  She was like, "It's OK, I smoothed it over anyway with him, but I need you to talk to him tomorrow."  And I was like, "OK, no problem.  I'm really sorry.  I didn't realize because I was so worried about you earlier."  Then her face just exploded in a good way and she was just beaming and said, "We just had our first argument."  And I was like, "Hey, you're right.  You won that one by a long shot."  And she was like, "Max was the one that helped me to get my job here.  I am very grateful to Max because if it wasn't for him, I wouldn't be here teaching.  The school board was saying no because I have a drawl in my voice and they were worried that you kids might start talking funny.”  And I was like, “Talkded funny.  Us no talkded funny.  What am giveded them that darn foolded idears?  Surely not am us.”  And then Karen continued, “Cute, but don't let the school board hear you talking like that or they will have me out of here.  Max literally stood up to the entire school board and threatened to quit if they didn't hire me."  Then she was like, "Thanks for earlier, I was feeling pretty down in the dumps."  And I was like, "That's OK, I probably was a little grumpy myself.  It happens."  Then she said, "If I did have a boyfriend, would you get jealous?"  And I was like, "Nah, I am not the jealous type really.  I like people being happy and jealous people never seem to be happy.  Just one of my many quirks I guess.  Do you have anyone in mind?"  And she said, "Max has someone else."  And I was like, "Do you want me to try and steal her away from him?"  And she was like, "You would wouldn't you?" with a giggle in her voice.  And I was like, "In a heartbeat."  And she was like, "Max is nice and all, but he really isn't my type."  And she was like, "As far as the jealousy, I was just checking just in case, but I kind of noticed that you aren't looking for anyone either."  And I was like, "If it happens, it happens, but every time I try to make something happen it always seems to fall apart."  She was like, "Me too.  I know what you mean."  Then she continued, "Well if something happens, I hope I don't get jealous.  You are a really wonderful person too."  And I was like, "Helping you feel better helps me feel better too you know.  I'm not exactly a ray of sunshine myself most of the time if you haven't noticed.  I do always try to make the best of it though and I was really glad that I was there for you this morning.  Are you feeling better now?"  She was like, "Much better.  Thanks again.  We probably ought to get going before people start to wonder where we are.  I am staying with my cousins and they can get kind of worried sometimes."  And I was like, "Yeah, my parents are that way too if I'm not home by a certain time.  See you tomorrow.  Glad you are feeling better again and don't worry, if you need privacy or whatever, just ask and I'll go to the bathroom or whatever."  And we just both packed up our stuff and left for the day.  Side note too, at around 116 pounds, Karen would start developing what is known as a ‘double chin’.

And with that side note, Karen and I wouldn’t usually eat that much during lunch time.  Many times we would share stuff.  It was the middle of the day and we were both the active types so we would usually have a decent breakfast, light lunch and then dinner later.  Of course breakfast and dinner were before and after school, so we usually shared lunch together.  Most times, I would pick up a couple milks and Karen would sip on her tea.  On occasion we might share an ice cream sandwich or like the one time when I got a Reggie bar and we split it in half for something different to try.  Karen used to eat a lot of sweets when she was younger but her tastes had changed a little and she liked salads and such now.  At times, Karen would send me down to the cafeteria to pick up her salad that she made for lunch.  Usually a caesar type salad with iceberg lettuce that she made at her step cousin Wendy’s house and brought into work with her.  Karen would always brush and floss her teeth after she ate.  She used the regular dental floss as she wasn’t much for that minty stuff.  I think it was the green color more than the taste.  I think Karen was worried that if she used green colored dental floss that her teeth might start turning green.  But Karen always had spindly arms and legs as far as her wrists and forearms and her ankles and calves were always thin.  I saw Karen weigh at least 136 pounds and she still had thin wrists, forearms, calves and ankles.  But you could tell if Karen was trying to lose weight mostly in her face.  You could start seeing Karen’s jaw bone and her cheek bones become more visible when she was trying to lose weight.  You could also start seeing the bones around Karen’s eyes sticking out more and her eyes would look like they were sinking more.  I would talk about “chipmunk cheeks (yes, it sounds much better than chubby cheeks)” and how most people that looked younger tended to have chipmunk cheeks.  You know, like Chip and Dale with those chubby little cute cheeks that people just wanted to pinch.  Chipmunk cheeks.  And of course Karen and I would puff out our cheeks on occasion to show off those chipmunk cheeks.  Karen would also joke around about being Bucky Beaver with buck teeth in the front.  Her front teeth really weren’t that much bigger, but she had fun with it.  Karen and Richard both had slight overbites which was part of their unique sound too.  And a few times Karen tried pony tails too but she was getting older so a pony tail wouldn’t last too long in her hair.  Pony tails work for little girls, but middle aged women it looks a little off even with chipmunk cheeks.  But Karen never really had big ankles or calves or forearms or wrists.  Karen would usually gain weight on the back of her biceps and her thighs and her butt and her mid section, but not on her wrists, forearms, calves or ankles.  And again, Karen would start developing a double chin at around 116 pounds and Karen would drop her chin down towards her chest and feel that little ridge under her chin.  And climbing three flights of stairs while carrying a shopping bag with knitting needles and her purse and teaching stuff every day helped tone things up a bit.  Most of the time that I knew Karen, she weighed at least 100 pounds, but she did slip a couple times below 100, but she didn’t stay there too long and it was only a couple times.  Most of the time Karen kept busy thinking about her teaching and not as much about how she looked or how much she weighed or such.  And that was why Karen was glad that she was keeping busy doing something to keep her mind occupied instead of just taking time off.  And Karen staying with her step cousin Wendy was a nice change of pace for Karen too.  Karen’s personality (and mine too) liked going overboard and being extreme.  Wendy, like Karen’s mom and Richard, was a good and steady anchor for Karen and Karen was a breath of fresh air for Wendy too.

XX. What's in a name? Adrian Clair? Maximilian Adalbert?

The next day, Mr. Baer stopped over and I was like, "Sorry about yesterday Mr. Baer, Miss Bihuniak was having a rough morning and I was worried about her being down in the dumps.  I should have left so that you and her could talk privately but I didn't.  I'm sorry.  I'll try not to let it happen again."  And Mr. Baer was like, "That's all right my boy, just water under the bridge, we talked later anyway.  You can call me Jethro if you want, everyone else does around here.  I just have that goofy voice."  And I was like, "I like Mr. Baer better.  More distinctive.  You're a really nice person and deserve a bit of respect even with your goofy voice."  And Mr. Baer said, "I have a really goofy middle name too.  What's your middle name?"  And Miss Bihuniak starts laughing off to the side.  And I said, "Clair."  And Mr. Baer said, "Clair, that's a girl's name, I think you got me beat on that one."  And I was like, "It's the boy's spelling without the e at the end.  And my real first name is Adrian which makes me sound like a hair dresser or something, which is why I go by Ace."  And Miss Bihuniak is laughing so hard that she is kind of bending over a bit with her hand over her mouth.  And then Mr. Baer said, "My middle name is Adalbert, Maximilian Adalbert Baer Junior."  And I was like, "My full name is Adrian Clair Downing the third, hair dresser.  I think it's a tie."  And Miss Bihuniak just lost it and laughed out loud after that one.  And Mr. Baer was like, "Thanks Ace, I think that was a tie if you say so.  Now if you don't mind, Karen and I have some things we would like to discuss again about the upcoming school pictures, and so if you don't mind?"  And I was like, "No problem, I think I have to go to the bathroom anyway."  So I went to the bathroom and when I came back, the door was still closed, so I just waited outside and sat by the door.  Later, after school, me and Karen talked about it and she said thanks.  The talk from Karen kind of went, "Thanks for earlier, Max can be a real handful at times, but you handled it really well and so did Max really.  You really don't get jealous do you?"  And I was like, "No.  I can't.  I only want you to be happy even if it means you are with someone else.  I'm sorry, but I can't be jealous over you.  I only want you to be happy.  Being jealous wouldn't make you happy.  I just can't be jealous over you even if you wanted me to be.  I just can't.  It isn't in me to be jealous over anyone."  And she had a big smile on her face and said, "You just kind of reminded me of a guy I knew in high school named Norm (I think she said Greenfield but not sure, nope, it was Friedlander).  Norm always smiled when he was around me and I often wondered if he had a crush on me.  Norm always had this big smile on his face whenever I saw him.  I could be having a rough day and somehow just seeing Norm smile made me feel better somehow...  You're such a sweetheart.  I hope you never change."  So yeah, anyway, I had Karen Carpenter for homeroom and english class, and Max Baer Jr. (me and Max have the same birthday, December 4) for science class.  Quite a year in eighth grade.

XXI. Cousin Patti and piano lessons

But a while after school started and such, a girl I knew from piano lessons outside school came into homeroom with just me and my teacher there.  My teacher had told me that her first name was "Wendy" as a couple other teachers had called her Wendy.  I always called her Miss Bihuniak anyway at this time as she was still my teacher, but it was still nice to know that her first name wasn't Miss.  She asked me to call her Wendy once, so I did and it just didn't sound right, so I went back to calling her Miss Bihuniak.  The girl that came into homeroom was Patti Carpenter, who I took piano lessons with.  Anyway, Patti comes rushing in the room and says something like, "Karen, I think I found my car.  Look."  And then my teacher and I both look at Patti with a concerned look, and then Patti says, "That's just Ace, we took piano lessons together.  She's my cousin Ace.  Her name is Karen.  I ain't going to call her by her teacher name or whatever."  And then Patti was talking to my teacher, her cousin, and Patti was just so excited.  And Patti was saying that my teacher had said she would help Patti get a car, and the car in the paper had low mileage, was nearby, wasn't expensive, and...  And while Patti was talking, my teacher was talking about the conditions like Patti doing her chores, and keeping her grades up, and such.  And while my teacher was doing this I was kind of contributing things like, "A car is a big responsibility.  Are you ready to take on the responsibility of taking care of a car?  What if something goes wrong?"  And Patti said something like, "Ace, you're weird.  You are sounding like my dad." and when Patti looked back at me to say this, my teacher motioned her arms and mouthed, "Keep it up.  Keep it up" and then Patti turned back around and my teacher had this straight, concerned face when Patti turned around.  And a few other comments about responsibility and such too from both myself and my teacher, who just smiled at me after I put my two cents in.  Patti went from being the excited kid to sounding a bit more serious and responsible.  More like an adult would be.  My teacher then asked Patti to pick up the phone on the wall and ask for an outside line and give the number to dial out to see if the car was still available.  After Patti called on the car, my teacher said something like, "Patti, you're going to be late for school, shouldn't you be going?  We'll look into the car later after school."  So then Patti said her thank yous and such and left for school (I was in eighth grade middle school.  Patti was in tenth grade high school across the river and about ten minutes away by car, let alone walking).  After Patti left, I looked at my teacher with a straight face and just said, "They just grow up so fast."  And we both laughed as it was one of those 'proud parent' type moments between us that we hadn't thought about having.  Also, after laughing and such, my teacher asked me not to tell people her first name was Karen, which was fine with me.  I had a suspicion after this, Karen and Patti Carpenter?, but nothing definite and I was happy having a nice homeroom teacher that wasn't afraid to talk about stuff whatever that stuff may be.  I also can't remember for sure, but I think my teacher said something like, "I probably ought to give her a ride, she won't make it to school on time."  And then I think Karen may have left and asked me to keep an eye on things until she got back but I am not totally sure about that now.  As Patti was getting older she preferred Patricia, but when someone doesn't act older, Patti works too.  As far as piano lessons, Patti and I had Mrs. Kelly as a piano teacher together.  I originally started taking piano lessons from my mom's cousin, Linda Jimerson, but Linda was losing a battle with cancer and was unable to teach anymore.  Linda was the piano teacher that taught me about acronyms where you take the first letter of different words and make a new word from that only in reverse order.  Eat A Good Breakfast Daily or EAGBD and if you know the 'ring of fifths' from music theory 101 then...

XXII. Being spoiled. Not for us. Seriously

Probably one of the most thoughtful talks we had was after I said that I drank a lot of milk.  Then the word 'spoiled' came out.  Then my teacher talked about having an older brother and I talked about having a younger sister.  And then I talked about how I had recently been grounded for not doing my social studies / history homework lately and my television, record player, and such were taken away for a week, but only ended up being three or four days.  I then talked about how I didn't want to end up 'spoiled' like my sister and although I took the stuff back, I still didn't use the stuff for about a week after I got it back.  I did most of the talking this time, but my teacher did talk a little.  But I started being very profound talking about 'spoiled'.  Stuff like, "A spoiled person becomes 'sour' (like sour milk that is spoiled) when they do not get what they want.  Spoiled 'brats' throw fits when they do not get what they want.  A fit or 'tantrum' is a burst of anger from someone to try and get what they want by being obnoxious until they get what they want. A very bad habit to develop."  I told my teacher about my sister behaving 'spoiled' and that I did not want to be like that.  "Spoiled people do not seem to appreciate what they have and always seem to want more.  And more never seems to be enough.  Myself, personally, not the way I want to go through life.  Throwing a fit every time I did not get what I wanted or 'my way'.  Many times I feel it is better to go without.  You would be surprised what a little imagination could do.  Intangibles (can not be seen or touched) versus tangibles (can be seen or touched). Intangibles won.  Stuff is just stuff.  Thoughts are thoughts.  Take away everything tangible, but the intangibles still remain."  But it was through this discussion that me and my teacher (sorry again, my english teacher and homeroom teacher and I, not me and my teacher, even though it was me and my teacher both realizing...) both realized that we could not really change others, only ourselves (grammar demons can't be changed either and are also included somehow in the 'others' category).  Accepting people for who they really are, faults included.  Myself, being a people, included also.  Through this talk we had, both myself and my teacher realized that many times we learn what we like and dislike through others.  Big brother, little sister included.  Parent, child included.  Teacher, student included.  And this talk between us led to me (and my pen name Confusion) saying, "You can't have it all. Where would you put it?".  If you have a little patience, things tend to work out eventually.  If you do not have patience, you are becoming 'spoiled'.  We all have our own choices to make, just as others have their choices too.  Spoiled or not spoiled.  Choices remain.  And at the end of this discussion that we had, my teacher (who was unmarried) definitely made her choice as she said, "If only you were a little older because I don't want to go through that growing up stuff all over again."  What else could I say other than, "Me too."  And as usual, we both smiled at each other and waited for the other kids to show up for homeroom.  I usually made stupid jokes and stuff, so this 'spoiled' discussion that became very thoughtful and introspective was a shock to both of us.  At the end my teacher said, "as far as content, that was definitely an A+, but as far as presentation, I would have given it a B+ or a B.  You talked about all of these great ideas and such, but you really didn't seem to have any emotion or feeling when you talked about them.  Your talk was almost like primal therapy without anything therapeutic in it.  Still a great talk and maybe I can work some of that stuff into my class discussions, but it seemed like you were on the verge of a major life changing breakthrough and then you just kind of fell flat at the end."  And, as usual, Karen was right.  I didn't emphasize that emotions and feelings are intangibles too and not just thoughts.  That was why this talk fell flat at the end.

And a little while after our serious 'spoiled' talk, we had another serious talk.  I just came out with, "Did you ever notice that when someone is trying to use someone that they start talking bad about everyone else but themselves?"  And Karen was like, "I haven't really thought about it that way, but maybe you're on to something there.  Go ahead.  Shoot.  Sounds interesting.  I'm all ears."  So I was like, "I've kind of noticed that those that talk bad of others hang around together and don't really talk much to others.  Cliques as you called it before I think.  Anyway, I've kind of noticed that some people try to isolate people from others by talking bad about others.  That's kind of why if you notice, I don't really feel too comfortable around people that talk bad of others.  I've noticed too that you are kind of the same way and that you're not too comfortable around those that talk bad about others either.  And anyway, I just kind of realized why I don't feel comfortable around those kinds of people.  I mean a little talk here and there because no one's perfect, but there are some that get down right mean about it.  Those kind of people."  And Karen was like, "I know I can get jealous at times, is that what you are trying to talk about?"  And I was like, "Nope.  I hadn't even thought of that.  That's kind of different and I understand on that.  Really, most guys are turned off by tomboys and such, not me.  You know me.  I like..."  And of course Karen and I both say, "Tomboys and mud pies" together.  And then I was like, "I think our parents kind of trained us to beware of those kinds of people because probably they went through it themselves.  They were probably taught by their parents and maybe even personal experience; you know how it goes.  I think it's good advice.  You know, someone keeps saying how great they are and then leaves you flat for someone else that they think is better.  They use you until something they feel is better comes along.  But I think in order to use someone, you have to make it so they don't talk to anyone else, so that's where I think they learn the bad mouthing from.  That's why I think our parents taught us to beware of others that talk bad about others.  You know, if you don't have nothing nice to say then it is better to say nothing at all.  That kind of stuff.  I mean everyone can have problems, but there are some that just seem to constantly bad mouth others, you know what I mean?"  And Karen was like, "This is interesting.  Yeah, I know what you mean.  Like you, if you've noticed, I kind of avoid those types of people too.  That's kind of why I've had you stay up here with me during lunch so that Max kind of leaves me alone.  And that was actually my kind of turn off with Max.  He has that goofy voice which was all right, you can get used to it, but a lot of times I just kind of started feeling lonely around him but I just couldn't figure out why.  But feeling lonely is never any fun especially when you're with someone."   And I was like, "I know what you mean and I agree.  I don't feel lonely around you but also, we don't really talk bad about others too.  I think that kind of helps.  I mean you can be by yourself and not feel lonely but when you get those feelings around someone else it usually means trouble down the road somewhere.  I've kind of noticed that those that bad mouth others are usually very controlling people and I've noticed that you and your brother tend to work together on things so I think you're used to working together with someone and not used to being controlled if that makes any sense."  And Karen was like, "That makes sense, I mean me and my brother never dated or whatever, but I'm just so used to working with my brother that it feels awkward around others.  It's weird too because for some reason I've never felt awkward around you either.  But the other weird part is that me and my brother are kind of opposites, but you and me are almost exactly alike.  I haven't been able to figure that part out yet."  And I was like, "Me neither.  Me and my sister aren't really alike either, but my sister can get kind of stubborn and head strong at times so we don't really work together too well most of the time.  I try sometimes, but just the way it is I guess."  And then Karen and I just looked at each other and then we both said at the same time, "I can't figure it out either.  Everyone's different I guess."  Then we both kind of packed up and left for the day.

Another time, Karen brought up that her and Richard had done an interview for a magazine and during the interview, the interviewer said that the cameras were off when in fact they weren’t.  It was supposed to be a private talk, off camera, but ended up being a slight mess.  The interviewer had asked Richard and Karen how they thought about some of the new groups coming out and Richard and Karen brought up Mott The Hoople and noted that it wasn’t their kind of music as it was not melodic nor harmonic and was just not something that the Carpenters were into doing themselves.  Note also, Richard was a big Frank Zappa fan too.  The Mott The Hoople interview was kind of chopped up a little and stuff taken out of context of a talk that was supposed to be private anyway.  Phone calls to the Carpenters’ manager and it was just a big headache.  That was when Karen and Richard realized and decided that ‘publicly’ they would not say anything in a bad context that could possibly be taken the wrong way.  Keep things positive as best as possible and try and avoid anything that could be seen as being negative. But yes, lesson learned as things were taken out of context on comments that were supposed to be “off the record” anyway and a big lesson about those that make controversy for others by not being honest themselves and some people can be really sneaky.  If you don’t say anything negative, there is nothing to take out of context and things that are meant to be private stay private.  “If you don’t have anything nice to say, it is better to say nothing at all.  What you do in your house is your business.” as Karen would say.  But after that, Karen and Richard knew better than to trust others when being public.  By themselves was fine, but when others were around watch what you say that could be taken the wrong way.  Be positive and avoid anything negative.  And yes, with negative experiences as far as Karen’s therapy sessions and such, Karen was not wishing to talk publicly about anorexia or arrhythmia or bulimia or ‘slimmers disease’ or such.  Karen was waiting until she had something positive to say about dealing with the problem.  As far as the therapy sessions and such, nothing positive there as it was a real mess with therapists trying to twist things around to try and get Karen and her family to fit into some mold that just was not true, but Karen had a bit of success with keeping her weight steady by only weighing herself once a week from November 1982 to February 1983.  Karen’s family was not a family that was physically affectionate publicly (hint, that stuff should be kept in the bedroom where it belongs), however, the family were thinkers and not usually very emotional.  The family showed that they cared by being there for someone and trying to help someone sort out their problem(s), not by hugging and kissing and that kind of stuff that should stay in the bedroom where it belongs.  So yeah, nothing nice to say about therapy sessions and such as that stuff really was not helping Karen at all.  Seriously, a hug was not going to help Karen stop worrying about her weight.  Even newspaper and tabloid articles saying that Karen appeared to be sickly and very underweight was not going to help Karen.  Karen and her mom helped themselves and came up with a plan where Karen only weighed herself once a week.  By weighing herself only once a week, Karen had started to stop worrying about her weight and more about how she felt.  For four months it was starting to work and Karen was starting to feel better but unfortunately, with the eating problems, somehow Karen had developed diabetes along the way.  With a sugar level of 1100 when she passed away, Karen had definitely developed hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) and because Karen did not really eat sweets and such, no one, including Karen herself, had thought about Karen developing diabetes until it was too late.  No one to blame here as people were trying to help, it just did not end as well as people were hoping.  Karen was winning over the anorexia bulimia (nervosa, whatever latin terms…) but things just happened that people hadn’t thought about.  No real blame, just sh*t happens.  And a side note here, Karen believed in empathy not sympathy.  Sympathy was for someone that was pathetic and had given up.  Empathy is for someone that keeps trying.  Karen was never one to give up and was always one to encourage others to be better people and not give up on your/themselves.

And yet another time, Ev Wallace came in and Karen and her were talking about the fan club and catching up on personal stuff together.  And Ev was kind of nervous and worried while she was talking.  And then Karen was like, "Ev, this isn't like you, what's wrong?" and Ev just came out with a problem with the fan club and Karen started raising her voice asking questions and then Max came over from across the hall and Max was like, "I don't know why you keep her.  She's old and she's forgetful and... Sometimes you just need to cut your losses and get rid of the dead wood" or something like that and Karen was like, "Max, just go, I can handle this."  And then Karen was all upset and frustrated, which was why Karen raised her voice, because it was at a school and not really much privacy to talk alone and Ev was like, "You're going to fire me aren't you?" and Ev was almost in tears and then I looked over at Karen and then I spoke up and I was like, "Ev, that was Max, Max don't know what he's talking about.  How long have you been working for Karen?"  And Ev was like, "about [whatever] years I think, why?  What good is that going to do me now?  She's going to fire me and then what am I going to do?"  And I was like, "That was Max that said that, not Karen and as you notice, Max isn't in the room anymore.  Karen never said she was going to fire you.  Sure, you made a mistake, but unlike most people, you have owned up to that mistake.  Most people would try to hide it and get away with something.  You're not trying to get away with anything because you were honest and you made a mistake and you admitted that.  You can't buy honesty and think about it, if Karen got rid of you she would have to try and train someone else and need to worry if they were going to be honest or not.  Karen already knows you're honest and you're already trained and you care about what you're doing or else you wouldn't worry like you do so much so why would Karen want to get rid of you and take a chance with someone else?"  And Ev looked over at Karen and said, "Do you really mean it?"  And Karen smiled then she looked away from me over to Ev and was like, "I couldn't have said it better myself.  Like he said.  I couldn't replace you.  We all make mistakes sometimes and you haven't really made too many over the years.  You are kind of making up for it with this one, but then too, I think you are long overdue because the odds of not making a mistake in [whatever] years isn't even thinkable.  I can just write a check and you'll need to cash it when you get back and put it in there to cover the difference.  Don't let Richard know though.  You know how Richard can get about money.  I'm glad you came to me about this.  It'll be just our little secret, OK?"  And Ev was like, "OK.  Thank you very much.  I don't know what I was thinking.  I should know better than that.  You and Richard have always been so good and kind to me.  I should know better.  You're good people."  And Karen was like, "Us good people need to stick together."  I think the problem was that Ev had got a deal on I believe belt buckles so Ev had got a better quality buckle, but the shipping charge was slightly more as the buckle was a little heavier.  After Ev left, Karen and I talked and Karen thanked me for the speech I made.  And then Karen said, "I know Max came over because he could smell blood and I know how you get too and then you actually surprised me.  I figured that you were going to be like Max, but instead of being a shark and going for blood, you were actually caring and compassionate.  And that is the thing, as you know, in the business world, if you're caring, they tend to rip you to shreds and call you weak if you care.  The sea of sharks.  People in the business world tend to be uncaring and the first sign of trouble, business people feed you to the sharks.  It's easy to get caught up in that mentality when you are around it all the time.  I noticed that you noticed too that I wasn't upset at her for making a mistake or the money or any of that.  I was upset because we didn't have any privacy to talk about it and I saw that you picked up on that after you started talking or else you wouldn't have said the things that needed to be said.  Ev is tone deaf if you didn't notice so she hears talking but she doesn’t know the difference between one voice or another which was why I got frustrated and raised my voice.  But people have feelings and there's more to life than money and I was so proud of you because you realized that money can't buy honesty.  After that speech you gave, I let Ev off the hook.  She's a good person and like I said, us good people need to stick together.  That's priceless and don't let her know, but she's still got a few more mistakes she's paid for in advance after this.  It was just an oversight.  Her heart’s in the right place like someone else I know.  She's such a sweetheart."  Karen also went to slip me a belt buckle for helping out and I slid it back to her.  Then I told Karen, “Remember our heart to heart talk before.  And remember when I told you the reason why I didn’t wear a belt anymore.  It was Bill’s mom (Bill McKendrick was her son and was in the class) that was my third grade teacher and I led the belt rebellion back in third grade because my dad hit me with his belt and I wasn’t going to do that to my kids.  Thanks for the offer, but I don’t wear a belt and I don’t plan on it either.”  And Karen was like, “Fair enough.” And that was that.

[Not sure when either so I will stick it here] I believe at some time Mr. Eugene Klein (Gene Simmons), a former teacher himself, was at the school.  Very wonderful person and he was good with kids and fairly talkative.  I also have a feeling that when he said his name, Eugene, it kind of took me by surprise as he has that deep, manly voice and Eugene just came out smooth so it sounded kind of different and unexpected when he said it.  I was expecting something like Jack or whatever with his deep voice.  Anything’s better than Adrian anyway.  I know he was wearing a suit if he was there.  I am also pretty sure he just kind of hung out that day with Karen.  I do remember Gene talking a bit about his experiences during the Holocaust, but I don’t remember the details about it now, just that I remember Gene saying that he was a survivor of the Holocaust and that Gene was Jewish.  Karen was Christian.  I also remember Karen saying to Gene something like, “as you used to be a teacher, maybe you could watch me teach and give me a couple pointers as far as technique and such.” or something like that.  I also think this was the talk where Karen and I came up with the idea of me being the ‘gopher’ during meetings with people; you know; go for this; go for that and let the grown ups talk as it can be a little awkward with a kid hanging around.  Well, kind of anyway.  I can’t remember for sure which one, but I used one of my ‘funny’ greetings I believe (Joseph Konyu, proctologist, one of those) and I know that Gene said, “Not funny Ace.” And then I believe I came out with, “Why do women have two holes close together?” and Gene repeated it back in his calm voice and then he kind of opened his hand up for the ‘I don’t know’ type gesture.  Then of course I said, “So when she gets drunk you can carry her home like a six pack.” and Gene lost it and let out what appeared to be a huge belly laugh and Karen and I laughed too.  Afterwards, Gene said, “Gas.  Now that was funny” in his usual calm type voice.  People don’t normally expect a teenage boy to come out with such stuff, but it happened.  But, um, yeah, I was honestly corrupted before I met Karen even though I was almost fifteen years younger than her.  Karen and I both loved a challenge and Gene was a demon and demons don’t laugh, so…  We tried.

And I am 90% sure that Karen and I met Wayne Newton too.  And as each meeting has a story…  I am pretty sure as I believe this was the one time where I was getting jealous.  I remember Wayne talking with Karen on Karen’s side of her desk and then Wayne was mentioning how if Karen would be with him that Karen would have a castle and servants and be like a queen and all this stuff until Karen’s heart was content and I saw sparkles start to come out of Karen’s eyes while Wayne was saying all of these wonderful things to Karen and those were MY SPARKLES!!!  Yes, I was getting very jealous of Wayne and it was the only time I remember being like that around Karen.  And then Wayne said to Karen, “You can have all this with me, but I have just one rule.  No one touches my hair.”  And the sparkles and all just left Karen’s eyes at that point and I didn’t feel jealousy any more
.  Karen was well known for playing practical jokes and Wayne pulled a good one on Karen.  And later too I joked with Karen a little and I said, "I could see that you wanted to take off your shoes and run barefoot through his hair after that."  But it was a practical joke and it did work, but truthfully it wasn't about looks or such but Karen and Wayne were a bit different and not that compatible.  Wayne also did feel kind of bad about it as Karen almost broke down afterwards, but really too, at the time, Karen and Wayne didn't really know each other so Karen should have known something was up with what Wayne was saying and so should I have known or else why jealousy on my part.  It was a good joke as Wayne did catch Karen (and me) off guard with that one.  And part of the almost breaking down is because Karen prided herself on her practical jokes and Wayne got Karen good with this one, so Karen's pride was hit a little bit as she really didn't have a good practical joke to get Wayne back with at the time.  The reason I remember this now is that I remember watching National Lampoon’s Vegas Vacation in 1998 and I was watching with other people and for some odd reason when Wayne was ‘hitting on’ Mrs. Griswold, I had never seen the movie, I and other people noticed that I repeated what Wayne said almost word for word before he said it in that movie without me seeing that movie before.

And Mary Martin visited as well.  Mary had on her Peter Pan costume with the leotard and such.  Karen was getting a little jealous as Mary is a tomboy too, but Karen was, is and always will be my favorite tomboy.  But I asked Mary if she ever felt that wearing a leotard might seem a little more exposing and awkward than other types of costumes or such.  And Karen was kind of mocking me behind her desk making googoo eyes and such when I asked, but Mary said something like, "Good question.  I haven't really thought about that much.  A little bit as sometimes a guy's leotard can be a bit more revealing than I might like.  I actually prefer wearing a leotard as they are made for dancing and other costumes can be a bit bulky and difficult to work with at times.  Long dresses are probably the most difficult to work with because your feet can easily get caught in the dress and over you go."  And Karen asked Mary if Mary was ever afraid of heights.  And Mary was like, "You learn that your best friends are the stage hands as they are the ones that work the ropes and the pullies and the wires.  If anything goes wrong with the pullies or the wires, the stage hands become your best friends because they are the ones that can help you out the most if something goes wrong.  I have had a couple mishaps over the years and I've learned to trust the stage hands to help get me through.  We have to work together because if I am up there and I move right and they pull me left it can get a little awkward sometimes if you aren't working together.  I've had a few falls so I'm not afraid of heights and I don't think I ever was really.  But I've learned to always develop a trust with the stage hands whenever I'm doing a show."  And I'm not sure if it was during the visit or Karen and me talking afterwards, but I remember saying the classic, "Why did Peter Pan go flying?  You'd fly too if you got whacked in the peter with a pan." and of course Karen's teacher name was "Wendy" so the classic, "Look Wendy, I can fly.  Well, almost anyway.  Maybe if I get out on a ledge like that guy on the 6 o'clock news did."  Karen and her step cousin Wendy watched "The Days of Our Lives" and I believe "As the World Turns (or As the Stomach Churns as I used to call it)" as their soap operas in 1978 to 1979.  When Karen came back around in 1981, Karen and Wendy added "Dynasty" to the list of taped soaps as Karen had met Larry Hagman's mother, Mary Martin.  Wendy and Karen talked a lot about Karen's meeting people.  Karen's step cousin Wendy always loved hearing Karen's personal stories about how Karen met this person or that person over the years.  Wendy wasn't "star struck" so to speak but Wendy always liked hearing how celebrities were just regular people like her and her cousin Karen were just regular people too.  And yes, as Mary Martin was a tomboy, Karen was a little bit jealous but not that much really.  Karen could see my thoughts so she knew I was just being friendly, but not that kind of friendly.  Well, maybe a little bit 'that kind of friendly' but not that much as she was a tomboy after all and as Karen would say, "all you men are all alike" and I guess it is kind of true.

Otto and Elfriede Frank?  I seem to remember an older couple (triple?) and they had gray hair.  I don't remember hearing that Otto and Elfreide Frank left Basel, Switzerland though in 1978 or 1979.  If it was, it was only a short visit, but may have been someone else even.  The ? (question mark) is because I am not quite sure if Otto was there or not as I seem to remember a guy with a long gray beard (which may have been a translator) being present and doing most of the talking.  Long time ago (41 years ago or more).  And I remember now, September 9, 2020, that the translator was a local guy named Gary Yoggi.  But the name Elfreide rings a bell now for some reason on August 31, 2020.  I know too that Karen was a big fan of "The Diary of Anne Frank" as that was kind of the inspiration as to why Karen kept a diary herself for reference.  I seem to remember that Karen had mailed out a letter to the Anne Frank Foundation and Karen had mentioned a donation but forgot to include a check.  I am pretty sure that Otto and Elfriede flew in and visited Karen at the school.  I believe the return address on the letter Karen sent was Karen's step cousin Wendy's address.  Another side note, the Franks spoke German (dutch) and I picked up a pocket German - English / English - German dictionary at Woolworth's I believe (I studied French, so I had kind of wondered about why I had a pocket German / English dictionary).  It was a messy meeting if I remember correctly as Karen had forgot to include the donation check in her letter, but also Karen hadn't figured that they would fly out from Switzerland to the United States either.  And then the language barrier as they spoke dutch and we spoke english.  The pocket dictionary helped a bit and I believe I still have that dictionary.  A huge misunderstanding on both sides but also I think it did kind of work out in the end.  The Franks had actually wanted to meet Karen anyway as Karen was a celebrity too and like Anne (Otto's daughter) was wishing to be, Karen was a working woman in a man's world so to speak.  The language barrier was the tough part, but Karen knew just enough dutch and the Franks knew just enough english that I think it worked out in the end.  I can't remember for sure if Karen said she learned to speak dutch from her grand ma ma or great grand ma ma Rudolph on her mom's mom's side of the family.  Almost all worked out, as I think the Franks were hoping to meet Richard, that great pianist, as well but Richard was still out in California.  Karen apologized for the misunderstanding and I believe Karen wrote a check in deutschmarks for the Franks to take back with them.  I believe Karen also wrote a smaller check to Gary Yoggi as well.  The really rough part is that I don't think there is any way to speak german or dutch without sounding stern or angry.  It is just the way the language sounds to an english speaking person when speaking in Dutch / German.  But this is a rough idea about how the meeting went. 

Karen: “Guten tag.”

Otto: “Guten tag. Sprichst du Deutsch?”

Karen: “Ein wenig.”

Otto: “Ich habe einen Brief erhalten und Sie haben eine Spende erwähnt.”

Gary: “I received a letter and you mentioned a donation.”

Karen: “I understood him but thanks.  Let’s see. Ich habe einen Fehler gemacht und vergessen, den Scheck einzuschließen. Ich hätte nicht gedacht, dass du hier rausfliegen würdest. Ich hatte nicht vor, eine große Spende zu machen.”

Elfriede: “Ich denke, wir haben einen großen Fehler gemacht.”

Otto: “Ich verstehe nicht.”

Elfriede: “Sie hat uns nicht gebeten, hierher zu kommen.”

Karen: “Ich hatte nur eine kleine Spende geplant, aber ich wollte dich schon immer treffen. Wie viel hat es gekostet, hierher zu fliegen?”

Otto: “Eintausendsiebenhundertfünfundsechzig“

Gary: “seventeen sixty-five.”

Karen: “Thanks.  Do you know the exchange rate for deutschmarks by chance?”

Gary: “It’s on the paper.  Here.”

[Gary shows Karen a newspaper and Karen pulls out a small calculator and then writes a check in deutchmarks.  Karen also writes Gary a check too.]

Karen: “Die Verwirrung tut mir leid. Dieser Scheck ist nicht viel, aber ich hätte nicht gedacht, dass Sie hier rausfliegen würden.”

Elfriede: “Es tut uns leid, dass wir nicht verstanden haben. Wir wollten Sie schon immer kennenlernen und Sie sind die nette Person, für die wir Sie gehalten haben. Anne wollte immer, dass Frauen unabhängig sind und Sie sind eine gute Frau.”

Karen: “Danke.  Auf wiedersehen.”

Otto and Elfriede: “Danke.  Auf wiedersehen.”

And the moral of the story is that if you have someone that is missing from Czechoslavakia and two bears, one male, one female, the czech is in the male (as Karen had forgot to put a check in the mail).  Yes, truthfully, if you don’t want a silly joke by Yakov Smimoff going through your head, then don’t make silly mistakes again.

I did not meet Frenda (Franklin) Leffler as Karen told me that she referred to Frenda as “The Town Crier” and that Frenda would tell everyone anything Karen told her (and sometimes get it mixed up).  As Karen said, “a blabbermouth”.  Frenda was more of a princess type whereas Karen was more of the tomboy type.  As Karen was trying to keep me a secret because of my age, naturally Karen never told Frenda about me.  Karen also didn't want Frenda to find out about Richard seeing Mary Rudolph either as Karen figured Frenda would blow that out of proportion as Mary was an adopted first cousin and not an actual first cousin and Frenda ususally got long or involved stories mixed up a little when she told them to others.  Karen also tried not to talk about others around Frenda either as far as friendships and personal stuff.  Frenda wasn't a bad person, but Karen knew better than to tell Frenda anything confidential or personal if it could be avoided.  If Karen wanted people to know something (whether true or not), Karen would tell Frenda.  I think Karen and I had this talk just after Phil Ramone started on the solo album so would have been the second week of May 1979 I believe.  Actually, scratch that, I am pretty sure it was in March 1979 that we talked about Frenda and "The Town Crier" spilling the beans.

And unfortunately on July 12, 2022 I had another person pass away that after seeing their name it reminded me of something.  A little while after knowing she was Karen Carpenter (so around November 1978 I believe) I came into the classroom for lunch and a guy was sitting there next to Karen.  After I walked in Karen said something like "I'd like you to meet someone" and I was like, "I know, Larry Storch" and Larry said something like, "I resemble that remark.  [Larry looks over at Karen]  Kids nowadays don't have an imagination.  [Then Larry looks at me]  Agarn.  Corporal Agarn.  Don't you see the stripes on my arms.  I worked hard for these.  [and he traces his hand on his shoulder where the stripes would have been]  Hey wait.  Someone stole my stripes.  It was you wasn't it."  And then Karen and Larry talked a bit longer then Larry left.  I remembered that Karen used to kid me about me not having an imagination, but I had forgot that it came about after Larry Storch had showed up.  And after Larry's visit, once in a while I would say "I resemble that remark" to someone and of course Karen would comment later about my lack of an imagination.  Larry Storch, that guy on F-Troop, the guy that did voices on a few different cartoons like Tennessee Tuxedo and Cool Cat, the guy that almost no one except producers or managers knew as Larry Storch was actually Larry Storch.

I also have a feeling that I also met Burt Bacharach as I remember him sitting and talking next to Karen in 1979 but I am not positive on that as I can’t remember a story to go with it yet.  I do kind of remember thinking that Burt was sitting there and being kind of fidgety with one leg crossed over the other and bouncing a little as well as maybe biting his nail a couple times while talking but not positive on this.  I also remember talking about Sally Field (The Flying Nun) but I can't remember a story about her either.  Maybe I did though as I seem to remember Sally sitting there and Karen and Sally saying they wanted to talk privately so I think I remember sticking my fingers in my ears and looking downwards while Karen and Sally talked.  I think I said something like "Cool, this is like living in a wind tunnel" or such.  If it did happen, I didn't hear anything to remember but still not sure if it did actually happen or not.   I am fairly sure now though that it did.  I also remember saying "The Flying Nun" and Sally talking about how that show had the industry typecasting her as an idiot, so to speak, and how she didn't like that show because of the image problem she had which made it difficult for her to get serious roles in movies and such after the series was over.  Karen had an autograph book, instead of autographs, I tried to collect stories.  And thinking back again around March 23, 2022 here, I also seem to remember Jerry Reed and possibly Burt Reynolds stopping by as well (the Smokey and the Bandit cast that also included Paul Williams earlier).  I seem to remember Karen mentioning the songs "The Bird" and "She Got the Gold Mine (I Got the Shaft)" and I drew a blank on those.  Then came "Amos Moses" and I knew that song and I recognized his voice then.  Karen was on the inside and I believe Burt was next to Karen and Jerry was on the outside closer to the door of the room.  I seem to remember Burt in between Karen and Jerry and as I believe Jerry was married at the time I think Burt had said something to the affect of since Jerry was married and Karen was not, that Burt was sitting in between Karen and Jerry so that no one could say there was any "hanky panky" going on between Karen and Jerry.  I seem to remember Jerry saying, "hanky panky" and Burt saying back, "no hanky panky" and Jerry saying, "not even a little?".  I also seem to remember Burt saying something like, "I'm gonna relax.  You two talk and I'll be fine.  I'm gonna be as quiet as a church mouse." and then I believe Burt just put his white cowboy hat down over his face and leaned back in the chair and just kind of sat there with his hat over his face while Karen and Jerry talked together.  I also remember Jerry Reed and Karen both talking about how they were on the road a lot and Jerry saying something like, "Home is where I rest my hat". (hang my hat?)  Karen and Jerry were both pretty down to earth people and it seemed like a couple times we were waiting for Burt to make a snore noise for comic relief I guess you could say but I don't think Burt snored.

Yet another time, Karen brought up her dating Steve Martin.  Karen was like, "We tried, but it just didn't work out between us.  We got along and cared about each other and all that but it just didn't work out."  Karen also talked about Steve's "You don't know Jack" skits and how Steve had kind of embellished slightly about his meeting Karen's great uncle Jack Carpenter, but only slightly.  But Karen also said that they were together and got along, but there just wasn't anything special there.  Karen was like, "When I meet a guy I usually get harps or violins or wedding bells or such and I just never got that with Steve and Steve didn't have that with me either.  There just wasn't any zing there so we both just agreed to break it off after about three weeks I think it was.  We never had any hard feelings or such towards each other.  It just didn't work out between us.  He's a nice guy but there just wasn't any real chemistry there between us."  And then Karen was like, "With you, it was wedding bells at first, but more like a whole symphony orchestra now."  And I was like, "Me too.  Wedding bells at first and then Beethoven's 9th, Ode To Joy?"  And Karen was like, "Yeah, I've been trying to think of the name of that."  And then we both started going, "Da da dum de da da dum de da da dum de da..."  And of course some people started walking passed the room and looking at Karen and me kind of funny like usual.

XXIII. Brother Richard visits

A little while later, during either english class or dismissal homeroom (end of school), my teacher got a call from the office about someone coming up to the room to see her.  Next thing that happened was a guy in a light brown / tan suit carrying flowers walking into the classroom.  Of course, "Miss Bihuniak has a boyfriend?" was said, but my teacher said to the class after he walked in, "This is my brother, Richard, who just came in from out of town."  My teacher had dark hair, and Richard had blond hair.  But during one of our talks before, my teacher had said she wears a wig at school and that her hair was a very light strawberry blonde color.  Actually she said, "Do you like my hair?" and then she took her wig off and said, "If you like it, you can have it.  It's a wig.  See."  Her hair was almost pure blonde with just a slight red tint to it.  Anyway, my teacher told her brother that she would see him after school and she did.  My teacher and I talked the next day and she said how she had just taken off without telling others where she had gone because she just felt like she needed to get away.  Her family was not mean or anything to her, my teacher just had a lot of things to think about and needed a break from her family always putting their 'two cents in' and such.  It was just her brother that arrived and not her parents too.  Richard and her talked all night and my teacher was tired the next day, but glad that she and her brother had talked.  Her brother agreed to let her have her space and such and was just glad that his sister was alright and doing better.  There was family close by, so it wasn't like my teacher was all alone or such.  My teacher had already told me that she had a brother, so there were not any 'bells or whistles' going off about her having a brother named Richard in a light brown / tan suit (maybe a burgundy suit though, been a while). 

Karen also talked about her and Richard growing up after I found out who she was, not at this time.  Karen was the extrovert and Richard was the introvert.  Their parents would always have to encourage Richard to get out and do things.  Karen was usually bouncing off the walls and full of energy.  Richard was the sensitive one while Karen usually cracked a lot of jokes.  While growing up, Karen always thought that they favored Richard, but after growing up Karen realized that Richard was the one that usually needed the encouragement and Karen pretty much could take care of herself.  Karen would be out playing baseball and such while Richard would be just sitting around inside the house.  And a secret between Karen and her mom.  Karen said that her mom used to get tired of Richard just sitting around the house, so mom would embarrass Richard by making a big fuss over him.  Richard would get worried about being thought of as a mama’s boy in front of others, so Richard would get out of the house rather than have someone see him getting ‘babied’ by his mom.  In private Karen would tease Richard too about it and go, “Oh Richie Witchy, you are so wonderful and fabulous, do you need mommy to tuck you into bed?”  There definitely wasn’t any jealousy there as Karen was a tomboy and wasn’t much for being praised or being fussed over.  As Karen would say, “I’d rather be yelled at than fussed over.”  And as Karen was a tomboy, Richard would pick back.  Brothers and sisters usually pick on one another.  No harm done.  Just picking and nothing really cruel or hurtful.  In later years after Richard and Karen had won awards and such, mom was truly proud of Richard and Karen too.  And mom also knew that Karen didn't like being fussed over or the center of attention while others were around.  It was also a private joke between Karen and mom that Karen knew that mom used to purposely do that stuff to Richard to get Richard to get out of the house and Karen would play along with her mom and get Richard into thinking he was going to be called a "Mama's boy" by everyone.  Karen and mom did that to Richard because they didn't want Richard to be a 'bump on a log' like dad.  It worked.  And Karen’s and mom’s big secret between themselves was the saying that, “Behind every successful man is a strong woman.”  And Karen knew that her and her mom were the strong women that helped Richard become successful.  But it would be arrogant to say such things in public, so Karen and her mom just kept it to themselves.  Also, Richard would do all the behind the scenes work and match the music with Karen's voice, but people would say what a great voice Karen had and ignore Richard and his contributions.  So at times, Richard would feel left out or underappreciated while doing more work for less credit as the more stuff Richard figured out as far as instrumentation and harmonies and such, the better Karen and the Carpenters's music sounded and the more praise Karen would get for her singing because that oboe came in at just the right time to make Karen's voice sound really sad instead of just sad.  Richard was just the piano player?  Not hardly.  Karen and mom tried to make sure that Richard didn’t feel too left out or even worst, unappreciated.  And another joke here as Karen became the successful singer for a successful group while hoping for her big break to be able to pitch in major league baseball for I believe it was about $12,500 dollars a year for the average major league player at the time in the early to mid 1970s.  And honestly, not a joke, but if a team had offered to sign Karen, Karen would have quit the Carpenters to play baseball in the majors as a pitcher (she had a 77 mph fastball I believe, which, yeah, was about 2 mph faster than Randy Jones who was the slowest pitcher in the majors at the time.  Richard, mom and the music biz lucked out).  Secrets.  Yes, truthfully, Karen and mom were actually closer than Richard and mom were.  And of course, "Richard is the businessman.  I am the diplomat."  Because they were cooped up on tour a lot, Karen and Richard had their routines and they would work together.  Sometimes it would be Karen's social skills and other times it would be Richard's knowledge.  Karen and Richard each had their strong points and weaknesses and they would try to work with each other's strengths in certain areas.  Richard had his things.  Karen had her things.  Karen had her voice and Richard worked the music and sounds around Karen's voice.  Richard and Karen always tried to compliment each other and work together as much as possible.  Karen and Richard were always very close and always tried to help each other out whenever possible.  I think it was around mid November 1978 when Karen told me that she had peaked in my personal files.  Apparently, according to Karen, with the Myers - Briggs test, I had tested as an INFJ which was and probably still is the rarest personality type.  I believe that Karen also told me that both her and Richard had tested INFJ as well for this test.  INFJ stands for Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling and Judgemental.  The opposite would be ESTP or Extroverted, Sensing, Thinking and Prospecting.  Later they added A (Assertive) or T (Turbulent) which Karen and I would have been Assertive or type A.  Karen and I both thought of ourselves as extroverted, but I guess that is part of the test as Karen and I could be left alone too so we really didn’t have to have people around all the time like a true extrovert.  Karen and I were both outgoing people but we also enjoyed our privacy more I guess you could say on this test.  And also, Karen told me once, "Because Richard is the businessman, Richard tries to keep up a public image of being mean and ruthless even to his own family.  Richard feels the image helps him make better deals than if other people saw him as being caring and such.  I go along with it, but I know the real Richard has a heart of gold and it's tough for me sometimes to read stuff written about him because the Richard I know doesn't have a mean bone in his body."

XXIV. Cubby and the pajama party

I am also not sure if it was before or after 'open house', but I know it was after Paul Williams below.  I came into homeroom one time and a guy was sitting there next to Karen, side by side behind her desk, and he looked a lot like a guy I knew named Bill Benson and had the same voice only Bill Benson stuttered and this guy didn't stutter.  And Karen said, "I would like you to meet someone."  And the guy spoke up and said, "Have you ever seen the Mousketeer Show on TV, well I'm Cubby."  And I think I said something like, "You're the guy before and I'm Annette."  And then I did a kind of curtsy.  And then I think Cubby said something like, "She was definitely a talented young lady."  Cubby was clean shaven and short hair and such and looked like a slightly older version of himself on the Mousketeer Show.  Cubby wore extra stuff, including a wig, when he played drums for the Carpenters.  I actually do not remember much of this conversation as far as the talking itself.  I do remember that Cubby was a very down to earth person and was very relaxed around Karen.  I also remember Karen was very relaxed around Cubby.  Karen and Cubby were just down to earth people.  Since the Carpenters were not touring, Cubby was kind of lost in limbo but seemed to be trying to keep as busy as he could while leaving things open just in case the Carpenters started touring or recording again.  Cubby played drums for the Carpenters.  In all honesty, this was the most relaxed I had ever seen Karen.  The atmosphere was very calm and it just felt like we were all just sitting around in a pajama party and just swapping stories and such.  I think most of the time I just listened and let them talk.  Karen was excited and glad to see Cubby and was just so relaxed at the same time but also seeming a little nervous too.  I was feeling relaxed and such too, but too relaxed and you feel like sleeping and during the talk between Karen and Cubby, I definitely got many urges to cuddle up with Karen, but we couldn't.  Cubby was just a wonderful person and very down to earth like Karen was.  But also, I could remember for a little while at the end before Cubby left that Karen got very nervous and was pacing back and forth.  The reason why she was like this for a little while was because she was in the awkward position of telling Cubby that the band didn't need him now so they were going to have to let him go for the time being and Karen was nervous about Cubby being upset about it.   And I think after hearing this from Karen that Cubby said, "I'm a little disappointed because you are like family to me, but I understand.  I have some other things to keep me busy, but I am going to miss touring with you.  It has been a lot of fun over the last few years and if you start touring again definitely give me a call.  I am definitely going to miss you guys, but I guess it can't be helped.  Richard put you on the spot didn't he?" or something like that and Karen kind of shook her head yes.  And then I think Cubby said something like, "It is bad timing with me just getting married again and all, but there really isn't a good timing for something like this anyway.  I am glad you told me now instead of beating around the bush.  I'll figure something out for now and I'm really going to miss you guys."  And Karen was like, "I'm really going to miss you too Carl." 

And after Cubby left, Karen said to me something like, "I'm glad you were here because I was really nervous about how Cubby was going to take this and he seemed to take this better than I thought he would.  My brother Richard felt it would be better if Cubby heard it from me so I was the one that got the dirty job of telling Cubby about letting him go for now.  It is kind of my fault that we aren't touring anyway, but I am a bit more diplomatic than Richard and it was probably better if Cubby heard it from me.  Cubby and I were really close on tour and I almost lost it there, but I could feel you trying to hug me and it kept me from breaking down."  And then she just sat down on her desk in front of me and then leaned over and said, "Thank you."  And then she stood back up and went around and sat in her chair and put her feet up on her desk and just leaned back and relaxed in her chair with a wonderful smile on her face. 

I just kind of scooched in my chair and put my right hand under my chin and leaned to the right and I looked right at Karen and just rewound my thoughts back to that pajama party feeling and I had this big smile on my face.  Karen was like, "My pajamas are red, just so you know."  And I was like, "They look great over on the beige carpet."  And she was like, "You cheater.  You're shagging me.  I thought you said no quickies."  And I was like, "Couldn't be helped, we only got about 5 to 10 minutes before the others show up.  Check again, we're on a nice soft persian rug, it shows off your freckles better."  And she was like, "Thanks.  I could actually use a quickie about now but don't let it get to be a habit and shag carpet makes me itch.  You think of everything.  Did you at least bring the champagne, glasses, and candles?"  I was like, "Of course, but I snuck the champagne in a grape juice bottle just in case someone saw.  They are over in the corner on the stand and I didn't light the candles.  You know how we like to move around.  Remember last time when we knocked the candles over and set the drapes on fire and the fire department showed up?  And listen, skyrockets in flight."  And she was like, "I thought I heard that in the background.  I love that song too, Starland Vocal Band, nice choice."  We never actually had 'our song' as we never got that far to have a song.  And then she put her hand over her mouth and started moaning and her legs on the desk tightened up.  I kind of put my arms together on the desktop chair and kind of arched my back a bit and looked over at her.  She then closed her eyes, leaned her head back, and lost it.  A little while later we both collapsed and relaxed.  She kind of cuddled up in her chair and I kind of put my head down on my arms on the desktop.  I think we both said, "Thanks, I needed that." at the same time.  And then I think I said, "We could both probably use a nap."  And she was like, "I think you're right."  I went over and flipped off the light switch and sat back down.  And of course people started coming into the room about five minutes after that, and we both tried to sit up straight, but we didn't do so well.  We tried anyway.

XXV. Open house and a lesson about 'little sisters'

And then the 'open house' night.  I had pretty much warned my teacher about my parents and it was funny because my teacher had said, "I get to meet the folks tonight.  I'm actually pretty excited.  I know it isn't a date or anything, but still I'm like a nervous little school girl again and it feels great.  How do I look?  Are my bangs alright?"  And I was like, "Your hair is fine.  You always look great to me.  I really don't look much like my parents, maybe my mother a little bit, but you'll see."  And I know at the time that I knew she was Karen Carpenter, so I probably ought to move this down a little in the timeline here.  Also, because I knew is why I remember saying to her, "My mom is a big Carpenter's fan and she probably will recognize you."  And my teacher was like, "I'll be fine.  I know how to handle that stuff.  You'll see.  But in the future when I ask you how I look just say you look great.  Even if my hair is lopsided and I look like a mess, just say I look great or else we may never get out the door."   And I was like, "You're right.  You look great."  And she was like, "Now you're catching on.  If you haven't noticed, I've been grooming you to be my husband."  And I was like, "If you haven't noticed, I've been briding you to be my wife too, so I guess we're even."  And then I left to go home so that I could come back later for the open house and she stayed at the school. 

And so, the big night.  I come in and introduce my mom and dad and my sister.  And then she looks over to me and I look over with a kind of oops look on me and I am like, "This is my little sister, Robin.  Becky, Rebecca, is my cousin."  And she was like, "Oh, that explains it.  I have an older brother myself and I noticed Becky and Ace didn't look alike.  I'm so glad I got to meet Ace's sister finally.  I'm a little sister myself and I always hated being called little.  Can I get a hug from you?"  And my sister kind of smiled at my teacher and then gave her a big hug.  And then my father just kind of stands there, says "hello" and shakes hands.  And my mother goes, "You look kind of familiar, have we met before somewhere?"  And my teacher was like, "I kind of look like a lot of different people.  I'm sure if we'd met I would have remembered you."  And I looked over at my teacher with that kind of 'I told you so smile' and then my mom just said, "Yeah, you probably look like someone I saw on TV or something.  You do have that kind of face I guess."  And I just had this look of relief on my face and smiled at my teacher.  And of course from my mother, "My son isn't a problem, is he?  If he is, just let us know and we'll straighten him right out for you."  And my teacher kind of giggled a little bit and said, "Oh no, he's definitely not a problem.  He's actually very helpful.  If I need something, all I have to do is ask and he's right on it.  Anything at all.  He's a good kid."  And I nearly started giggling on that one when she said 'kid'.  Now, several times before me and my teacher had talked about sneaking her into the house and her living under my bed.  And then my mother spoke up, "Is there any way you could come over to the house and get him out of his room?  I'll give you anything you want just name it."  And this was without my mother knowing it was Karen Carpenter.  I've seen videos of Karen winning the Grammys and such and I can say that the happy look on Karen's face after my mom said that was at least ten times happier than when Karen won the Grammys.  Karen forgot about her low Marlene voice and was just all bubbly and said, "I would love to, I really would, but I have other commitments after school so I can't right now.  I'll work on him though and if he doesn't straighten up, I'll definitely be over and he knows it."  And then Karen and my mom just looked over at me and they both were giggling together.  So I kind of covered my mouth and then I dropped my hand down and said, "Well, we probably ought to go and see my sister's teacher now."  And Karen was like, "I wish you could stay longer and chat more but I know you should go.  Nice meeting you."  And Karen gave me that "You're mine now" look and we left and went to my sister's teacher.  Close call, but it all worked out.  She met the folks. 

The next morning of course we talked.  I started off with, "See, I told you when my mom meets someone she has an opinion of them and she definitely likes you.  I know I'm a dead man now.  I could see you two plotting my demise."  And my teacher was like, "Demise? that sounds a bit ominous for someone that's only 13."  And I'm like, "Exactly, I'm only 13 and already I got my mom and the woman I love ready to start picking out china patterns together.  How am I going to sow my wild oats when I get older with a house with a white picket fence, a two car garage, 2 point 4 kids, and a dog by the time I get old enough to have wild oats to sow or whatever I got?"  And I have this big smile on my face.  And my teacher starts smiling back and says, "That is serious.  I better get some curtains and doilies ready to help spruce up the place a bit.  I'd better start knitting some baby booties too.  2 point 4 kids?"  And I was like, "Yup, a boy, girl and a point 4 midget that we keep in the basement just like every other typical american family out there according to the statistics.  Statistics don't lie you know."  And she's laughing slightly and saying, "I had no idea you'd given this so much thought.  I'm impressed."  And I was like, "Well, you impressed my mom, that's for sure."  My teacher was like, "I think you'll survive.  I can see you look like your mom, but you have your dad's eyes somewhat."  And I was like, "Yeah, my dad's nickname is Bud, and that was where Bubby came from.  My grandfather is big too.  I guess I'm the runt of the litter, but when I was younger people thought I would grow up to be big like my dad and grandfather, but I didn't."  And then I was like, "Yeah, I was a bit worried about when my mom kind of recognized you, but she didn't put it together and that was a relief.  You did wonderful on that one."  And my teacher was like, "See, I told you."  And then my teacher had a real stearn voice and nasty look on her face and said, "I don't ever want to hear you call her your little sister again.  I hated that name and I still do.  Understand?"  And then she picked up a paperback book off her desk and threw it at me.  I didn't even duck and just let it hit me in the chest and then I picked up the book and put it on her desk and said, "Understood."  And then she said, "Yeah, I saw that look on your face when I said kid and I meant it too.  Even if your sister acts up sometimes, can you blame her?  How would you feel being called little all the time?"  And then she picked the book back up and threw it at me again and hit me right between the eyes and said, "Bulls-eye" and threw her hands up in the air over her head; she was wearing a white sweater over a red dress.  And I picked the book back up and put the book back on her desk again.  And then I said, "Thanks, I hadn't thought about that."  And then she said, "If I ever hear you call her your little sister again, I am going to hurt more than your feelings, got it?"  And I said, "Noted."  And then she said, "I would definitely run out of stuff on my desk to throw at you if I ever find out you called her your little sister again, got it?"  And I was like, "I definitely got it, right between the eyes."  And then she started to giggle and she had that big old smile on her face again.  She made her point and she also knew that I knew that she was a tomboy and could definitely have thrown a lot harder than she did.  And really, she threw like a guy, not one of those girly throws with a limp wrist, but not really a hard throw either.  And then she asked, "How do you think your parents would feel if they found out you were flirting with an older woman?".  And I was like, "All you would have to do is just tell my mom you were Karen Carpenter and she would probably hogtie me to the bed and tell you to 'Have at it.'"  And then I continued, "I don't bring girls home and such, so they would probably be glad I was at least doing something.  Most of the time anymore, I just sit in my room by myself like my mom said.  But if they found out you were actually Karen Carpenter, you could pretty much do what you wanted with me.  Like my mom said already, just name it.  But really, my parents aren't the problem.  It's the area.  Small area and everyone talks.  The only way we could get away with it is if only once.  And honestly, only once is not an option between us and we both know it.  You could definitely not be a one night stand with me."  And of course, people start coming into the room for homeroom again, so the talk ended. 

I also seem to remember Karen stopping by the house one day and Karen going upstairs to visit with Lois the secretary in the upstairs apartment.  I am also pretty sure that Karen came in my room and saw all the Beatle pictures I had hanging on my wall.  It was kind of awkward because there Karen was, and there was my bed, and...  well it was a kind of short visit if I remember right.  Um, the temptation was too great so I definitely got out of my room that time.  Actually, I snuck Karen out the back door rather than have Karen go through the smoke again.  Karen and I joked for a bit afterwards about sneaking her out the back door.  Karen also knew that my parents smoked and that I stayed in my room to get away from the cigarette smell.  After coming through the house, Karen was turning a bit green from the smoke smell as she wasn't used to it.  I am glad she didn't get used to it either.  I think Karen was kind of shocked too because I think she was figuring that I had girly pictures and stuff all over, but I didn't.  I think Karen said something like, "I think my brother Richard would love your room".  And it was kind of another shock because Karen and I were so much alike and Richard and Karen were kind of opposites just like my sister and me were kind of opposites too.  Karen and I also both realized that Karen was not going to fit under my bed.  I couldn't even fit under there.  I kind of escorted Karen up around the corner and up to Lois' apartment upstairs.  The joke really was that Karen and I weren't that sneaky.  I can't remember the exact talk yet, but when we finally got up to Lois' and Ed's apartment, we were laughing so hard that a herd of elephants couldn't have covered up all of our noise.  The whole neighborhood probably heard Karen and I sneaking around that time.  But Karen didn't want to be seen out in front of the house.  So we literally had dogs barking, people yelling to shut the dogs up but also to see if someone was trying to break into their house, and all kinds of mayhem for about a 3 to 4 block radius at about 8 or 9 o'clock at night.  It was just sheer pandemonium in the area because we 'sneaked' and we made so much noise sneaking around that the whole area was on red alert looking for burglars and such with all the ruckus that we created going maybe about 50 feet from one door to another, the back way instead of just walking around 70 feet the front way with more lighting and far fewer obstacles.  So we got into the apartment and Karen just loses it and is rolling around on the floor in front of the kitchen cabinets and laughing hysterically.  I am leaning against the counter by the door and I am laughing so hard that tears are running down my face while I am grabbing onto the counter to keep from rolling around on the floor too.  Lois is like, "Are you all right?  Ed come here.  I think they're hurt.  Could you check on them?"  And Ed was in watching TV in the next room and he jumps over the chair and looks at Karen and he goes, "She's laughing."  And then Ed sees me standing there and he goes, "He's laughing too, this ought to be good.  Can you talk yet?"  And Lois is like, "Are you sure they aren't hurt?"  And Ed is like, "I'm sure.  They're both fine.  I've got to hear this one."  So our story to Lois and Ed when I was finally able to start to talk was, "Didn't you hear us sneaking up here (and Karen is pretty much literally rolling around on the floor laughing and holding onto the kitchen cabinet by the door)?  I don't think we're going to try and sneak around again any time soon are we Honey?  I said, let's go around the front, but no, she wanted to sneak around the back, so..."  And I was like, "The first 'oh shoot' was when Karen realized what I said about the first step being a long step and she almost fell ass over tin cup out the door.  The next 'darn' and thud was when Karen ran into the picnic table out back that I warned her about.  The next 'oh shoot' after the loud bang was when Karen backed into the rakes and shovels and knocked them over after she ran into the picnic table.  The 'ouch that hurts' was Karen stepping on the rake and bonking herself in the head with it.  Then Karen tried to get a running start for the fence and tripped in a gopher hole and that was where the 'darned gopher hole' came from and the loud thud from where she hit the fence.  Then we realized that Karen couldn't make it over the 4 foot high fence which is where the next 'darn' came in after her skirt got caught on the fence.  I came up with an idea, so I got down on all fours and Karen stepped up on my back so that she could get over the fence.  The 'you son of a ...' came from when Karen didn't realize that I was on all fours looking at dirt but I figured I would have a little fun so I said 'nice view' as Karen stepped on my back.  The loud 'ow that hurt' came from me as someone stepped on my back.  The 'serves you right' came after Karen got over the fence.  Then after we both finally got over the fence, Marge, the neighbor that is always asleep by 5 o'clock, was standing there giving me a lecture about how Karen seems to be a nice girl and how I, Bubby, shouldn't be sneaking nice girls out the back door and that she had some nice boys that would get their asses whooped if they did such a thing to her.  Then, on our way up here, you know how most people fall down the stairs?  Well, we're so coordinated that we managed to fall up the stairs because we were both laughing so hard.  So here we are safe and sound at last after sneaking out the back door, kind of.  If Marge is up this late, I'm pretty sure we woke up the whole neighborhood sneaking around."  And of course Karen and I talked a bit the next day about smoking and sneaking out the back door and that kind of stuff.  "Last night, America's sweetheart, Karen Carpenter, was seen sneaking out of a back door.  What is this world coming to?  Film at 11.  Are the cameras still rolling because I just gotta say she's got a nice butt too."  Or variations like, "Last night, America's sweetheart, Karen Carpenter was caught sneaking out of a movie theatre, well it used to be a movie theatre but it is now a pile of bricks.  In a rare interview, Karen had this to say..."  And Karen would say something like, "Is this thing on?  Buy US savings bonds for our future" or such for several weeks afterwards.  For two weeks afterwards, Karen and I couldn't look at each other without busting out laughing about it.  Karen and I also started referring to ourselves as the Keystone Kops. 

Open House was definitely after Paul Williams showing up, so chronologically it comes after what's next, but I can't really put it there due to 'story continuity' problems.

XXVI. Paul Williams visits

One morning, my teacher asked me if I would help her out and all I needed to do was nothing except be there and try to be quiet.  Apparently someone had let someone else know where my teacher was.  My teacher was very nervous and was literally biting her nails at times.  My teacher just told me, "Just be quiet and let me do all of the talking.  Don't say a word to anyone about anything you see or hear.  This will explain everything.  Just be quiet as much as possible and listen."  I think the guy, Paul Williams, showed up at lunch time at the front door and my teacher and I met him at the door and went upstairs to the third floor and her and Paul tried to sit and talk to one another.  Paul was fairly short and had a rough gravelly voice that was very distinctive (OK, yes, this was definitely 'The Lawgiver' from the last Planet of the Apes movie, as well as the guy that did the music for the "Bugsy Malone" movie with Scott Baio and Jodie Foster and such).  When we got to the room, I checked out the chair to make sure there wasn't any gum or such because we had a few kids that would stick their gum on the chairs (and I think I told Paul "I'm looking for whoopee cushions" or something like that).  I remember Paul saying, "I'm a dwarf." at one point, so like I say, it wasn't starting out too well and Karen and I were definitely nervous.  Paul also had a tough time trying to fit into the chairs with the desktop attached, but I think he managed for a short while.  Those type of chairs were not designed for shorter people with a larger waistlined jacket which if I remember right had some fringes that kept rubbing up against the chair the wrong way.  You know how when you go to get in a chair and if you have a jacket on, the middle of the jacket inflates outward.  Paul's jacket nearly inflated like a balloon.  A huge waistline.  Paul wasn't a balloon, himself, but the buckskin jacket he was wearing seemed to have a mind of its own.  If I remember right too, one of the fringes got caught on the chair and ripped off.  Karen was like, "Sorry about that.  I can try and fix that for you if you want or just send me the bill."  And Paul was like, "No, that's fine, it's an old jacket anyway." or something like that and Paul put the ripped off fringe in his jacket pocket and said something like, "I'll just put this away for safe keeping" and then tapped his jacket on the pocket with his hand.  Karen and I were both getting really nervous as it was not going well with the old wooden back and top chairs with a metal frame versus Paul's jacket.  When we first met, my teacher told Paul that I was her 'lookout' and I was just there to make sure no one came in on their conversation.  Paul had a dark brown leather satchel with papers in it and I played lookout by the door.  Paul asked who I was and Karen came out with "He's one of my students and I figured we could use a lookout.  He's harmless.  I can trust him to keep quiet." (I think she said harmless.)  And Paul started out with talking about how my teacher was tough to get a hold of.  My teacher responded with, "I am using my paternal grandmother's maiden name so that people don't know who I am.  It's worked so far.  My lookout doesn't even know who I am yet.  Just a couple family members is all."  After a short while and introductions and such, we moved from the classroom on the third floor to the auditorium on the first floor.  Anyway, we went inside the auditorium and I continued in my "Best Supporting Actor" role as lookout, standing by the door in case someone may walk in.  The door was at the top of the auditorium, and Paul and my teacher, Karen, went down to the bottom towards the stage.  Paul asked, "Is there a baby grand piano around anywhere?  I just want to make sure your voice is still OK."  And my teacher said, "There's an old upright piano here, will that work?"  And Paul sat at the piano and kind of tested it and said, "It's a little out of tune, but it will do I guess."  And while saying this, Paul was tinkling a couple of the higher keys, I believe E and F an octave above middle C, and you could hear that the E note was a little flat.  Then Paul hit a few notes on the piano and Karen just hummed the notes back.  Paul said something like, "It's definitely you, Karen, and your voice is as good as ever.  Only you have that golden voice that is music to my ears." or something like this.  And then, "We don't have much time left, so I will get to my point of coming here.  I have some papers for you to sign here for a new contract if you wish, but I have yet to fill in the amount."  Paul then wrote a number on a piece of paper and Karen was not interested.  Paul then crossed that out and wrote another number and then Karen came out with, "I am very flattered and I know that is a very difficult offer for you to make, but I need to refuse for now.  I have been living in hotel rooms and such having to ask where I am sometimes because I have been on the road so much over the last decade that most of the time, I really have no idea where I am most of the time.  Since I have been a school teacher, this is the first time in over a decade that I have known where I am every morning.  I like that feeling and I want to enjoy it for at least a little while longer.  Music is still in my blood, but I just need a break from all the travelling around and such as you probably know.  I just need a rest from all that and a chance to get my head back together again.  Richard was by a little while ago and I figured you would be around shortly too.  I've even put on a little weight and I feel much better now.  But I still need a little time to think things through and recover from all of the touring over the last decade or so.  I hope you understand, and I definitely understand that what you offered is more than generous and I am very grateful, but I just can't sign anything or make any commitments until I deal with these inner demons (I think she said inner demons) that keep sidetracking me.  I would probably just end up back in the hospital again like last time which wouldn't be good for either of us."  Then Karen, my teacher, asked Paul, "Could I get your number and is there any way you can hold onto that contract until I feel I am alright to perform again without being sidetracked?  I really love performing, but I know I need a break for at least a little while longer to get my head straight again.  I am not sure how long that may take, but I just know I can't do it now.  I would definitely end up back in the hospital again like before."  Paul said something like, "Thank you for your honesty Karen; I hadn't thought about that.  Take as long as you feel you might need.  I agree that your health is more important and that you should take some time off.  When you feel you are ready again, I will give you my number so you can call me.  No pressure and the offer will still be good."  And then Paul slid all of the papers into his satchel and my teacher and her lookout saw Paul to the front door of the school.  Near the auditorium door I remember Paul leaning over to me and saying something like, "You could learn a lot from her. She is one tough cookie."  After leaving the school, Paul went around the corner and got into his car and left unseen by anyone except myself and Karen when he left.  Karen thanked me for helping and 'not talking about it.'  It was a "no brainer" for sure as I didn't want Karen bombarded by a bunch of people all of the time just because she was a famous singer and drummer and such.  Karen was a wonderful person and very down to earth.  And if she wanted privacy, that was fine with me.  I definitely understood after this.  And Karen definitely was telling the truth to Paul when they talked.  I remember when Karen first started teaching and she was kind of nervous a few times and such.  When Paul showed up, it was the first time Karen had been nervous in quite a while.  I could definitely see that Karen was definitely a more relaxed person after she had been teaching for a while.  And after Paul left that day, Karen was back to relaxing again.  Kicking her feet up and drinking tea like before.  She always liked the longer skirts and dresses, so don't worry about her feet getting too high off the ground or whatever.  Karen was a teacher that could relax now and she definitely had it all covered.  Later, (from what I’ve heard from other sources, January 24, 1979) Richard called Karen up while Richard was in Topeka Kansas and Richard asked Karen, "What are you doing out there?  How could you forget something important like that?  Do I need to bring you back home where we can keep an eye on you?"  That kind of thing.  So Karen said that she didn’t know what to do after Richard had said, “I quit” before in September 1978 and there was a clause in the new contract about ‘a new album’ and how were they going to do a new album if Richard had quit and Richard mentioned the “Christmas Portrait” album being released and I think it was around January 26th that Jerry Weintraub showed up and Karen signed the contract.  Richard was upset because without Karen signing the new contract, Karen wasn’t getting royalties from the “Christmas Portrait” album and such.  Richard was still in Kansas and Karen was still in New York State and Jerry and I got to say hi to each other again.  And it was also an extra unplanned expensive plane trip that Jerry Weintraub had to make too.  And then later around late March or early April 1979 came the idea for Karen doing a solo album from Jerry Weintraub (discussed later).

XXVII. Sexual innuendos and Bible verses

After 'the cat was out of the bag' so to speak, Karen and I talked a bit about it.  During the talk, we mainly talked about publicity and the papers and such which would have been a bad thing and we both knew it.  We also talked about 'sexual innuendos' and although flattering, could cause problems too if the wrong person overheard us and got the wrong idea.  Neither one of us wanted anyone, including ourselves, to get into trouble or have problems and such.  She also hoped that my finding out she was a celebrity wouldn't change things between us and it didn't as far as I knew.  We did have great feelings for one another and they were honest feelings, but the underage problem was a real problem especially in a small area of about 12,500 people that like to gossip.  We were both a lot alike.  Child-like (not childish), inquisitive and adventurous and that kind of stuff.  Physically, we always kept our distance, but we still couldn't quite hide that eye contact we had.  We could just look at each other and know what the other was thinking and feeling.  That magical feeling of truly knowing someone and them truly knowing you.  That kind of eye contact. 

And yes, that eye contact also included knowing when either of us was getting horny, in all honesty.  And honestly, every time either of us got horny, the other got horny too.  Quite a few times, she would just say, "I think you probably ought to wait until after homeroom to go to your locker.  You'll see."  And sure enough, she was right.  A few times I also said, "You probably ought to sit down for a bit.  I think you are about to have a dizzy spell.  You'll see."  And sure enough.  It was just uncanny that we always seemed to get horny within a minute or two of each other.  Always.

And for those wanting to know (and if you don't want to know just skip to the next paragraph), guys had schlongs, Karen had a koochie and bosoms (with or without a boulder holder) and Karen used a pad, not a plug, during her 'visitor' (period, menstrual cycle).  Karen had heard about 'toxic shock' so she avoided using a plug just in case but she might use a plug with certain outfits if she had to.  Karen used to use plugs (insert here through the cardboard tube) before she heard about 'toxic shock' in the mid to late '70s.  Karen also was not one to wear clothing that was form fitting or tight.  Karen wore loose clothing whenever possible.  Karen did not like stuff rubbing up against her skin (which was why Karen preferred 'plugs').  Karen also did not like tan lines either.  And yes, burlap bag and 'granny rag' jokes between Karen and I.  Karen and I didn't really 'tease' each other, but with the age problem we just couldn't make physical contact without Karen possibly getting into trouble (yes, pun intended).  And as we found out in 1981, after first contact we just couldn't hold back from wanting more and more and even more and way even more and...

I remember one time she was having a girl talk session with about 3 or 4 girls around her desk just after english class ended.  I was just walking around Karen's desk to head to my locker and Karen turned to me and said, "I was just curious, 10:08?"  and I said, "10:06, sorry, I started it that time.  12:22?"  And she said, "yup, 12:21.  I beat you that time.  Sorry about that.  I didn't break it did I?  You know, your concentration?  You look kind of lost."  And she just had this concerned look on her face and I did have this stunned look on my face.  And I was like, "Not yet that I am aware of, I'm still thinking straight.  Thanks for asking."  And we both kind of lost it and started laughing after trying to keep a straight face with each other with these 3 or 4 girls standing around her desk that had no clue what we were just talking about.  As I was walking out I think one of the girls said something like, "That's nice that you and Ace talk Bible verses together.  I think it's sweet."  And Karen said, "He's sweet alright.  Nice butt."  And one of the girls said, "Miss Bihuniak, you're being naughty" and Karen was like, "I call 'em as I see 'em" and the girls kind of giggled a bit.  And the good thing is that the girls just continued their girl talk afterwards without missing a beat like nothing had happened.  Later Karen said, "I know I caught you off guard and I said no sexual innuendos, but I couldn't resist with them standing there.  It was just too funny and they didn't have a clue as you noticed.  That was kind of what drew me to you back when we met.  I kind of noticed that unlike most of the others here, you have some street smarts and common sense.  Thanks for playing along and not giving me away.  And as you'll also notice, I kind of have this thing about being considered a prude and at times I just can't help myself." 

And then, another time, around Halloween, she just said this after being up all night on the night before (my fault), "I know you were up all last night and you kept me up all night too for the same reason.  But four times is a bit much.  This is great and all.  I really enjoy it each time.  But I think I should have a talk with your mother about putting some salt peter in your Wheaties in the morning."  And I just looked at her and said, "I don't know if it will help or not, but it might be worth a shot.  Do you want her number?"  And she was like, "No, I am actually kind of enjoying going through puberty again in a way.  It's kind of refreshing really.  But it's been quite a while for me.  I just hope I don't start getting pimples again."  And I was like, "I hope so too.  There's only one way to get rid of those and we would definitely get caught and get in trouble for that."  And then she put her thumb under her chin and her index finger to her mouth and just said, "I think you ought to sit down now."  And she just had that look in her eye.  And then I was like, "I think you're right."  And I just scooted around her desk and sat in my chair.  And then she stared over her desk at me and just said, "I know I started this one, but I have this strange urge to ask you to stand up and recite some poetry to the class one of these times."  And so I said, "You would, wouldn't you?"  And then I stood up and said, "Like this?  Hark, What light through yonder window breaks?"  And she just turned beet red and put her hand over her mouth and motioned her other hand for me to sit down.  So I sat down.  Then she fanned her face with her hand and said, "It sure got hot in here all of a sudden didn't it?  You really aren't modest or shy are you?"  And I was like, "Not particularly.  I don't really get embarassed either.  Hey, your voice got a little higher too on that one."  And she was like, "That's actually my normal voice.  You caught me off guard.  Well, I'm glad we got that straightened out.  You really do care about me don't you?"  And I was like, "Yes, I really do care about you a lot.  More than I even know.  This is not a puppy love or crush or or some elaborate scheme to get into your pants or dress or skirt or whatever you're wearing.  There's just something truly wonderful about you and I can't help but care about you.  That's all I know for sure.  That and I can't hurt you without hurting myself.  Honestly, it's not an act or whatever, I really can't." 

We had the emotional contact and then some, but we both also knew that even just a simple touch on her shoulder, or our hands coming together and that emotion would have just taken over and we couldn't stop it in a physical sense.  We would have been all over each other all of the time.  We couldn't have helped it in a physical sense.  Everything else was there except the physical ecstasy, and honestly, we honestly felt each other without actually physically touching each other.  And of course, many times, we wouldn't even say a word and just look at each other.  We just knew.  We could sense everything, including if we were trying to hide something from each other.  We still had our secrets from each other, but some things were just better left unsaid was all, not really hiding.  We couldn't go beyond just talking, so talking about going beyond just started driving both of us crazy, so we tried to avoid that as much as possible.  Luckily, no one else really noticed us staring at each other like we did.  I think keeping my head down in english class helped a lot to keep others from noticing.  I did kind of mope around for a bit after finding out she was Karen Carpenter.  I didn't really know why I moped around either, I just remember that I did.  I think it was just because now I knew what this big secret was after all that time, and that 'thrill of discovery' of what this secret might be was gone.  We did become very close in a very short time and a lot of it was because we had a lot in common with our personalities.  We were a lot alike so it was like we knew each other really well and we became comfortable with each other in a very short time and we could literally talk about anything.

XXVIII.  Life's Embarassing Moments

I think Karen and I had this talk during dismissal homeroom just after my "Hark, what light through yonder window breaks." moment.  But Karen just started talking about her most embarassing moment.  First, Karen talked about one of her regrets.  One of Karen's friends had dared Karen to get a tattoo when Karen was younger.  Karen was not about to be called a chicken.  Karen had a small tattoo of a red rose that was in a well hidden area.  As Karen said, "A regret" as Karen had always been about 'God given' and a tattoo was not God given.  Karen had a tattoo done as a dare and did not recommend compromising your principles just because of a dare.  And to note, At Karen's grave site were a bunch of yellow roses.  To note also, Karen's favorite color was red and black.  At the time of Karen's funeral, the flower shops had run out of red roses.  Yellow roses were used at Karen's funeral as the flower shops in the area had run out of red roses and it was getting close to Valentine's Day in 1983.  Karen and Richard did a show and during that show they did a tribute to the Grease Broadway Show.  Karen said that she was in a costume that had oversized cleavage and it was just bouncing around all over the place and really awkward.  And she was like, "I don't really understand what guys see in big bosoms.  They just get in the way.  Flopping all over the place.  It was just so awkward and embarassing.  Have you ever had any embarassing moments?"  And I was like, "First, you know me, well actually maybe you don't.  I don't really get embarassed.  I had an incident in a baseball game where I threw the ball and it just went completely over the backstop which was at least 25 foot high.  And in second grade I had a girl [Michelle C] that was doing the gotta pee dance a couple seats over, so I had a boner and of course the teacher called on me to answer a question so I stood up and, well, the teacher went running down the hall saying, 'I didn't do it.  I didn't do it.' and it was actually kind of funny because this teacher had always been harping on me about how only spawns of Satan like Napoleon and Hitler wrote with both hands and that I needed to write with just my right hand.  I'm ambidextrous or whatever.  Actually, the next year I jammed my left finger on a basketball and started writing with my right hand.  But anyway, I'm not really into big bosoms myself.  Butts a little bit, not that way, but you know what I mean.  But I actually got my nickname from Julie Sage, the girl that hangs around with the Karen that talks to herself in the third person.  Anyway, it was at the end of third grade when I told her that I needed a better name other than Andrew, she called me Andrew not Adrian, and Bubba, she called me Bubba not Bubby.  So she said, 'When you look at a girl, what's the first thing you look at?'  And I said, 'Face'  And she said, 'How does Ace sound?'  So that's how that came about.  And I guess it still holds true because I just love the way your face lights up when you smile and as you know, I could just spend all day and all night staring at the sparkles in your eyes when your face lights up."  And Karen's face was just beet red but she had a big smile and her eyes were all sparkly.  And Karen was like, "I always wondered about how you got your nickname.  Thanks.  I guess that explains what you see in me.  I always liked my eyes too.  That's kind of why my favorite color is burgundy red and black, because of my eyes."  And I was like, "You know how much I love those eyes of yours.  I've never really been a bosom man honestly.  Maybe it was because I started before girls had bosoms or whatever, but I've always been a face man expecially the eyes and smile.  I just love a beautiful smile and I like..."  And Karen and I both said, "Tomboys and mud pies."  And then I said something like, "Body parts are body parts, but I guess I've always been a hopeless romantic."  And Karen was like, "Me too."  And then Karen and I noticed someone else walking down the hallway so we just kind of made it look like I was doing homework and like she was reading her book while we still looked at each other with big wide smiles.

XXIX. Karen and I, heart to heart talk

The talk we had after school after the day Paul Williams visited went like this...  Karen and I were in the homeroom on the third, top, floor and everyone left for the day.  Karen then went over and locked the door to the classroom and said, "We need to talk without anyone bothering us.  I locked the door and neither one of us is leaving until after we talk."  I was like, "I understand completely.  You're Karen Carpenter and the last thing either of us needs right now are the newspapers or the TV cameras turning this place into a three ring circus.  I definitely am not going to say a word to anyone.  Your secret is safe with me."  She was like, "Yes, it is really important that you keep this quiet and I know you will.  Like I said before the meeting, I can trust you.  But I didn't lock the door because of talking about the meeting earlier.  We really need to talk about us.  I keep getting mixed signals from you and I have been pulling my hair out wondering about things, and I am just going to ask straight out and I want honest answers from you.  But before I even ask I am going to say that you have me wrapped around your finger and I think you know that you could pretty much do what you want with me.  I am pretty much throwing myself at you all of the time.  And if you only knew what I wanted to do with you.  But anyway, Do you feel any different about me now that you know who I am?"  And I was like, "No.  Not at all.  I still see this wonderful person that I enjoy being around.  It's still you on the inside."  And she continued, "And I see the way you look at me and I need to ask, do you have a crush on me?  Please be honest with me."  And I was like, "I am pretty sure this is beyond a crush for both of us.  It is in both of our eyes.  We can't fake that.  Neither of us.  But the problem is with these feelings I have, I can't hurt you in any way.  That is why I keep my distance.  I don't even dare hold your hand because we both know it would lead to more and then you would get in trouble and I would feel really terrible about it.  Once we started, there would be no stopping or turning back.  And afterwards, think about Jerry Lee Lewis marrying his 13 year old cousin.  I can't take that chance with you and you possibly losing your career and such.  You love music too.",  And Karen said, "I remember what happened to Jerry Lee now.  I forgot about that.  And what about Paul Yorrick of Peter, Paul and Mary?  She didn't have any ID on her so how was Paul to know.  Paul got a bad rap on that one.  He is a really nice guy.  Poor Paul.  We're back to the newspapers and such being a bad thing again.  What newspapers?  I don't see any reporters around here, do you?"  And then I continued, "Funny.  Everyone is a comedienne until they make the front page.  And besides, the stripes on your new outfit go the wrong way and make everyone, including you at even 26 pounds, look fat.  Is that what you really want?  I don't.  I like having visiting hours every day, and do you really think they would let us visit each other after you got caught?  My parents would be alright with it, it is others around here that are the problem and they wouldn't hesitate to cause problems for you, not because you are a celebrity or such, but because they would be upset about a teacher being with a student.  Any teacher.  Any student.  Even with parental consent or whatever.  The law sees it as statutory rape, even with consent.  Definite problems.  Anyway, you know as well as I do, once we started, we couldn't stop.  A crush usually goes away, this ain't going away and I think we both know it.  And no, I'm definitely not a virgin either.  I've definitely had those thoughts too.  Oh boy have I had those thoughts.  No doubt you have felt me memorizing and undressing every inch of you with my eyes.  Nice feet by the way, I love the way your toes curl up when, But anyway if I hurt you, I hurt myself.  I can't.  I definitely want you in more ways than one.  The table, floor, chandelier, refrigerator."  And she was like, "I've done table and floor, the bed even, but chandelier and refrigerator?"  And I was like, "Yeah, swinging from a chandelier would be a bit difficult, but think of the head rush from the blood rushing to our heads.  As far as the refrigerator, I know it's high up and all that, but think about the vibrations from when the ice maker comes on.  That would be quite a rush."  And then she was like, "Noted, we'll look into a hotel room with one of those magic vibrating beds and a chandelier.  I think we could probably do it, but there's a lot of stuff on the refrigerator and I don't feel like cleaning up the mess afterwards.  Come to think of it, a waterfall would be nice too.  Shower stalls are a bit cramped."  And then I continued, "See, we are perfect for each other.  We think a lot alike.  But I can't.  I just can't.  There is so much passion there that we would probably blow up the planet just holding hands.  It is definitely beyond sparks or flames already.  There is no way we could hide it if it went any further, we can barely hide it now with just eye contact.  I'm too young and you would get in trouble in a small town like this.  It isn't worth it."  Then she was like, "Well, that pretty much answers the rest of the questions I was going to ask you.  By the way, do you have a pet name for me yet?"  And I was like, "I haven't really thought about that really.  I like you just the way you are and for who you are inside and outside.  Honey, I just can't think of a pet name for you right now."  And she said, "Darling you called me Honey."  And at the same time she said this I said, "Honey you called me Darling."  Almost in unison, I started after she said 'Darling' though.  And then we smiled at each other and then we continued to gaze into each others' eyes for a little while longer.  Then I took my glasses off and I said, "As you can see, I am not really an ugly duckling so to speak.  I keep my glasses on on purpose.  If you hear the name Bubby, except from my cousins, get out of the way.  I am about to get attacked.  The girls that remember that I look like this without glasses all know my name as Bubby.  I almost failed kindergarten because girls kept trying to play footsy with me all the time, and when the teacher called on me, half the time I had no idea what the teacher was talking about because I was busy playing footsy back."  And Karen was like, "I remember playing footsy.  It was a lot of fun."  And I continued, "As you probably know, hunks are good for only one thing, to make women and girls horny.  That's it.  And I know you know I have been hiding something and this is it.  This is what I have been hiding from you.  I'm a hunk.  I have been wearing glasses since kindergarten and third grade gym class and I actually enjoy being thought of as a dork or a geek or ugly duckling or whatever.  You know, girls don't make passes at guys who wear glasses.  I don't get attacked like I used to with girls throwing themsleves at me all the time.  There's more to me than just looks and I'm definitely not a virgin.  I can get laid about any time I want."  And she was almost in tears and said, "What am I going to be, just another notch in your belt?"  And I was like, "No way Honey, I'm not like that anyway or else I wouldn't be wearing my glasses all of the time like I do, besides, I don't even wear a belt.  I led the Belt Rebellion back in Mrs. McKendrick's third grade class where I said my dad hit me with his belt and I'm not going to wear a belt again, and the next day two thirds of the boys in the class weren't wearing belts.  I haven't worn a belt since then.  I can't notch something that I don't even have.  And my six shooter is more like eight and a half.  Yeah, one of the girls measured it back when.  I really do care about you a lot.  More than I even know.  I really can't hurt you without hurting myself.  Everything I have said to you has been honest and truthful and I can't help it.  I really can't lie to you, because if I lie to you, it will hurt me even more than it would hurt you.  But yeah, this is my big secret that I keep trying to hide from you.  Are you disappointed that I'm not an ugly duckling?"  And she just kind of sat there a little while and then she said, "I'm definitely not dissapointed, I knew you have been hiding something.  I just had no idea.  Guys usually chase after girls because of looks and I hadn't really thought about it the other way around.  Honestly, I met Elvis when I was younger and you look just like him without your glasses on.  I can also tell that you can't see too well without your glasses on either.  I kept thinking that you looked familiar somehow and after you took your glasses off I realized why I kept thinking you looked familiar to me.  You are the spitting image of Elvis in 1956 before he dyed his hair and such.  I have met a couple of Elvis' kids and he had a few kids out of wedlock and you look more like him than they do.  Are you sure your mom wasn't with Elvis?"  And I am like, "Positive.  When my mom meets someone she always has an opinion about them.  My mom has always been indifferent about Elvis.  I'm positive."  And Karen continued, "I can see why you would get attacked.  You really do love me don't you?"  And I was like, "Yes, I do love you.  I am not afraid to say it to you.  It is just that if you have to repeat something over and over again, it usually isn't true or you have doubts.  I don't have any doubts about you.  You and me, we've got the real love that everyone's looking for.  And yes, you and me, Karen and Ace because believe me I am always going to try and make sure that we come together but if not, I always want you to come first, then I'll roll over and fall asleep.  And be prepared because I love to cuddle."  And she was like, "I love to cuddle too.  This could get interesting."  And then I was like, "Honestly, I hug my pillow every night anymore.  I got it bad.  Really bad."  And she was like, "I hadn't thought of that, does it help?"  And I was like, "Not really.  All it really does is remind me that something's missing that I can't have right now.  It's great having these feelings, but it sucks because we can't do anything about it without you getting into trouble.  I guess I still have a bit of growing up to do."  And then she said, "Of all the guys I've met, you are definitely the most grown up.  Right now I have this strong urge to come over there and hug you and try to make you feel better, but knowing our luck, the minute I stood up to come over, the fire alarm would go off and then the firefighters would break down the door or something.  It's really tough for me too.  I think I got it just as bad as you."  {Truthfully, I hadn't been known as Bubby since third grade.  Truthfully too, I had worn eyeglasses since kindergarten.  Truthfully three, I was definitely not a virgin at this time.  Truthfully four, my first is not around anymore and no way to have it verified, so I do not mention her name.  She knew who my sister was and did not want my sister to know, so I don't tell.  She also knew who Julie Sage was and did not want her butt kicked at the time either [Julie Sage moved to Binghamton in late 1978 or early 1979 during eighth grade and died in a car crash in June 1983].  (There were a couple girls, Nancy Hunt being one amongst a few others, that did know me as Bubby back when and they all had a big crush on that 'hunk' in kindergarten.  A few upper classwomen as well.  And up until about third grade, I didn't wear my glasses in gym class, so there were others that remembered 'the hunk' too.  We did actually have a field trip to a local field to spend the night.  Of course the ugliest girl in school, Patty Hammer, boxed me in on the bus on the way to the field and I am glad that I didn't puke all over the bus.  It was just that horrible.  But thank God that Patty was inexperienced and only knew of 'smooches' and not 'slipping the tongue'.  But this was near the end of the year I believe, I think Karen had already left by then.  But maybe not.  It may have even been seventh grade the attacks happened.  But anyway, I think I have divulged enough background info here.)}  And then I put my arms out on the desktop and then folded them over and put my head on my right arm and I still gazed at Karen looking at her kind of sideways.  I was like, "I am enjoying this so much.  This great feeling like I am floating on air.  I've heard of cloud 9, but this is at least cloud 11 or so.  Cloud 9 was about two weeks after you started here.  What a rush.  This definitely is not a crush."  Karen then said, "I think we're both done now.  Thank you so much for being honest with me.  I'll unlock the door."  And I just kind of got up because I was feeling a little dizzy and said, "Thanks, I know we both needed this talk for a long time now.  I'll just go home and sit in my room and hug my pillow again."  And she was like, "I'll stand away from the door and let you out because I got some paperwork to finish up first before I go home, but also, because if I stand by the door right now, I probably wouldn't let you go."  And I was like, "I know, I couldn't let you go either and I really don't think I could stop you this time and even worst, I don't think I could stop myself."  Door unlocked and she sat back down and I left.  And seriously, before I knew she was Karen Carpenter, I couldn't hurt her emotionally.  She could have been the laundry maid or whatever, and I just couldn't hurt her emotionally or physically so long as it was that person.  That cloud 11 connection between us was just amazing.  Karen Carpenter or not, it was her, not some fame or notoriety or whatever.  Not even the age difference.  With or without the fame or notoriety stuff, I knew that any hurt I caused her, would probably double back on me and it would probably hurt me at least twice as much.  It was just that intense of an experience.  We were both too old and too experienced for 'crushes'.  And not a 'second childhood' at 13,14 or 28,29.  Just not possible.  It was real, but unreal at the same time.  We both felt it.  But what it was or is, I can only try to describe it as best as I can.  Note the stuff inside the { } was never said by myself, I just wrote it as a reference to what was said in relation to other events that may or may not have been related to this discussion that Karen and I had.  Another note, I am writing this in 2019, 40 years afterwards, and I got those same feelings back just thinking about these things over the last 2 weeks.  Karen has been gone since 1983, but even though she is not around, just those thoughts again have me on at least cloud 9 again.  And honestly, I do not have any hurt inside me that she is not here now even though we probably could finally at least hug now after all we went through (Karen especially).  I also do not feel guilty or blame anyone about Karen dying the way that she did, including Karen herself.  I am just still so happy to be able to have had that feeling before and to now have that feeling again.  It is still so incredible even without her here to share it with me again.  But if she was here, it would most likely be cloud 100 all over again, until maybe cloud 1000 and beyond.  Thoughts are thoughts.  Reality is reality.  And walking on air is still a wonderful feeling to have whether science believes it can happen or not.

XXX. Field Trip - The Great Outdoors

And thinking of the Patty Hammer incident in gray above, that was in 8th grade.  Karen told me that she set that up with Patty to "get even with me".  And of course Patty Hammer and I had to be separated and as a chaperone, Karen had to sit next to me to make sure I behaved during the bus trip.  All in good fun.  Anyway, the middle school had an overnight field trip at a local type of camp called Watson Homestead.  Lodges and that type of stuff and an indoor pool, a pond, and lots of open fields and a few trees too.  As Karen was a teacher, she was a chaperone.  Karen and I are both the "outdoor" types as we found out.  We both had a lot of fun.  Shhh, Karen and I did a few cartwheels together here and there in the open fields when others weren't looking.  Then others looked and started doing cartwheels too.  The trip was in late April or early May.  Warm enough during the day and at night for a light coat or jacket.  I had on my hand-sewn reversible light blue / dark blue jacket which for some reason had lipstick on the collar now.  Oh well.  It was an overnight trip.  I think we left the school around 2 PM after lunch periods (but not sure, we could have left in the morning even).  And of course a few noteworthy events (as always when Karen and I were together). 

The first one was that there was a lookout tower on site and I started to go up and then I turned around and went back down.  The stairs were open stairs, but I wasn't actually 'afraid of heights' so to speak, it was that as I got higher up, the air wasn't as dense and I would start to lose my balance.  Karen came down and got me and told me that I was going to go up to the top even if it killed me.  Actually, Karen said, "You're not getting out of it that easy.  Just look up and I'll help you get up there.  I'll be with you.  You'll be fine."  And so up we went.  We made it to the top and then Karen made sure I looked out the window up top too and that we stayed up there at least 15 minutes with one of the staff that was up there.  Karen said, "I noticed you were unsteady on your feet and that you weren't faking it."  And Karen looked at my ears and noticed that part of my ear never grew in on the outside of both of my ears.  Karen knew that I wasn't 'afraid'; it was just that I was losing my balance.  Karen figured it was one of those things where the canals on the inside of my ears weren't right and that air pressure would cause me to lose my balance.  Karen asked me if my mother had had an epidural and I said yes.  Karen had heard about it with a few people, but now she had seen it first hand.  She said, "I could see you turning green up there and I can see why.  But I wasn't going to let you chicken out of it.  It's a bad habit."

And also, if I remember right, we had a kind of scrimmage baseball game too.  Karen was my homeroom teacher so we were on the same team of course.  And you know that Karen had to pitch.  So Karen pitched.  But Karen was a bit grumpy and was saying things to me like, "You're a sore winner" and "You're being a spoiled sport" and "I ought to bench you" (and of course I stood next to her and I whispered, "Bench warmer sounds like a good idea.  Can I be the bench warmer and then when you come in you could sit on my lap and talk about the first thing that pops up?" and Karen was like, "It's my idea so of course it's good, unfortunately we don't have enough people to bench you or else it would have been a great idea.  Besides it's nothing to talk about and don't get started on that.  You're having a hard enough time concentrating on the game as it is").  Karen was not a happy camper.  A ball got hit to me and I picked it up and I went to throw it to Karen and Karen was waving her hands and mouthing 'no, no, no'.  Then I looked and I realized that Karen didn't have a ball glove on, so I threw Karen my glove with the ball in it and Karen calmed down after that.  And truth was that I was ambidextrous and I could use either hand so not having a ball glove on was actually easier for me.  Just pick the ball up and throw it.  I thought at first because Karen was a tomboy that she was trying to show off and stuff, but she actually felt awkward playing baseball without a glove which is why she was so grumpy.  I also said later, "Why didn't you say something, I would have let you use my glove, no problem?"  And Karen was like, "Ball gloves are personal, like underwear.  You don't ask to use someone else's ball glove like you don't ask to use someone else's underwear."  And then she said, "This is a big glove.  What do you use it for, to catch watermelons?" and then I showed her how to put her index finger on the outside of the glove to help balance the glove out.  Karen and I were back to being happy campers after I let her use my glove.  I actually still have that ball glove and I keep it in the trunk of my car just in case. 

And of course there was dinner time where Karen and I both played with our food for the most part.  I told Karen about the fact that I couldn't eat certain canned vegetables because I would throw them back up.  I didn't know about my vinegar allergy at the time, I just knew that canned beans and canned carrots and canned peas would make me puke.  I believe it was succotash for dinner which was on my 'be careful' list.  So like Karen, I was a kind of 'picky' eater, but for different reasons.  Karen was worried about weight while I was worried about eating something wrong and then throwing up.  And of course Karen ate right-handed and I ate left-handed, so we ended up having to give ourselves some elbow room while we ate.  During lunch time at school, we ate across from each other at our desks and not side by side.  I think Karen and I both had pancakes the next morning for breakfast.  We didn't play around with those. 

And of course there was a campfire that night with marshmallows on a stick and sitting around and singing songs and such.  Yes, Karen sang too with the rest of us.  No one caught on.  I can see Michael Row the Boat Ashore, Kumbaya, This Land Is Your Land, but not even during Jambalaya (On the Bayou).  Karen and I shared the same marshmallow stick so that she could cook them and then feed them to me (she did have a couple though).  All good fun. 

And there was also a dance later.  And I am pretty sure there was a dance contest too.  Yes, Karen and I danced.  Um, actually, we kind of stole the show if I remember right.  I think we literally danced circles around a few people.  Actually, I know we danced circles around others because we were lined up opposite as boy / girl and Karen and I would circle around the others so that we lined up opposite each other so we could dance together.  There were more boys than girls.  Others were getting kind of worn out but Karen and I were just so full of energy and it seemed like the more Karen and I danced together, the more energy we had.  I think we even wore the band that was playing out.  I think I remember Karen offering to give the band 20 bucks if they played another song and I believe one of the band said, "We can't.  Not even for a hundred bucks.  We're pooped."  I also remember the song "Can't Help Falling In Love" popping into my head so I am pretty sure that was the song that Karen was going to request, but not to be.  If there was a dance contest (I am pretty sure there was) we won it hands down.  I think the prize was a little bronze colored trophy cup. 

And of course it was an overnight and of course Karen caught Mike and I sneaking over to the girls' cabin.  Mike was talking with I think Holly and of course when we got caught, Karen and I were talking.  Ethical dilemma, how do you catch yourself?  Somehow it happened.  Honestly, Karen and I wanted to just sit out in the open air and cuddle up together under the stars, but we would have got caught with the cuddle up part.  But Karen and I stretched out on our backs in the grass side by side and watched the stars in the sky for a little bit anyway.  Yes, it was a rough night for both Karen and I.  We did see a shooting star though and so we both made a wish.  Yes, it was the same wish as always and as always, if you say your wish, it won't come true. 

Somehow we got through it.  Karen and I were both happy campers, but then we left the next day.

XXXI. Halloween.  Thanksgiving.  Christmas 1978.  1979 too

Before Halloween 1978, around October 20, Karen came in one day and had the new Carpenters’ single that she had her step cousin Wendy special order from Woolworth’s.  She had one of the record players from the school and the adapter in the middle.  So during lunch we played the single for me and her.  First was “I Believe You” and this was when Karen told me the story of her and John Adrian.  After playing the song I told her, “It’s kind of majestic Not too bad.  Just not my thing.”  And Karen told me about how she had fallen for John (and of course my first name Adrian and his last name Adrian) and how when he was asked to be with her or keep his job, John decided to keep his job and ended up marrying someone else about three months after him and Karen had broken up.  Karen had told me how John had always said the right things and she chose that song to do because she was having a hard time trusting and believing guys after John saying all those things (stars in your eyes, etc.) and then up and marrying someone else three months later.  And I was like, “That’s kind of a bummer but at least he didn’t start seeing her until after you broke up.”  And Karen was like, “I kinda wonder about that.  He was from the UK and over there affair means out of wedlock while over here it means cheating on someone.  John had told his boss he was having an affair with me and I am sure he meant it in the british way, but sometimes I wonder..”  And then I was like, “I noticed the song kind of hit a note with you.  What’s on the other side?”  So Karen flipped it over which was “B’Wanna She No Home” and I was like, “This is cool.  You sure this ain’t the A side?”  Karen was like, “Funny.”  And part way through I pulled out my plastic comb from my back pocket and started playing along.  After the song was over and for about a week and a half later until Halloween, I kept talking in Tarzan type talk with stuff like, “Me Tarzan.  You Jane.  Where B’Wanna, she no home?” and “Psst, hey B’Wanna.  No play cards with Cheetah.  He cheetahs.”  And of course later, on my birthday (December 4+) and a copy of Passage on the shelf with of course “B’Wanna…” being the first song on that album.  I was also into mostly psychadelic music too and "Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft" (which I hadn’t heard as the local radio station didn’t play that song) plus “All You Get from Love Is A Love Song” (which they did play) and “Sweet Sweet Smile” which is mentioned later.  Passage is still my favorite Carpenters album.  I also started joking with Karen that instead of living in a cave it might be better in a Coldernell (watch old cartoons) or an even bigger Frigidaire apartment (the cardboard box anyway).  But before getting to that…

Halloween 1978 was pretty much my last 'trick or treat' time.  I was 13 and you start getting too old for that stuff.  But then too, Karen came into school all decked out as the Wicked Witch of the West from the Wizard of Oz movie.  Karen looked spectacular and her costume was perfect with the green face paint and wart on her nose and the candy cane stockings and big black hat and black clothing.  Karen tried to do the 'witches cackle' and "I'll get you my pretties" a few times, but Karen still had her sweetheart voice so it sounded a little off, but like always, Karen did her best.  I picked on her of course (I knew who she was by Halloween) and I commented, "It's about time you took off your mask."  I was dressed as a pirate.  Nothing elaborate.  An added eye patch and my bandana kept falling off.  And of course sailor talk.  After school and about 6 o'clock was the Halloween event at the local skating rink.  I was there with my sister and my parents and then I saw Karen show up so I took off with Karen and we walked around a little bit.  I definitely tried to keep my mother from seeing Karen because I figured my mother would figure out who she was.  Of course everyone was in costumes but Karen and I were in regular street clothes and we worked our way to the upper level of the rink just above the changing room (to change from shoes or boots to ice skates).  The costume contest started and my sister was out there dressed as an outhouse.  I pointed my sister out to Karen and Karen was like, "That's your sister?  I think she could win this."  And they had the people walking around the rink in their costumes and Karen and I were up top and Karen was doing her loud whistle (where you put your pinkies inside the corners of your mouth) and I was yelling out, "Outhouse, outhouse, outhouse".  And Karen and I would duck back out of sight and then back up to the railing and whistles and more yelling.  My sister won 1st place and got a blue ribbon and a bag of candy and I believe a gift certificate.  The outhouse was 5 sheets of cardboard with a half moon cut out of the front to see out of.  Everyone got a kick out of it including the judges.  My sister was 11 years old and it was a bit awkward at times because the outhouse was a bit bulky, but she managed.  I think the judge was in a Snoopy costume and during the walk around, the judge would be next to one of the costumes with their hand up and people would yell out.  My sister in the outhouse costume definitely got the loudest and most yells that year.  Karen and I both had a lot of fun that night, but we also tried to keep a low profile so that Karen didn't get noticed.  I have no idea how we didn't get noticed with the whistling and yelling and such, but we didn't.

Karen and I talked about Thanksgiving and that Karen was going to be going home for the weekend.  We talked about turkey and cranberry sauce and all the trimmings and Karen was definitely looking forward to going home and seeing her family again and celebrating "Turkey Day" with her family.  Karen was used to Thanksgiving and being thankful, but Karen was still in Corning and quite a few of the locals celebrated Turkey Day here.  Kumquats?  Green Raisin Salad?  No thanks, just pass the turkey.  Turkey Day for those turkeys who feel they have nothing to be thankful for.

And my 14th birthday on Monday, December 4, 1978.  It was also Max's 41st birthday across the hall.  Karen was exhausted as she had flown out to LA and back the day before.  Karen was like, "I know what Max wants and I can sleep through that."  But I had a cupcake I believe with a candle on top.  We lit and I blew out the candle and I could see Karen on the other side trying not to be seen blowing too.  Of course the candle went out and Karen and I both knew what I wished for.  I believe lunch time started at about noon thirty (12:30 pm) and I set my watch for I believe 1:10 pm and Karen and I both put our heads down and we took a nap.  My alarm went off and we both woke up in time for the next period.  Karen just barely made it through the day, but she managed.  We also found out that we both drooled in our sleep too.  We both woke up to puddles on our desks.  I know it was my birthday, but Karen and I both left without our usual talk session after school that day.  If I remember right, the next day after school, Karen walked down with me to Woolworth's and I got a record album.  The album I got was Totally Hot by Olivia Newton - John.  I told Karen that the song 'A Little More Love' reminded me of Karen.  Now, stupid me, and believe me, stupid, did not listen to this wise woman that was with me named Karen.  Karen also noticed that they had Passage by The Carpenters in stock too at Woolworth's.  In hind sight, 'Sweet Sweet Smile' still reminds me more of Karen than 'A Little More Love' does.  And Passage is still my favorite Carpenters album.  And Karen even offered to autograph Passage for me if I bought it.  But I bought Totally Hot instead.  But as always, Karen was right.  And it wasn't the autograph or any of that, it was the truth that as usual, Karen knew me better than I knew myself.  And a funny part too, because in the middle of January I came walking into homeroom and Karen looked at me and she just said, "I know you've got a song stuck inside your head, don't you?"  And I was like, "Yeah, you know don't you?"  And Karen was like, "Yeah, and I think it's funny.  I heard it on the radio this morning too and I started laughing after I heard it because I knew you heard it too.  I warned you but you kept thinking that Olivia song reminded you of me.  Where's that Olivia song now, huh?  Oh well, you had your chance and now you can suffer.  It serves you right for not listening to me."  And I was like, "You're really enjoying this aren't you?"  And of course she had that big sweet sweet smile on her face which said it all.  Can't argue with that.  Karen has been the only person in my life that has been allowed to correct me if I made a mistake without feeling my wrath, so to speak.  I had several teachers embarrass themselves in front of the class by trying to 'correct me' and then the entire class seeing me prove the teacher wrong and the teacher embarrassing themselves.  The embarrassments started with my second grade teacher, Mrs. Mary Harris, when I put "Me" as my name in the name blank on a test.  As Mrs. Harris said, "Your name's not Me, change it."  And as I said, "If I'm not Me, who am I then?" and the whole class laughed at her.  And remember as my second grade teacher also said, "Your name's not You either."  But as always, Karen was right, so Karen was allowed to correct me without my embarrassment fee surcharge.  As far as Karen's 29th birthday on March 2nd?  I am not positive but I think Karen took a couple days off so I didn't see her on her birthday, but I knew what she wished for too.

And then I believe Karen's manager, Jerry Weintraub, shows up at the school on I believe Friday December 8, 1978.  (I am not positive, but I am pretty sure it was Jerry that showed up, but it may have been Richard as well.  Been quite a while.)  Karen and Jerry flip a coin and I believe it was heads she goes on without Richard and tails the show gets cancelled.  Jerry flipped it.  Karen called it.  Karen did the Bruce Forsyth show without Richard.  It was a secret at the time but Karen told me in strict confidence, "Richard has the DTs and is shaking really bad so he can't perform."  Karen wasn't really worried or nervous about doing the show without Richard.  Karen had done things without Richard before and "the show must go on".  Karen was really worried because Richard had the shakes really bad and Karen was hoping that her brother was going to be all right.  Karen also told me that almost 5 years before Karen, Richard, their dad, and a cousin, Mark, had been out riding motorcycles and went off the beaten path.  I believe Karen said it was her idea to go off the beaten path for a little adventure.  They ran across another couple riders off the beaten path and Richard got in an accident and hurt himself really bad and broke one of his wrists and his leg and sprained his other wrist.  Karen said that if it hadn't been for Richard doing what he did, someone might have been killed.  But after that, Richard got addicted to quaaludes and Karen was worried about Richard and hoping that Richard got better.  Richard did a brave thing to help others and Karen was hoping that Richard would be brave enough to help himself and get over his addiction too.  Karen was like, "It was my fault and I feel bad that all this happened to my brother because I did something stupid and didn't listen to the signs.  But maybe after missing the show my brother might realize that he needs some help finally and try to get better.  My brother was really brave and probably saved my life because I didn't see those other riders and those other riders were coming straight for me and Richard cut them off before they might have killed me.  I just hope my brother gets brave enough to fight this addiction too."  Karen had her step cousin Wendy cover for her during the week starting the 11th and Wendy had another teacher cover her other teaching job at another school.  I almost went with Karen but unfortunately my parents had my birth certificate and I couldn't have got a hold of my parents at the time.  Karen honestly was very nervous about the show and she also could not pronounce Brooth Forthyth.  So I had Karen say, "Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers."  She said it.  Then she said, "Suzie sells seashells by the sea shore."  She nailed it and then she actually said, "Bruce Forsyth."  And then I asked her to repeat it and of course, "Brooth Forthyth."  If you listen to the show, Bruce said, "The sound is ace."  Karen actually mentioned to Bruce that she was nervous and usually Karen hearing my name, Ace, would help calm her down.  As far as the joke about the BF show?  Well, Karen being this unhip and square person wouldn't realize that in porno slang, BF stands for 'bum f***' in british slang and 'butt f***' in american slang.  Or did she realize?  Shhh, I know she realized and she asked me about BF after she got back just to be sure.  It was an accident, but since she was considered naive and such, she was able to get away with it.

About 3 weeks before Christmas, Karen started getting homesick.  Karen was used to being home for Christmas, but the Christmas school break started only a couple days before Christmas.  Christmas was on a Monday.  School was in session until Friday December 22 around 3 PM.  Karen missed her family terribly during the 3 weeks before Christmas.  Karen and I went through almost all of the Christmas songs several times, but Karen was used to Richard on the piano and her singing carols with Richard.  Karen missed her mom and dad too.  It just wasn't the same.  Karen was staying with her cousin Wendy and Wendy was in the Christmas spirit too, but Karen was used to being home for the holidays and it was definitely rough on her.  The "no hug, no cuddle" rule was REALLY rough too between us.  Karen and I just barely made it through.  Also, Karen gave me a present and asked me to watch the Carpenters' Christmas Special on TV.  I had a 13" Emerson black and white TV and I watched the special.  If you watch the special, Karen puts a present in the mailbox after singing "Merry Christmas Darling".  Another note, my pet name for Karen was Honey and Karen's pet name for me was Darling after around mid October or such when Paul Williams visited.  The original 1970 video for that song had Karen putting a wrapped pen & pencil set for her father in the mailbox.  In the 1978 special a present was wrapped in a glittery green and gold type wrapper and when I opened it in front of Karen before Karen left for Christmas break, it was a fountain calligraphy pen with an ink well and an instruction sheet on how to do calligraphy.  Sadly, our family moved on February 23, 1980 and I don't remember seeing the pen or ink well after that.  And also, Karen's many warnings to me before Christmas, "Careful, you're almost standing under the mistletoe.  I keep moving it on purpose.  I'm going to get you yet you little sneak."

And of course, the school break lasted until after New Year 1979.  After Karen got back, Karen and I put on party hats and had the noise blowers and drank our own toast (sh, Dom Perignon, her favorite) with martini glasses since we weren't able to be together for New Years.  We both broke our glasses and we both know what we wished for.  Well, actually, Karen threw her glass and it cracked and the stem broke and Karen was like, "Oh shoot" and then I said, "I got this" and I whipped my glass right at Karen's glass and both glasses shattered into tiny pieces.  We were still finding pieces of glass here and there on the floor for about two weeks later.  And remember, Karen and I could read each other's minds so we both know what we wished for and we both wished for the same thing.  Birthdays, New Years, and the shooting star.  Three wishes and the same wish each time for both of us.  And as you know, if you say that wish, it won't come true.  At the end of this day, Karen had kind of had a little bit too much champagne and so I agreed to walk home with her just in case.  Karen didn’t want the champagne to go to waste so she finished off what was left before we left school that day.  There wasn’t that much left (maybe a glass at the most) as Karen had shared with several others throughout the day.  Of course after we started walking I couldn’t help but notice all the bushes along the way (would make great hiding places except it was winter and the leaves were gone so no lover’s hideaway).  Karen was definitely not used to drinking and it was a lot of fun.  We both started out going down the street and us both saying, “Step on a crack and break your mother’s back” as we are kind of zig zagging down the sidewalk.  Then we came across a hopscotch on the sidewalk, so why not?  I was carrying Karen’s shopping bag so all was good as she kept saying “oh shoot” as she would forget and step on the hopscotch square with the stone in it.  Oh well.  Try it again.  “Oops, oh shoot”, good fun.  Karen was a trip when sober and was a HUGE trip (literally and figuratively) after she had been drinking.  Luckily she didn’t fall over but she was close a couple times.  It was about a four block walk and took us about fifteen minutes I think.  We got to her step cousin Wendy’s door and I was standing there and talking with Karen and you just know that awkward scene at the door where she’s been drinking and we both have the stars in our eyes and no one else is around and… then Karen’s step cousin Wendy opens up the door and said something like, “I just got done watching the soaps and I opened up the door and it looks like there’s more action going on outside my door than on the TV.  Come on in…”, yeah, one of those unexpected mood wrecker moments.  No alcohol hangover as Karen and I didn’t really drink that much, but Karen and I had a kind of moody love hangover shared between us for the next couple days.  I got to meet Mush, Karen’s Malamute (Samoyed).  Like Karen said, “dogs are a good judge of character”.  And Mush was quite a character.  I did my usual hold my hand out and such and Mush was just clinging to Karen.  Karen and I were trying to figure out what was going on as usually dogs would jump up on me and start licking me and such, but Mush was keeping close to Karen.  If being protective, dogs will give that growl sound and such, but Mush wasn’t growling at me or such but just kind of being clingy with Karen.  If I would go behind Karen, Mush would go behind too.  Alongside, Mush would be alongside.  I stepped away too and Mush stayed by Karen.  Usually if a dog doesn't want somebody around someone and that someone steps away, the dog will try to block that person from getting closer again.  Mush wasn’t protective or such, just acting kind of weird.  Then Karen and I figured it out.  Mush was kind of jealous and if Karen and I were going to hug or such, Mush wanted in on it too.  So long as Mush could be in on the hugging or such (as Karen and I didn’t actually hug), Mush was wanting to be the center of the hugging action by any means possible.  Mush could feel the love and the cuddles and Mush didn’t want to be left out.  Mush made it perfectly clear that if Karen and I went anywhere that Mush was going along too.  I also got to hear Karen sing one of her favorite songs, "There's a kind of Mush, all over the world tonight..."  The rough part was that just after we got in the house, you know how you show people around.  This is this.  That is that.  Well, just after we got in the house and around the living room corner, Karen goes, "and these doors that look like a closet are actually..." and Karen accidentally hits the latch and the hideaway bed pops out.  And of course it sticks after it slams open.  So Karen and I kind of struggle to get the bed back up and Wendy is trying hard not to laugh at us as it was just one of those awkward moments between Karen and I.

A small piece here after a lady on the internet was asking me if Karen ever mentioned her.  Her name was Edith Grace Mitchell I believe and at first I hadn’t recognized the name.  Then Edith Grace mentioned her birthday was January 5 I believe.  Then it kind of rang a bell.  Edith Grace had talked about a few things as far as her mom and such, but things hadn't really rang a bell until she mentioned the date (January 4 or 5 I believe).  Anyway, she talked to me around February 2021 on Facebook.  Here it is March 16, 2021 and I remember why it rang a bell finally.  It wasn’t actually her, Edith Grace, but something Karen told me in January 1979 about Karen needing to call a girl she usually called on the girl's birthday, Edith Grace.  Now the rest as why I remember is because Karen tied a string around her finger to remind her to call Edith Grace in 1979.  Karen had 2 strings at the time, one for Edith Grace and another to remind her that Richard was scheduled to go into treatment in Topeka Kansas on January 10th.  But yes, Karen used to tie a small string around her finger for reminders when needed.  “Forget me knots”.

The school year is divided into 6 semesters.  The first three semesters I had sixth period lunch.  This was rough on Karen and I.  The beginning of the day would drag on as we wouldn't see each other most of the morning and then in the afternoon we were together almost all of the time.  Because of this, at the end of the day, Karen and I were very dizzy and light-headed when the school day ended.  For the last three semesters, I had fifth period lunch which broke the day up better and we wouldn't be so dizzy and light-headed and floating after the school day ended.  And during lunch I usually just drank a couple white milks and Karen would usually sip on her tea with honey and lemon in her classroom.  On occasion, Karen would have me get her a muffin or such from the cafeteria, but usually that was only if Karen was feeling dizzy or a little empty in her stomach.  Once in a while we might also get an ice cream sandwich or such just to have something different.  I would usually let Karen rip off a corner of the sandwich if she wanted.  Karen wasn't much for sweets so a corner would be just enough for her.  A whole sandwich would be just too much.  But Karen and I would usually just sit in her room together across from each other and at our desks and just talk each other's ears off.  Once in a while we might nap too.  If Karen was tired, she would usually get dark circles around her eyes.  Karen usually kept a cucumber in the refrigerator in the lunch room and once in a while she would slice off a couple slices and put those slices over her eyes.  Of course with the mascara and such, she would throw the cucumber slices away afterwards.  But honestly, Karen was wishing to avoid dealing with Max during lunch break, so Karen and I started hanging out together during lunch breaks not too long after the school year started.

And then came Valentine's Day 1979.  Karen had told me, "No chocolates".  So I handed Karen a long box that looked like a scarf box, and I told her, "If the size or color isn't right, you can take it back".  Karen opened up the box which had a long-stemmed red rose inside.  Karen cried and said, "Thank you.  This is what I wanted from you" through her tears.  Karen snipped the base of the rose and Karen had the rose in a vase on her desk for about a week.  Then Karen brought in some waxed paper and pressed the rose between the waxed paper under about 8 heavy books.  Karen was very happy.  Me too.  I had walked into the florist two days before and that was the last red rose that they had.  And as the florist said, "Everyone has been calling and coming in to get a dozen roses, and as you can see, I only have the one red rose left.  You have been the only one looking for just one red rose.  That I have."

And because I don't know where to put this.  Sometime near the end of the school year, Karen ended up in the local hospital.  I am thinking possibly early to mid May, but not really sure.  It was on a Monday and Karen's married step cousin Wendy came in as a substitute teacher that day.  Wendy told me that Karen was in the hospital and the room number.  After school I went and visited Karen.  I think it was just after I entered the room and saw Karen there that the nurse on duty looked at us and said something like, “You two make a cute couple if you don’t mind me saying so.  I’ll pull the curtain so that you two can have some privacy” and then the nurse pulled the curtains and left the room.  I don't remember exact details about our talk together but I do remember Karen laying there in a hospital gown in a hospital bed and Karen saying, "I don't want you to see me like this.  Just go away."  And I remember telling Karen something like, "You know me; I don't care what you look like so long as I can see and be with you.  You know you could be a beached whale for all I care so long as it's you."  And Karen was crying and like, "They had to pump my stomach.  I didn't mean to do it.  As I was getting ready to pass out I kept thinking about you and me and I didn't want it to end so I yelled help and Wendy heard me and called the ambulance.  And then Max not wanting us to talk.  I just lost it."  And I was like, "I understand and we'll get through this.  We always do, but I need you to stick around so you can see how this all works out.  You'll see."  And Karen was like, "I know.  I missed seeing you this morning too and I know you missed me or else you wouldn't be here.  I also told them that it was an accident and that I was goofing around and I just tipped the bottle back and I didn't realize it was more than one pill that came out until it was too late."  And I was like, "Don't ask me how, but I think they believed you.  I don't see anyone from the funny farm here.  You know I missed you and you know I have been thinking of you all day and hoping you were all right and you can tell I'm glad to see you again" and I had tears in my eyes and Karen was like, "I know.  I can see your thoughts remember.  I guess I really messed up didn't I?"  And I was like, "Not from where I'm sitting.  If you had really messed up, I wouldn't be sitting here with you right now.  You came close though.  Darn close.  But really, don't worry about Max, when the time comes I'll take care of him.  And if you want to talk and such you don't have to put yourself in the hospital just so we can talk.  Just talk.  If Max starts something again, I'll take care of it.  And you know darn well if this happens again, I would come and see you again.  So if you don't want me seeing you like this..., but sometimes I guess it just can't be helped.  Just so you know."  And Karen was like, "I know.  And just so you know, I'm really glad you're here."  And then I think Karen pulled the covers off and I think she had her clothes on under the gown.  And then I believe Karen said, "The doctor said I could leave any time so long as someone was with me.  Wendy doesn't get out until 5 or so."  So, if I remember right, we left.  But Wendy had bought bulk aspirin in a big jug and had been putting the aspirin in an old prescription bottle as the jug was a bit heavy and bulky to lift.  [added on October 23, 2022 - Karen used to joke around and had a pill bottle she kept around filled with breath mints in case someone accused her of being a rock star and taking drugs like all the other rock stars at the time {well, not all, but...}.  Anyway, it was actually an accident and Karen had thought she grabbed her breath mint bottle but had actually grabbed the aspirin bottle {both were prescription bottles}.  Karen was not actually trying to overdose or such, however, Karen also told me that Max had been accusing Karen of being crazy and since crazy people try to commit suicide {according to Karen's thoughts on this} Karen created a different story as with Karen, if someone accused Karen of something, Karen was not going to be falsely accused.  But truth was that Karen had grabbed the wrong pill bottle was all.  Not an attempted suicide as Karen wasn't suicidal.  Karen was, however, having Max accuse her of being 'crazy'.]  Karen had been up all night and just fell asleep not passed out.  Overdosing on aspirin?  Yes, the doctor figured it was definitely an accident and not an attempted overdose on aspirin.  Free to go.  Well, almost, the doctor came in and talked with Karen about finding the aspirin with the aspirin markings and figuring it was just an accident, but the doctor was very concerned about Karen's irregular heartbeat and mentioned that she should look into getting a pacemaker.  They had Karen hooked up to an EKG and Karen and I kind of joked that it sounded like a game of Pong going on.  But honestly, Karen's heart was not beating right and the doctor printed out a slip from the EKG and put it in the folder before letting us go.  The doctor said he had actually just held her over not because of the aspirin pills, but because he was concerned about her heartbeat and he understood about her saying no to a pacemaker, but he felt it his duty to at least bring it up again and ask.  After Karen said what she said about it being in God’s hands, I said to Karen, “Well maybe God is saying that you need this now.” or something like that.  And Karen was very adamant about if God wanted it fixed that God would fix it Himself without any help.  That was that.  Karen told me later after we left the hospital that the reason why she hated going to a hospital was because even if she had a runny nose or something, they would constantly try to ask her to get a pacemaker put in.  Karen always refused but was also worried that if maybe sometime when she was passed out or something, that they might put in a pacemaker without her permission while she was passed out.  But Karen and I would joke around once in a while if she pressed on her neck or her wrist and I would be like, "playing Pong again?"  And she'd be like, "Yup" with a smile on her face.  After this Karen’s step cousin Wendy started calling Karen Dumb Ass as Wendy said, “Only a dumb ass would try and overdose on aspirin and now I gotta keep a lock on the medicine cabinet because of your dumb ass.”  And later that week, Buddy Ebsen visited us at the school and I started getting called Smart Ass after my comment to Buddy of “Like she said, because if I said it, I’d get my mouth washed out with soap.”  So Dumb Ass and Smart Ass as Karen still came first around the middle of May 1979.  And we all know that “No one likes a Smart Ass, right Dumb Ass?”  Shared magic moments.

XXXII. A new student

We had a new student in school named Jay.  Jay was a good guy and was into drawing at the time.  Jay also played bass guitar too if I remember right.  I remember Karen telling me (and I knew who Karen was at the time) that it reminded her of when her and Richard moved from Connecticut to Downey California and Karen was wondering if Jay was doing all right and adjusting and such, because Karen remembered that it was difficult when her and Richard moved because being the new kids, you don't really know anyone and such and there's always a clique that makes it tough for new people.  And I was like, "I think Jay is doing pretty well.  He's a good guy.  He likes to draw.  We've already talked a couple times.  He seems to be doing all right so far.  This area really isn't like other areas and most people get along and such.   We don't really have cliques and such here.  Everyone just kind of does their own thing.  The Houghton's mansion is that mansion just down the street from the school.  Fred, you know the student Fred, actually cuts the grass there and such."  About a week after Jay started, Karen, Jay and I were in the classroom and Karen kind of had that "get lost" look in her eye, so I went to the bathroom.  Jay had a brother named John, I believe, that played bass guitar for a heavy metal band called The Rods that was doing well and touring over in Japan at the time.  Karen was like, "If we get back over to Japan, I'll have to look their manager up and see if they want some exposure with us."  Of course with Karen teaching at the time, it wasn't going to be anytime soon, but it's the thought that counts I guess.

XXXIII. The French Connection - Mrs. Woeppel

I had a french teacher named Mrs. Woeppel.  She was a nice lady.  But Corning is a small area and some people talk.  And some talkers sometimes look to create problems for others to solve.  Anyway, for an activity for french class my french teacher set up a restaurant type setting and of course everything done was in french.  It was done either during or after school as a school activity this one day and my mother and father were working.  The other kids' parents were there but mine weren't.  Another thing was that the french teacher had asked us to dress up for this.  So I wore my turquoise blue suit and such but others had came in less 'dressy' attire.  So Mrs. Woeppel seeing that my parents weren't there and that I was kind of overdressed had me wait on her table.  Things were fine and nothing out of the ordinary that I was aware of.  But people talk.  And of course someone said to Karen that I had waited on Mrs. Woeppel's table and that I was wearing a suit and such and of course this someone was trying to make Karen think that there might be something going on between Mrs. Woeppel and me because I was all dressed up and such.  The next day a big mess that I am not sure about details because Karen and Mrs. Woeppel both asked me not to get too involved, so I didn't.  I never really got the full story from anyone that I can remember.  Anyway, The next day Karen heard what someone said about the restaurant thing the night before and Karen went to talk to Mrs. Woeppel about it.  The problem was that Karen was cutting her lemon in the morning for her tea and forgot that she had her knife in her hand when she went to talk to Mrs. Woeppel after Mrs. Woeppel passed by Karen's room.  A big mess.  Someone started yelling at Karen and Karen started yelling back and of course with the knife in Karen's hand, yes, a big mess.  No one was hurt or anything and Karen wasn't looking to hurt anyone, it was just that with a knife in her hand, others were trying to make a big deal out of it.  Mrs. Woeppel also thought something was a bit fishy too because whoever was behind the 'story' that was being told was saying things that didn't seem to match what happened between Mrs. Woeppel and Karen.  The story was that Karen was sneaking up behind and looking to attack Mrs. Woeppel in the hallway with a butcher knife for trying to steal her man or boy or boyfriend or whatever I was in this 'story'.  The truth was that supposedly Karen came out of her room to ask Mrs. Woeppel if I had been the waitor at Mrs. Woeppel's table and if Mrs. Woeppel had heard the rumor 'story' as well.  The actual incident I believe (I wasn't there) was that when Karen came into the hallway to talk to Mrs. Woeppel, someone started screaming at Karen because Karen had a knife and Karen went to yell back and then Karen realized that she had her paring knife in her hand and Karen left the hallway and then came back after putting the knife away.  I believe it was said that Karen had a butcher knife (in the story) while I believe Karen and Mrs. Woeppel both said it was a paring knife.  I remember Mrs. Woeppel being concerned not because of the knife, but because the story that was circulating around didn't seem to match what Mrs. Woeppel and Karen knew had happened.  I remember Mrs. Woeppel and Karen both talking with me about it separately, but neither were really telling me what happened nor was said between Karen and Mrs. Woeppel, just that things were getting all blown out of proportion by others and that it seemed like a possible set up or such.  But I remember this as being possibly the only incident that Karen and I never fully talked about because both Karen and Mrs. Woeppel were both worried that someone might be trying to get Karen fired and they didn't want me getting possibly caught in the middle of this mess.  After this, another 'story' about how I was having a threesome with Karen and Mrs. Woeppel.  This really raised eyebrows with Karen and Mrs. Woeppel as Karen had already told Mrs. Woeppel that I wasn't looking for anyone because I had told Karen before that "I'm not looking for anyone because every time I try to make something happen, it doesn't work out right."  I definitely wasn't looking for a threesome for sure.  Karen could also read my thoughts and Karen knew I was just a one woman man too.  That one woman was Karen, but I was too young and Karen would get in trouble.  But after all this, Karen and I were not talking much to each other any more for the next week or two possibly.  Someone had also started a rumor mill nickname for me of 'Super Stud' at the time as well.  Right, OK, this little dorky kid with glasses was stringing women along and such.  Yes, even Mrs. Woeppel was realizing that someone really had some wild and crazy ideas for sure.  I think Mrs. Woeppel and Karen had a private joke between themselves at the time of who's turn it was going to be to watch during this threesome that night with Super Stud.  Karen and I were always ones to joke, but Mrs. Woeppel was worried because with the rumors and what was being said, someone just was not thinking straight and Mrs. Woeppel was hoping that things would not get any more out of control than they had already been.  So we all kind of kept quiet about things hoping that this rumor mill would stop before anything serious happened.

XXXIV. Marcel Marceau visits

At some point during the year (I believe after the 'Max earthquake' incident, but not sure) Karen found out that she had an expense account with the school for teaching expenses through the principal, John Heib.  Since Karen didn't know about it, she hadn't used the account and she really didn't want to anyway.  But then Karen was teaching about expressive writing and she thought about doing something a little different to make it more interesting.  After Karen asked the principal if it was alright to do something like that, the principal explained that Karen had a school expense account and that the principal thought it was an excellent idea if she could do it and she could use the expense account to pay for it.  The idea was that Karen could get a hold of Marcel Marceau, the mime, and have a more visual presentation to go with the expressive writing discussion she had planned.  Karen was actually going to pay for it out of her own pocket because it was an opportunity for her to work with Marcel.  After contacting Marcel's representative, Marcel was more than happy to try this idea as well.  Marcel was either in Chicago or Los Angeles at the time and flew back to Los Angeles or Chicago afterwards.  Karen got Marcel the airline tickets and also met Marcel at the airport and brought him into the school.  Marcel wore his horizontal striped black and white shirt and face paint while Karen wore a horizontal red and black striped shirt and a beret (hat).  Originally, no one knew that it was Marcel Marceau that was there, but eventually some people found out that he was there.  But anyway, Karen and Marcel worked up an act where Karen would talk about expressive writing and Marcel would use facial expressions to help demonstrate what expressive writing was really about, emotions.  Karen would talk about the emotions, while Marcel would demonstrate those emotions.  Karen also worked in descriptive writing too where you write to describe what is happening.  Was the mime trapped inside a big box?  Little box?  Was there even a box at all and could it have been just the mime's imagination (and Marcel points to his own head)?  It was actually a well thought out lecture by Karen and Marcel and worked very well.  Karen was also a little worried because Marcel was french and Karen didn't speak french very well.  Karen asked Mrs. Woeppel if she would help out and Mrs. Woeppel was more than happy to help out as needed.  Marcel actually spoke english very well, but it was good to have a backup plan just in case.  Marcel wore his makeup all day at the school, but when Karen picked Marcel up at the airport, Marcel didn't have on his makeup or costume, nor did Marcel have on his costume or makeup when he left to go to Chicago or Los Angeles.  And of course during lunch Marcel and Karen talked together and I was the gopher (go for this, go for that) as usual.  During the talk I remember Marcel saying that he always enjoyed education as it was his teacher's question that was what gave Marcel his 'man in a box' idea that got Marcel recognized as a mime.  Marcel and Karen also both agreed with each other that the hardest part of doing a performance was the ending.  You have all of these smiling, happy and wonderful people enjoying the show, but the show can't go on forever and will end at some point.  You don't meet most of these people and you always hope that they stay happy even after the show is over and that the people in the audience take away a good feeling when the show is over.  Yes, Marcel and Karen were both down to earth and caring people and both of them were having a great time that day working in a classroom instead of being separated by a stage and such.

XXXV. Patti again (1981). A substitution, kind of. Goodbyes. Life lessons

The meeting with Paul Williams kind of summed it up like my teacher said it would. I definitely put all of the pieces together and my homeroom and english teacher definitely was the one and only Karen Carpenter.  I graduated high school in 1983 and my teacher's cousin, Patti, graduated from the same school in 1981. In 1981, I saw Patti again I believe in french class with Mrs. / Mme. Luce.  Patti told me how she had gone out to California the year before to see her cousin, Karen, get married to a guy she had only known for three months. Patti also told me that the family was kind of worried about Karen and her recent marriage to a guy that she hardly even knew. But the family wished for Karen to be happy.  Patti also said, "Karen asked me to talk to you about mud pies for some reason.  Do you care to explain?"  Of course I snuck away and didn't explain.  Patti also said, "Why don't you talk about her?  She still loves you you know." and I was like, "I know, but I'm still too young."  Patti was actually a bit more heavy set than Karen, but was more of a girly girl type than a tomboy.  I did not see Patti again after she graduated in 1981. 

The day Karen left, Karen said there would be a substitute and the substitute would finish the year out and that Karen, Miss Bihuniak, would not be returning.  The substitute finished teaching at the middle school for the last couple weeks.  The substitute was nicknamed 'the blonde bimbo' or 'the air head' and was actually Karen with her normal voice and without all that extra stuff she wore as Miss Bihuniak.  So on Miss Bihuniak's last day of classes, she announced to the class that she was leaving and not returning for the rest of the year.  When she made the announcement, a girl behind me said, "She's probably going to Bellevue."  And I was just upset, not because Karen was leaving (because Karen didn't actually leave), but I kind of turned around and said back to the girl in an angry voice, "Well, she's standing right there, why don't you just ask her instead of saying stuff behind people's backs?".  Of course the girl didn't ask and my teacher was kind of shaken up a little because I had a bit of anger in my voice and Karen was just worried that I might 'spill the beans'.  That dream was not Bellevue that I was aware of.  Karen told me that she had been going back and forth driving five hours to New York City for the last few weekends and that she was very exhausted again.  By the last day of school (I think she played the substitute for about three weeks) Karen had a drawer full of AirHeads candy.  Karen was well-loved as Miss Bihuniak as Miss Bihuniak was a very modest and very down to earth person.  As a substitute (I believe Miss Carpenter was her substitute name) she was well-loved again for her sense of humor and silliness.  But still quite a few kids did miss Miss Bihuniak and her sensibility, but oddly, Miss Carpenter, even though whacky, still seemed to have that same problem solving ability Miss Bihuniak had, but it was just a little more off beat and zany was all.

On the last day of school, June 22, 1979, she also said that she wasn't very good at goodbyes and actually hated goodbyes.  And I was like, "Me too, but I know you will always be in my thoughts, you are a hard person to forget.  You may not be there, but I feel that you will always be with me somehow.  I know I am going to mope around because I will miss you actually being here.  But I also know that when I think of you it will be like you are here with me and I will get over it.  We had a lot of great times together and I hope that you have many more."  And then I was like, "Yuck, I hate that mushy stuff which is why I hate goodbyes too.  But it is how I really feel and you know I wish you the best in all that you do wherever and whatever that may be.  And yeah, I had thought about stowing away in your suitcase, but you didn't bring it with you, so I can't."  And she was like, "It is actually out in the car and I know you would have tried to stow away, but I don't think you would fit.  I did get a lot of souvenirs while I was here.  I could barely get my suitcase shut and I had to sit on it to get it to latch.  I am really going to miss you too.  You are really something."  And I was like, "So are you.  You are really something too.  We should go now so you can get around and make sure you have everything before you leave.  I really can't hug you or such still because that desire is still too strong in both of us.  But I can blow you a kiss."  And then I blew her a kiss and then she caught it and blew it back to me and then I said "I love you more" and then I made a quick exit.  And then Karen said, "You little sneak."  And then Karen stood outside her door and yelled down the hall, "I love you more than more."  And Karen and I continued yelling back and forth on the stairs "I love you more" stuff and we were laughing back and forth until I got passed the outside door and left and Karen went back into her room to get the rest of her stuff before she left.

I also never told anyone else that our teacher, Miss Bihuniak, was actually Karen Carpenter.  Patti Carpenter already knew anyway.  Karen was actually my eighth grade english teacher that taught me about similes and metaphores and puns and such.  Next to my fourth grade teacher, Mark Bachman, who was my original 'nice guy' role model, Karen was probably the second most influential teacher I had.  Not because of her being a celebrity or such, but because of all the 'life lessons' that happened during this time.  Julie 'the Family Jewels' Sage was still my greatest influence though with my nickname and all that happened with my new nickname, Ace.  Julie was the person where I figured out the most valuable life lesson, "How would you feel if someone did to you what you just did to them?" after me and Julie talking about our parents and such and how, when we grew up, we did not want to be like our parents had been.  But Karen was the one who came along and pretty much tied everything together between the 'nice guy' and 'you shouldn't do things to others that you wouldn't like done to you'.  I had the knowledge, but Karen was the person that I learned to apply that knowledge with.

XXXVI. The warning. Following directions. Moving along.

I remember now on July 8, 2019, why there was an extra teacher now with Miss Bihuniak at the end of the year.  Miss Bihuniak did actually finish out the year with a monitor that did have specific instructions as far as what to do and why the monitor was there.  Honestly, everyone with a shred of decency close your eyes now and walk away.  Skip to the next paragraph.  Also, remember, people make mistakes.  If a person learns from their mistake, they are not afraid to admit what they did and what they learned.  If a person denies a mistake, it is almost certain that mistake will be repeated.  Myself included.  It would be a mistake for myself not to remember this incident.  From roughly 1979 to 2019, I did forget.  For most of you, honestly, skip over this paragraph.  One person, Maximilian Adalbert Baer Junior, made a HUGE mistake with me that led to my last words I remember saying to him being, "...don't you ever come within arms reach of me or Karen again or I'll kill you and you know it...And after remembering the rest of the stuff written in the rest of this paragraph, those words still hold true to me.  I said what I meant and I meant what I said in 1979 and it now still holds true today.  To date, I do not think that Max has ever owned up to his mistake.  I am pretty sure that Max has probably forgotten after 40 years and that is fine with me.  Another mistake to ANYONE reading this except Maximilian Adalbert Baer Junior would be to mention this incident to Max without Max mentioning it first.  I am hoping that Max forgot about this like I had for 40 years myself.  This memory has always been stored in pieces in my mind.  I had to break it up because of the deep emotion involved.  I am going to do my best here to pick up the pieces and put them back together again as best as I can.  After 40 years stuff is probably missing and some of the stuff may not have been stored accurately to begin with.  I am going to do my best though.  My mistake would be not remembering the last words I spoke to Max if I ever see him again and come within arms distance of him and the reasons behind those words.  The reader's mistake would be trying to use this information to judge others.  Unless you were personally involved in this incident which is myself, Maximilian Adalbert Baer Junior, John Heib, or Karen Carpenter, or the monitor, kindly keep your mouth shut and mind your own business.  The past can not be undone, only remembered.  Honestly, you have been warned if you proceed reading further and not skipping to the next paragraph and do not keep it to yourself about what you read here.  If it does not involve you personally, stay out of it or do not read any further and skip to the next paragraph.  If worst comes to worst, VERY strong sexual content and VERY strong language.  Final warning.  Last chance to turn away.  Too late now after this.  You can't say I didn't warn you.  For the rest, here is what actually happened that I can remember.  Karen was sitting at her desk and I was in my chair on the other side.  We were just talking across her desk like normal.  Mr. Baer comes charging in and then says "I warned you not to talk to him again and I meant it."  And then he picks Miss Bihuniak up and spreads her out on the desk and lifts her skirt up and pulls her panties down and starts to take his belt off and undo his pants and starts to mount her.  Then Mr. Baer says, "Come on.  Right now.  Right in front of him or I turn you in.  Let's see how much he loves you after we do it right in front of him.  You see boy, this is how you love a woman.  Come on over here and I'll show you how it's done.  I'll even let you take over if you want.  Come on over here.  What you got ain't love boy.  I'll show you what love is boy.  This is love."  And while Mr. Baer is saying this, Karen is going, "No, please don't.  No.  No.  Get off of me.  No.  No.  Don't do this to me.  Please.  Get off of me.  Ace please help me."  And as I hear Karen and Max saying what they are saying, I started saying, "Leave her alone.  She said no.  Leave her alone.  Get off of her now.  I mean it.  I've had enough.  Get off of her now.  Enough."  And then I remember me being about 100 pounds soaking wet grabbing Mr. Baer while reaching over Miss Bihuniak's book rack and grabbing him by the shirt with my left arm and slamming his 300 plus pound self against the wall with a loud thud and you could literally hear stuff in all the rooms of the school falling over and glass breaking.  It literally shook the whole building.  I held him up against the wall with my left hand and my right hand with a fist raised and ready to finish him off and I said, "How many times do we have to say enough?  Enough!"  (note, it could have been 'stop it', 'no', or whatever, but I think I said 'enough').  And then from behind me I heard Karen say, "No Ace don't".  And then I let him go and walked over to the chair and sat down again opposite Karen.  And then Mr. Baer put his belt back on and redid his pants and pointed over at Karen and said, "OK, you asked for it.  I told you don't ever say no to me."  And then he turns to me and says, "I'll be right back and don't you dare say a word about this or else I'll have her arrested and you won't see her ever again.  I was only trying to help you out boy."  And I said, "I don't need your kind of help, but don't you ever come within arms reach of me or Karen again or I'll kill you and you know it.  I'm underaged and she would get into trouble if I did what you were just doing.  Not me getting into trouble, her you dumb ass.  Is that what you really want?  Her getting into trouble.  Unlike you, I care about her you f***ing dumb ass.  Don't you f***ing get it yet?  I don't want to f*** her like you've been doing; I want to make love to her.  Champagne, candles, the whole nine yards.  Go do what you feel you gotta f***ing do.  Go on, get the f*** out of my sight you chicken sh*t."  And Mr. Baer left the room and went down the hall and down the stairs. Karen was still laying there on her back on the desk with her legs dangling over the side.  I said to Karen, "I can't look at you right now because you do not want to see my eyes right now.  My eyes are pure anger.  All I can think of is killing him right now.  That is why I am looking away.  You definitely do not want to see them right now.  My eyes are pure evil.  Are you alright?"  And she said, "No.  This is why I have been trying to avoid you for the last few weeks.  He's gonna have me fired and I won't ever see you again.  I don't care about losing my job.  They have strict rules about teachers and students here.  I'm going to miss you."  And I was like, "How long has he been doing this?"  And she said, "Since the beginning of the year.  That's why he had you leave the room all those times.  Do you still love me?"  And I was like, "Of course I still love you, you didn't do anything wrong, how could I not love you?  But yes, I knew too because I saw the other kids looking through the window in the door while I was sitting outside all those times.  I knew you couldn't tell me, but like you know too, I don't get jealous.  And you know too, I was never after you for just sex.  I want the whole package.  Everything."  And she was like, "Thanks, me too; I want everything too.  I need to get up before Max returns.  What took you so long?"  And I was like, "I knew you two had some kind of agreement between you and I didn't want him to think it was because I was jealous or such.  For some strange reason it just clicked in my head that Max had broke whatever the agreement was and I could intervene now, so I did."  And she was like, "I'm glad you did.  I figured that you would need to run out and get some help but I guess you didn't need any.  Are you alright?"  And I'm like, "Not really.  When they get back I'll probably be going to jail after Max is dumb enough to come near me again.  I was actually a fighter as a kid before becoming an egghead or whatever I am now.  You losing your job and me going up the river, we're a lovely couple aren't we?  I know it was rough for you getting up just now but thanks for sitting down because Max would have probably tried to say I did that to you."  Because of this being 'unreadable' and other parts being 'readable' I need to mention a couple other things here.  Later, the principal, Mr. Heib, mentions an old 'rape kit' to Karen as a possibility and asked Karen in all seriousness if Karen wanted to call the police and report it.  Mr. Heib would definitely back her up on reporting it, but also stated that he would let Karen make the decision about it.  Mr. Heib said that he knew Karen had been raped and Mr. Heib was almost in tears because he knew she was in pain when he talked to her.  Karen explained that she didn't want to take a chance of having adverse publicity and such and that Karen felt that the problem had been dealt with anyway and that the cops would probably make a bigger mess than what was already there.  Also, Karen was wearing red panties on this day because when Mr. Heib came close to Karen's desk, Karen and I both kind of kicked her panties out of sight under her desk so that the principal didn't see them.  I think he saw them anyway, but he didn't mention anything about it.  I didn’t really see anything between Karen and Max, but I had heard enough.  And yes, Max could have tried to file assault charges against me, but really, between the size difference and my being a minor, any judge would have tossed it out at the time.

XXXVII. Hoping for a miracle. The principal, John Heib.

And then I continued, "I think they're coming down the hall now and I guess we'll just have to wait and see.  We definitely need a miracle right now."  And she said, "I was thinking that we could use a miracle right now too."  And then about a minute later Max and Mr. Heib come in the door and they both stand by the door.  Mr. Heib says, "I was coming up the stairs anyway because I thought the upstairs boiler may have blown up or something.  There was a loud bang and some yelling.  Is everyone alright?"  And we were all like, "Yes."  And I was like, "I don't know what it was Mr. Heib, but it sure shook the building didn't it?"  And Mr. Heib said, "You're Bud's boy, Ace, aren't you?"  And I said, "Yes I am".  And Mr. Heib said, "That explains it.  I think it was a lot of air in the pipes again.  We'll have to have maintenance look at it tomorrow."  And Max sticks his finger out and said, "I warned you Karen.  Unsupervised.  He caught you two finally." and points at Karen and then to me.  Then Mr. Heib speaks up, "That's enough Max.  I'll do the warning around here."  And then Mr. Heib says, "Karen I can tell you are not alright, but I need to ask you anyway, are you alright?"  And Karen says, "No, you're going to fire me aren't you?"  And Karen is in tears.  And then Mr. Heib (John) says, "Well, I think this has gone on long enough.  I have known about you two talking for quite a while now as I pass by your room once in a while to make sure things are alright.  I have also heard several of your conversations Ace and Karen and I can honestly say that you two make Romeo and Juliet look like a children's book and I honestly used to sneak up here and listen to you two talk because I really enjoyed hearing how you two were dealing with your problems and trying to solve them together.  I wish me and my wife were more like you two.  And like you, I didn't want anyone getting into trouble and I still don't.  As far as being unsupervised, I just told you that I have been watching you two so I can not honestly say that you two have been unsupervised.  That is going in my report.  I don't have a reason to fire you Karen.  You did nothing wrong here.  Ace on the other hand, did you threaten Mr. Baer?"  And I was like, "Yes, I did.  I told Mr. Baer that if he ever came within arms length of me or Miss Bihuniak again, I would kill him."  And Mr. Heib said, "Did your dad ever tell you about the time he cleaned my clock because I was mouthy to your mom?  Well, he cleaned my clock and I learned not to be so mouthy.  I learned a valuable lesson that day from your dad and I still remember it to this day.  And I must now say that I do not want to hear what actually happened here just a little while ago because I feel there would definitely be a lot of extra paperwork than there is going to be already.  I also have a feeling that I would have to call the cops and we would be out a science teacher."  And then Mr. Heib looked over at Max and Max had his head down.  And then Mr. Heib continued, "If I let Ace loose right now, that would be a sh*t ton of paperwork and the school would be out a science teacher and I definitely don't want that either.  Yes, Ace, your dad cleaned my clock but good and he didn't look nearly as pissed off as you do right now.   I'm gonna take your word for it Ace.  Your dad was always good on his word too.  And Max, your dad was a professional boxer, wasn't he?"  And Max said, "Yes, World Champeen (champion)."  And Mr. Heib said, "That's what I thought.  Actually, I took boxing while I was in college myself.  Fascinating sport and I actually liked it as it allowed me to get out some of my aggressions at the time.  Ace's dad was a southpaw and when he hit me, he hit me with what is known as an overhand cross.  It is illegal in the boxing ring, but me and Ace's dad weren't in the ring.  He missed by about a half inch or I wouldn't be talking here right now.  I have always been grateful that he missed and I got a second chance.  Ace, on the other hand is a different story.  Ace's records indicate that he is ambidextrous and can use both hands equally.  I am not sure what that would equate to, only that I wouldn't want to be the one to find out.  I still love the sport, but I feel I have said enough about boxing for now.  I had hoped that I wouldn't have to step in, but now I feel I must for Karen's safety especially.  I am going to fill out the paperwork and have a monitor assigned to you, Karen, as a precaution.  The monitor will have specific instructions which I will tell you all now.  Please listen up carefully and if you have any questions or comments, feel free to speak up.  The monitor is to report to me if Max comes anywhere near you Karen, at any time, for any reason, this monitor is to let me know immediately.  Is that understood Max?"  And Mr. Baer (Max) said, "Yes." and shook his head.  And then Mr. Heib continued, "As far as Ace and Karen talking, the monitor will also have specific instructions that you two can say whatever you want to each other so long as the monitor is present.  The monitor is not there to spy on you two, but I feel a monitor is needed for Karen's safety right now.  As far as Ace and Max, I will just give some advice for you two now and I hope it sinks in.  If I were Max, when science class begins, I would be sitting in my chair and away from the door until after Ace comes in.  If I were Ace, I would probably want to sit by the door and away from Max and leave as soon as class is over.  While class is in session, if I were Max, I definitely would not come within arms length of Ace during class.  I would know better.  This isn't jealousy that I see in Ace.  I see rage which is a whole 'nother animal altogether.  I would definitely not like to see that rage unleashed.  Is that understood Max and Ace?"  And we both shook our heads yes and I said, "Yes, definitely Mr. Heib, understood.  I'll move by the door."  And Mr. Heib said, "Thank you Ace.  And you Max?"  And Max just said, "Understood."  And then Mr. Heib just said, "I'll have everything in place tomorrow and we'll all talk in the morning again.  I think now we ought to call it a day and you three head home and I'll get everything set up for tomorrow.  Just as a precaution, Max, you need to leave with me first.  Ace and Karen, I am going to close the door.  Wait until I come back and open the door and then you two can leave.  Do not open the door or leave under any circumstances until I come back even if someone knocks.  And stay away from the door just in case.  Is that understood Ace and Karen?"  And Karen and I both said "Yes" and shook our heads yes.  Then Mr. Heib said, "Come on Max, let's go."  And then Mr. Heib and Mr. Baer (Max) left and then we heard the doors close and then I looked over at Karen and her eyes were just beaming in a good way.  And then I said, "I didn't want to say anything, but I have seen Mr. Heib by the door several times listening in on us with a smile on his face.  I figured everything would be alright.  I know you're not OK, but are you feeling better now?"  And she was like, "Thank you.  I really thought it was all over.  Here's another extra vocabulary word for you, ecstatic, that's as close as I can come to how I feel right now.  You knew?"  I was like, "Actually, me and Mr. Heib never talked, but I knew if he disapproved he would have stepped into the room while we were talking and said something to us.  He smiled at me many times and I am pretty sure that he really liked us talking because he always seemed to have a smile on his face when he walked by.  A few times he actually stood by the door, and listened to us while your chair was turned the other way.  He's a really nice guy actually.  He can be mean when he has to be though."  And she was like, "You're not mad at me for Max are you?"  And I was like, "That was Max's fault.  I can't be mad at you anyway for anything.  I actually felt sorry for you.  I wanted to help, but I knew you had to deal with it in your own way without me interfering.  We're both a lot alike as you know."  And she was like, "I know, we both know and it's still weird."  And I was like, "Not really weird to me now, it's actually kind of wonderful."  And she was like, "Yeah, weird in a wonderful way."  And I was like, "Exactly, you're always right."  And she said, "If you know what's good for you I am."  And then we both kind of laughed and then Mr. Heib opened the door and let Karen and me out.  We both said, "Thanks, Mr. Heib" (actually I think Karen said "Thanks John.") at the same time and he smiled, then he also said, "Karen, if you have any more troubles definitely let me know.  I wish you had come to me sooner with this, but I understand.  Also, you are not supposed to know this, but the reason I have been passing by is because someone sent a note to the school board saying you two were having inappropriate contact with each other.  I sent a note back to them saying that you two have never had any physical contact and that the teacher sits at her desk and the student sits across from her desk in a desktop chair.  There is always at least three to four feet between them at all times.  I also stated that the door to the room has always been open during their conversations and the light is always on.  I have the note in my office if you would like to read it sometime.  I did stretch the truth a little bit because I was the one that reached in and turned on the light in the room after Cubby left that one morning.  I met Cubby.  Cubby is a really nice fellow.  And I purposely left out discussing the content of your conversations because as you know, a few of them could have been deemed inappropriate by the school board; however, I honestly felt that under your circumstances, those discussions were actually appropriate for you two.  The school board didn't specifically ask and I kind of left that discussion out because I figured that if they really needed to know details, they would ask again.  This is just a suggestion for you two, but because of this investigation, I am asking that you two try to keep extra distance between yourselves in case a board member shows up.  Instead of the front row, you may want to move to the third or fourth row Ace just as a precaution.  See you both tomorrow and thanks for not giving me extra paperwork Ace.  Hopefully I can get home at a decent hour.  Oops, I better call the wife and let her know that I'll be a little late tonight.  I probably ought to call up the florist too because it's our anniversary today.  Thanks for reminding me.  You two would make a great couple.  I hope you don't take that the wrong way."  And Karen and I both said at the same time, "Not at all.  We don't know what to call us either."  And we all laughed including Mr. Heib.  And then I said, "Thanks again and see you tomorrow and happy anniversary."  And Karen said, "Happy anniversary.  I hope it works out with your wife.  If you have any troubles, feel free to have your wife give me a call and I could probably explain this to her if you need help John, you have been so helpful to me".  And Karen and I left and Mr. Heib said, "I'll keep that in mind Karen" and went back into the school.  As a side note, our miracle worker, Mr. John "Jack" Heib died in a car accident on icy roads a couple years later.  So actually, Karen did finish out the school year.  Karen didn't leave early to work on her solo project.  So she actually left at the end of June (21, 22, 23, 24, 25, somewhere in there).  But technically we did have a 'substitute'.  Karen had been wearing a rubber (prosthetic) face mask and a black wig since the beginning of the year.  Karen also had been talking in her 'Marlene Dietrich' low range voice.  The rubber mask was about shot with a couple tears from being taken on and off so much during the school year.  So Karen just said, "It's time for a makeover" and dropped the rubber face mask, wig, 'clod hopper' shoes, and the 'old maids' type long dresses and wore sandals and shorter dresses, her real hair and no face mask and talked in her normal voice.  But it was funny because it was still Karen as our substitute teacher, but the other kids referred to her as the 'blonde bimbo' because she was nowhere near the smart teacher that Miss Bihuniak was.  Like Karen said, "Ace, I don't want to harp on this, but you should really keep a journal."  As always, she was right.  So many pieces to try and put together.  I hope I got them right, or at least close anyway.  Four days now, and hopefully I can finally relax on July 12, 2019 after trying to get all this out of my system after all these years.  And to note above, Max 'snapped' if you read what Max said above about 'love' and all that started this mess.  Max had some wild ideas going on in his head.  That is also why I said what I said about an arms length away from Max.  All I have to do is remember 'Max hurt Karen' in my thoughts and I could kill Max with my bare hands no problem.  Max snapped; I could snap too.  Not meant as a joke or such.  Max had some wrong ideas in his head at the start of all this.  If I get some wrong ideas too, I am no different.  I could still talk to Max so long as we stay out of range just in case.

XXXVIII. Detention and Rod Temperton, "soul mates" and the "Off the Wall" call.

And on July 15, 2019 the rest of this is coming through.  Before leaving on that night, Mr. Heib had Karen and me come to the office with him.  Mr. Heib showed us his letter to the Board of Education that he sent.  He also stated that I would be getting detention and that Mr. Heib was having Karen be the detention teacher for the next couple weeks.  That way, she would be leaving after Mr. Baer had left to avoid possible problems.  After the couple weeks, Mr. Baer would be put on the detention assignment.  Mr. Heib asked Karen if that would cause any problems and she was like, "I usually leave for New York City on Friday, but I can probably work around it.  Can I use the phone to make a long distance call?"  And Mr. Heib said, "So long as you pay for it.  You can use the phone in the other room.  Just dial 9 to get an outside line, then dial the number."  She was like, "OK, let me know how much and I'll write a check." 

And then Karen and I went into the other room and Mr. Heib stayed in his room and used his phone there.  His secretary came in with us and showed Karen the phone and told her about the speakerphone as well (old-fashioned version of the speakerphone where you set the phone into a holder and flipped a switch to boost the volume).  Karen dialed out to New York to Phil Ramone's house.  I think the phone rang twice and then a guy picked up with a british type accent and said, "Hello.  Who is this?"  And Karen said, "Rod, is that you?  I know a different number showed up but this is Karen."  And the voice said, "I wondered who that was.  It's you?  Could you hold on for a minute, my tape recorder is low on batteries and I am trying to find the batteries."  Karen was like, "Did you try the drawer?"  And Rod was like, "Of course I tried the drawer, but somebody must have moved them."  A couple drawer sliding sounds, some silverware clanging, a couple door closings and then, "I found them in the other drawer.  Hold on.  Also, I had a feeling you would be calling and I have this odd feeling that I need to tape this because I think I can get an idea for a song.  OK, rolling."  And then Karen asked, "Are Phil and Itchie there?"  And Rod says, "Phil and Snitchy went out for a bit.  We're clear."  And Karen says to me in a low voice, "We call Phil's girlfriend Snitchy when she isn't around, so she's not around."  And Karen goes, "actually if they are gone then the car is gone, I was going to ask you if you could swing by the airport and check flight numbers and times, I got a bit of a problem on Friday."  And Rod said, "Didn't you get Phil's message yet?  Phil called earlier to let you know that he is sending me to Los Angeles for two weeks or so and that you can take the next couple weeks off.  That's why I'm busy right now. I'm packing for LA.  Phil wants me to have at least three songs for this new client and I only have the one we have been working on and that other song from that Bahler guy.  His name kind of says it all, Bahler.  Bail.  Trouble.  I can't figure out what you ever saw in him."  And Karen was like, "We were both lonely."  And Rod was like, "Desperate is more like it."  And then Karen says, "Aw, are you still mad at me for that prank I pulled when you were hitting on Debbie Gibson Roddy Woddy?  That was what she called him, Roddy Woddy.  So I played a jealous ex-lover and scared her off."  And Rod was like, "I was making a bit of progress with her at the pub before you chased me around with that, what was it, a baseball bat?  [Note, Karen said it was a pool cue off to the side to me.]  I guess I am still a bit miffed about it."  And Karen was like, "She was just stringing you along Roddy Woddy.  That's Debbie Gibson and you didn't stand a chance with her.  She's way out of your league Roddy Woddy."  And Rod was like, "Well I guess I need to change leagues then, can you help me?" or something like that.  I just started giggling a little bit in the background and Rod said, "All right, out with it, what's so funny?"  And I spoke up, "Sorry, I couldn't help it.  When you two were arguing just now, you sounded like a married couple."  And Rod said, "Ha ha, very funny Ace." in a dead pan voice.  And then Rod continued, "Although actually, Karen and I have been cooped up together in the studio so much it almost feels like we are a married couple, isn't that right Sugar Muffin?"  And Karen said, "That's right My Sweet Potato Pie."  And we all kind of giggled a bit.  And then Rod said, "I know you didn't call me because you wanted to chit chat, what's the problem?"  And Karen said, "Actually, you know that boy I have been telling you about?"  And Rod said back, "OK, how much is the bail?  Did the papers get a hold of it yet?  Do you need hush money?  How much trouble are you in?  Do you need an abortion?  I got some money stashed away if you need it, just ask."  And Karen said, "Definitely not an abortion Rod, we've never even touched each other yet.  Not even a hug honestly.  Actually, you also know that teacher I told you I was having problems with?  Well, the boy bounced the teacher off the wall and I don't think the teacher will be bothering me again.  The boy's name is Ace.  He's my hero."  And Rod is like, "OK, how much bail money does this boy need?  If he helped you out, I would gladly help him out.  Anything just name it."  And then I spoke up and said, "Hi Rod, it's me, the boy, Ace, and I don't think Max will be bothering her any more.  I straightened his act up in a hurry.  He started some stuff, so I just reached over her desk and grabbed him with my left hand and slammed him up against the wall and then let him go and then I read him the riot act and told him to stay at least an arm's length away from Karen and me or I'd kill him.  I think he got the hint.  It's kind of too late for him though."  And Rod said, "That's just crazy.  Pure madness.  You must be a big kid."  And I was like, "I'm actually about 4 foot 9 inches tall and 100 pounds soaking wet, but he made me mad because he hurt Karen and I just let him have it.  He is definitely over 6 foot and 300 plus pounds, but after this, he is definitely afraid of me too.  I bounced him off the wall so hard I cracked the wall which is why I got detention and Karen was going to tell you that she is going to be the detention teacher and my babysitter for the next couple weeks so that Max leaves before she does just as a precaution."  And Rod was like, "Are you alright Karen?"  And Karen was like, "I'm great.  I was worried about losing my job because of Max, but I know I won't now because the principal stuck up for me too.  That and Ace coming to my rescue.  I think Ace's words hurt him more than any beating he could have got.  It's been quite a day today.  I'm really happy but I'm getting tired now too."  And I was like, "She's a little shaken up, but I think she's doing much better now."  And Rod was like, "I want to thank you Ace for helping out our little lady.  She is sounding much happier now than she has been in a long time.  I know she has been worrying for quite a while now."  And I was like, "How do you rate, Rod?  Last time I said little around Karen, she started throwing books at me."  And Karen was laughing in the background and then said, "It's true Rod.  I'll tell you about it sometime.  Also, you know that idea you were looking for?  Here, I'll hand the phone over to Ace and he can tell you."  And I spoke up and said, "Karen said you were looking for an idea for a theme for her new album.  I got to thinking and how does romantic versus physical love sound?"  And Rod said, "Actually, that sounds very interesting Ace.  I think that would work.  On one end the emotional attraction and on the other end the physical attraction and then having to make a choice between the two.  An excellent idea Ace.  I think we can make it work. Thanks."  And then Rod was like, "I'm definitely sensing something about you two.  Karen, you and I have talked, Ace you are Sagittarius and Karen you are Pisces.  Because Ace is the male, fire dominates you two.  There is a passion there that knows no bounds between you two.  This question I am going to ask you now is very important.  You two have not come together yet, have you?"  And Karen and (I) said in unison, "No, we've never physically touched.  Ace is (I am) too young.  I (Karen) would get in trouble."  And Rod said, "That's actually good.  Someone is watching over you two.  Soul mates are joined in the spirit, if the flesh joins too, your spirits would long for eternity wishing to return to the flesh again.  So long as you two don't touch, you should be fine.  Remember what I just told you two."  And we were like, "Thanks for warning us Rod." in unison of course.  And then Rod continued, "With over 2 billion people on this planet, the odds are astronomical that soul mates would find each other in this day and age.  In other words, the chance of soul mates finding each other is zero.  Impossible.  Ace and Karen, could you hold your hands up and look by the thumb on each other's hands?"  And Karen and I were like, "OK, now what?" at the same time.  And then the secretary opened up the door and saw us two standing there with our hands up in the air standing around the phone on the table, then said, "I'm not even going to ask.  When you two are done with your séance with the phone, your paperwork is ready in the next room."  And then the secretary just shut the door.  And Rod said, "Is there someone else present with you two?  No matter.  Karen, I know your line by your thumb is short.  Is Ace's line long and down to his wrist?"  And Karen said, "Yes."  And then Rod asked, "Do you two ever argue?"  And I was like, "I got this one.  No.  We don't argue.  How can you argue with someone when she's always right?"  And Karen was like, "And if he knows what's good for him, he better admit that I'm right too."  And Rod said, "Good one.  I like it.  Hard to argue with that."  And then Rod asked, "Do you two sometimes know what the other is thinking without asking?"  And we both said, "Yes."  And then Rod asked, "Do you two always seem to make each other happy and feel like you are floating on air?"  And we both said, "Yes."  And then Rod said, "This one is really important.  I really need to know the truth from you two on this one.  Have you two ever dreamt about each other?"  And we both said in unison, "No."  And Rod said, "Are you sure about that?"  And both Karen and I said, "Positive."  And then Rod said, "Believe it or not, you would be surprised how many westerners mess up that question.  Either one or the other will say yes or no or they will both say yes.  This is very unusual.  Western culture almost has a stigma with literature and such which tends to fantasize about the person of your dreams and such, but truthfully, soul mates do not dream about each other.  I don't know why that is, it just is."  And then Karen and I said in unison, "We both feel that we are each other's dreams come true."  And Rod said, "I'll have to think about that.  You two are definitely soul mates.  I can tell by the way you two sound.  I can also tell by your voice Karen.  And your voice too Ace.  You two have a bond between you that can't be broken even by death.  So long as you two think of each other, even if the other isn't there, you will be happy."  And Karen and I were like, "Soul mates.  That's what we are." at the same time.  And Rod was like, "There's more that I need to tell you two.  After a person finds their soul mate, they do not return back to the Earth after they die.  Now you know why I told you about not touching each other.  There are dire consequences if you do touch each other in the flesh.  The reason why I asked you two to show your hands to each other is that Ace, you are going to be around a long time after Karen passes away.  She is your soul mate and you will miss her, but she will always be there to comfort you in your thoughts.  Now I know that all I have to do to cheer Karen up is just say Ace now.  That makes my job a lot easier."  And then Rod was like, "Speaking of my job Karen, I feel kind of bad about this, but Phil is looking to try and get Michael Jackson on board which is why he is wanting your song and asking me to sabotage your recording sessions.  Three songs, which I am starting to get an idea now for that third song.  I'll have to work on it on the flight to Los Angeles, but I think I got something now.  I'm starting to get a melody in my head which is usually how it starts.  I am in an ethical dilemma now because Phil is the one who signs my checks and if I want a check, I have to do what Phil wants.  You, Karen, are the one giving Phil the money so that Phil can write my checks.  But if Phil could take Michael away from Quincy Jones, that would be a big feather in Phil's cap.  Oh my.  Look at the time.  This call will probably cost you a small fortune Karen.  We can talk later.  Ace, it has been a pleasure to finally talk to you.  You are really an off the wall kind of guy and I like that."  And I was like, "It's been great talking to you too Rod.  It's great knowing that someone else likes making Karen happy too.  All you have to do is just say the magic word Ace and presto change-o, instant happiness.  Actually, on my end, just say the word Karen and I do the same thing."  And then Karen was like, "Good luck on your trip and I understand about the songs Rod.  I love those songs too.  It's not your fault.  Maybe after a couple weeks, we can try out that new song you got too.  Anyway, I better let you go before Phil and Snitchy get back."  And Rod was like, "Thanks for reminding me, I better put those batteries back in the drawer, you know how she gets."  And Karen was like, "Don't forget to wipe this number out of the phone Rod, this is actually my work number and if they called it, it would be the school answering."  Rod was like, "Already done.  We better go.  I think they may be coming up the drive now."  And we hung up.  Somewhere in there too, Rod mentioned fishing and "reeling you in" and I said something like, "She wouldn't need to reel me in, I'd probably just jump up on shore at her feet."  I think Karen said the call ended up costing her 25 dollars because we talked so long (at least 20 minutes), but she could write it off as a business expense on her tax deductions.  Then Karen called her cousin, that she is staying with, and she told her she got a call from Phil and Phil left a message to take the next two weeks off.  Karen just told them that she was alright and that she finally got some of her problems at school cleared up which is why she was running late.  She told her cousin that she was doing much better now and that she was also going to be staying later doing the detention classes and that she would talk more when she got there.  Her cousin also mentioned the 'earthquake' and that a couple things had fallen over at the house and her cousin was actually glad that Karen called her.  Like Karen's cousin said, "That earthquake was really something and I'm glad you're OK.  I know you're used to earthquakes out in California, but we almost never get one here and if that's what they're like you can have them."  She understood.  Mr. Heib had called my parents saying that I was going to be getting home late because I got detention and of course they talked about cleaning clocks.  Then we all kind of left like above and Mr. Heib went back in and called his wife on their anniversary and all that.

XXXIX. The day after and beyond. I love you more...

And what about the aftermath of what happened above for those that were smart enough to skip ahead, and even for those that weren't so smart?  Well, I actually do not remember much after the big blow out and the events leading to it.

I do remember now on January 16, 2020 that Max Baer, the boxer and Max Jr.'s dad, showed up on the day after I believe.  Maxi had the gruff voice but I could also tell that he was upset.  And as Maxi spoke it became very apparent that Maxi was upset at his son and not myself or Karen.  But Maxi had talked with Karen first to find out what happened after Max had called his dad saying there was possible trouble.  So Maxi came in and talked with Karen and Karen explained that she really didn't want any possible publicity or such and that Max had been dealt with so Max wasn't going to be a problem anymore.  Karen kind of told Maxi what happened and that the police weren't going to be involved and Karen pointed me out to Maxi and said that I was the one that remodelled her wall with Max and Max had gone to the hospital and had to wear a chest compression bandage for 2 weeks.  Maxi then had some fun with me and I can honestly say that Max Baer the boxer liked kids and was not actually a mean person; he just had a gruff voice.  But Maxi came over to me and was like, "So you're the tough guy that sent my baby boy to the hospital.  Come on tough guy let's see what you're made of and let's see how you do against old Maxi.  Come on, put 'em up.  We got a score to settle.  I got my family honor to protect here and with that being said I would just like to shake your hand and say thank you for putting my son in his place.  I heard what happened with her and he deserved it."  And we shake hands and then he continues, "I think he gets it from his mother's side.  He's my son, but Max ain't the brightest penny in the barrel; that's for sure.  He ran off to Hollywood and he got all these stupid ideas in his head.  Me, I lived on the streets and worked hard and became world champeen (champion).  He's my son and he's all I got but he can be a real dumb ass sometimes.  Thank you for trying to set my son straight.  We OK?"  And I was like, "Yeah, we're OK." or something like that.  And then Maxi went over across the hall and proceeded to chew his son, Max, a new one (as we call it a new a**hole).  "I thought you said you had trouble..." and Maxi just verbally tore right into Max, "'re stupid...I bailed you out...they're nice people...look at you...a little kid?...This is embarassing...What were you thinking?...Hollywood..."  At first Max was like, "Yes father" like a preacher then Max was in tears after a short while and Maxi just tore into Max even more and not just verbally.   Sometimes you just have to try and tell it like it is or they just don't get it.  "...3 to 5 years in the state pen, minimum, is that what you want?...straighten up..."  And the reason for the ... is because Karen and I were listening to what was going on across the hall and we were both saying to each other at the same time, "He's gonna get it.  He's gonna get it.  He's gonna get it.  [smack sound in background from across the hall] He got it."  Max Senior had passed away from a heart attack in 1959 so I believe this was actually Maxi's brother, Buddy Baer who had alzheimer's.

I also kind of remember the day after and my walking in and sitting towards the back of the class like Mr. Heib had asked.  When I came in, my teacher waved and said to the monitor something like, "That's the boy I was telling you about, Ace."  And then the monitor picked up the phone and Karen said something like, "He's not the one."  And Karen took the phone out of the monitor's hand and hung it up.  And the monitor said, "I know that, he seems like a really nice boy, but there is someone coming from across the hall."  And Karen said, "Oops, sorry."  And the monitor said, "Mr. Heib is on his way anyway."  Mr. Baer sent over a letter with a student named Brian.  I remember Karen ripping up the letter without reading it and throwing it in the trash.  And then Mr. Heib showed up shortly after and I do not remember much after that on the first day afterwards. 

I do remember the monitor being there and Karen and I still talking a lot.  I do also remember that the monitor was actually a secretary too and not really a teacher.  The monitor also said that Mr. Heib would always smile when the secretary would read something that Karen and I said during our conversations.  Mr. Heib would usually ask the secretary to read it back three or four times then put it away in the special 'hidden' folder Mr. Heib had.  Inside this folder was also Karen’s actual school records just in case someone found out that Karen was using an alias.  Karen was qualified, but Karen was looking to avoid possible publicity so she used an alias was all.  Karen's actual records were more qualifying than the alias she used as her alias only had a high school diploma without any college at all.  And respectfully no one ever tried to 'blow her cover' so to speak, but the records were there, hidden, just in case.  There were a few times when Karen and I got so excited talking to each other that the secretary (monitor) asked us to slow down because she couldn't keep up.  So a few times Karen and I talked in slow motion just as a joke because we would get so excited and the secretary would start laughing too and say, "Alright you two.  You crack me up.  Not that slow.  Just try to pause a little here and there so I can catch up."  And one time we were so excited, the secretary said, "I hope I'm not interrupting you two but this is good stuff here.  I know Mr. Heib is going to want to hear it at least three or four times.  I like hearing it myself.  Keep it going.  Oops, just pretend like I'm not here."  After that first time, if we started going too fast, the monitor would just say, "Pretend like I'm not here."  And we would both say, "We do." and we would pause for a little bit until she stopped writing, and then continue on.  Honestly, most of the time, we forgot there was a monitor there. 

Most of the excited talks were either about how we felt about each other or about Michael Jackson's Off the Wall album being finished on June 3rd and Karen was so excited about the songs she started, "Rock with You" and "Off the Wall" and because she was so excited, I was excited too.  It would go like this, Karen would say, "Michael Jackson finished his new album Off the Wall and my two songs are on it.  I like what he did with the songs.  Rock with You is definitely our song.  It's written about us.  It has this really awesome beat.  Rod snuck me a copy."  And I would be like, "That's great Honey.  Our song is on there and I know it will be a #1 some day.  It can't miss."  And she would be like, "I know it's great.  I got a call from Michael, himself, thanking me.  I love that song and I listen to the demo tape over and over again because it reminds me of you."  And we would just go back and forth and the secretary would be writing like crazy because we were talking so fast Karen, Ace, Karen, Ace, back and forth without a pause.  She broke several pencils trying to keep up, but luckily she had an electric pencil sharpener too.  I think the secretary went through at least a pencil and a steno pad every week.  I know Karen thanked me for putting Mr. Baer in his place, and I know she told me some stuff about the kind of impact my words had on Mr. Baer, but I can't really remember exactly what was said now.  I think she said that my words were worst than any beating he could have got. 

I do remember that each time I went into Mr. Baer's science room that Mr. Baer was in his teacher's chair behind the desk and I sat in the chair closest to the door.  I also think that every time I came in, I slammed everything down on the desk and then I took my left hand and put my left elbow on the desk and made a fist and looked right at Mr. Baer with that get too close and I'm going to kill you look I had.  And honestly, he didn't get too close either and he rarely even looked at me except to see if I was seated or not.  Mr. Baer's voice was definitely much calmer the rest of the year and not as cocky as he had been before.  So I know I definitely had a positive impact on him.  Karen and I also talked too about what other kids were saying about what was going on and what most of the other kids thought about Karen, my teacher, having a monitor.  Most of the kids thought that Karen got in trouble for doing something with me instead of protection from Mr. Baer. 

As far as our 'feeling' talks, Karen and I had started doing this back and forth.  I (or Karen) would say, "I love you."  And Karen (or I) would say, "I love you more."  And then I (or Karen) would say, "I love you more than more."  And then Karen (or I) would say, "I love you more than more with a cherry on top."  And then I (or Karen) would say, "I love you more than more with a cherry on top of pickled ice cream."  And then Karen (or I) would say, "I love you more than more with a cherry on top of pickled ice cream with a stork flying around".  And we would just keep going back and forth adding to the 'I love you more story'.  Sometimes we added some really romantic stuff, but many times we would throw in stuff like "used toilet paper" and such and we would start getting a really bad case of the giggles trying to outdo each other.  I remember saying one time, "I got you this time.  I love you more than biting into an apple and finding a worm.  Beat that."  And then Karen said, "I love you more than biting into an apple and finding half a worm.  I think you forgot that I used to date Steve Martin."  And then of course me with, "I love you more than dingle berries."  And Karen is like, "I know better than to ask, but what are dingle berries?"  And I was like, "You know when you poop and it gets stuck to your butt hairs?  Dingle berries."  And Karen was like, "That's what I figured."  That's real love.  For more real love, try these...

And in 1979 Karen and I would both say to each other "I love you more than..." (who said what, and note, for the 'Karen and me' comments, we said it at the same time together)

"...used toilet paper" (me)
"...biting into an apple and finding a worm.  Beat that." (me)
"...biting into an apple and finding half a worm" (Karen)
" diving without a parachute" (me)
"...being tossed into an active volcano" (Karen)
"...doing homework" (me)
"...correcting homework and tests" (Karen)
"...the hiccups" (Karen)
"...pricker bushes" (Karen)
"...doing chores" (Karen and me)
"...getting stuck in traffic" (Karen)
"...getting sick" (Karen and me)
"...stubbing my toe" (Karen)
"...limping" (me)
"...more" (me)
"...cow pies" (Karen)
"...a headache" (Karen)
"...cooties" (me)
"...being stung by a bee" (Karen)
"...smelly gym socks" (me)
" stripes in our underwear" (Karen and me)
"...Castor Oil" (me)
"...Cod Liver Oil" (Karen)
"...ever" (me) "You cheated. I was just thinking that." (Karen)
"...standing down wind at a chili cook off" (me) "What's wrong with chili?" (Karen)
"...standing down wind at a farting contest" (me) "Why didn't you say that in the first place?" (Karen)
"...leftovers" (me) "I like leftovers. You must really love me." (Karen)
"...earthquakes and tidal waves" (me)
"...earthquakes and mud slides" (Karen)
"...getting a wedgie" (me)
"...getting an atomic wedgie" (Karen) "What's an atomic wedgie?" (me) "Your underwear goes over your head" (Karen)
"...sneezing and kissing a fool" (Karen)
"...eating with chopsticks" (me) "It's easy.  I'll show you some time" (Karen)
"...making bubbles in the bathtub without bubble bath" (me) "That sounds like fun" (Karen) "It is until the bubbles burst.  Try saying that three times fast" (me) "Bubbles burst; bubbles burst; bubbles burst" (Karen and me)
"...paying bills" (Karen)
"...a hang nail" (Karen)
"...sleeping on a bed of nails" (me)
"...having a wart" (Karen)
"...rubber baby buggy bumpers" (Karen and me)
"...reciting poetry" (Karen) "You're a singer" (me) "I know it sounds weird but trust me on this" (Karen)
"...walking on hot coals" (Karen)
"...being invited to a cannibal's dinner party" (me)
"...getting food stuck in my teeth." (Karen)
"...finishing 11th place in a 10 person marathon" (me)
"...dirty diapers" (Karen)
"...dirty dishes" (Karen)
"...dirty laundry" (Karen)
"...mowing the lawn" (me)
" up dog poop in the yard" (Karen and me)
"...having an itch in a place you can't scratch" (me)
"...slamming my hand in the car door" (Karen) "Ouch" (me)
"...falling down the stairs" (Karen)
"...falling up the stairs" (me) "That was funny that time" (Karen)
"...having a nightmare where you went to school in your pajamas and then you realize that you hadn't gone to sleep" (me) "So that's why you were late for homeroom the other day?" (Karen) "Yup" (me)
"...dingle berries" (me) "I know better than to ask, but what are dingle berries?" (Karen) "You know when you poop and it sticks to your butt hairs?  Dingle berries." (me) "That's what I figured." (Karen)

Love you forever Honey,
from Darling

Karen and I got asked about advice for couples and we had this to say, "We are two people that want to be together.  That's our secret.  Everything else falls into place after that.  We want to be together all the time, but that isn't possible.  But when we are apart, we still feel like we are there with each other in our thoughts.  We like to make each other happier, and it may seem weird, but at times we thought we couldn't be happier, but we were somehow.  We still do our own things, but our most precious thing is our times together."

XL. Calm down. I mean it.

I was so upset for so long after the incident between Karen and Max and me.  About a week or two later Karen just said to me, "I know you hate Max, but that anger I see in you isn't doing you any good.  If you keep this up you are probably going to give yourself a heart attack and end up in the hospital and I don't want to go through that with you.  [and Karen starts crying a little]  I would visit you in the hospital if it happens, but I know I wouldn't be able to look at you and I would just start crying like I am now.  I know what Max did was wrong, but I was raised Christian and it is wrong to hate too.  I was the one that Max did that to, and if I can find it in my heart to forgive him, I am hoping you can do the same.  Will you at least try for my sake?"  And I was like, "I can try.  I used to feel sorry for him because I knew people picked on him because of his goofy voice, but after what happened with you, I don't feel sorry for him anymore.  You know how protective I get with people that get picked on.  I can't really forgive and forget, but I can try to let go of my anger about all of this, because like you know, it isn't doing anybody any good.  Thanks for your concern and I'll try.  Besides, I know if I do end up in the hospital I know you'll definitely come in to see the look on my face when I realize that the rectal thermometer tastes funny.  And then you can tell the nurses how the life insurance policy is all paid up and that I like sleeping with my head buried under the pillows."  And then Karen said, "I know you are trying to make me feel better with jokes, but losing you is not a joke to me.  What you just said now only made me feel worst.  I almost feel like this is all my fault.  I really don't want to lose you.  You helped me and now I feel I need to help you.  You need to stop being so angry.  No joke.  I mean it.  I really don't want to lose you because I don't think I could handle losing you because you mean so much to me now."  And I was like, "First, back the truck up, there is no way that any of this has been your fault.  Max did what he did, you did nothing wrong, but now I feel I am doing what I need to do.  I understand.  But Max brought this all on himself by doing what he's been doing.  There is no way I can blame you in any of this, honestly, you have done nothing wrong.  If you've noticed, I've never been the least bit angry with you about anything because how can any of this be your fault; you did nothing wrong; but Max is another story.  All joking aside, when I feel he isn't going to try and hurt you anymore, the anger will go away, but not until.  There's nothing I can really do about it.  I'll be alright.  It's you I worry about.  Remember our palms, you go before me.  I don't know how or when, but you go before I do..."  And then Karen was like, “Max is a little different.  I remember Max telling me that his dad’s idea of sex education was taking him to a brothel and giving him a couple hundred bucks so he could have fun.  I know it’s not an excuse, but we’re all raised a little differently, even you and me.  I hope you understand.”  And I was like, “Yup, I understand.  Each person is a little different and some take longer than others to learn and some just never learn at all.  The school of hard knocks I guess is what they call it now."  And Karen was like, “You got it.”  I remember that the day after this talk with Karen, Mr. Baer said to me, "If you want me to say that I'm a chicken sh*t, then I'm a chicken sh*t."  And then I knew he wasn't going to try to get back at her or me for what happened that was actually his fault anyway.  [Blank]ing somebody, threatening to have them arrested, and then trying to get them fired from their job is not forgivable in my book.  Once done, you can't un[blank] someone.  But people can and do make mistakes.  Mr. Baer (Max) was very quiet the rest of the school year.  I figured that I had said what I needed to say to him after I slammed him up against the wall.  Things happened and I moved on.  What else could I do?  If you forgive someone for something like that, then what are they going to do next after they've been forgiven without actually earning that forgiveness?  Sometimes it is just best to move on, so I moved on.  I just can't forgive someone for forgiveness' sake.  Someone has to earn forgiveness from me.  And forgiveness from me is earned by trying to make amends as best as possible.  Repentance (admitting a wrong was done) and penance (making amends for that wrong as best as possible).  I am aware that Max worked on a movie called 'Star 80' which did make people aware of people having mental problems and breakdowns and such, and Karen is not around any more to be hurt.

XLI. Our morbid and off color sense of humor

And one of Karen and my favorite sayings at the time was, "If you love something, set it free.  If it doesn't come back, then hunt it down and kill it (instead of 'it was never meant to be')."  Karen and I always came back to each other, so all was fine between us.  Yes, Karen and I did have a morbid sense of humor at times.

And of course another big joke at the time was, "Smokey the Bear says only you can prevent forest fires.  Please don't wear corduroys if you have thunder thighs."

Karen and I were also both the types that could not resist waving hello to someone that had armfuls of packages.  You know that awkward moment when someone realizes that they can't wave back or oops...

And you know that awkward moment when you are looking for your keys and then you realize they have been in your hand the whole time.

With the psychology and psychiatry stuff, “You are getting sleepy.  Your eyes are getting very, very heavy… You are asleep.”  And then I might say, “Bark like a chicken.”  And Karen would say, “You first.”  Or I would say, “Sing like a canary.”  And Karen would go, “Woof woof.”  And me, “Meow like a cat.” And Karen, “Tweet tweet.”  Stuff like that.  Then we would talk about how Karen and her cousin Wendy would fall asleep in front of the TV with their knitting needles in their hands.  Karen would also mention that she hadn’t been sleepwalking since about the first week or so.  Maybe it was the recliners or maybe because she was feeling a bit more relaxed being away from the hustle and bustle of the music biz.  Would have to wait and see I guess.

And of course, "That's the way the cookie bounces and the ball crumbles."  This was Karen and me, we had definitely seen more cookies bounce and balls crumble than the other way around.

“Oops, I got my mirds wixed up.”  At times Karen and I would kind of get our words mixed up, so mirds wixed up.

And discussing classic literary works such as "The Yellow River" by I. P. Dailey and "The Frozen Mystery" by Hu Shitinda Icebox.

"Be careful about jumping to conclusions.  When you jump to conclusions you tend to assume and when you assume, you tend to make an ass out of you and me."

And of course, opera.  "It ain't over until the fat lady sings."  Karen and I both agreed that the Carpenters did not do opera or else none of the Carpenters' shows would have ever ended.  The Carpenters didn't have a fat lady.  "No opera" was a rule.  "No disco" was still open for debate.

And "coyote music"?  Yeah, there is some music that just sounds like someone is howling at the moon or such.  Slim Whitman's "Cattle Call" is a good example of this.  "Ow ow owoooo".

Whoopee cushion music?  "For What It's Worth" by Buffalo Springfield is a good example of this.  "You better stop [whoopee cushion sound] what's that sound, everybody look what's going down..." repeat.

And another nickname for Karen, Buck Snort.  If you could get Karen laughing good enough, she would start snorting with her nose while laughing and that would get her to start laughing even more and more snorting and more laughing and the tears of joy.  Karen always loved a good laugh.

A new saying too, “Accidentally on purpose” as in “I accidentally on purpose put a bucket of water with a string on it above the door so that when the door opened you accidentally on purpose got soaked”.

And of course Dr. Ruth Westheimer.  She was always taking guy's penises on TV one way or the other.

Me, "What color's your hair?".  Karen, "Black I think."  Me, "What color's the hair on top of your head?"   Karen as she takes off her wig, "It's a wig.  See.  My hair is actually a strawberry blonde color and I wear the wig so that hopefully people don't recognize me.  Why do you ask?"  Me, "Just curious."  Karen, "I bet.  You are a teenager after all.  You might want to watch who you ask that to, I have a feeling that one of these times someone is going to smack that little smirk off your face."  Me, "Smacking lips is cool with the right person."  Karen, "I can't argue with that.  Do you have anyone in mind?"  Me, "Yes, you know I always think of you but you'd get in trouble."  Karen, "Trouble is my middle name."  Me, "Mine too."  And Karen and I have our hands on the desks ready to jump over the desks and have at each other.  Then Max (teacher across the hall) standing by the door, "Am I interrupting something?"  Karen and I at the same time, "No, nothing at all.  Come on in."

And in the news today, Cleopatra found out that playing with her asp too much was not such a good idea after all.

And speaking of current events, Baby M had been born, the world’s first ‘Test Tube Baby”.  There were now 13 signs of the zodiac that people could be born under.  The thirteenth sign being “Pyrex”.

And of course, Ben Dover, the executive in charge of promotions around here.  If you are looking to move up the corporate ladder then bend over, I mean Ben Dover, may be able to help you.

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but whips and chains excite me (instead of 'names will never hurt me').

And also, this was a time of hedonism and S & M (Sadism & Masochism) and Karen and I had an inside joke about this and we used to call it "M & M's" because Karen and I weren't really ones to hurt others if we could help it.  I would joke with Karen and say, "Are you sure you don't want to get on your fishnet stockings, high-heels, and short skirt and spank me?  I've been a bad boy lately and I need some M & M's."  And Karen would say, "I know it's still allowed but I don't believe in corporal punishment and how is a spanking going to keep you from bad behavior?  You'd like it too much."  I never could find a good answer for that one.

Drumming is a dangerous profession.  There's nowhere to hide back there and a couple good bean farts and you're done for.

And of course meeting new people sometimes I couldn’t help myself and Karen would get a kick out of it too, like…  “Dr. Ace, proctologist, you’d be surprised the amount of money you could save by not wearing rubber gloves and who is going to look back to notice.  Do you wanna shake on that?” and “Joseph Konyu, great white buffalo hunter, you may have never herd of buffalo but surely you’ve heard of joke on you?” and “I’m the Great Zilcho, really that name means nothing to me, zero, zilch, nada, but what’s in a name anyway?” and “Most honorable greetings.  I am Confusion.  He who hesitates must pause.  Man must learn to be wise like potato chip.  Sank you for displeasure on shaking your hand.” And “Oh, sorry about that [wipe hands on pants] I was raised in a barn and sometimes you miss some stuff.”  Yeah, Karen and I were a lot alike before we met each other.  And yeah too, Karen would warn me beforehand not to do that stuff with certain people.  Karen would point her finger at me and tell me, “No monkey business” when she needed me to be serious.

And as Karen and I would both say, "Teenagers.  You can't live with them, but we wouldn't be here without them."

And to end this on an actual serious note, Karen and I actually did have a serious talk about becoming jewish and moving to Israel because the legal age there was 13.  We also talked about bar mitzvah and that kind of stuff.  We were seriously talking of becoming jewish and moving to Israel.  Not meant as a hypothetical joke or such.  But then Karen thought about the laws over there and that I would need to serve in the military at age 16 and Karen was dead set against the possibility that I might die before her.  Karen and I decided that we were going to try and stick it out until after I turned 16 and I became 'legal'.  18 if possible, 16 minimum.

XLII. Perfectionist?

I have seen it many times where it has been said that Karen was a 'perfectionist'.  Kind of.  Honestly, Karen said to me many times, "If you are going to do something, always make it worthwhile and always try to do your best in everything you do."  And also, "If you are going to do something then you might as well do it well."  And the classic, "You don't get a second chance to make a first impression."  And also, "if you are going to give it, then give it all you got every time" and "always put your best foot forward" as well.  The Karen I knew did not truly believe in 'perfection' per se, but more of "How can I do something better?  Can something be done better?  I can try."  Karen, as a teacher, realized that I 'held back' many times and Karen always tried to encourage me to 'do my best'.  Then Karen started noticing that a lot of times my 'worst' at times was better than everyone else's 'best' and that I held back many times because at my worst, many times it was 'overkill' and when I was at my best I was usually beyond most people's comprehension (including Karen).  Many times Karen saw me do things that were deemed 'impossible' and then I would demonstrate what 'beyond impossible' meant after that.  Karen realized that she could never 'push me too hard' on anything.  At first Karen was excited about finding someone she couldn't actually push too hard, but then Karen realized that after a certain point, I was fine, but others would start becoming lost and confused (including Karen).  Then Karen and I talked about the KISS principle.  Keep It Simple Stupid.  There is a point at which things can start becoming 'nonsense' and counterproductive.  There is 'the edge' and 'over the edge'.  KISS - Keep It Simple Stupid.  And then "better than best" was "as good as it gets".  Karen and I were a lot alike.  Many times Karen did "better than best" too.  Sometimes it just kept getting better and better...  And sometimes not.  As we both understood, "You never know what you may be able to do until you try.  And if at first you don't succeed, someone else cheated."  And finally (Karen and I), "nothing is ever perfect, but if you keep trying, things can usually get better."

XLIII. Solo album overview part 1. What to believe?

Karen got her job as a school teacher to get a chance to relax and get away from the music business and travelling around and such.  I believe it was either the end of February or the beginning of March and Karen came in one day and was livid and fuming.  Karen was upset because the manager, Jerry Weintraub, had come up with an idea of Karen doing a ‘solo album’ and of course mentioned it to Alpert and Moss and Alpert and Moss were all for this idea as well since Richard was publicly taking time off to deal with his quaalude addiction.  A manager needs something to manage and since the Carpenters were big money makers for A & M Records, A & M was wanting to have some kind of product to work with too.  Karen and Richard both wanted time off.  After a huge argument (as Karen wanted time off and didn't want to do a solo album) that the details remain between Karen and Richard (Karen did actually tell me but I really feel it should remain private about Karen demanding that Richard pay half since it was his fault that he didn’t want to give up his time off and put this on Karen’s shoulders, and so on about Karen finishing her job as a teacher, and so on.  It was just so UNFAIR as Karen was having problems and wanted time off and Karen had been pulled away to do the Christmas Portrait special and the Bruce Forsyth show and what time off and why does Richard want time off anyway [Mary Rudolph] and why was Karen so wanting time off too [me] which I was there when mom called Karen up at school and mom spilled the beans to Karen about Richard seeing Mary Rudolph just after this argument, but it wasn’t until later on [around mid May 1979] that Karen spilled the beans to Richard about me).  All it took was for Karen’s mom to mention “the pitter patter of little feet” to Karen and Karen was all for letting her brother have more time off.  Karen agreed to do a solo album based on promises that Karen and Richard made to each other (and note, no one except Karen's mom ever won an argument with Karen, as Karen made sure that even if you thought you won the argument, you were going to pay dearly for it to the point of feeling like you were better off losing as if you lost, Karen might feel sorry for you.  Karen would always sneak a bunch of promises in during an argumnent which was why even if you think you won the argument, Karen got what she wanted through the promises anyway.  Karen and I never made promises and we never argued.  As Karen and I would say together, "We don't make promises with each other; we mean what we say and we say what we mean").  Karen told me that the big promise was that regardless what happened, Karen was going to finish out the school year and not have to take time off from teaching.  Karen did not want to do the solo album as Karen was already busy enough teaching and Karen was not wishing to leave her brother or go on her own musically or any of that.  Karen loved working with her brother and all that they had accomplished together and Karen never wanted to give that up.  It wasn’t about being popular or successful or making a lot of money with Karen, but about doing things that Karen felt were worthwhile.  Principles.  The first producer thought of was actually Eddie Kramer. (And I was there when Eddie Kramer came out to New York State and talked with Karen.  Eddie asked Karen to try someone else as Eddie was used to artists that did their own material and Eddie would feel like a "fish out of water" just like Karen would be a "fish out of water" without her brother. Eddie mentioned that he usually inspired his artists to write their own material with the "raison d'etre" [reason of being, purpose] speech which was where Karen had the melody of "I wanna uh with you, uh, uh, uh, uh" pop into her head which later Rod Temperton and Karen turned into the "Rock with You" song in May 1979.  At the end of the conversation Eddie was recommending Phil Ramone but Eddie also had some reserves about Phil.  Karen and Richard both had a 'goody two shoes' image.  Eddie warned that Phil liked to drag his clients names through the tabloids to gain extra publicity for an album release.  Eddie said that Phil would probably be the most likely one to be able to get an album done under the circumstances, however, Karen needed to be very careful around Phil if Karen had any skeletons in her closet or such.  Eddie said that what Phil would do is tell his clients that he needed to get to know them better to bring out their 'inner essence' or such, but the real reason would be to dig for dirt for the tabloids and that was why Phil would invite his clients to live with him - to listen in on private phone conversations, snoop into personal belongings, stuff like that.  Eddie recommended Phil for his ability but Eddie had a HUGE reserve because of Phil's track record with tabloids and bad publicity as tabloids are not interested in decent or honest stories.  Eddie warned Karen that if she did use Phil to keep her guard up as far as anything personal.  Karen stated to Eddie that she really didn't have any skeletons). And with that being said, it was actually Richard that talked Karen into doing her solo album (with a little help from mom).  Richard asked Karen to do her solo album as a personal favor to Richard as Richard thought that maybe Karen could learn some new tricks from Phil Ramone (the next idea for a producer) that might help Karen and Richard with recording for the Carpenters.  After Passage and the Christmas recordings, Karen and Richard had both thought that things were possibly getting a little stale for them musically and after Passage, record sales had been a bit down for a while.  And then the icing on the cake when Richard said to Karen that Karen couldn’t vocally do disco which as anyone that knew Karen knew that if you said Karen wasn’t able to do something, she was going to bend over backwards, if needed, to prove that she could do it.  Yes, as noted in Karen’s diaries, Richard and Karen had an argument over Karen and her solo album.  As far as I’ve ever known, Richard or mom were NEVER against Karen doing a solo album if she wanted, but as far as I ever knew, Karen really didn’t want to do a solo album. Karen told me later in June 1981 that her husband Thomas would get phone calls from producers offering a lot of money (millions) if Karen would do a solo album with them.  Karen would always refuse as she always enjoyed working with her brother and she didn’t want to deal with people bothering her all of the time about doing something else.  After all the mess and work with the Phil Ramone project, Karen was not interested at all in ‘going solo’.  Karen never had those kind of problems when working with her brother and it just wasn’t worth the aggravation for Karen to go out on her own.  Really, like with Passage and Made In America, if Karen wanted to try something different, Richard wasn’t against trying something different too so why go through all of the added headaches of ‘going solo’?  Richard wanted time off so he could get to know someone better and spend some time with someone other than his sister.  That was actually why Karen agreed to do a solo album with Phil Ramone.  The argument between Richard and Karen was because why didn’t Richard do a solo album or greatest hits album or such instead of putting this taking time off stuff on Karen’s shoulders.  Why did Karen have to be the one to sacrifice taking time off instead of Richard sacrificing his time off?  Well, actually, if I remember correctly mom got involved and told Karen that Karen was going to do what she was asked to do by Richard and Richard was going to follow through on whatever Karen asked for in return as it was only fair as Richard was asking Karen for a favor so that Richard could spend more time with Mary and it was only fair that Richard should return those favors to his sister as Karen was the one sacrificing her time off (and later in mid May the real favor of Richard not telling ‘the folks’ that Karen was wanting to be with a 14 year old guy, shhh).  And also, later on when mom thought something was fishy with Karen wanting to stay being a school teacher and mom wanted Karen to come back home, and Phil Ramone wanting an extra hundred grand (out of future Carpenters royalties) because Karen wouldn't move in with Phil or Itchie until after June 22, 1979, Richard kept his deal with Karen and Karen stayed on as a school teacher until June 22, 1979 (despite Phil and mom) as promised and Richard and Karen split the cost of Karen's solo album (including the extra hundred grand, 50 grand each) as promised.  And when Karen wanted her solo album shelved because of publicity concerns, Richard helped return a favor and stood behind his sister on her decision to shelve that costly "can of worms" (Karen's solo album) while originally others were hoping for some product to be released and make some extra money and / or notoriety but would have to wait.  But this was all stuff that I heard that came out of Karen's mouth as far as what was going on with her solo album and Richard and her mom and the rest.  As I said in the beginning, it was up to Karen and Richard as to what they agreed upon between themselves.  Do you really think that Karen and Richard told mom everything?  But because mom got involved was how Karen knew that this was important to Richard to take time off again.  But don't let the book writers and such fool you about Karen and her mom.  Karen and her mom were closer than Richard and mom were.  Mom and Karen would share secrets together.  Normally, if Richard had a secret and told mom, mom would tell Karen but ask Karen to keep quiet about it.  If Karen had a secret she shared with her mom, Karen and mom would usually keep that secret between themselves and not tell Richard or others.  Sure, Richard was 'the favorite' but there is actually a secret story about that elsewhere as Karen and her mom didn't want Richard sitting around like a bump on a log and behind every successful man is a strong woman.  Neither Richard nor Karen were ever spoiled.  Fiction writers try to make people think otherwise about Karen and Richard, but honestly, neither Karen nor Richard were ever spoiled and those that had the pleasure of meeting Karen and / or Richard could tell that neither had ever been spoiled.  There was never any competition from Karen or Richard for mom's love or any of that nonsense.  Did Richard want mom to tell him her secrets like mom shared with Karen and Karen shared with her mom?  Really?  Not really.  Reality.  Does physically touching someone mean that they care?  No.  Does not physically touching someone mean that they do not care?  No.  Beware of stereotyping and profiling.  Beware of psychobabble.  The profile created for an anorectic does not match the actual real life profile of Karen Carpenter.  Reality.  Parents try to provide what they can for their children, but good parents try to make sure that their children earn what is provided to them.  Imagine what might have happened if Richard had never got that piano but also imagine what might have happened if the family had not worked together and got Karen a set of drums too.  Or even worst, what if Karen or Richard had been misbehaving and thrown tantrums or such and destroyed the piano or the drums or the microphones or...  Good kids and better adults.  Karen and Richard.  Does all of this seem confusing?  Great, now you know how Karen felt when all of this solo album stuff got dropped in her lap.  And hopefully you can tell that I wasn’t prepared for something like this either.  Thus Karen’s solo album was born (really it was more like a rotten egg so maybe hatched? Can of worms?  Here fishy fishy?)…

Yes, Karen and I talked a bit about her solo album off and on.
  The idea was originally by Karen's manager, Jerry Weintraub, who felt it would give Karen something to do while Richard was taking time off.  Alpert & Moss (A & M) gave the "OK" as well.  Unfortunately, Karen already had something to do namely teaching.  Karen was actually against the idea at first because Karen was already busy enough.  Maybe after school was out?  Richard actually encouraged Karen to do the project and did put the stipulation "no disco" on Karen which like Karen said, "Richard knows that telling me that I can't do something is pretty much guaranteeing that I will do it.  It's like a challenge to me.  Like you, I like challenges too.  Tell me something can't be done and I am going to figure out a way to do it."  Richard had another reserve, the producer that Jerry hired was a guy named Phil Ramone who had a track record of dragging his client's names through the tabloids to try and get extra 'free' publicity and increase sales that way.  Phil Ramone was a well known producer at the time and he had a few successes here and there.  Richard thought that maybe Karen might pick up some new ideas from Phil.  A couple ideas was all too.  First idea was the altering of the background vocals to give them a different sound by running them through a 'digitizer' I think is what Karen called it.  The second thing was that Phil used 'pet names' to try and personalize the song more.  Names like 'Baby' and 'Honey' and 'Darling' and such.  That was it for the learning curve from Phil Ramone.  Most of the time before June 1979, Karen usually was feeling down in the dumps about her solo project and Karen and I usually made each other feel better.  The incident that stands out is this.  Karen came back on a Monday and we both said at the same time, "We definitely need to talk."  So later, after school, Karen and I talked.  I said, "It will probably be easier if I go first.  I don't know what happened, but over the weekend I was just sitting around and a strange image popped into my head.  You were sitting at a kitchen table with a guy in an orange striped shirt with shorts and sandals and curly dirty blond hair and an australian or british accent.  You two were laughing and telling stories together.  I'm not jealous as you know, but I am just wondering why this happened."  And Karen was like, "This is kind of what I was going to talk to you about too.  The guy at the table is Rod Temperton the guy who is writing my songs.  You saw me look over didn't you?  I saw (felt maybe) you on my right side and I kind of looked over to see you and then I continued talking to Rod and you disappeared.  That was you?"  I was like, "Kind of, I was still here in Corning, but somehow, I don't know really how to put it, but I didn't hear what you guys were saying, I just kind of showed up or whatever it was."  Karen was like, "Well I experienced it too, but like you, I don't know why either.  Nothing was going on or anything."  And I was like, "I know.  Not that way, but I almost thought I was losing it or something."  She was like, "Me too, that's why I wanted to talk to you.  I thought I was going nuts too.  It's just weird."  And I was like, "I'll say.  We both had it happen.  We're not nuts.  At least not yet anyway.  Oh well, stuff happens."  Another time, I asked Karen about "What is the red light in the white room for?"  And Karen said, "It depends on what side of the glass you are on.  On the other side, the red light is for when we are recording and means do not enter under any circumstances.  It turns green when we're done.  It's the opposite when you are inside the room.  Rod usually works the controls.  How did you know?"  And I was like, "Same as the other time, somehow I just popped in.  I still don't know why."  And Karen was like, "I thought I saw you there in the corner behind Rod.  There were a bunch of us inside the room laughing wasn't there?"  And I was like, "Yeah."  And Karen was like, "We had just started recording and all of a sudden I just let out this long, loud, juicy fart and we all just lost it."  Yet another time, Karen told me that her and Rod had come up with a couple songs, but they were not working out so well being recorded.  I said, "Chances are, they have another use for them on someone else's project that they have been stuck on."  Lo and behold, the songs are 'Rock with You' and 'Off the Wall' that were used on Michael Jackson's Off the Wall album.  Karen had already kind of had the rock with you melody in her head around March, April 1979 before the solo album started.  Karen used to kind of sing at me, "I want to uh with you, uh, uh, uh" here and there in her normal singing voice and she would have her arms at her sides doing a kind of herky jerky motion.  I guess one day Karen was doing dishes or setting the table at Phil's house and she was doing the "I want to uh with you, uh, uh, uh" and Rod saw and heard Karen doing this and asked Karen about it and Karen kind of explained the situation between Karen and me and Karen was an 8th grade teacher and my age and that I was the reluctant one because I didn't want to take a chance of Karen getting into trouble because of my age, 14.  I believe that Karen told me that Rod said something like, "Have you two ever thought about becoming Jewish?".  I think Karen told me that Rod also said something like, "Well let's see if we can write a song that can get this boy to relax and loosen up a bit for you."  Then I guess Karen and Rod started making a song out of the "I want to uh with you" melody that Karen had stuck in her head.  "Boy, close your eyes, let everything get into you, don't try to fight it, there ain't nothing that you can do..." and all that.  The off the wall song came after a phone call between Rod, Karen and I which I talk about elsewhere.  But the off the wall song was based a lot on Rod's experience with Karen and Karen chasing Rod around a 'pub' with a pool cue after Rod was wanting to date Debbie Gibson.  During the phone call, off the wall was said several times by us in several different ways and Rod kind of used that phone call as a basis for a song that Rod wrote while he was flying to Los Angeles to work with Michael Jackson.  Off the wall as in not planned and such as things can get a little crazy at times if things aren't planned too well.  Living off the wall.  Karen Carpenter in a nutshell as Karen was working '9 to 5' in a way at the time as a teacher.  Another note, Karen talked to me about the recording sessions and mentioned that they had already dropped a couple songs "because Phil Ramone thought that me singing 'Rock with You', which had sexual content, and 'Off the Wall' with its mental health undertones would have been like trying to sell the Hindenburg to the record company executives because of my girl next door image."  I kind of answered with, "Chances are because of the sexual content on 'Rock with You' and the 'crazy' mental health references on 'Off the Wall' that the record label, A&M, probably would have not let you release those songs anyway, so it was good they got released somehow."  Karen was like, "Thanks for the extra input.  I have been kind of mad because Phil keeps dragging his heels making me think that he just doesn't want me doing those songs for some reason.  I love those two songs.  I really want to do those songs, but it feels like they are trying to sabotage me.  It's breaking my heart.  I love those songs.  I want to do them.  But every time in the studio things get sidetracked for one reason or another."  Karen also said, "I know we used Afternoon Delight that one time, but really Rock with You is really our song, it was actually written about us.  It isn't out yet, but when it gets released you'll know."  I was like "Good choice, Rock with You it is.  We can't really be a couple until I get older, but having our own song is a great start.  I'll definitely look for it and get it when it comes out."  Honestly, I got the Rock with You single after it came out in November 1979 and I played it until you could see white stuff in the grooves from being played so much; Karen was long gone by then though.  Also, the "She's Out of My Life" song being written about Karen Carpenter?  The answer is no.  Bahler (or whoever) would have known Karen only briefly.  Karen was still teaching in Corning, NY during the week (unless maybe the week of spring break around March or April 1979).  I do not remember Karen talking about that song really.  It is possible she may have suggested a couple words or such.  I know 'cavalier' was one of our 8th grade spelling words that year.  I do remember Karen saying, "I've got more work done on Michael Jackson's new album than on my own so far.  Michael's album is almost done.  Mine just barely feels started."  Karen also said that her solo project was way behind because with teaching, she had not been able to devote much time in the studio.  Karen would drive on weekends to New York City and then drive back before school.  Over 5 hours driving each way.  Karen would usually drive to the airport and then fake it like she just came off the plane.  Rod and Karen used to joke around and call Phil's house 'the compound' and Phil and Snitchy were the gestapo.  "Make a break for it." was the big joke.  Karen said, "With those two songs going to Michael Jackson, I only have about 4 or 5 other songs being worked on.  Things are just not going well with the project.  Phil Ramone keeps trying to get me to move in with him, but I keep putting him off.  I am not sure how much longer I can keep putting him off."  So yes, it was definitely after June 3 before Karen left for New York City and became a substitute for herself because of the 'Michael Jackson' reference here.  Off the Wall was not finished until June 3rd.  It was either two or three weeks of a substitute teacher (I am pretty sure two but not positive).  I was like, "I know this project is really important to you.  You also know how I feel about you too.  If you can get it pushed back until after school lets out, I could actually go with you if you wanted."  And Karen was like, "Phil would allow just me there, even if you could go, I couldn't really take you with me for the recordings and such.  I would have to leave you alone in a hotel room most of the time by yourself.  It just wouldn't be worth it.  I really wish you could go though.  When the time comes, I know I am going to really miss you."  I was like, "I am going to miss you too terribly.  We have always been there for each other over the last 8 months, has it really been 8 months, wow, how time has flown.  It seems like only yesterday you were asking if I minded if you talked to me.  Anyway, I have a feeling after they finish the Michael Jackson project that your solo project will be next in line."  Yes, there appeared and still appears to be a lot of stories from Phil Ramone about what went on with Karen's solo album.  After coming up with "Rock with You" and "Off the Wall", Phil definitely wanted to be Karen's producer at any cost (to Karen's bank account of course).  And after Phil had Rod give those songs to Michael Jackson, Karen was definitely proud to have an honest brother like Richard to work with.  And when stories don't match...  True, somebody is not being honest about things.  You are getting smarter already (after speaking with the reader, we now return you back to our regularly scheduled program).

XLIV. Rod Temperton messes up. Second Rod call. Karen and Richard. Lifesavers

And a final side note here.  I vaguely remember this so I am pretty sure that this part is probably not very accurate yet, but I am working on it.  But anyway, I remember in June 1979 that Karen and I walked down Pine Street in Corning and used a pay phone in Woolworth's department store.  Before we left the school, Karen took off her 'clod hoppers' (shoes) and changed into sandals and just pulled her dress off and had shorts and a shirt underneath.  No nudity, but still a great show.  I think Karen's step cousin, Wendy, worked at Woolworth's.  Karen had a roll of quarters and was really upset at Rod Temperton.  We went into Woolworth's and kind of worked our way back to the pay phone and then Karen put some quarters in and dialed out to Phil's house and got Rod on the phone.  Karen was like, "I know you like Rod, but you need to hear this." when we were walking down to the store.  When he answered the phone Rod was like, "Hello Karen".  Karen was like, "How could you?"  And Rod was like, "It just slipped out.  I know it was stupid of me.  They were talking about the album and it just slipped out about Darling being one of your students.  That elbow to the ribs you gave me still hurts.  I didn't mean anything by it, it just slipped out."  And Karen was like, "We both said nothing happened between me and Ace, but they told Richard."  And Rod spoke up and said, "I really messed up, didn't I?"  And Karen was like, "I'll say, they already told Richard and Richard told me that I have a couple days to clean out my desk and come back home where they can keep an eye on me.  They also put my solo project on indefinite hold and are talking about cancelling it."  And Karen was like, "Well, Ace, how do you feel about your buddy Rod now?"  And I was like, "Sorry to hear Rod, I know it was an accident and you didn't mean any harm.  I also know that Karen is really mad at you now and I am glad it is you and not me, but things happen Rod and I can't speak for Karen, but as far as from me, I can't be mad at you because I know you meant no harm."  And Rod said, "Thanks Ace.  Just in case, Phil got the school phone number off the phone bill and he called it up.  I don't know if he has linked it to Karen yet."  And Karen said, "You men are all alike and stick up for each other.  Didn't you hear me Ace, I will be leaving and I have to go back home.  I won't be seeing you ever again.  Richard will be coming to get me in two days.  I just got you back and now I got to let you go again.  I just can't take it anymore."  And Karen started breaking down in the store and crying and one of the lady stockers at Woolworth's handed her some tissues.  And I was like, "Sorry Rod, but I really have to go."  And Rod was like, "I understand.  Look after her and I'll see what I can do."  And we both hung up.  Karen and I were standing there and then I just started having tears run down my face too.  Karen and I just started heading towards the door to outside.  On the way, someone asked, "Are you two alright?"  And Karen and I just said, "Onions."  and we went out the door.  On the way to the door I picked up what Karen was thinking and I started speeding up to get in front of her.  I opened up the store door and Karen went out and I was right behind her but I sped up to get between her and the highway out in front of the store.  And just as Karen got out the door, she looked out to the highway and said, "Where's a Mack truck when you need one?  I am tired of losing you Ace, let's go play in traffic so we can be together forever.  I am tired of all this."  And I am keeping myself between Karen and the highway.  Then Karen just starts to run and goes to grab my hand and I pull my hand away and then she stops just on the curb.  I didn't actually touch her, but I was thinking of grabbing on to her shoulders before she went into the road, and somehow it happened.  Before Karen reached the curb I shouted out, "Oh God, please help me."  But Karen had stopped herself before going into the road but her momentum almost put her head and shoulders out into the road.  Karen was not really planning on going out into traffic but when I had pulled my hand away, Karen hadn't realized how close she was to the road.  Afterwards, Karen was like, "I knew you loved me and I knew you wouldn't let me do it.  Thanks for holding me back."  And I was like, "Look where we are standing.  Honestly, I didn't touch you right now.  There was nothing there but somehow what I was thinking happened.  I thought of grabbing you by the shoulders, and somehow it happened."  And then I started breaking down and I was like, "Oh my God.  Oh my God.  I almost lost you just now."  And Karen was like, "I felt you grab me.  Oh my God, you're right.  You couldn't reach me from there.  Why did you pull your hand away?  Why?  Why?  Don't you want to be with me?"  And then I held my hands out to Karen and cried, "Don't you remember?  You die before me.  And then I have to wait to see you again.  I can't die yet."  And then I said, "No!  No!  I love you please don't do this.  Don't you remember what Rod said?   I can't touch you and you can't touch me or else we suffer throughout eternity wishing we could be back in the flesh again.  Could you come over here away from the road and by the building so we can talk?"  And she walked away from the road and came over beside me, and we leaned up against the side of the building, side by side.  Then Karen's step cousin Wendy came out of the store and said, "Are you all right?  I saw what happened."  And we were both bawling our eyes out and I said, "Karen thought she dropped something in the road.  I almost lost her.  I think we're all right now, but we're both shaken up from all this.  Thanks."  And Karen pulled out her teacher's pen and said, "I thought I dropped this.  It's the only thing I have that Ace and I have touched and I just wasn't thinking.  I'm sorry Ace I put you through this."  And I was like, "So long as you're OK now and stay away from the road.  I'll be fine."  Wendy went back inside and then I said, "Look at us two bawling like a couple of babies.  I want to hug you so bad right now, but we can't.  Remember what Rod said about you having a short life line and you going first and that I will be around a long time after you go?  I nearly lost you right now and I feel really terrible, but remember, it isn't my time yet.  If I play in traffic with you, I'll still be around, but you won't.  And you know me, if a Mack truck hit me it would probably destroy the truck.  I know it hurts.  It hurts me too.  These aren't fake tears we're crying."  And she was like, "What are we going to do?  My brother is coming to take me home in two days and I won't see you ever again."  And I was like, "We still have the two days to be together.  And who knows, things change.  But would you rather spend these two days thinking the end is near and crying all of the time or enjoying what time we still have together?"  And she was like, "I know, but it just isn't fair.  It is like someone is playing some cruel joke on us all the time.  We finally meet the perfect person and we can't be together.  It just isn't fair."  And I was like, "Regardless if it's fair or not, I still love you and I know I always will."  And she was like, "I know what you're always thinking and you know what I'm always thinking, so I guess we need to pray for another miracle.  This is getting ridiculous."  And I was like, "Well, we got a steep hill to climb as always, only this one is literal and figurative at the same time."   And she was like, "How did you get to be so smart all of a sudden?"  And I was like, "Definitely got to be a great teacher.  And she just seems to be getting greater all the time, er, um, sorry, more great."  And she was like, "That's better."  And then I was like, "Actually, you're the mostest bestest greatest person ever."  And she was like, "I agree.  Some rules are made to be broken."  And I was like, "As always, you're always right.  You are my english teacher after all.  We probably ought to get going now.  I think our backs have been up against the wall long enough.  Hopefully things will change again for the better soon.  They did before."  We then walked up the hill and went home. 

The next day after school Karen said to me, "Richard is coming tomorrow and I need you to just listen to what he says at first.  Don't interrupt him and let him speak.  I think we are going to be alright."  I was like, "OK, I'm willing to try anything at this point.  I hope it works." 

And then Richard shows up after school on the next day and I am sitting in my chair and Karen is behind her desk in her chair.  There is a work crew that is also patching the wall in Karen's classroom.  Richard first stopped in across the hall and yelled at Max and then Richard came over to Karen's room.  I think then Richard came just inside the room and I think he said something like, "A little remodelling I see." and Richard looks at Karen, then at me, then he looks at the wall and then looks across the hall, shakes his head in disbelief, and then I think Richard looked at Karen again and said, "him?" while looking at me and I think he then said "and him?" while looking across the hall and Karen shook her head yes.  And I think Richard kind of smirked and said something like, "That's definitely a big hole there" or something like that and I think we all kind of smiled at each other.  And Richard is in the room and comes over to me from the door and leans towards me on my right side and starts talking with his left hand on the back of my chair and his right hand on the desktop of my chair.  Richard said, "Please hear me out on this.  I had a talk with Wendy and she told me all about what happened at the store.  Everything including how you, Ace, got Karen away from the road and calmed down.  Also, just so you know, the police have my number in case anything more happens they can give me a call.  We don't want anything more happening do we?"  And Karen and I both shake our heads no.  And then Richard looks over to Karen and says, "If I get one more call about you, you will be out of here so fast your head will spin.  Got it?"  And Karen shakes her head yes and kind of smiles realizing what Richard just said.  And then Richard continues, "The last thing my sister needs is to have more problems than she already has.  My sister has had enough problems as it is and she doesn't need any more.  Her being accused of being with a younger student would definitely be a big problem.  From what I have heard from others, and Karen included, you are definitely not the problem.  Other people talking was a problem.  I remember when I came here before and I noticed you two look away from each other, I had a feeling.  A good feeling because I had noticed that she was feeling happier again.  I like seeing my sister happy.  From what I have heard from others around here, you and my sister tend to solve problems and not create them."  And then Richard reaches around and shakes my right hand and says, "I want to thank you for helping my sister feel better and be happier and saving her life.  She has been through a lot over the years.  I also know that my taking her away from here is not going to make her happy or feel better.  But I also need to make it perfectly clear that if you cause any problems for my sister, whatsoever, you will wish you hadn't.  You would never hear the end of it.  Is that clear?"  And I said, "Perfectly clear."  And then Richard looked over at Karen and Richard said, "I wasn't too hard on him just now, was I?"  And Karen said in a low voice, "You're fine."  And then Karen motioned Richard to look back at me and he did.  And then I looked over at Karen and she shook her head yes and then I said, "You're fine.  I have a younger sister myself and I know exactly what you mean.  I wouldn't want someone causing problems for my younger sister either.  And yes, I learned not to use the L word around your sister.  The last time I used that word about my younger sister; she hit me between the eyes with a book and said she would hurt more than my feelings if I ever said it again, and she meant it too."  And Richard kind of laughed and said, "You definitely know my sister alright and she must like you.  If I remember right, Karen, you threw a chair at me that one time."  And Karen was like, "Was that the time I broke the TV and I got grounded for a month?"  And Richard said, "If I remember right, you also aimed for my head."  And Karen said, "You ducked or else I would have hit your head instead of the TV so technically the broken TV was all your fault."  And Richard said, "How was that my fault that you tried to take my head off?"  And Karen said, "I still think it would be an improvement.  Ah, the good old days."  And I was like, "Yeah, me and my sister fight a lot too.  The other day she shut and locked me out of my room, so I grabbed a ball point pen and started trying to poke a hole in the door to get back in.  Did I get it for that."  And Karen is like, "I met his dad.  His dad is big like Uncle Herbie.  Over 250 pounds.  Ace is kind of the runt of the litter.  His sister is really nice though.  I noticed you had a difficult time sitting not too long ago, did you learn anything?"  And I said, "I learned that bic pens are cheap and break easily on solid oak doors.  Next time I should use a hatchet or an axe."  And Karen laughed and Richard looked at me and then Karen and said, "Just checking to make sure.  You sound like someone else I know." And then Richard leaned his head back to keep from laughing and said, "I'm having a hard time figuring out who is corrupting who here."  And I was like, "Don't worry Richard, people that know me know that I was corrupted a long time before I met your sister."  or something like that.  And then I said, "Karen and I always enjoy making each other feel better.  We like making each other smile and feel happy.  We have done it so long now that all we really have to do is look at each other and we feel better."  And then Karen and I just looked at each other and we both started smiling.  And then Richard said, "That Mr. Hyde fellow talked my ear off.  He told me everything.  How much are you willing to offer me to keep my mouth shut about all this Karen?  This is going to cost you." And then Karen said with a devilish look on her face, "That's my Richard, always the businessman.  Let's make a deal.  Let's start putting our cards out on the table..."  I remember Richard saying, "Welcome to the family" and then the family dirty laundry gets aired in front of me and this page gets [censored] for a change because I feel it is Karen, Richard, and my business and needs to remain that way.  During part of this I think I remember Richard saying something like, "Mom always makes this big fuss over me all the time and it's awkward because I don't want people to think that I'm a mama's boy because I'm not.  Being a favorite has its drawbacks too you know but I put up with it."  And I think Karen said something like, "It's true.  It can be embarassing sometimes being the favorite which is why I prefer being the black sheep of the family.  I'd rather get yelled at than fussed over.  Richard was always the clean one and I was always the one getting yelled at for dragging mud through the house.  Mom likes him best.  He's mom's favorite."  And yes, I have some dirty laundry too.  And like Karen, I'd rather be yelled at than fussed over too.  The turning point was when Karen said, "Richard, hold that thought for a second, I have to talk to Ace."  And then Karen talked about what I was thinking at the time, and then Karen was like, "Ace, you are distracting me.  You need to go to the next one.  You can revisit that one later."  And then I was like, "OK, the one with the older couple and..."  And Karen was like, "Yes, that one."  And Karen and I looked at each other.  And then I said, "That's a bit risky.  They will probably hate you too for just saying that stuff."  And Karen said, "I know, I'm already the black sheep anyway but it would definitely lose Richard's favorite status."  And I was like, "It probably would work in a devilish kind of way, but would you really be willing to go through with it?  It could backfire you know."  And Karen and I gave each other devilish looks so I knew she would be willing to go through with it if necessary.  And Richard looked over and said, "I know that look.  Oh my God.  There's two Karens."  And Karen and I just looked at Richard and said in unison, "Other direction Richard" in our 'evil' sounding voices.  Richard was fairly cooperative after that and saying, "But I thought we agreed that we would never talk about that one to mom and dad."  And Karen said, "I'm desperate."  After Richard and Karen reached an agreement not to rat on each other, Karen said, "Does this mean I can stay Richard?"  And Richard said, "Of course, don't worry.  I will just tell them the truth that the school is short teachers and that they really need you as a teacher.  I'll also tell them that the boy reminds you of me when I was younger so there's nothing for them to worry about.  OK, I noticed you two are almost exactly alike, that would scare them, it scared me a little bit ago, so I'll stretch the truth a little bit on that one, but they always believe me because I'm their favorite as you know.  You two also have a rule that you don't touch each other and try to stay at least a foot away from each other so that people don't accuse you of anything.  I'll leave out that soul mate stuff.  They just wouldn't understand.  I don't understand it myself.  And also, if only half of the stories I heard about you two are true then I know I am leaving you in capable hands Karen and there shouldn't be any more problems.  Can you think of anything else?"  And Karen and I both said, "Yes.  Thank you Richard.  This means a lot to us."  And then Richard said, "Actually, I need to thank you.  Phil Ramone usually has something up his sleeve and Rod Temperton is one of his cronies.  How did you get Rod to spill his guts to Alpert and Moss like that.  No one has ever turned against Phil before.  I imagine Rod will pay for that one."  And Karen said, "Rod just let it slip out about Darling being one of my students.  I don't know why.  He just did."  And Richard was like, "Alpert and Moss were actually impressed and they liked the idea of the romantic and physical love theme to your album, but they are a bit reserved because of the underaged student issue and Phil Ramone's track record of getting extra free publicity through the tabloids.  And you know I don't want my sister's name dragged through the mud just to try and make an extra couple bucks."  And then I believe Richard said something like, "Ace has a gag order placed on him and so his name or picture can't be used in the tabloids anyway.  I don't know why or how because not even the Pope can get one of these.  I have been trying to get you on that list for almost three years now, but it seems like you need to be a mass murderer like Charles Manson to get on that list.  How do you rate?  Care to explain Ace?"  And I believe Karen said something like, "I have the guy's card here in my diary.  We can talk later Richard, but Ace isn't allowed to know why, but the guy told me and had me promise not to tell Ace.  It's nothing bad really.  Ace did nothing wrong."  Karen and I had had a few pictures of us together taken in a photo booth.  Karen used to use them as bookmarks.  Those pictures had disappeared until they were found attached to the rejected article by Itchie.  And I believe but I am not totally sure that Karen also said to Richard, "This is big.  I guess I can give you a hint without telling him.  Remember that thesis that you wrote and did all that research and got an F because the teacher said, if he's not written in the Bible then he doesn't exist?  Well, Ace is apparently the one that you wrote about that doesn't exist."  And I believe Richard said, "Him?  Are you sure?"  And I believe Karen said quietly, "Yes.  Him."  And then Karen said, "I'm sorry about the other day Ace. I thought that story was being released and I really thought my life was over.  I'm sorry for dragging you through all of that.  As you can tell, Richard is the brains, I'm not."  And I was like, "I was really glad I was there with you.  I am also really happy that things turned out the way they did.  I would gladly do it all over again so long as you are all right.  And you definitely have brains too.  Remember when I shined that light in your ears and it didn't make it to the other side?"  And Karen gave me that 'not funny Ace' look.  Richard was definitely very upset that the article had even been written at all.  Sir Nicholas also gave Karen his business card, which Karen put in her diary, just in case Phil tried to give Karen any problems (extortion and blackmail were both mentioned as possible problems also) about the article not being published.  Richard also told me, off to the side, that he had never actually wished to take Karen 'back home' and that really Richard and Karen made that story up to keep people from knowing that Richard was there at the school to pick up the letters and Richard would take it from there.  Richard said, "You're a real lifesaver."  And I asked Karen, "Which are your favorite, Pepp-o-mint or wint-o-green lifesavers?"  And Karen said, "Wint-o-green because I love winter and Christmas time."  And then Richard continued, "You actually saved Karen's life twice now.  Once at the store and another by keeping this story out of the papers with that gag order of yours.  The article can't be published thanks to you Ace, so we can't get him for libel, but I'll figure something out.  I'm not going to let someone drag my sister's name through the mud."  And I was like, "If there's anything I can do to help.  Let me know.  I definitely don't want her name dragged through the mud either."  And Richard continued, "I know it means a lot to you two to stay together longer and I am pretty sure that I am not going to regret this like some other things in my past that I have done.  We all make mistakes, and I feel my biggest mistake right now would be making you come home with me Karen.  A definite mistake on my part because I know that look you gave me a little while ago and I know I probably wouldn't make it to the plane and they probably would never find my body.  Do you promise not to tell on me?"  And Karen said, "So long as I stay here until the school year ends, I promise not to tell."  And then Richard said, "I know what you're thinking about Phil and Itchie, but this is business.  In business it is always best to keep your friends close but your enemies closer so that you know what they are up to.  Promise me that you won't let Phil and Itchie know that you got this article."  And Karen shook her head yes and said, "I promise." And then Richard continued, "Also promise me that if you bring him home to meet the folks that you give me notice because I wouldn't miss the looks on their faces for the world.  This even outdoes when you dragged the neighbor's dog home and said he was a stray and asked if we could keep him."  And Karen looked at me and said, "It was kind of funny because I was dragging the dog behind me, a german shepard (great dane?), and the dog was trying to run away and dragging me down the street."  And I was like, "You too?  I did the same thing when I was younger.  The dog was a bassett hound and still had his chain and tags and I was literally dragging him down the street as the dog wasn't walking by himself."  And Karen said, "If you want, we can get a dog, but we'll talk about it later."  And Richard said, "You two are funny.  And I guess you can cross out cult figure on your to do list Karen.  I do miss you, but I can tell that you belong here.  You look so happy again after I said you could stay just now.  You're my sister.  I couldn't take that happiness away from you and besides with that gag order, you're safer here than you would be back home in Downey."  And Richard and I shook hands again and Richard was like, "I know you'll take good care of my sister."  And I was like, "I will and thanks again."  And Richard was like, "Actually, Ace, Karen never threw a chair at me.  We just made that up."  And I was like, "I wouldn't really use a hatchet or an axe on my door or my sister either.  A chainsaw maybe.  And, like Karen, I am kind of the black sheep of the family too."  Then Richard kind of gave me a 'you almost blew it just now' look and then went around to the other side of the desk and hugged Karen with a big hug.  Richard said, "We have to look out for each other." to Karen and Karen said, "I know and thank you again.  This really does mean a lot to me."  And then Richard left by himself.  And then Richard came back around by the door again and said, "I forgot.  I need a ride.  Karen?"  And Karen said, "It will cost you.  [big smile] Actually, I have a couple bucks extra left over if you need it.  We can talk in the car."  I got up and left the room and Richard and Karen left together as well.  Also note, Richard didn't always say "Karen" all of the time and sometimes said "sis" and once or twice he said, "sissy".  I just am not sure which times.

The next day of course, Karen and I talked.  Karen told me, "That's my brother Richard.  He knows me best even better than you.  You and I have our secrets, so Richard knows I care a lot about you because I always tell Richard everything.  I kind of set this whole thing up, if you noticed, so that you and Richard could meet.  It went really well.  My brother Richard doesn't usually make jokes so when we came up with that TV and the chair story, I knew that at least my brother was comfortable around you.  That means a lot to me.  You are very special, but still, I don't know what I would do sometimes if it wasn't for my brother Richard helping me out all the time.  No one could ever replace my brother and I noticed that you didn't feel threatened by that."  And I was like, "I know you and Richard are close and that's a good thing really.  No one can be there all of the time and it's nice having a backup just in case.  I guess I'm kind of your backup now which is great.  I'm not looking to be your everything.  I'm looking more to be that something extra that tries to make you feel better when things aren't going so well and if things are going well I can still keep trying to make you feel even better somehow.  The short version, I guess I'm not looking to be your everything, but I guess I'm looking to be your everything else.  I hope that makes sense."  And Karen was like, "Perfect sense.  You just explained why I get jealous and you don't.  I'm looking to be your everything and you're not."  And I was like, "Holy cow, I think I just figured it out too.  I love you for who you are and I don't ever want to change who you are.  You keep hoping that I don't change.  So I think we both love each other for who we are just in our own different ways I guess."  And Karen was like, "Well, the others will start coming in shortly and I just want you to know that you passed my little test."  And of course me, "Passing tests is better than passing gas I guess.  What I mean to say is..."  And Karen says, "...I know"  And then we both said, "I love you too" at the same time of course.  But yes, Karen had two guys fighting over her so that was another thing crossed off of her ‘to do’ list (which people call bucket lists now I guess).  But it was glaringly obvious between Richard and me that around Karen we were both just a couple of trained seals I guess you could call us. We talked when Karen allowed us to talk and we both listened when Karen wanted us to listen.  And yes, it was really Karen’s idea to go home actually, but as always, Richard was the favorite, so he covered for his younger sister like always.  Yup, just a couple of trained seals.

This paragraph added on August 11, 2021.  As far as Karen actually trying to commit suicide by overdosing on aspirin and faking running into traffic and such, no, Karen was honestly not trying to commit suicide.  Why then?  Well, with her celebrity status, Karen wanted to make sure I cared about her and not just her being a celebrity.  Karen wanted to make sure I wasn’t faking it so to speak.  We had decided to wait until I got older, but Karen wanted to see if the “wait would be worth it” or not.  (And hopefully explained more fully on October 16, 2021) As Karen found out through all of that, I did care, but I also cared enough not to cause Karen extra problems of getting accused of stuff she was not guilty of.  So I did still keep my distance.  That was “Karen’s little test” that she said I passed in the paragraph above.  No, I didn’t really care much about Karen’s celebrity status or such but I cared about Karen, the person.  But this started with the being silent after the Mrs. Woeppel knife incident and then Karen being confused as we weren't talking.  Karen started thinking that I was upset with her for not talking.  But that 'mixed signals' thing with the idea when most people won't talk with each other, they get upset.  I wasn't upset with Karen for not talking, I was just hoping that all that stuff that was getting spread around about Karen and me would stop if Karen and I stopped talking.  It was originally Karen's idea but she forgot.  And then with Max being even more controlling and threatening towards Karen that he would try and get her fired if Karen and I talked again after Karen and I stopped talking.  So Karen swallowed a bunch of aspirin which got her in the hopital so we could talk together outside school.  Then the Mad Max incident.  Then the other Rod call and the traffic incident.  And the 'playing in traffic' incident was because of Karen's rules of finishing what she started but also because she was kind of hoping to make a bad solo album so that her brother wouldn't quit music.  Karen also thought I might have been upset about her giving away the "Rock with You" song, but I reminded Karen that I was kind of the one that talked her into giving that song up.  Yes, in mid May 1979 a lot of stuff happened all at once or as they say, "the sh*t hit the fan" in more ways than one.  And before all that was when Sir Nicholas Born had shown up with the suppression order stuff and the article from Itchie that had been suppressed.  So, yes, I got to see Karen Carpenter drive herself bonkers in May 1979.  And holy cow when Karen goes bonkers, pandemonium, chaos and like I said, holy cow; holy mackerels even; holy sh*t; there, I said it finally.  And the other big miracle worker (besides John Heib) was Karen's brother Richard who flew out on short notice and explained to Karen that everything was going to be all right.  Karen had created this big smoke screen with the fake suicide stuff to try and hide talking to others about Max being controlling but it was actually kick started by an article written by Itchie that Karen created a bigger smoke screen.  Karen had been figuring that the article by Itchie had been published and that Karen might have problems with A&M and her career.  Richard explained about the suppression order and that the article (or any future articles) could not be published and that Richard would keep it hidden and that Karen was fine and could finish her teaching job and Karen wasn't in jeopardy of losing her career or recording contract since nothing could be published.  Karen always trusted her brother Richard.  After the 'lifesavers' meeting with Richard and Richard agreeing to cover for his sister and explaining what happened, Karen calmed down and was fine after that.  But Karen wasn't actually suicidal, Karen was hoping that by acting 'crazy' that Max would leave her alone as what guy wants a crazy chick?  OK, you got me there, some guy named Ace would have been happy with a crazy chick so long as it was Karen whether she had a music career or not.  And no, Karen wasn't actually crazy or suicidal, but after the smoke screen cleared Karen knew who really cared about her.

This paragraph added on February 11, 2021.  And so when I see all of this 'starving for attention' nonsense written about Karen I know better.   These incidents with Karen is how I know better.  Karen didn't pretend to commit suicide at home.  Karen didn't feel controlled or any of that nonsense by her family.  I know for a fact that Max was controlling Karen and Karen was not used to being controlled.  Karen's reaction was to get a hold of her brother and pull a few stunts to get her out of her teaching job and away from Max and Max's controlling behavior.  You don't commit suicide by taking aspirin.  You don't commit suicide by stopping on the curb before running into traffic.  Karen got my attention.  I warned Max with "if you come within an arms reach of Karen or me again; I'll kill you" and Max knew I meant it.  Karen was being controlled by Max.  Karen was NOT being controlled by her family.  Point blank.  Karen wanted to get away from Max and go to her family as Karen didn't want to be controlled (and I can't blame her either).  I intervened and Karen stayed as she knew Max wasn't going to bother her anymore after what happened between Karen, me, Max, John Heib, Max's dad, Buddy Ebsen and others.  When Richard says that Karen wasn't suicidal, that is truth.  Richard didn't even know about this stuff, but Richard knew something was really bad there if Karen was calling him and his mom and wanting to go home and get away from Corning and her teaching job.  Karen didn't take the teaching job to get away from her family (she stayed with her step cousin).  Karen was looking to try something different and that 'mid life crisis' type thing.  Karen's family was actually Karen's crutch so to speak as with any problems, Karen's family would be supportive and be there for Karen and ask questions later.  If Karen felt stifled or controlled by her family, she wouldn't go back to that just like she wouldn't go back to Max and that mess.  Karen would have just snuck off and disappeared.  Karen wasn't suicidal at home (as I believe Richard has said that Karen wasn't suicidal) and she really wasn't actually suicidal with the Max stuff either.  But Karen wanted attention and she got it.  Me, John Heib, Max's dad, Buddy Ebsen, mom and dad, Richard and so on.  Max got attention too but not the attention he was wanting.  So honestly, Karen felt unloved to a point during the Max stuff.  Before and after the Max stuff, Karen didn't feel unloved or 'controlled' as all those that use someone need to control that someone in order to use them (which was what Max had been doing and the 'user' talk I had with Karen before this was me trying to get Karen to open up about the Max situation but she didn't open up at that time).  Karen hadn't been in a situation like that, so Karen didn't know what to do or who to trust.  Afterwards, Karen knew that all she had to do was ask.  But then again, later, Karen kind of did the same thing in 1982 with the Levenkron Clinic mess.  Karen told me that she felt unloved there too.  Karen also felt unloved by Thomas Burris too.  So yes, a distinct pattern of if Karen felt unloved, she would look to get rid of the one(s) she felt unloved around.  Karen never felt unloved by her immediate family (mom, dad, Richard).  Unlike others, Karen's family never left Karen but they did care enough that if Karen wanted her space, Karen had her space.  If Karen wanted to do something, they let Karen do it.  That's not control.  Telling someone that if they talk to someone that you are going to have them fired and/or arrested is control and manipulation which was what Max had been doing.  The Thomas Burris manipulation and the twisting too as honestly, Karen had made a promise to marry Thomas Burris.  Yes, I agree that Karen should have backed out and she could have, but she didn't.  The truth is that Karen had made a promise and she kept that promise.  Karen's mom didn't mention that to Karen during the People magazine speech which was why Karen didn't feel her mom's speech was that good, but Karen was always one for keeping her promises.  Karen had four, not three, signs of change and that was the other deciding factor of why Karen got married to Tom and didn't break her promise.  Tom had broke about every promise ever made to Karen not before but after they got married and Karen was returning that favor too but that is talked about later on.  Later on (1983 phone call about Levenkron and other ketchup, I mean catch up stuff too) threatening to have someone committed to Bellevue if Karen talked about stuff or didn't do what someone asked because Karen signed a paper is manipulation and control too.  Karen's family didn't control Karen but Karen's family was always supportive of Karen and Karen honestly never felt unloved by her family.  Karen did feel unloved by Max Baer Jr., many therapists, Steven Levenkron, Thomas Burris, Phil and Itchie Ramone and a few others too.  As far as Phil and Itchie Ramone, I discuss that later too, but actually Karen was around Phil and Itchie mostly because she didn't want to take a chance of Phil sneaking off and releasing her solo album behind Karen's back (Phil still had the copy of Karen's solo album, hint).  Because I hadn't kept in contact, Karen kind of felt unloved by me too at one time (between June 1979 and June 1981).  And with that, no, Karen never felt unloved by her family, ever.  Karen had started feeling her family was being overprotective of her but not controlling.  And the truth was that Karen was a pure tomboy and couldn't be controlled, but she would allow someone to be protective.  Karen’s family knew that.  I knew that.  Others didn’t and don't know Karen and it shows.

And on February 11, 2021 I am adding this too.  I saw a place on the internet that listed seven signs that someone felt unloved as a child.   I added an eighth sign.

1) Lack of trust - Karen trusted others unless they proved otherwise.  Nope.
2) Poor emotional intelligence - Nope.  Karen had good control of her emotions for the most part.  We all have our moments though.
3) Fear of failure - Nope.  Karen would get nervousness about having a bad performance but not fear.
4) Toxic relationships - To some degree, yes
.  Most of Karen's relationships weren't toxic.  Karen was not used to 'fake' people and she got blindsided a couple times.
5) Insecurity and Attachment - Nope.  Love 'em and leave 'em see #4.
6) Depression and anxiety - Nope.  Karen was normally happy and clowning around.
7) Oversensitivity - Kind of.  Karen cared a lot.  Karen would become oversensitive to those she felt didn't care.  So more reverse oversensitivity in Karen's case I feel.
8) Rocking motion - This one I added and Karen and I would look to see if others did this.  This for Karen and me was a big one as those that would just sit and rock in a chair that didn't rock back and forth were feeling unloved.  Karen didn't do this.

In all honesty, Richard was very caring towards his sister when out of the public eye.  The truth was that Richard wanted people to see him as a ruthless person that would trample over his own family to get what he wanted.  Richard felt this image was what he needed as Richard did not want to be thought of as a nice guy that could be taken advantage of or such in business dealings.  Truthfully, Richard and Karen both worked together to try and project Richard as being ruthless, but behind the scenes, Richard and Karen always worked together and always helped each other as best as they could.  Most of the time, Richard and Karen were all that they had.

XLV. Karen's solo album part 2

With the elbow to the gut by Karen to Rod in May 1979 because Rod talked about Karen around a 14 year old (me), a boss at A & M overheard this from Rod and was almost ready to 'pull the plug' with that being a possible publicity nightmare if that information got out.  Richard was told about what Rod said and so Richard came out to New York State to check on things.  The plug didn't get pulled.  Also, people have asked, "Would A & M have rejected 'Rock with You' and 'Off the Wall'?' and the answer is most likely no rejection as the songs were playful and not really anti family or such but Phil needed an excuse as to why he was giving those songs away.  P*ss poor excuse that falls apart easily, but still, an excuse.  "He's Out of My Life" was rejected because Phil thought of it being too much like a typical Carpenters song.  And actually, if one of those songs had been done then chances are the record company and Richard would have been behind releasing it in 1980.  But Karen had told Richard that most of the good stuff had been siphoned off for Michael's album and that Karen was hoping the album didn't get released, but it was a huge waste of money too which would definitely be a HUGE reason as to why A & M and Richard wouldn't want Karen trying to do another solo album which was what Karen was hoping for that she wouldn't get asked to do another solo album again.  Karen was happy with Richard and the Carpenters and all they had accomplished together.  I mean cripe, at the autograph tables people would swarm Karen and Richard would be twiddling his thumbs sometimes and Karen would feel bad for Richard as Richard had done the most work while Karen would just come in for about 5 minutes in the studio and sing and get all these praises and such from the fans.  Karen and her mom were always grateful for the effort that Richard put in and if it hadn't been for Richard asking, Karen wouldn't have known she could sing to begin with.  And I know she could sing, but Karen was still hoping to get her big break to pitch in the major leagues for I believe it was $12,500 a year at the time in the early to mid 1970s.  And yes if a team had signed her, she would have quit music and played baseball.  Probably the biggest reason Karen didn't get signed was that she only had about a 77 mph fastball (Randy Jones was the slowest pitcher at the time with a 75 mph fastball), shhh, but they would tell Karen that they didn't have the facilities for an extra "girl's shower".  At least one team had seriously thought about it as Karen was a celebrity and it would be a crowd draw, but they still stuck by the "no separate girl's shower" argument.  Karen understood as she wanted to be a part of the team and didn't feel she needed special treatment because she was a girl, but a lot of the ball players have wives and that wouldn't look too good, so Karen understood but she still tried to get in there and be a professional baseball player. 

In early June 1979 was the 100K meeting with Karen, Rod, Phil, Itchie and Itchie's toy poodle.  A lot of swearing by Phil and Itchie and Rod left the room not too long after the meeting started.  Karen and I had talked before that meeting and I had told Karen that it was her decision but I would do what I could to help.  Phil was boiling mad and Karen had told me that Phil always starts out with his lowest bid and if you disagree, Phil goes higher and doesn't come down.  Also, I let Karen decide as Karen knew my decision was to just let Phil go but it wasn't my project or my money, but I just never liked Phil as a person let alone as a producer after hearing all that had gone on with the solo album.  Anyway, we finally start out and I ask Phil, "How much?" and Phil mumbles a bit and then says, "a hundred thousand" and then I look at Karen and I just hold my hands out to Karen to say "Well?" but I didn't say it.  And then Karen says, "It's a deal." and Phil's mouth dropped as Karen and I knew that this extra was to pay Rod Temperton and several other incidentals and the hundred grand was the 'rock bottom' and Phil was only going to go higher, not lower if we argued (that was why the 400 grand originally as Phil started out lower, but they argued and the price went up).  The other part too was that this was to cover whatever else needed to be done (which was extra studio time between June 1979, plus production costs and musicians and so on, this was it).  Karen contacted Richard and Richard set it up so that the money came from future Carpenter royalties with A & M (still not positive, but nearly 100% sure it was Karen and Richard's future royalties, not just Karen's).  And Karen explained to me later that if we had cut Phil loose that Rod wouldn't have been paid back for a while by Phil for the money Phil borrowed from Rod during the Ultimate Injunction crisis.  But yeah, it was during all this mess that was the making of Karen's solo album that Karen started calling her solo album, "A Can of Worms" to me around early June 1979.  It was just a big mess.

The original concept for Karen's solo album was romantic versus physical love.  The romantic Darling and the physical Baby so to speak (Baby wasn't around when Rod and I talked about this concept in mid May 1979).  The choice between romance and 'just getting it on'.  And the closing song was to be 'Rock with You' with the combination of romance and physical love.  Of course, that all fell apart in a hurry after Tom Burris came along around April or May 1980 and certain songs got siphoned off by Phil Ramone to try and get Michael Jackson as a client.  Karen's album started out great with Rod Temperton and myself providing a ton of ideas in 1979, but ended up just as great as Karen's marriage to Tom Burris
in 1980 and also as great as Phil Ramone's attempt to produce Michael Jackson.  As far as the songs for Karen's solo album themselves?  Well, 'Rock with You' was written when Karen talked to Rod about me, and Karen and I wishing to 'rock together'.  'Off the Wall' was written based on the "Off the Wall" conversation that happened between Karen, Rod and I on the day that I bounced the teacher, Max, off the wall literally which was the same day that Rod left for Los Angeles as well for two weeks.  'She's Out of My Life' was written by Tom Bahler with probably a couple touch ups to the lyrics by Karen.  These three were given to Michael Jackson and then shelved for Karen.  'Something's Missing' was written before Karen's solo album and not about Karen or me.  Karen's story behind her singing the song had everyone in the studio (including Jay Asher and Paul Jabara) saying "aw" way back when including a tear from Jay Asher apparently.  Something's Missing was originally recorded after Karen told the people in the studio about a conversation Karen and I had during our "heart to heart" talk.  And the story from Karen in the studio went, "I have a student in my class that is a real sweetheart and said when he misses me, he hugs his pillow, and I asked him if it helps and he said, no, it only helps remind him that something's missing and he can't have it until he gets older."  And the whole studio said, "Aw."  'Lovelines' was about both romance and physical and was probably done in late 1979 or early 1980 based on the physical and emotional love theme talk during our off the wall call.  'If We Try' was also probably late 1979 or early 1980 and was a Darling romance song.  'It's Really You' was probably 1979 as well and another Darling Romance.  'Midnight' was a reference to Karen using a night light at night.  Karen told me that her and Rod just opened Karen's diary up to a page and that page ended up being our September 1978 night light talk so Rod wrote a song based on that story.  'Truly You' was most likely one of the first songs done for the album before the physical versus romance idea came about even.  I also remember Karen saying, "I did a hard rock type song too called Keep My Lovelight Burning, which you might like, but probably not because the chorus is wimpy.  You probably would have enjoyed being there because it was done by Evie Sands and Ben Weitsman who were involved in the Beatlemania show.Another one that ended up being a joke 'at the office' was Karen invented a new word on her new song "Still in Love with You", buddaho.  Karen even said, "I have no idea what buddaho means.  It just kind of slipped out like that."  The joke around the office was that Karen set a precedent on her solo album of inventing a new word that has no meaning.  I was there when Rod had a friend of his (Russell Javors?) call Karen up and pretend to be a person from Merriam Webster (the dictionary company) and asked Karen about the meaning of the word 'buddaho' for the new edition of the dictionary.  The call was made to the school and Rod was the one who knew the school phone number.  If Karen had done another solo album the word "mannahay" probably would have come out somehow.  But not to be.  So anyway, for the definition of buddaho see mannahay and for the definition of mannahay see buddaho.  That was my contribution to this phone call as when Karen got the phone call she said to me, "Quick, what does buddaho mean?"  And I said back, "Mannahay and for the definition of mannahay see buddaho" and we laughed as Karen repeated it back over the phone to I believe Russell Javors with I think Rod Temperton in the background (Karen and I on one end and Russell and Rod on the other).  And in the song “Guess I Just Lost My Head” Karen meant to say ‘riles’ but said ‘rives’ instead.  It still works I guess.  Karen mentioned that she had a song with the line "Beatle tune" in it that reminded her of me as I sang Beatle tunes to her quite a bit during homeroom (Making Love In The Afternoon).  Karen also mentioned meeting Paul Simon as well (Still Crazy After All These Years & I Do It For Your Love).  There was a recording engineer named Glenn Berger that apparently snapped according to Karen when Paul was just giving pointers on ideas for a horn section and such that Paul dropped when Paul originally recorded the songs.  I guess Glenn went ballistic as Karen called it and secretly they started referring to Glenn as “Spaz” after this.  Karen thought it was kind of cute that Glenn stuck up for her like that but also Karen was a bit worried as she didn’t think that Paul deserved getting yelled at like that for just sharing ideas.  Karen kind of wondered if maybe Glenn got Phil and Paul mixed up as usually Phil was cussing most of the time.  Also, Karen picked "Make Believe It's Your First Time" as most people saw it as a song about virginity, but Karen also saw that song as a song about reincarnation as well.  Karen loved double meanings in songs.  The 'making love' type songs were inspired by events after the 'Cubby O'Brien' visit story.  The 'dancing' songs were inspired by the 'Karen turns ostrich' story above.  I believe "Make Believe It's Your First Time" was inspired by Karen and my 'past lives' story as Karen felt the song worked on two levels of virginity but also as far as reincarnation, dual meaning"Make Beieve It's Your First Time was probably Karen's favorite song that was released from her solo album because Karen loved doing songs that had hidden or double meanings.  "Rock with You" was Karen's favorite (and mine too) hands down, but that was never done passed a partial recording and not even really a demo.  But listen to the songs for the 'romance' and / or the 'physical' love aspect in the lyrics.  'Making Love in the Afternoon' - Physical, see how that works?  Also, I believe Karen started recording her solo album before we had 'pet names' for each other.  Some of the Baby songs may have been about me as well.  I remember sometime when Karen said to me something like, "I called you Baby in a few songs because I didn't really have a pet name for you yet".  I have a feeling that the original recordings probably burned up somewhere after that fire in California or wherever that wiped out most of the recordings for several major labels.  Most of the demos and stuff were probably destroyed.  I have a strong feeling that Rod Temperton was the one that snuck out the outtakes and such.  Rod snuck out copies of 'Rock with You' and 'Off the Wall' to Karen from Michael Jackson's album back around April / May 1979 and Karen's own demos as well.  Karen also said that when Phil brought Rod Temperton on that Phil had Rod sign a paper that kept Rod from publicly talking about what went on with Karen’s solo album.  Karen told me that she didn't actually write songs herself, but she would usually tell stories that others might create songs from, or a story about her motivation for singing a song a certain way or a story about why she chose a certain song to sing.  Karen also said that Rod Temperton was the one that usually worked the 'control board' during her recording sessions.  Rod also had private nicknames such as “Spaz” for Glenn Berger.  Phil was “a**hole”.  And Phil and Snitchy were the gestapo at the Compound (Phil’s house).  Because they were prisoners, Karen was “Number One” and Rod was “Number Two” as Rod felt that Phil crapped on him a lot and Karen got p*ssed on.  Karen also said that Rod had come up with a nickname of “Karen’s Protector” for me.  Karen said that Rod had always felt a presence watching over her and trying to comfort her and looking out for her but wasn't physically there.  I guess Phil or Itchie overheard Rod and Karen mention “Karen’s Protector” and figured that Rod and Karen were talking about Phil and not about someone else (OK, modesty or whatever over, about me).

What Karen's solo album started out as was a 'story within a group of stories'.  These stories would have been...

Side 1

1.  Lovelines (The beginning, the lovelines of romance [Darling] and physical [Baby], which works out?)
1+. Make Believe It's Your First Time  (Anything more 'romantic' than your first?)
2.  Making Love in the Afternoon (Making love - physical, starting out with choosing physical)
3.  Still in Love with You (Made love in the afternoon and still ready for more)
4.  If I Had You (Wanting more physical again, but not there yet)
5.  If We Try (Needing more romance as just physical is not cutting it, Darling reenters)
6.  Something's Missing (Darling is romantic.  Baby is physical.  Romance is missing.)

Side 2

7.  My Body Keeps Changing My Mind (Still a need and desire to try being physical again)
8.  Off the Wall (Things get crazy as physical starts going out of control without romance)
9.  Don't Try To Win Me Back Again (Just being physical is not enough.  Time to leave Baby)
10. He's Out of My Life (Goodbye physical.  Done.  Bye bye Baby bye bye.)
10+. Guess I Just Lost My Head (Things happen, move on, reflecting)
11. It's Really You (Romance, romance, romance.  Baby gone,  Darling reenters again)
12. Rock with You (Getting physical with romance and having it all come together with Darling like real love should)

The story within the group of stories from Karen's solo album.  Karen's idea was to try and have the songs link together so that each song told part of a larger story and the story was cumulative.  And yes, three of the stories (8, 10, 12) were siphoned off to Michael Jackson's Off the Wall album thus destroying Karen's album flow from the start and it just kept getting worst.  Maybe could have substituted Remember When Loving Took All Night in for Off the Wall which would have changed the 'conflict' a little but might possibly have worked.  Although, honestly, losing #10 was not a major loss like #8 and #12 were.  #8 was the 'out of control' song and #12 was the 'combination of physical and romance' song and there really wasn't other songs to take their place 'in the story line'.  Rod Temperton was not much of a fan of Tom Bahler for some reason.  Rod would have most likely tried to take #10 out of the equation anyway.  But anyway, Karen and I were both hopeless romantics.  Champagne, candles, the whole nine yards.  Of course romance wins, but it is even more wonderful when physical and emotional (romance) love comes together.  Also note, it could have been a 7 song per side album denoted with +.  Also, the song I would have been working on (Dreams Come True) probably would have been the number 11 song, but with the mess, like Karen said, "Don't bother because if it was any good Phil would just give it away to someone else".   And if you look at the track arrangement Karen had for the release that she gave to Phil, you can see that the actual release in 1996 still tried to keep to the 'story within a story' album concept that Karen had.  Just that with those certain songs being taken out, the plot, conflict and conclusion had to be altered from the original idea that Karen had.

And for my next trick, a double album romantic and physical love concept.  This is only a concept but after what happened with songs getting siphoned off and such, why not try something different and see if it could have worked.

Disc One (Romantic)

Side One

1. Make Believe It's Your First Time
2. I Do It For Love
3. All Because Of You
4. Truly You
5. Last One Singing The Blues

Side Two

1. Jimmy Mack
2. Still In Love With You
3. If We Try
4. It's Really You
5. Something's Missing

Disc Two (Physical)

Side One

1. Lovelines
2. Love Making Love To You
3. Making Love In The Afternoon
4. If I Had You
5. Keep My Lovelight Burning
6. Guess I Just Lost My Head

Side Two

1. My Body Keeps Changing My Mind
2. Remember When Loving Took All Night
3. Don't Try To Win Me Back Again
4. Midnight
5. Still Crazy After All These Years

I'm thinking it could have worked.  It was interesting that there seemed to be about 10 songs each with a physical concept in the lyrics and about 10 songs each with a romantic concept in the lyrics.  And that one square peg in a round hole, Still Crazy After All These Years, at the end.  Just a thought.  And if you're wondering, yes, Phil Ramone had Rod Temperton sign a paper stating that Rod wasn't to talk about Karen's solo album publicly without Phil's OK.

So when you look at Karen's release:

1. Lovelines
2. All Because of You
3. If I Had You
4. Making Love in the Afternoon
5. If We Try
6. Remember When Lovin' Took All Night
7. Still In Love with You
8. My Body Keeps Changing My Mind
9. Make Believe It's Your First Time
10. Guess I Just Lost My Head
11. Still Crazy After All These Years

Side 1 tracks 1 through 5 and side 2 tracks 6 through 11.

Note: #12 Last One Singin' the Blues was a bonus track.  Look at what is there as far as material.  The selling point of this album is the name, Karen Carpenter.  The outtakes are outtakes including Last One Singin' the Blues.  There is nothing to stand out here and say "This is Karen Carpenter and this is what I stand for".  The songs aren't really Karen here.  Being a lustful sexpot just isn't Karen.  Being indecisive or 'mentally mixed up' just isn't Karen either.  Rock with You is a covert sexual innuendo.  Naughty but nice.  Love and forever stuff.  Remember When Lovin' Took All Night and My Body Keeps Changin' My Mind are overt sexual innuendoes.  Just plain naughty.  Bump and grind stuff.  Big difference there in material.  This was an attempt to try and change Karen's public image a little but it wasn't Karen's real image.  That is why it is lackluster.  Rock with You and Off the Wall were Karen.  When I listen to Karen's actual solo album I don't hear Karen's heart in there.  It sounds just like a collection of songs but nothing really meaningful or heartfelt.  This is probably the least Karen Carpenter of anything Karen Carpenter did.  And that was actually the idea behind this and the big problem as to why this album was lackluster.  Something different that wasn't Karen Carpenter or The Carpenters and it just falls flat because it isn't Karen.  Like Rock with You and Off the Wall and such, Karen was very thoughtful and playful and joyous and such.  There is no real thought, playfulness or joy in Mudville here as the Mighty Phil Ramone just struck out.

Another problem, Phil Ramone never had any steady clients that he produced.  I have seen it said that some deemed Phil "the east coast Quincy Jones" but Quincy usually kept his clients, Phil didn't.   With Phil Ramone, it always seemed to be a lot of double talk and those that double talk (they say one thing and do another or they say one thing and then it changes later on to them saying they said something completely different) have things to hide.  Karen's solo album was just a big mess.

And as far as that mess...  This was a publicity nightmare for Karen.  Karen felt a few of the songs to be sexually exploitative of women.  Karen felt that women should be loved and not 'sex objects'.  As Karen put it to me (on June 12, 1981), "Releasing that album would have been the biggest mistake of my career as my recording contract had that image clause in it if you remember and that album could have definitely jeopardized my contract and my career with A&M Records because of all that sexual content stuff Phil  had me do.  That album would have probably wrecked my image and my career.  I love being the girl next door.  I'm a romantic at heart as you know.  I don't want to change that and I'm not looking to be seen as another sleaze bucket.  There's enough of those out there as it is and I'm not looking to be just one more notch in some slime ball's belt."  Karen also added, "I still love that album because it holds many memories for me of that time in my life and besides a couple of those frogs I kept, it is about all I have left of you and the times we had.  There are also memories of working on that album too and people and places and things like that, but that album was just lackluster musically and was more Phil than me.  I was glad I did that album as it represents a period of time in my life, but I was even more glad that it never got released as it just wasn't me and I feel it would have set the woman's movement back a hundred years.  I still remember all the talks we had about that big can of worms and although I have fond memories of it, I am glad that that can of worms never got opened.  That was such a mess."

XLVI. Phil and Itchie and Itchie's dog visit the school

During the first full week in June 1979 (after the Carpenter family get together), Phil and Itchie sold their big screen TV to get gas money to come out and see Karen in Corning.  This became the 100K extra meeting (400K plus 100K = half million).  Rod Temperton drove Phil's car from Connecticut to Corning and they had just enough money for gas to get here after selling off their big screen TV (Phil's accounts and such were still frozen as it takes a bit for a lawyer to file papers to get the injunctions removed).  There was Karen, Phil Ramone, Itchie, Itchie's toy poodle, Rod Temperton and me.  Phil and Itchie were all big mouthed and f this and f that and just b*tching up a storm about the injunction and being cocky and saying how great they thought they were and all that.  While we were sitting there Phil was barking out orders and telling Rod, Karen and me, "I'm the f**king boss around here.  I'm the f**king head cheese.  You'll do what the f**k I tell you to f**king do when I tell you to f**king do it." and Phil and Itchie were just plain obnoxious and I was 14 at the time and I didn't even work for Phil or Itchie (or Karen for that matter, but shhh, Phil thought I was Karen's manager).  And Phil was telling me, "You take that f**king sh*t off me.  I don't know who the f**k you think you f**king are but I'm Phil Ramone.  Nobody does that to me."  And I told Phil, "That was the Archdeacon and I don't have anything to do with that.  How did you get off so lucky?  When Sir Nicholas saw me they were going to boil me in oil.  He can have someone boiled in oil with just the stroke of his pen.  He's not someone to mess around with.  He must like you."  And Phil and Itchie were both just b*tching up a storm.  And Rod knew I had put the guy across the hall (Max Baer Jr - Jethro) into the wall before and Rod was doing his best to try and keep from being possibly between Phil and me just in case.  And mind you, I am about 96 pounds and about 4'9" at this time and Max was about 6'6" and over 300 pounds and Phil wasn't a lightweight either but still, Rod was maybe about 130 pounds soaking wet.  Karen and I had talked before and I had said to Karen, "Why don't you just get rid of Phil and all the bullsh*t and try someone else?"  And Karen was like, "I want to finish this.  I have my reasons."  And Karen had told me earlier that before Phil had started off with like 300K or such at the initial meeting and when they argued, Phil jumped up higher and wouldn't come down.  So that was where the original 400K came from.  Karen also told me afterwards that yes, it really was worth it to her for her to spend more time with me.  Well, not just me, but the Carpenter family having a get together in June as well as if Phil didn’t get a check, Rod wouldn’t get a check and Itchie wouldn't get paid back either.  And, yes, truthfully, Karen was not wishing to leave to be around Phil or Itchie anyway after seeing the article that Itchie had written, plus Phil needing money all the time.  So this time, yelling, cussing (not from Karen, Rod or me) and such and then we get down to being ready to negotiate.  Rod speaks out to Phil, "Phil, these are nice people and how can you be like this?  I'm not going to sit around here and watch you strongarm them like you did me."  and then Rod left the room and went to the drinking fountain and then the bathroom.  I also remember Phil and Itchie being very pushy and trying to get Karen to move in with them.  And I believe I kept telling them that Karen was needed at the school as there was a shortage of teachers and no one to replace Karen if Karen left.  I stood my ground and Karen was NOT GOING TO LEAVE before June 22nd.  Then I was like, "I really feel like Karen would be better off elsewhere and I know there is extra cost here and Karen wants you to finish this for her but I'd honestly rather just cut you loose and go with someone else, so how much extra is this going to cost for you to finish her solo album?"  and then Phil is mumbling to himself for a little bit and then he says, "a hundred thousand."  And then I just put my hands up and I smile and I look at Karen and Karen says, "This will cover everything else?"  And Phil's mouth is just dropped to the ground as he was expecting to go higher.  And Phil had this droopy look on his face and said, "Yes."  And then Karen held her hand out for the handshake and Karen said, "It's a deal, but no more and you have to promise me you'll finish this."  And Phil was like, "I promise.  It's a deal." and Karen and Phil shook hands.  Then Phil and I shook hands and for the next couple days I was wiping my hands trying to get all that Jheri Curl off my hands.  I hope it was Jheri Curl anyway, but maybe sweat, who knows now.  It was just plain slimy.  Karen stayed as a teacher until June 22nd.  Then Phil, Itchie, Itchie's poodle and Rod left and Karen wrote three or four small checks to Phil so that Phil could cash the checks at gas stations along the way and get back home as Phil's accounts were still froze.  Rod also forgot his baseball cap when he left (and I think Karen gave the hat back to Rod later, but Karen thought that Rod's hat was stupid and Karen wanted to just throw it in the trash)..  So the 100K had to cover from June 1979 until the production was stopped by Karen in May 1980.  And at the beginning of this meeting I remember this gruff italian brooklynish voice saying something like, "Would you please call off the dogs on me?" in reference to me thinking that the Archdeacon of Canterbury I believe put a very nasty 'injunction' against Phil.  I also have a feeling that Phil thought, "Who does this Sir Nicholas guy think he is?" and I remember at the end of Karen and my conversation with Sir Nicholas, Assistant to the Archdeacon of Canterbury, about Phil Ramone that Sir Nicholas asked if we minded if Sir Nicholas had a little 'fun' with Mr. Ramone.  After Karen's songs had been given away while Karen was being charged for production costs as well as seeing the letter that Phil's girlfriend Karen "Itchie" Iuwhatever wrote about Karen that would have possibly destroyed Karen's career with A & M Records and would have definitely destroyed her teaching job, a little 'payback' would be nice.  I can't remember what the term is but it is only available to a very few individuals in the world, and the Archdeacon of Canterbury was one of them.  Sir Nicholas persuaded his boss, Bernard Pawley, Archdeacon of Canterbury, to invoke the 'nasty injunction' against Phil Ramone.  I remember it was done in mid May and I remember Karen talking to me about it as she was still going to Phil's house for her solo album stuff.  Karen was telling me, "It is like a ghetto there.  Phil, Rod, and Itchie are eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches by candlelight off paper plates and it is just too funny.  Selling things off to try and get gas money for the car.  Borrowing jugs of water from the neighbors because the water was shut off.  Having to pour water in the tank to flush the toilet.  Piles of garbage alongside the curb out in front of the house.  I try to act like I am concerned and such, but I feel vindicated in a way after what they tried to do to me.  It is really very hard for me not to laugh when I am there.  I am so enjoying this.  I am getting tired of them always asking for money though.  They haven't got a clue as to what happened, just that all of their accounts and such are froze up and no credit and such.  I know this is supposedly only temporary, but I actually hope it lasts longer than a month or year or whatever.  It is only temporary right?"  And all I could say was, "I don't know.  I'm just glad you're feeling better and smiling again.  I still love seeing you smile again."  Richard Carpenter could not have done this type of injunction, but Richard could have filed a separate injunction just against the use of Karen's name or such to block the solo album release as Karen's name belonged to the Carpenters' group (which would have probably been a suggestion from Alpert & Moss as Richard had a 'vested' interest with Karen while A & M did not).  The nasty 'injunction' or whatever it is actually called freezes all accounts plus any stock or bond trading as well as destroying a person's credit so that they can not borrow or use a credit card as well as real estate and almost anything else you can name involving money and property.  Richard had Sir Nicholas's business card just in case as Sir Nicholas would have gladly created more problems for Phil if asked nicely.  Phil needed the extra money to pay Rod and Itchie back the money that Phil borrowed from them so that Phil could stay penniless and get a lawyer while the injunction was in place.  If I remember also, Mr. Heib stopped by and asked Karen if Karen was alright and who Phil was and why Phil was so upset.  I think Karen said that Phil was working on her solo album and was always cranky anyway, but Phil had some money problems and was extra cranky.  Trust me, I do not hold sway over either the Archdeacon of Canterbury or his assistant, Sir Nicholas.  Sir Nicholas was definitely added to Karen and my friends list.  I believe Phil and Itchie were added to the "do not allow into the school" list.  So in February 1983 Karen came up with an idea to say that she was flying out to New York (Corning, not NYC) looking into a new manager instead of trying to tell people she was planning on eloping after the mess with Tom Burris before.  And really, after the mess in 1979, Karen wouldn't be wanting Phil Ramone as a manager let alone a producer either.  And besides a manager doesn't make anywhere near as much money as a producer so why would Phil want more responsibility and headaches for reduced pay?  But the 100K story in 1979 was the idea behind Karen making up her 'new manager' story in 1983.

XLVII. Sir Nicholas Born and hip waders

Sir Nicholas had a chat with Karen and myself while we were together at the school.  Of course the stuff about Phil Ramone.  I believe Sir Nicholas also told Karen about what Sir Nicholas knew about my secret and I believe Karen told Sir Nicholas about her past regressive therapy too without me there.  But also, I believe Sir Nicholas told us both "not to copulate" or reproduce or however he phrased it.  Sir Nicholas just said something like, "If you two were to have a child, Methuselah may be born and then after that Lamech and then Noah and a big flood all over again.  It is very imperative that you two do not take a chance of having children just to be on the safe side." or something very similar in reference to Karen having the regressive hypnotism with Edna aka Methuselah's mother and of course my being the Keeper of the Book of Life aka Enoch aka Methuselah's father as well.  I also remember Sir Nicholas joking and saying that he would be looking into a pair of hip wader pants just in case.  Karen and I also asked Sir Nicholas if it would be possible to put an order of suppression on Karen as Karen and I put it, "What if Karen was to blab to everyone that Jesus wasn't a virgin?"  Because of Karen being a celebrity, Sir Nicholas couldn't put a suppression order on her without destroying her singing career.  Due to legal concerns, Sir Nicholas couldn't directly hand over the rejected Itchie article or the suppression order paperwork directly to Karen, however, Sir Nicholas did put them in the garbage can and Karen and I grabbed them later.  OK, OK, Karen didn't want to be seen as a 'garbage picker' so I pulled the papers out of the garbage can.  Karen also gave Sir Nicholas a copy of her 'past lives' on a sheet of paper and Sir Nicholas did take that with him.  Karen also asked Sir Nicholas about why the name Jesus with a J sound when his name is Yeshua without a J sound?  Sir Nicholas said that the Church can not take an official position on this, however, just a thought here, can it be considered blasphemy against an individual if you are not actually using the individual's actual name?  Gosh darn it.  Look at the time.  It's getting late.  And then Sir Nicholas left.

XLVIII. Buddy Ebsen visits

I am also pretty sure that Buddy Ebsen stopped by as well.  I remember Karen saying, "He [blank]ed me Buddy."  And I remember Buddy saying, "That's not a screw up; that's a f*** up.  Do you mind if I sit over here with you two?  Max can be a real a**hole sometimes and I can't stand seeing a grown man cry."  And Karen was like, "Sure, we understand.  Sorry you got dragged into all of this.  Would you like Ace to get you something from the cafeteria?"  And yes, during company visits in the room, I always volunteered to be the gopher.  You know, go for this, go for that.  I was a kid; I had more energy that I needed to burn off.  Plus, like I said to Buddy, "This is the part that Karen and I came up with where you get rid of the little kid because it can feel awkward trying to have grown up talk with a little kid around.  So the little kid disappears for a bit and then comes back later after goofing off on the way to add a little extra time.  You know how kids are."  And Karen said, "He's not just a kid but he can be a real smart ass too."  And I said, "Like she said, because if I said it, I would get my mouth washed out with soap for it."  And I am pretty sure Buddy said (with a smile on his face), "He really is a smart ass ain't he?"  And I am pretty sure Karen said back (with a smile on her face), "That he is and he needs to get his smart ass moving so we can talk."  And during Buddy's visit, Buddy was chatting away with Karen and I, and Buddy would wave over to Max across the hall making Max think that Buddy was 'patching things over' when we were mostly talking about how Buddy was doing now and any special plans or hopes or dreams and stuff like that.  Buddy also called Karen, "Miss Karen".  Buddy actually was very polite and not one to cuss, but after Buddy heard what happened, Buddy was a little upset for a short while, maybe a minute or two, because Max hadn't told Buddy the rest of the details.  Buddy was like, "I'm sorry Miss Karen, I'm not one to usually cuss, but I feel like a darned fool coming over here like this.  Max just got my dander up."  And Karen was like, "It's not your fault that Max didn't tell you the rest.  I'm glad you came over.  Now you know."  Buddy was a very down to earth person too.  I told Buddy, "You don't have to worry about Max coming over here.  Max is afraid of me after I slammed him up against the wall.  I may not look like much, but he found out." or something like that.

XLIX. Behind the scenes.  Family talk.  Rumors

(Added April 11, 2020) A little bit before Karen and I went 'ring shopping' Karen brought in a box full of family photos.  Karen started going through the photos and telling me about her upcoming family get together.  Karen had many pictures and she would pull a picture out and say, "This is my great aunt..." and talk a bit about each one.  Reminiscing.  Then Karen brought up that she had seen her brother, Richard, seeming to be more than friends with their first cousin, Mary Rudolph.  Karen referred to Richard and Mary as “lovebirds” too.  Karen was actually happy that Richard had appeared to have found someone that he cared about and cared about him finally even if she was an adopted first cousin.  Karen then started laughing and said something like, "It's funny because here we are the squeaky clean kids next door and my brother is romantically involved with our first cousin and here I am chasing after jailbait.  It's just too funny.  There actually is real dirt for a change, but the papers haven't figured it out yet so I think Richard and me are fine.  But if someone shows up and starts asking weird questions, play dumb, OK?"  And I was like, "No prob.  That is funny.  Not us, but you know..." and then Karen talks about family secrets and such.  Karen talked about how her one aunt, Guinevere, had just recently passed away in 1978.  Then Karen talked about Mary Rudolph and how when Karen was younger, she noticed that all of a sudden there was talk of a car accident in the family involving like 5th or 6th cousins and how, without someone getting pregnant, cousin Mark had a baby sister just show up at a family get together about (three to six?) months after the accident.  But that was her mom's side of the family, Tatums, Rudolphs and such, and Karen was getting ready for a family get together with her dad's side of the family, Carpenters, Lynns, Bihuniaks, and such. 

Also, Karen talked about rumors as far as her and Richard and the Carpenters band.  Karen was like, "If it doesn't sound right, it isn't.  There's no wild orgies or sex parties or that kind of stuff.  Most of the time on the road, we just perform the show, go to a hotel room for a little bit, catch a bus or a plane and then do the next show.  It's definitely not a life of glamour and all that.  We don't really have enough time or make enough money for that kind of stuff."  And then Karen was like, "As far as me and my brother having sex.  Richard and I are brother and sister and we have been through a lot together and we are very close to one another and we love each other very much and very dearly.  We are brother and sister and the thought of possibly bringing in a bunch of inbreds with hillbilly teeth into the world is just not my idea of having a good time..." "...And yes, I have had a lot of boyfriends over the years, but being on the road doesn't allow much time to have a lasting relationship.  Love 'em and leave 'em is as good as it gets.  I've been lucky so far, but foam and rubbers when needed and hope nothing goes wrong." 

We then talked about her grandfather George getting remarried and how Wendy and Peter were step cousins and the family joke about the 'wicked' step mother as the Bihuniaks were usually very nice and calm people and didn't usually get upset whereas the Carpenters were very down to earth people and could be mean when they felt they needed to be
.  Karen also mentioned that she didn't like using the word "step" as Karen considered family as being family whether by marriage or by blood so to speak.  There was also a story that Karen learned about her grandfather, George, and how Thomas Carpenter and Elizabeth Ann (Sherlock) Carpenter were George's parents and how Thomas and Susan were married at the same time as Thomas and Elizabeth so the marriage to Elizabeth was annulled and Susan was actually a step mom for Karen's grandfather George.  Karen's great grandmother, Susan (Seal) Carpenter, was blind and Karen asked me if I would go with her to the family get together and help her with her great grandmother if needed.  Karen also said that her great grandmother was I believe the third oldest person living in the UK at the time and was over a hundred years old and kind of a celebrity herself being the third oldest person in the UK.  Karen also said that it was her great grandmother's wish that Karen would find a husband and get married and settle down before Susan passed away.  So in addition to possible extra help, a plan of Karen's where Karen and I would show up and tell everyone that we had snuck off and eloped because of my age and the publicity and such.  And so...

L. The rings

Also, near the end of the school year, Karen and I walked down Market Street in Corning and we looked in jewelry stores at wedding and engagement rings.  It was kind of uneventful as nothing really stood out too much.  Diamonds, gold, boring for a guy.  I could also see Karen looking very disappointed that nothing seemed to stand out to her either.  But then at the fourth place we went to there was a wedding set that had a set of wedding bands that were white gold in the middle and yellow gold on the outside (thinking back, the wedding bands may have been just white gold, platinum, not sure now), but the diamond engagement ring that was with them just seemed to sparkle like Karen's eyes when we looked at each other.  It was just amazing.  I just started saying, "Sparkles, sparkles, sparkles" and I had a kind of gurgly growl to my voice when I said it.  Karen asked the jeweler about the ring and the jeweler said that I had a sharp eye and that the ring actually had a history to it.  The ring had a certificate of authenticity with it, and this was the original diamond that made a certain gem cutter (I believe his name was Bartholdi but not sure) famous.  The gem cutter asked the people with the raw diamond to set that particular piece aside for him as he had an idea.  The idea was that every diamond above a certain size (karat) has a flaw.  The gem cutter thought of a way to make that 'flaw' into an enhancement.  The cutter cut the diamond so that the 'flaw' was at a certain spot and then designed a special setting to help enhance the light shining through the diamond to make the light appear brighter.  As you can see, that idea worked and it was the first time that a gem cutter had cut a diamond using a flaw as a way to magnify the light as it passed through the diamond.  It has been done many times since then and the gem cutter personally listed this as his 9th most favorite piece he had ever worked on out of thousands of pieces.  This was the piece that made him famous, but afterwards he had been able to work on some others that he felt were a bit more challenging.  But history or not, this was the only diamond I had seen that sparkled like Karen's eyes and I was just mesmerized by it.  I would see the ring again in 1981.  Karen just whipped out her Visa card and said, "It's unlimited, so it should have enough on it and I'll just pay it off when I get home.  I rarely use it, so if there's a problem, I have other cards if you need."  The jeweler took the card and looked at it.  And then Karen said, "I forgot, do you want to see some ID with that?"  And the Jeweler said, "No need.  I definitely know it is you as I have a few of your albums at home.  I also saw the card number and I knew it was an unlimited card.  What brings you around here if you don't mind me asking?"  And Karen said something like, "I have some cousins in the area and I was just visiting them and something told me that I was going to find something amazing today and I did.  Well, he did anyway."  Anyway, yes, the Visa card had the numbers 1234567890 on it and the embossed name of Karen A Carpenter.  Karen and I walked out with a bag with the rings inside and then we walked across the street and Karen got a hot dog with meat sauce and I got a hot dog with ketchup at the hot dog stand across the street (Jim's Texas Hots).  Actually, if I remember right, We ended up getting two hot dogs with meat sauce.  I went to pick up the first one with meat sauce for Karen since Karen had her arms full and Karen and I bumped each other and the hot dog with meat sauce fell to the ground.  Karen got another one.  And Karen was like, "You should try it with the meat sauce, it's good.  I'll let you have a bite of mine."  And I was like, "We can't kiss, but I guess if we took a bite out of each other's hot dogs, it might be close to a kiss."  So we each took a bite of each other's hot dogs on the bitten end.  Karen held hers and I bit it, and I held mine and Karen bit it.  And Karen was like, "See they're good, do you want to try another bite."  And I was like, "It's alright, but I still prefer the ketchup.  I like eating after you though.  I can almost taste your lips."  So we walked together up the hill and every other bite, we switched hot dogs.  It ended up with us each having the last bite of our own hot dogs, so it worked out well.  It was fun.

LI. Wedding Bells? Anniversary get together?  Family business

(Note, I am adding this on February 26, 2020 after another one of those memory recall things happened again) I believe it was either late May or early June 1979, because Karen and I were not wearing coats that I can remember, but I remember Karen and I attending a family event together that I believe was an anniversary.  I met some of Karen's older relatives on her dad's side.  I can't remember names for sure now, but I keep remembering the name Gladys for some reason even though there isn't a Gladys that I know of, but I also know that I met Matilda Lynn, Karen's great aunt.  I remember Matilda kept asking me to do the slow dances with her (Waltzing Matilda so to speak).  Most of the fast dances I did with Karen if I remember right.  I also think it was a DJ but not positive yet on that.  I also believe I met Great Aunt Gertrude Lynn as well who lived in Wellsville New York which is about an hour away from Corning New York.  The names Joe, Jack, Charlie, and George got bounced around a lot during conversations as well as those were the sons of Susan and Thomas Carpenter, Karen's great grandparents.  Thomas' mother's name I believe was Sarah Anne (Nash) Carpenter which is where I believe Karen's middle name, Anne, came from.  I think it had something to do with Harold and Agnes had a Nash Rambler, so they used Sarah’s middle name as Karen’s middle name.  Also lots of talk of Dmytro and Wefta Bihuniak.  Karen was asked to bring her great grandmother, Susan (Seal) Carpenter, to the party and Karen asked me to come along in case she needed extra help with her.   Karen then also had me wear the wedding ring and told me about her plan and why.  Karen and I picked up Susan (not Sue or Suzie or Suzanne, but Susan) at the apartment complex and we walked about two blocks to the union hall where the party was being held.  When we picked her up, we had the rings on.  Susan noticed the rings and Karen and I both said, "We eloped this afternoon."  Susan was blind and she was feeling our faces and feeling how happy we were.  Susan started smiling too.  We helped Susan up and we walked her to the party.  On the way, Susan asked us to describe everything to her, so Karen and I started talking about the lush gardens and fountains and wonderful trees and such.  And you have to love old people as Susan said to us after we got close to arriving, "You're both full of sh*t; this place is a dump; but I appreciate you two trying to make me feel better."  And I said, "OK, you caught us, but at least we tried."  And we all laughed together as I opened the door to the union hall and we went inside.  And oh boy, did Karen and I get an earful at the party when we got there in a good way.  As one said, "We've been happily married fifty years and you two make a great couple if you don't mind me saying so.  In all my years I have never seen a more happier couple than you two."  And another, "Marry them when they're younger so you can get some good use out of them before it's too late."  And more, "We've been married fifty years and don't let our talking fool you and scare you off of being married.  It was the best thing we've ever done."  And even more, "I've never seen a more happier couple than you two.  And don't let others fool you, it still gets better with age."  And even more than more, "Don't let age get in your way of having a good time.  You'll have good memories of these wonderful times when you get older."  And some more, "We're glad you didn't wait until you get older.  It's too late then and you can't enjoy it as much."  And, "Don't pay no nevermind to him, he's an old fuddy duddy and he doesn't like anything.  Marry for love.  Don't ever marry for money.  There's your proof on a silver platter."  And, "We're glad you brought him with you.  New blood.  It kind of livened things up a bit around here.  Not because of your ages, but because you both are so happy together.  Everyone seems a bit happier than normal."  And, "We ain't no spring chickens, but just because there is snow on the roof doesn't mean there ain't fire in the furnace."  And then, "Life's too short to worry about what others think.  So long as you two are happy, who cares?"  And then more, "I'm glad you married him.  Don't let the folks tell you any different.  If they do, send them to us and we'll straighten them right out for you."  And more then, "We were the young couple here at thirty years until you showed up."  And of course to Karen, "How's your mom doing?  She's one of us.  We're really glad your dad met your mom.  Your dad was like a bump on a log and would probably still be just sitting on the couch if it hadn't been for your mom putting a fire under his keister."  Actually, Harold wasn't lazy, but until Agnes, Harold hadn't really been interested in women.  With the Carpenters being family oriented, they were thrilled with Harold finally wanting someone to start a family with or is that a famdamily?  Yes, being a part of a family was the opposite of being cursed, so a famdamily not the other way around.  If you couldn't tell, Karen and I tried to visit with everyone.  Karen and I also were seated at the main table with Susan.  There were quite a few people there and most were over 50.  And just a couple of us 'spring chickens'.  The family was also so happy to see Karen visit as the folks (mom and dad), Karen, and Richard lived out in California now and Karen and Richard were out on the road and toured a lot.  The family definitely let their hair down.  Karen let her hair down too.  Swapping family stories together.  The good stuff.  And of course Karen and I liked to clown around with each other and make jokes.  Susan sat between Karen and me and joined in on the fun as well.  Karen also fixed Susan a plate to eat and told her stuff like, "meat at 9 o'clock, dessert at 6 o'clock..."  Like Karen, Susan was still very independent.  And even more of course, family business remains family business and gets censored to keep it in the family where it belongs.  I am 100% positive that Karen introduced me to the family as her husband and told everyone that we had just eloped because we didn't want all the media publicity and such with me being younger.  I met Karen's Uncle Jack as well as there was a possible problem but Karen's Uncle Jack took care of it before it may have became a big problem.  I had always known the Carpenters to be ones to look out for one another and I got to see and hear about it first hand after I heard about what Karen's Uncle Jack did for Karen.  Wonderful people.  Wonderful family.  And Karen's Uncle Jack pulled me aside as well as Karen.  Karen's Uncle Jack had a little talk with Karen first and then Karen's Uncle Jack said something like, "That was the nicest present I got in a long time.  My mother has been blind for a while now and she hasn't smiled since she went blind.  She was laughing and smiling and having a great time.  Everyone was laughing and smiling and having a great time and no amount of money can ever buy that."  Karen's Uncle Jack realized that I was too young to actually marry Karen but he still gave me the 'boyfriend' lecture that Karen had kind of warned me about beforehand.  But anyway, I can't remember exactly but Karen's Uncle Jack said something like, "She's my niece and if I ever catch you (can't remember now) with her I am going to cut your balls (nuts?) off with a knife." or something like that.  And then I surprised her Uncle Jack as I said back something like, "If I ever do something like that to her I hope you use a dull rusty butter knife and make it as painful as possible.  I actually wasn't acting or anything.  I really do love her but unfortunately as you've probably noticed I'm still too young."  And then I believe her Uncle Jack said something like, "I'm going to hold you to that and when you get old enough if you still wish to marry my niece and she still wishes to marry you, I give you both my blessings."  And I believe (but not positive) this party was the reason why Karen and I went shopping for an engagement ring probably a few days before this party (but maybe not).  I am not sure if this was a birthday party for Susan or her Uncle Jack's and Aunt ?'s 70th anniversary party but I am positive it was one or the other or possibly a combination of both or maybe even something else.  I also know that Karen's Uncle Richard and Aunt Mary were there as well.  And another note, this may have possibly been what set up Tom Burris a little over a year later.  I believe that Susan was blind and was hoping that Karen would get married before she passed away.  This I believe was why Karen introduced me as her husband at the party.  I had also told Karen as this was outside school and a family function and such, anything goes as far as physical contact and such as that would be needed for the eloping story for Susan.  But outside the event or her family, we couldn't touch again until I got older.  Really, Karen and I did do a bunch of 'you don't know Jack' jokes after this.  I believe Jack was cousin Patti's great grandfather.  Also, Karen had her step cousin Wendy taking pictures during this.  Nice pictures of the lens cap, the floor, the ceiling, feet, backs of heads, her thumb.  Karen kind of commented to me off to the side, “I wish I had thought of my friend Carolyn to take pictures.  She’s probably working though anyway.  She’s pretty good with action shots and such.  Usually I just toss her my camera and somehow she gets a great shot.  I like her pictures because they usually seem so natural.  Wendy on the other hand, sometimes you just got to laugh I guess.  She tries hard.”  Yes, the plot thickens I believe...

(And on May 21, 2020) And some more stuff as far as the 1979 family get together (Susan birthday and Jack anniversary).  Karen's uncle Richard Carpenter and his wife aunt Mary showed up late and uncle Richard was wearing a twill (UK) / tweed (US) suit with patches on it - a style at the time.  Great uncle Jack Carpenter spoke up and said something like, "Nephew, I have a whole closet full of suits that you could have borrowed instead of taking one off of some hobo.  You should have left it on the hobo in the gutter where it belongs." something like that.  Also, during the party, Karen kept sending me out to dance with her great aunt Matilda Lynn because Karen wanted some privacy while Karen and her great grandmother, Susan (Seal) Carpenter talked about Karen's grandparents (George Carpenter and Nellie [Lynn] Carpenter) as well as dad, Harold, growing up and those kinds of stories.  Family stuff.  Karen and I would kind of dance some of the fast dances together but it was important that Karen got a chance to chat with her great grandmother.  Later, Karen, me and great grandmother Susan all got up and danced together to a fast song.  Then a little later Karen and I were fast dancing and doing a 'butt bump' together and we kind of bumped a little hard and the family could see Karen get upset and Karen started to 'give it back to me'.  Then I said something like, "Oops, Honey, I'm sorry about that.  I'll kiss it and make it better" and then I believe I leaned over and kissed Karen's butt in front of everyone and of course we all started busting out laughing, Karen and me included.  Then a little later to a slower dance, Karen and I were kind of doing a tango type dance and we noticed there was a kind of broom closet with louvered doors on it.  So I started dancing Karen over towards the louvered doors and Karen would start dancing me away from the doors, then I would dance her towards the doors, back and forth until we finally got to the door and I opened it and Karen and I snuck inside for a little bit with the louvered door closed while the others were outside laughing about Karen and I sneaking off to the broom closet (we had told everyone we eloped, so you would think we would want to sneak off for a little privacy).  I am not totally sure now on parts of this, but pretty sure that Karen and I had our first kiss this time and I believe Karen pushed the door open while we were kissing and people in the room were going "aw (and a couple people saying "that's so sweet" too maybe?)".  Like usual when we were around others, Karen and I put on a good show that was memorable.  A great time.  Afterwards when we dropped off great grandmother Susan to the apartment she was staying at (in Daysprings on the corner of Columbia and route 17 [Dennison Parkway East] at the time) and that was when great uncle Jack asked to see the marriage papers from us eloping, which of course, we hadn't actually eloped.  Cat out of the bag and during this was when great grandmother Susan said to great uncle Jack, "I may be blind, but I can still find your bottom Jack" and also great uncle Jack realizing that I was only 14 (too young) gave Karen and me his blessings if we decided to get married later and all that other stuff talked about between us.

LII. Shrinks part 1

As far as how things went with the psychiatrists, psychologists and therapists...  Very, very poorly.  Honestly, Karen walked out several times because she got tired of them trying to put words in Karen's and her family's mouths.  It was bad and you can see it all over the place still.  Karen would say that her and Richard were never comeptitive and the shrinks would tell her that she was in denial about it.  Honest, brothers and sisters are usually complimentary, not competitive.  What, was Richard going to try and clean the house faster than Karen?  Was Karen going to try and outdo Richard playing the piano?  Brothers are usually competitive with other brothers and sisters competitive with other sisters.  It was REALLY, REALLY that bad and then some.  Karen said to me, "It seemed like every time something came out of my or my family's mouths, the psychiatrists, psychologists, and therapists would automatically try and turn it around to make it sound like we were saying the complete opposite of what we actually said.  It was that bad and we all walked out."  As far as Richard being the 'favorite' and Karen being the 'black sheep'.  True.  And in all honesty, many times since they believed Richard, Richard would honestly lie to keep Karen out of trouble if possible.  Karen would do the same for Richard too.  Brothers and sisters do that for one another and Karen and Richard were no exceptions.  Karen and Richard didn't really have goals or such, but they loved making music together.  Karen and Richard were seen as over achievers even though they didn't have goals that they were trying to achieve.  Yes, the shrinks dealing with the Carpenters were honestly that 'nuts / crazy'.  Like Karen and I agreed on, "Favorites put the round pegs in the round holes and the square pegs in the square holes.  Black sheep put the round pegs in the square holes and the square pegs in the round holes and if they don't fit right, you just need to use a bigger mallet.  Favorites are favored because they do what everyone else does.  Black sheep have more fun but tend to get in more trouble because they don't always do what everyone else does.  I like being a black sheep, is there something wrong with being honest?"  Also, Karen had the game Perfection in her desk drawer.  In all honesty, neither Karen nor myself could actually get all the pieces into the slots before it popped.  We came within two or three pieces a couple times, but that was about as close as we got.  As far as the Carpenters being 'dysfunctional'...  N-O, NO.  Honestly, the shrinks were dysfunctional.  Y-E-S, YES.  How can you deal with those that keep trying to turn everything you say or do around to fit THEIR mold of what they feel is going on instead of accepting the truth?  What can you do or say when you are told everything you do or say is wrong or a lie?  Nothing.  And that has been a BIG problem with psychiatry, psychology, and therapy.  'Hidden meanings' where shrinks try to say that things exist when in reality, they do not.  Playing 'tricks' on people is dishonest.  How can you 'trick' someone into being honest when you are not being honest yourself?  Exactly.  PSYCHOBABBLE!!! (twisting things around so bad that no matter what anyone says or does is seen as being wrong).  How can someone that is not being honest honestly help someone else?  They honestly can't.  And when you have a guilty conscience why not lie some more and try and blame others instead of taking blame yourself and learning from your own mistakes?  So anyway, shrinks, answer this - "How can someone become honest when all that a shrink does is call them a liar no matter what the other person says or does?"  YES, that is a BIG problem.  And in the end, Karen weighed 108 pounds in all honesty.  Others tried to lie and say Karen weighed 80 or 84 pounds when she died.  Honestly.  That is why anything by Tom Burris, Phil Ramone, Itchie Ramone, any of the shrinks and most authors that use these sources I discount as being untrue about Karen Carpenter.  I believe Richard Carpenter, Paul Williams, Carl "Cubby" O'Brien, and Patti Carpenter (I believe Hirtl is her married name, but not sure).  Rod Temperton was caught in the middle at times, so it was kind of hit and miss with him depending on what was asked about.  Most of all, I always believed Karen Carpenter and Karen Carpenter's diary because for some strange reason, Karen always seemed to know the most about herself despite the experts' opinions.  And as we know, "Experts never make mistakes.  All people make mistakes; myself included.  Therefore experts are just figments of their own imaginations."  And honestly, Karen could not take ipecac syrup or such on the day of or the day before she died.  Midol pills or such possibly (but not definitely) because she was expecting her 'visitor' (menstruation).  Possibly a box of chocolates maybe.  Not ipecac syrup.  And honestly, Karen called me the day before she died so I know she was expecting her 'visitor' (menstrual cycle).  I also know for sure that Karen was feeling fine on the day before she died.  Karen was very happy and not depressed or such nor feeling anything unusual physically or mentally besides her visitor (which always made her feel tired).  It was unexpected.  Karen's heart stopped.  Cardiac arrest.  It happens.  It may sound strange, but every time a person's heart stops beating for over 5 minutes, they died.  True story.  Karen's aura left her body and Karen's body died after her heart stopped beating.

As far as Karen and control issues...  There are many examples of that that I had experienced first hand being around Karen.  So when I say that control had nothing to do with Karen's anorexia, I am very sure of that.  Max was trying to control Karen, Karen had me stay with her during lunch.  Karen didn't have anorexia because of that.  Karen's couple times of starting to have anorexia came after a couple times in 1978 and early 1979 when Karen started thinking that I wasn't attracted to her because of her weight but I reminded her of my age (one time mentioned in the Sexual Innuendos and Bible Verses section, and the 'fertilizer' talk where I said she was beautiful).  Another time was before the school pictures (mentioned above) and another time after Karen went to do the Bruce Forsyth Show.  A couple other times happened but Karen had started realizing that her 'eating problem' or anorexia was from either sleeping or performing issues or sometimes feeling she wasn't attractive to others.  As far as control issues, Karen was a fighter and would fight back when needed.  As far as trying to control Karen, from someone that knew Karen well, that would be just as crazy as trying to control Karen's mom, Agnes.  Just not happening.

LIII. Shrinks Part 2

So why didn't Karen talk more about her problems publicly?  There are doctor and patient confidentiality rules is one part.  Neither the doctor nor the patient are supposed to discuss things publicly.  This is the prime reason.  The secondary and probably more compelling reason was that Karen was not one to say bad things about people if she could help it in private and Karen definitely did not want to say bad things about people publicly at all.  Karen was raised with, "If you don't have something nice to say then it is better to say nothing at all.  What you do in your own home is your business."  And yes, Richard and Karen were brother and sister.

And speaking of dysfunctional shrinks...  Karen spoke with numerous psychologists, psychiatrists, and therapists with usually VERY, VERY... BAD RESULTS.

Yes, Karen did have a sense of humor, but this stuff is a bit ridiculous honestly.  As Karen referred to it, "the looney bin".  Truly.

About Karen's mom, if you notice what others do out there you will notice something odd when you think about it.  Karen's mom was raised with the word "love" meaning that you were having sex with someone.  Had anyone ever asked Karen's mom, Agnes, if she loved her husband Harold she would have easily said "Yes" and most likely "with all my heart".  Not one shrink ever asked this if you notice.  What they did ask, however, was for mom to say she loved Karen.  Do you understand now why Agnes couldn't say that.  She also couldn't say that she loved her son Richard either but that never gets mentioned by the shrinks.  This also doesn't get mentioned either which is why I am mentioning it now.  The therapists and psychologists and psychiatrists never asked Karen's mom if she cared about her daughter only if she 'loved' her daughter which Karen and Richard both knew that their mom couldn't say she loved her daughter or her son (and notice too, the son part never gets mentioned either as they never asked mom if she loved Richard which mom couldn't say she loved Richard either).  Do you see what is going on here?  It is known as badgering and putting words in people's mouths and ideas that the people themselves do not actually have.  This stuff is just horrible.  To mom (Agnes) loving someone was about having sex with that someone.  You will not find anywhere where these shrinks ever asked mom if she cared about Karen.  It is a set up by a bunch of quacks is what all this nonsense is.  These quacks are trying to prove a nonsense anorexic profile theory based on Cherry (Boone) O'Neill that does not match Karen Carpenter or many others that have had, have, might or will have anorexia.  Mom never wished to have sex with her kids so why would she say she "loves" them?  Mom never got asked if she cared about her kids which would have had mom talking for hours about how wonderful her son and her daughter were.  How Richard was great on the piano and how Karen was a good singer but Karen would rather be out getting dirty playing baseball because she was a tomboy.  Mom and Karen cared very deeply about each other but they weren't wishing to love or have sex with one another so a bad choice of words on the shrinks's parts.  Very bad choice of words.  That is the real problem with all that nonsense.  As far as 'touchy feely' type stuff, what is wrong with keeping that stuff in the bedroom where it belongs?  Why would someone want to grope their kids?  It was just plain awkward and rather than blame themselves why not put the blame on the mother and the father and the brother?  It is a narcissistic trait known as 'scapegoating' and also 'gaslighting'.  Rather than be honest about the situation, make up stories, tell half truths, tell outright lies even and blame others rather than accept responsibility as all people, shrinks included, can make mistakes except narcissists of course.  Narcissistic shrinks?  Narcissistic college graduates?  Narcissistic story writers and authors?  You got it.  Karen Carpenter was a talented singer whereas Cherry never was a talented singer.  Karen and her brother always worked together with each other.  Cherry and Debby Boone always competed against each other.  Karen and mom felt bad that Richard put in most of the work and got little credit for it.  Cherry Boone thought the world should revolve around her and that it was all her mom and Debby's faults that Cherry was second best to Debby and not that Cherry's attitude was horrible or that Cherry just didn't have that gift for singing like her sister Debby had.  Karen was a well-mannered person and thoughtful of others.  Cherry was kind of a spoiled brat and fairly egotistical and self-centered according to her book "Starving for Attention".  Karen was very proud of all the things that her and her brother had accomplished together.  Has Cherry ever been appreciative of her sister scoring a hit with "You Light Up My Life"?  Keep it going if you like, but no, Karen was nothing like Cherry (Boone) O'Neill or that spoiled brat profile for an anorexic.  Rob Hoerburger's "If anorexia has classically been defined as a young woman's struggle for control, then Karen was a prime candidate, for the two things she valued most in the world - her voice and her mother's love - were exclusively the property of Richard." is a huge pile of psychobabble that got printed in the New York Times Magazine - October 6, 1996 "Karen Carpenter's Second Life" article.  Karen wasn't looking to have sex with her mom and you would think that a mother that had spent 14 to 16 hours a day at her daughter's bedside in September 1975 would be known for caring about her daughter but apparently not.  What does Richard and her mom know that some guy that didn't even meet Karen knows?  Yes, narcissists always stick up for each other and try and belittle everyone else to sound like them despite the obvious!  Profiling is 100% bullying someone and is not an honest practice.  Bullies are never honest when confronted just like narcissists are never honest when confronted.  Yes, a very disturbing pattern here.  And yes, Richard did say he loved his sister in front of the shrinks.  And yes, mom did look at Karen and Richard very strangely afterwards.  But kids are kids, and no, Karen and Richard didn't have sex together but if the younger generation confused the word caring with the word love, that was the younger generation's problem not mom's problem.  Maybe that was why Karen (anorexia) and Richard (quaaludes) were having their problems?  All that confusion and not knowing the difference between making love and caring about someone.  Maybe it was that fame stuff too.  Mom wasn't famous, but she did know the difference between making love and caring and mom did take quaaludes for a bit but didn't get addicted and also mom never had anorexia.  Imagine having to have a sex talk with your mom because of some stuff that therapists had done wrong.  You are trying to get better and the ones saying they are trying to help you get better make a mess that you have to clean up after because the ones claiming to be helping you don't feel like they did anything wrong.  Karen told me that it was a difficult talk with her mom about all that love / caring stuff with the therapists and I know Richard was the favorite, so to speak, but even as the favorite mom would not have tolerated her son and daughter making love to each other and luckily mom understood well enough after Karen tried explaining it that mom didn't have to adopt a son to replace the one she would have had to have buried in the back yard somewhere in an unmarked grave (men lie about that kind of stuff so it had to be Karen to talk with mom about this).  As far as being the favorite, Karen told me that started because Karen would get dirty while playing baseball and Karen would drag mud through the house.  Richard didn't drag mud through the house.  Karen's mom hated dirt but Karen's mom didn't hate Karen.  Karen and mom still talked.  Mom and dirt never talked and dirt better stay out of mom's way if dirt knows what's good for it.  Richard was mom's favorite.  No big deal.  Karen didn't want to be the favorite.  But none of the therapists ever asked Karen about that either.  Not everyone wants to be the favorite and teacher's pet and toeing the line and all that kind of stuff.  Richard also didn't jump up out of nowhere and say "I wanna be favorite; pick me; pick me!"  It just happened.  Some people enjoy challenges and being different and breaking the rules here and there to be a little different from others.  Some feel they need to get their ducks in a row instead of just letting their ducks wander like others.  But what does mom or Karen know compared to a bunch of self-absorbed, narcissistic know-it-all therapists?  After all, they wouldn't be self-absorbed, narcissistic know-it-alls if they didn't know it all, would they?

One therapist that Karen visited accused Karen of being an over achiever.  Like Karen said to me, "How can I be an over achiever when I really don't have any goals or objectives?  Figure that one out." 

Like Karen said, "It seemed like every time I said something to one of them, I got told that I was wrong and that I was lying.  A prime example is that me and my brother Richard have never competed against each other.  I told them that Richard and I are brother and sister so we compliment and not compete with one another.  What were Richard and I going to compete over?  Who could iron shirts the fastest?  For some reason they couldn't answer me on that one." 

And Karen said, "I remember the one session where me and my family were there and they kept accusing us of being liars and that we were just trying to cover up for each other and hide from the truth, so I asked them what the truth was and we all just sat there silent for a little while and then we all just walked out on them.  That's the truth." 

And Karen said, "It seemed like a game with them that every time I said something they would try to tell me that I said the exact opposite of what I said.  I would try to correct them and they would say that I wasn't listening.  So then I said, Earth to therapist, if I wasn't listening then how did I know that what you said wasn't what I said?" 

Another time Karen said to me, "They seem to just keep trying to dig up dirt on me for the tabloids.  I don't have any dirt.  I have nothing to hide.  So they keep making stuff up." 

And another time Karen said, "Most of the time I have no idea who they are talking about.  About all I hear is the word Karen and then a bunch of stuff comes out of their mouths that doesn't make any sense or sound like me at all." 

And yet another time, "Past regressive therapy is very expensive but it works.  Afterwards we found out that there was nothing in my past lives to cause an eating disorder." 

And all of this talk of ipecac syrup in mass quantities.  Karen hid it so well that even she couldn't find it apparently.  I did see Karen take laxatives a few times and she said, "I feel constipated. I haven't gone in a while."  And I was like, "Your eyes are brown.  You're probably full of it and a laxative might help.  My eyes are blue so I'm a quart low.  I probably ought to start eating corks to help hold it in more."  And we both laughed.  I honestly don't remember Karen ever trying to hide taking a laxative when I was around her from September 1978 to June 1979 to be honest.  But then the point of hiding is so that others don't see so I don't truly know for sure on that.  One time Karen got sick after taking a laxative and after that she realized that she needed to take it easy a bit more and not worry about losing weight so much.  Karen and I could read each others' thoughts and we both knew that Karen was taking the laxative for weight and not for constipation which was why my "Your eyes are brown; you are full of it" comment to Karen before.  Karen asked me about it and I told her truthfully that "Yes, I had a double meaning on the full of it comment.  Pun intended."  And Karen and I realized, "XLAX looks the same going in as it does coming out."  As far as being "fat"?  Karen and her step cousin Wendy could only get as far as "pleasingly plump" anymore and that was that.  I do know that Karen did at least once put her finger down her throat to make herself puke and she admitted it to me. So that is why that ipecac syrup story doesn't sound right to me. Ipecac syrup has calories and such. A finger doesn't have calories and is a lot cheaper and you don't have to worry about getting rid of the container afterwards either.  I guess the 'ipecac syrup stuff' was relating to Karen and Cherry Boone O'Neill around 1982.  I have serious doubts about ipecac syrup being a 'cause of death' for Karen honestly.  In more honesty, Karen would have had to have died from choking on her own vomit if that were the case and that does not appear to be the case that I am aware of.  Also, I do not remember seeing anything listed of an abnormal heart or aorta for Karen.  That would leave the fact that Karen's body stopped getting the message for Karen's heart to beat.  A sudden stroke at the brain stem possibly?  Aneurysm?  Seizure?

And speaking of September 1978 to June 1979, Karen was a school teacher and staying with her step cousin Wendy who taught Karen how to knit and crochet while they watched video taped soap operas on a beta max.  Many times Karen told me that her and Wendy would just fall asleep in their recliners with their knitting needles still in their hands.  Karen also came into school one day and just said, “My cousin Wendy is a little stinker, but I fixed her.  She’s been moving the scales so that they weigh ten pounds less.  I set the scales so they weigh ten pounds more now.  Let’s see how she likes that, that little stinker.”  And I was like, “It looks like the shoe’s on the other foot now.  Speaking of which, yup, left left, right right.  Nobody reached under her desk and tied my shoe laces together again.  I’m good.”  Karen didn't have anyone hanging over her shoulder while she was a teacher including her parents or Richard.  Karen started doing her solo album with Phil Ramone and Karen was constantly being watched over and not allowed to leave Phil, Rod Temperton, or Snitchy's sight while doing her solo album.  Rod and Karen used to joke together and call Phil's house 'the compound' and Phil and Snitchy were the 'gestapo' and the big joke was "Let's make a break for it" between Karen and Rod.  Honest, Karen told me that at Phil's house, Karen had constant supervision and couldn't leave the house without someone going with her.  So when Itchie and Phil talk about how controlling the Carpenters were and such, I don't believe it.  I know better.  I heard the exact opposite out of Karen's mouth herself.  I actually saw first hand how controlling Phil and Itchie were.  And I was around Karen when she was teaching and I can definitely say that Karen's family was not controlling Karen.  And as Rod warned Karen, "Anything you tell Snitchy, Phil knows." so honestly, I know Karen used to lie and hide information from Snitchy as Karen couldn't trust her.  And hearing some of the stuff that Snitchy has said, I can understand why Karen lied and withheld information too.  When you lie to someone or don’t tell the rest of the information and they repeat that lie or half truth, you know who said it because no one else knows that lie or half truth but the one you tell that lie or half truth to.  (And yes, I am just going to leave my participles and prepositions dangling in public on this one despite being taught better by my 8th grade english teacher).  Karen Carpenter never trusted Karen 'Itchie/Snitchy' Ramone and it shows in the things that Snitchy has said.

And then, "I don't know what the big deal is that my mother doesn't hug me makes the front page.  My mother doesn't hug my brother either but you never hear that mentioned."  Karen said this after looking at the front page of a tabloid (those square papers, not like a regular newspaper) and then going to "see story page..." and turning the pages to that story.  Karen was furious and slammed the paper on her desk when she came in that day for school (around late October to mid November 1978 I believe).  And honestly, I saw Karen and her brother hug each other both times that Richard visited Karen at the school.  Once in 1978 and once in 1979.  I can only imagine what the tabloids would have done if they had got pictures of that.  And honestly, they just hugged.  Very heart felt hugs, but hugs none the less.  In all honesty, Karen's and Richard's mother, Agnes, was not someone that hugged people.  Agnes was never a mean person unless you did something wrong, she just wasn't a hugger.  Karen's mom was more of a thinker and not a very emotional person normally.  Anyway, Karen told me this incident mentioned in the paper took place in February 1978.  And Karen said, "I was there and they brought my mom in and told me and my mom to hug each other.  It was very awkward because my mom was not a hugger and they never discussed this with me or my mom beforehand.  So there they were trying to force me and my mom to hug each other.  It was horrible.  You don't force people to hug each other like that in front of total strangers.  I don't know what they were thinking but I let them know what I was thinking and they didn't like it.  Next thing I know it ends up in the papers with a lot of misleading information as usual.  I am actually glad that me and my mother didn't hug because they probably would have accused us of being what was that word again?  Thespians?" And I said, "Lezzies, um, lesbians.  Thespians are actors and actresses." And Karen was like, "Yeah, they would have probably put it all over the papers that me and my mom were lesbians.  I'm so furious over this.  How is trying to traumatize people helping them?" And I was like, "I'm going to duck now, but if you do turn lesbian can I watch?" And Karen gave me that evil look like I knew she would and said, "Not funny Adrian.  Honestly, I like guy parts, not girl parts.  I thought about it, and I could never be like that." And she smiled and then said, "Thanks, I just realized that how can I turn lesbian or whatever when I can't even bring myself to hug my own mother?" And I was like, "Yeah, you can't believe all that you read in the tabloids.  But then again, some people will believe anything or else the tabloids wouldn't be selling.  I mean honestly, your therapy sessions are supposed to be private.  Like you said, this is bad, and you're right about that, I would be furious too." And she was like, "Richard's looking into it.  There were definitely some breach of privacy issues broken.  Thanks for being my sounding board.  I've been so upset lately over this as you've probably noticed.  Thanks for helping me feel better like always." And I was like, "My pleasure.  It's always great seeing that awesome smile of yours.  Thanks." And she was like, "Pardon me for asking, but have you ever thought about becoming a doctor when you get older?  I think you would make a good doctor.  You've always helped me out a lot." And I was like, "I've thought about it, Doctor Ace, but it's not like the old days when people became doctors to help people.  Anymore, it's all about making money as you've been noticing and I'm not like that." 

I am not sure if this is a continuation of the "hug me" incident or something else possibly.  But I remember Karen telling me that her and her mother were at the mental clinic and Karen and her mother were together in a therapy session.  After the psychiatrist or therapist had tried to accuse her family of not caring about Karen, Karen became so furious at them that she burst into tears and started yelling at them.  As Karen said to me, "My family has always been there for me and trying to say that my family didn't care about me was the straw that broke the camel's back.  If it wasn't for my family suggesting it, I never would have went there in the first place.  But I was having problems and it seemed like they (psychologists, psychiatrists, and therapists) only made my problems worst.  I had the eating disorder and it had nothing to do with my family.  No one else in my family had the problem of anorexia nervosa and so trying to blame my family just does not make any sense.  But saying my family did not love or care about me was just an outright lie and I let them have it for saying that.  I was furious and in tears because I was so mad at them."  Karen dropped the F bomb on them right in front of her mother and Karen was waiting for her mother to backhand her but instead Karen's mother said to Karen something like "Enough Karen, we need to leave this place.  This place isn't doing you any good or me either."  And Karen and her mom walked out of the place and to the family car in the parking lot of the clinic.  Karen then told me that her mother got Karen into the car and then gave Karen the keys to the car and told Karen that if a bunch of emergency vehicles showed up that Karen needed to leave with the car and get out of there and just go home.  Karen's mother told Karen that now it was her turn to give them a piece of her mind after what had happened (which probably was the 'hug' session, but not 100% sure now, but close to 100%).  Karen's mother then gave Karen a "I'm probably never going to see you again" hug and slammed the door to the car and proceeded to walk at least a half city block back into the clinic and Karen said that she had the windows rolled up in the car and could still hear every word her mother said to them after her mother went inside the building.  Karen's mother came back out afterwards and got into the car and Karen and her mother left and went home.  When Karen got the bill, she went into the clinic and the people there were holding the doors for her and apologizing and such.  Karen went in and paid the bill and then left and never went back there again.

And another continuation here as I have came across some people that seem to want to think otherwise (internet again).  There is a picture of Karen and Olivia in their pajamas in a bed on the internet.  From what I have heard from people, that picture was taken during the overnight stay on I believe sometime in November 1980 when Karen, Olivia, Matt Lattanzi and Thomas Burris took Karen's boat, the Lucia, to Catalina Island.  The boat broke down and so they had to stay overnight at the 'Motel Dump Water' as Karen called it on the Merv Griffin Show (the show was taped on September 1, 1981 with Richard, Karen, John Travolta and Olivia and aired in either October or November 1981).  But the big part of that picture was that when they were younger, neither Karen nor Olivia had had a slumber party or such growing up, so they kind of made the best of it and had their first pajama / slumber party together that night.  I saw Karen in mid June 1981 and she told me about it then as far as Tom not turning on the pump and then the drive shaft breaking on the boat and the boat going in circles for a little while until they had figured out what had happened.  But the picture was a special moment for Karen and Olivia as it was their first 'slumber / pajama party' so to speak while being 30 years old.  In 1978 and 1979, Karen and I would joke once in a while about pillow fights and such and that was how I had known that Karen had said she hadn't really had slumber / pajama parties when she was younger.  But for the record for those wondering, nope, Karen and Olivia dated men only.  As I stated that Karen said above, "I like guy parts not girl parts."

As far as all this hugging nonsense with the shrinks.  Honestly, how would you feel if you had always been there when your daughter had been sick or wasn't feeling well or if your daughter was having a problem and needed someone to talk to and then someone tries to accuse you of not caring about your daughter?  Hugs should be heartfelt, not forced because of someone's whacked out idea that was and is and will never be true.  You didn't hug someone because you had a bunch of shady people hanging over your shoulder accusing you of things that aren't true and it is all your fault that these people are falsely accusing you of things that are not true.  A bunch of questionable individuals accused Karen's mom, Agnes, of not caring about Karen because Agnes didn't hug Karen on their command but the truth was that if Karen had problems, Agnes would always be there to help Karen get through her problems.  The truth, people hug all the time and neither hugger actually care about one another, so how did hugging get to be such an issue?  Warped ideas intended to try and cover up the truth that the shrinks were trying to say that the family was the cause of people writing articles in tabloids and newpapers about Karen's body type which is what in turn caused Karen to start trying to lose weight.  Psychobabble.  False assumptions all over the place on the part of the shrinks and not one apology from the shrinks for doing such a lousy job throughout all of this.  Not once did the shrinks ever work with Karen and her family, but the shrinks kept constantly falsely accusing the family of stuff that was untrue while trying to say that the shrinks were helpful despite Karen not getting any better and actually getting worst under the care of the shrinks.  Constantly.  And it has always been the family's fault in the eyes of the shrinks, that the family got falsely accused of not helping Karen when if it wasn't for the family suggesting it in the first place, Karen would have never bothered with the shrinks and all that psychobabble.  Karen had love and affection from her mother but it wasn't in the form of a hug and Karen knew that.  So after Levenkron admitted Karen into his clinic in 1982 and then Karen had to be hospitalized in September 1982 at 77 pounds, Karen was cured of anorexia by Levenkron, just ask him.  On the other hand, in September 1982 Karen was admitted into Lennox Hill at 77 pounds and then her weight was brought up to 104 pounds when Karen left the hospital in November 1982.  Levenkron cured Karen, just ask him.  Then after the hospital, Karen moved in with her parents where Karen and her mother came up with an idea where Karen was only allowed to weigh herself once a week (Friday) and Karen's weight had appeared to stabilize as Karen passed away at her parent's house on February 4, 1983 weighing 108 pounds because Levenkron had cured Karen, just ask him.  Because Karen's mom didn't hug Karen on command in front of a bunch of strangers that were honestly very insulting trying to infer that because a mother did not hug her grown up daughter when commanded to do so, the mom doesn't care about the daughter.  I am not lying about this, but others are, aren't they?  Yes, insulting.  Accusing someone of not caring about someone just because they won't hug someone around questionable individuals on demand from those questionable individuals is an insult.   Honestly, if someone doesn't care about someone they do not talk or be around that someone.  Think about it.  Since when did Karen's mom, Agnes, ever refuse to talk to her daughter?  If Agnes did not care about someone, Agnes would not talk or be around that someone.  And case in point, would you care about someone that had just accused you of not caring about your daughter because you didn't hug your daughter on command from that 'stranger (yes, very strange indeed)'?  Agnes and Karen would still talk.  After being insulted many times, many times Agnes would start refusing to talk to the shrinks after Agnes had been falsely accused many times about not caring about her daughter.  And honestly, when around others, most people refer to me as Ace.  When someone tries to insult me, others start insisting that the insulter may wish to start showing some respect and start calling me, Mr. Downing.  From there Mr. Downing may then become, Master Downing, and you can keep digging your own grave from there, because honestly, you get insulting towards me, I just ignore you and do not acknowledge that you exist.  That's the way the cookie bounces and the ball crumbles.  So definitely great advice of "if you don't have nothing nice to say, it is better to say nothing at all".  It works.  But even better advice, "Always let someone know that you do not any longer wish to talk to someone and the reason(s) why you no longer wish to talk to that someone."  It works better.  Like Karen and I used to say together, "We don't make promises, but we say what we mean and mean what we say."  That works even better.  Promises can be broken, but words without meaning become meaningless words, promises included.

And as far as the anorexia problem.  Karen and I had actually figured out what was behind it, but we could never figure out why she had the arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) outside some possible birth defect that no one could find.  As far as what caused the anorexia, it was kind of a two stage thing with Karen.  Karen actually was not dieting or such when she first had her collapse back in 1975 weighing about 91 pounds.  We figured out that Karen couldn't perform or sleep on a full stomach.  That was the first two triggers for Karen's anorexia.  With the messy tour schedule from 1973 to 1975 (collapse September 1975) between performing, sleeping and having time to eat so that Karen wasn't trying to perform or eat on a full stomach, Karen started having problems between times of eating, performing and sleeping as far as the hectic touring schedule.  If Karen ate before sleeping, she didn't sleep well.  With a nervous stomach, Karen couldn't perform well with something in her stomach.  Karen's eating suffered a bit to try and do the performing and sleeping first and try and eat when time allowed.  I think it was towards the end of 1975 or in 1976 when Karen started bulimia with eating and then sticking her finger down her throat to empty her stomach so she could either perform or sleep.  The third part was a bit messy with Karen and involved a thought in Karen's head that started back when Karen had started high school and Karen noticed that the guys always asked out the skinny girls and because of that, Karen thought that in order for a girl to be considered attractive (especially publicly) a girl needed to be straight like a board and not curvy.  So after the combined perform, sleep, eat mess would start, the attractive because I am straight and not curvy part would kick in.  There wasn't any 'control' issue or love issue or that kind of stuff and I was around Karen while she was away from performing for a bit and I saw her doing better as she didn't have that schedule conflict like with touring and without the sleep, perform, eat cycle / problem, Karen was keeping her weight fairly steady around 104 to 110 pounds without having to skip meals because of sleeping or performing, but a couple times the "I need to be straight like a board to be attractive" part did kick in with her, but within a week, the straight like a board thought would go away.  And the trigger for that straight like a board was actually me a couple times as Karen thought I wasn't attracted to her, and within a week after me noticing Karen seeming a bit odd, I would remind Karen that I liked tomboys and mud pies and her, but I was only 14 and I reminded Karen that because of my age, even with parental consent, there would be a problem if something physical happened between us because of others talking (by not touching, there wasn't anything either of us were doing so to speak, so a rule of no physical touching between us, as others had tried to accuse and others stuck up for us because they knew Karen and I had a rule where we didn't physically touch each other).  Karen would sometimes think that I didn't think she was attractive because I wasn't physical with her, as at times Karen would forget that I was underaged which would be a whole other problem there.  When Karen started her solo album around late March, early April 1979 Karen weighed about 136 pounds I believe.  When I last saw Karen for two years on June 22, 1979 Karen weighed 124 pounds I believe.  When I saw Karen again on June 12, 1981 she weighed 94 pounds again.  By June 18, 1981 Karen was back up to around 110 pounds.  But the cycle of perform on an empty stomach and sleep on an empty stomach and at times not being able to eat to keep her stomach empty for performing and sleeping would trigger the problem to start and then Karen feeling that in order to be considered attractive she needed to be straight as a board might trigger in to keep her wanting to keep her stomach empty.  That was Karen's anorexia.  The bulimia and laxatives were to flush out her system so that her stomach was empty so that she could sleep, perform or become that "cute little girl" image without curves.  Karen had these thoughts in her head and it was Karen that had these thoughts.  All anyone had to do was ask Karen, which I did and she told me, but I still can't figure out why therapists and such with big college degrees and all that weren't smart enough to just ask and instead all these stinking stories and twisted tales and such to try and make Karen fit this mold of an anorexic that Karen just never fit.  That mold worked for Cherry (Boone) O'Neill and others like her, but that mold wasn't Karen as Karen's situation was different than Cherry's and others's situations.  Karen couldn't sleep or perform on a full stomach.  Why do I seem to be the only one that remembers that about Karen?  And it was easy, I just said, "Why don't you eat?" and Karen said, "I can't perform or sleep on a full stomach, so I don't eat at least three hours before a show or three hours before bedtime." (I think she said three but it could have been two or four even).  And remember too, don't eat at least an hour before you go swimming either...

LIV. Recalling about Karen's hair dresser and the "Dragon Lady"

First, the story Karen told me about "The Dragon Lady".  Karen had started babysitting a neighbor boy by the name of Jason and Karen would tell him stories.  One of the stories that Karen told the most was a story Karen called "The Dragon Lady".  The Dragon Lady was a fierce and protective dragon that was nearly invulnerable (invincible?) except for her warm, tender heart.  Karen told me that she had wished she had wrote those stories down as they were good stories that Karen just made up and Karen would tell variations of "The Dragon Lady" story ("The Dragon Lady Saves LA" and "The Dragon Lady Visits New York" and like that) to Jason with different plots and such but always the same theme of the fierce and protective Dragon Lady with the warm and tender heart.  And yes, the thought behind the story was based on Agnes, Karen's mom.  And yes too, to hide who some were talking about, they would refer to Agnes as 'The Dragon Lady'.

And Karen also told me about 'the hair dresser' incident.  Karen said she had found out that her hair dresser was having sex with her brother by accident.  Karen talked to her hair dresser, without letting her hair dresser know that Karen knew about her and her brother, and realized that her hair dresser didn't really know anything personal about her brother.  Karen got suspicious and checked around.  Karen found out that her hair dresser had a little history of trying to go after guys for their money.  As Karen said, "She's a gold digger".  Karen said that she honestly had hoped for her brother Richard to meet someone and fall in love and such but being on the road and such made it difficult to have a lasting relationship.  As Karen said, "Falling in love is getting to know someone and it was obvious that my hair dresser didn't have the first clue about anything personal with my brother except his bank account had seven figures." 
Karen also told me that the hair dresser had told Karen that Richard was a big boy now and Karen should butt out of it and mind her own business.  Karen said if it hadn't been for the "butt out of it and mind your own business" comment, Karen would have probably just told her brother to wear a condom because there were already too many gold diggers in the world as it was and left it at that.  And I was like, "What if the condom broke?"  And Karen was like, "I hadn't thought of that" and Karen chuckled a little and said, "I've had that happen a couple times myself.  Good point there.  I was also so wrapped up in battling the two headed dragon lady that I forgot to ask Richard if he had feelings for her.  We can all make mistakes I guess.  Me and my mother came up with the nickname two headed dragon lady because I was babysitting a neighbor boy named Jason off and on at the time and we didn't want him knowing who we were talking about.  Jason was only about 5 years old at the time and you know how kids repeat things.  Jason had the prettiest deep blue eyes and him and I became pals.  You and Jason are about the same age but your eyes are a pale blue and his eyes are a deep blue.  Jason's mother had passed away and he was living with his grandparents around the corner so Jason and I talked about all kinds of stuff and we had a lot of fun together.  Jason was so full of energy and always seemed excited to see me every time.  I never quite knew what to say to him about losing his mother because my mother was still around, but I did what I could to try and help him feel better.  Jason was feeling kind of lonely and I was too so we both hit it off and became pals.  And of course Richard and I went back out on tour and I lost contact with Jason after that.  [I'm not positive but I think Karen said that Jason and his grandparents moved away from the cul de sac.]"  But anyway, Karen felt that her hair dresser's comments were a type of challenge, and Karen loves a challenge.  So Karen told mom about "the floozy" and both Karen and mom had a talk with Richard about it.  Richard stopped seeing the hair dresser because he knew it upset his sister and his mother.  Another truth, Richard made a wise choice and many years later met Mary Rudolph.  Well, actually they met before then, but like Karen and I, there were probems, just different problems.  Mary Rudolph was an adopted first cousin, but we all know how certain individuals like to try and twist the truth.  Yes, adopted, not an actual first cousin.  Richard and Mary took a blood test together as an extra precaution and there was no way that they could have passed that blood test if they had been actual first cousins.  The truth.  Richard has always been a caring and kind person and Mary Rudolph is a caring and kind person too.  Honestly, if you do actually care about someone, you don't usually care too much about their bank account numbers and you are more concerned about how they are feeling and their interests and such.  Honest too, read this page about Karen Carpenter, I should know, right?  Wrong?  Both?  Well?  Honestly, Karen was not a complex person.  People saying things that aren't true about Karen is what has made things complicated.  Karen simply tried to care about everyone and help others learn to care about themselves and others by setting a good example for others to follow, and we all make mistakes too including Karen.  How complicated is that?  OK, for those of you who don't care about yourself or others I guess you can't understand this, but I tried.  Karen tried too.  And honestly, Karen enjoyed listening to what others had to say and she was not one for putting words in other people's mouths.  Some follow her example and are a joy to talk to like Karen was.  And then there are others...

LV. Searching for answers about Karen

Unreliable sources have many stories.  Karen's diaries hold many truths.  Information from Phil Ramone, Karen 'Itchie' Ramone (good nickname, makes your skin crawl, itchy), Tom Burris (note here, Thomas Burris wished people to call him Thomas because it was his proper name and sounded more distinctive I guess, and after the stuff Tom pulled on Karen during the marriage and divorce, I prefer to use Tom Burris actually so that hopefully his wishes don't come true.  But then too, you don't teach people not to be mean to others by being mean yourself.  With that being said, I apologize), and psychiatrists, psychologists and therapists abound in Karen Carpenter stories.  The truth about Karen abounds in Karen's own diaries.  Honestly, the sensational stories do not match the truth. 

As far as those that have been led to believe that Karen made her solo album because she was wishing to leave Richard and go on her own...  Honestly, Richard was the one behind Karen's solo album.  Karen said this to me, "If it hadn't been for Richard suggesting that I do a solo album, I never would have done it.  Richard and I have always worked well together and the thought never crossed my mind until Richard mentioned it.  And because Richard mentioned it, I did it.  I wouldn't have done it otherwise because I have always loved working with my brother and I still always wish to do so.  That is why I dedicated the album to my brother Richard."  Karen's manager, Jerry Weintraub, was the one that came up with the idea.  But in all honesty, Karen was hoping that Richard would say no to the idea because Karen was busy being a school teacher.  And even more honestly, Karen and Richard didn't have to break up the band to go solo.  I am not sure where the nonsense started, but seriously, Karen and Richard could do things on their own if they wished.  No big deal.  Others tried to make a big deal out of Karen doing a solo project.  And truthfully, after the solo project, Karen and Richard did a Carpenters album that didn't sell too well, but still sold somewhat.  And I know Karen was NOT distraught or such over her solo album not being released.  Karen could not go public with the reason why, but Karen knew why and was the one behind the decision to shelve the album as well as Alpert and Moss too and her brother Richard wanting it shelved as well.  If you notice, you really don't see too much talk about Karen's solo album back when it was being done.  If Karen was really wanting her album released and such, she would have not been silent about the album existing.  There was a possibility of bad press if the album got released and Karen was very aware of that.  The bad press was actually not about music content or quality or such, but bad press about Karen, herself.  The album got shelved as Phil and Itchie Ramone had a LONG track record of trashing artists in the tabloids when something was being released to try and garner free publicity for the release.  Karen's solo album did not get released and was kind of put out to pasture.  And really, if there is a possible scandal, honestly, only an idiot would even suggest such a thing because then people are going to ask, what is this scandal?  So shelved.  One track redone in 1983, several tracks redone in 1989.  No scandal or really bad press.  No tabloids.  Kept quiet.  Karen's solo album released quietly in 1996.

And the truth seems to be that Karen had a lot of great times around "the folks (mom and dad)", her brother Richard Carpenter, Cubby O'Brien, Patti Carpenter, Paul Williams, and many others but the ones that appear to be the most vocal are the ones that want to say horrible things about the people that Karen Carpenter cared the most about while these horrible people are trying to pretend they were Karen's friends.  Honestly, I knew Karen Carpenter personally and I can honestly say that she knew who her real friends were and Karen was picked on when she was younger because she had reddish eyes and hair and some kids would call her 'Evil Karen'.  I am very proud of Karen's true friends because in Karen's true self, it is bad for people to pick on me so it is bad for me to pick on others.  I am proud because Karen's true friends remember Karen for what a truly great person she was to be around and the impact she had on others to be better and caring people themselves.  You do not become a better person by trying to blame and berate others, but you become a better person by setting a better example for others to follow.  The actual Karen Carpenter was such a person to try and set a better example for others to follow.  Have you ever noticed that the ones that appear to be the most vocal about Karen are also the ones that appear to be the ones that keep trying to blame others other than themselves and appear to be the ones to have the most to hide when it comes to truths about Karen?  Also, have you noticed that the ones that appear to be the least vocal are also the ones that do not blame others but also do not appear to have something to hide?  Something to think about.  Maybe try something different - honesty perhaps?  Just a thought.

LVI.  Karen's principles

Karen believed in having principles and sticking to your principles.  Karen was a Christian and Christians had proverbs to follow.  Here are several of Karen's principles (proverbs)...

"Always stick to your principles.  The rules you follow define who you are.  You can't hide from yourself.  Let your conscience be your guide."

"God always gives you a sign to point you in the right direction.  When making decisions I always wait for three signs from the Father, Son and the Holy Ghost.  Of course sometimes you can read the signs wrong and God does have a sense of humor too and sometimes He needs a good laugh.  So always follow the signs."

"I am not going to be falsely accused of anything so be careful.  If you accuse me of something I'm gonna do it."

"Always keep your promises.  Relationships should be built on trust and you can't trust someone that breaks their promises."  Later Karen and I changed this to "I don't make promises.  I say what I mean and I mean what I say." between us.

"No one is going to call me chicken.  If someone dares me to do something I am going to do it."

"Always finish what you start.  No one likes a quitter."

“As they say adversity builds character and as you see, I’m quite a character.”

"I always believe in what is God given.  If it was meant to be different God will change it and make it different."

"You never know what you can do until you try."

“If you don’t have anything nice to say, it is better to say nothing at all.  What you do in your house is your business.”

"Remember God has a sense of humor too so be careful what you wish for as you will most likely get it one way or another."

"In Heaven the streets are paved with gold but we're not in Heaven so we gotta watch where we step."

"Always appreciate what you have.  Some day it may be gone."

"Never say never.  Sooner or later it's bound to happen whether you want it to or not."

From others and Karen’s own experience, “Never marry someone you meet in a bar.”

"Remember, God is always watching you.  Always make the best of it and give Him something good to watch."

"If things were perfect, nothing would ever get better.  There's always room for improvement."

"We're all perfect in our own messed up ways."

"Since we're all created in God's image, there's nothing wrong with believing in ourselves just don't get too cocky because then God will knock you down a peg or two."

Note, this one kind of slipped out after one of a few times Karen and I talked about Elvis.  "I feel there are too many copy cats out there as it is.  I like being different and doing things differently.  It gets too boring for me otherwise but to each their own.  I feel we are each made differently for a reason or else we'd all be the same.  We all have our role models but we are all unique too.  If you are going to be something what is wrong with being yourself whatever that may be, copy cats included."  And of course I couldn't resist using an Elvis type voice back, "Thank you.  Thank you very much."

"You don't get a second chance to make a first impression.  Always mind your P's and Q's."

"The best things in life aren't easy and require a bit of work.  I like keeping busy."

"Always try to be kind to others as you never know when you might have a bad day and need others to be kind to you."

"Always look for the good in people.  Things happen.  Nobody's perfect."

"We're not born with instruction manuals and some people take longer to learn than others."

“Your body is your temple.”

And one of my favorites that Karen would use for people that were a bit mouthy (cocky or arrogant).  "Ass is not a swear word.  It's in the Bible and don't take my word for it.  You should look it up.  I'm not going to tell you where it is in there but if you keep reading you will find it.  It's that book that starts out with in the beginning and I feel you should read it.  There's a lot of good advice in there that you might want to look into."

LVII. In conclusion (September 1978 to June 1979)

What came of this : Well, I forgot about this stuff for quite a while, but it was actually stuff that helped fill in a bunch of blanks that happened over the years.  February 23, 1980, my family moved from 265 East Third Street in Corning to 8 Garden Street in South Corning.  I can't remember if Karen may have had our old address or not.  I did have a keepsake from Karen.  For Christmas 1978, Karen did the Carpenters' Christmas Special and the video has Karen putting a present into the mailbox while singing "Merry Christmas Darling". The original 1970 version of that video had Karen putting a wrapped pen & pencil set for her father in the mailbox.  My present was a calligraphy fountain pen with an ink cartridge in the same wrapping.  Karen asked me to watch the special on TV, which I did, but I watched it on my Emerson 13" black and white TV in my room.  And the 'did have' was because I still am not sure what happened to the pen after we moved in 1980.  Also, at the time, I was getting asked not to say a word about my unique tooth to anyone.  And on top of that, I had a teacher that became a very close friend that had her secrets too.  I don't ever remember bringing up my tooth in any of our conversations, but I definitely didn't want either Karen or myself to be bombarded by a bunch of people.  So I talked a lot, but I still kept my secrets, just like Karen did.  Sharing is definitely a wonderful thing.


When : 1978 / 1979

Where : Mr. Swanson's Math Classes, Corning Free Academy, Corning, NY

Who : Thee Ace Man

What happened : Actually at times in grammar school I would get extra credit on tests and quizzes usually for pointing out faulty directions on tests (or sometimes making suggestions for improvements in the tests).  So, to me, aceing a test is where a test seems inferior to the test taker and needs to be redone.  Scores on quizzes of 11 / 10, and tests of 105 / 100 were not common for anyone (and still aren't), but I seemed to have a lot of these type scores from grammar school (Severn Elementary) and middle school (Corning Free Academy).  I am pretty sure that my eighth grade math class had the most 11 / 10 and 105 / 100 scores of all the classes I've taken.  My math teacher was actually a good teacher, it was just that a few times he got in a hurry and didn't realize he had forgotten something on the test or quiz.  One quiz that stands out was a quiz where Mr. Swanson put the problem Y = X + 5 and the direction, Solve for Y, but I was the only one in any of the classes that put "as the problem stands, it could be any number for X and Y so long as the relationship with the equation stands, however, if we are to assume that Y approaches zero then the answer would be X = -5).  Yeah, Mr. Swanson just forgot to put the Y --> 0 under the equal signs in the equation was all when he printed off the tests in a hurry.

What came of this : Kind of screwy, but people seem to think getting 10 / 10 or 100 / 100 or even 110 / 110 is aceing a test.  No, a 11 / 10 or a 105 / 100 is aceing a test.  There's a difference.  100 / 100 or 110 / 110 is 'perfect'. 105 / 100 or 11 / 10 is 'aced'.  Thee Ace Man should know, right?


When : April / May 1979

Where : Corning Free Academy, Corning, NY

Who : Sir Nicholas Boehr (note, I have seen his last name spelled Boer, Bohr, Bohrer, and Boehr and I'm not sure which spelling is correct)

What happened : I did get to meet a famous brainiac’s roommate towards the end eighth grade.  Near the end of the year, a test was given out to see if someone could figure out a calculus problem without knowing the rule from calculus.  There were some that had solved the problem, but they had been ones who had been taught or seen how to solve this problem.  I was never taught the rule and my teacher Mr. Swanson knew this.  But to solve the problem required knowing the power chain rule from calculus, which some had learned or been taught previously, but I hadn’t.  My math teacher told me explicitly to show all my work on this test and to take as long as I needed, even into my next classes.  Me, Ace, take longer than five minutes on a test.  I took this test and I factored the problem the wrong way.  The problem was a perfect cube and I had broken it down into a square instead of a cube.  But wait, it took someone supposedly 20 years to learn how to factor a problem like this at all and I had figured out this rule in 6 months…  Yeah, wow.  Praise me some more.  Who am I to argue with how “great” I am?  But yeah, I got to meet the roommate of the guy that figured the power chain rule and calculus as well as “The Universal Theory” not the “Theory of Relativity”.  Well, actually not 'roommate', but Albert lived in the guest house of Nick's for the last part of Albert's life.  So for math class I got to hear stories and it was odd but the roommate seemed to be more interested in meeting me.  Very odd. 

But Albert Einstein’s roommate was telling me stories about his famous genius roommate, who would have his glasses already on, yet run around frantic searching for his glasses that were already on his face.  Albert’s roommate said he would just take Albert’s glasses off then put them back on Albert’s face again.  Then Albert would say, “Oh, there they are.  Thanks Nick.”  Then Albert would get back to work again.  Been quite a while, but I believe his first name was Nicholas (Sir Nicholas actually, but Albert, myself and his immediate family and superiors were allowed to call him “Nick” in private.  In public it was always to be Sir Nicholas.  And actually Sir Nicholas told me that he was picked on because he had won an award for approximating pi using a million-sided polygon but others had thought Nick’s famous roommate had done the work and Nick took credit for it.  Truth was that Nick had thought about and did this problem on his own with only encouragement from Albert.  Some people.), and I know I picked on Nick about his last name which he seemed to take in stride.  So Albert’s roommate was the founder of boredom, and started The Boring Wars but odd, he didn’t seem so boring really.  Stuff happens I guess.  You can’t change what others think or believe no matter how hard you try.  I know the feeling “Ace”. 

Nick also mentioned Canterbury to me, but I am not sure of what Nick actually said in regards to Canterbury anymore, just that Nick mentioned Canterbury.  Actually, I think Nick told me about him being the first assistant to the Archdeacon of Canterbury and that Nick had placed a 'gag order' aka 'order of suppression' on me back in 1973 after the "Christ in Christmas" incident.  The gag order did not apply to 'local' stuff, only national and international news.  I believe also that Nick told me about a recent incident where someone had tried to get a story out about me and the story was 'quelched' or 'not printed' because of the gag order.  I also believe that Nick talked about meeting with Phil Ramone and shaking Phil's hand.  Nick commented that there was so much hair oil on Phil's hand, that Phil's hand was slimey and Phil reminded Nick of a 'snake oil salesman' anyway.  I also think that Nick told me that Nick told Phil that if Phil tried to have another story printed about me that any of those stories would be 'sleeping with the fishes' so to speak.  I believe the story was written by Phil's future wife, Karen Itec or Itchie Ramone or whatever.  Also, I believe Nick told me that he left one of his cards with my other teacher, Karen, just in case she had any problems with Phil (extortion or whatever).  I believe Nick also commented about Karen and I and that Nick could see that Karen and I were a lot alike and could see where there would be a bit of an attraction there between us.  Nick also said, "I remember the last time we talked and you were only knee high to a grasshopper.  You've grown a little since then I see." 

But anyway, Albert’s roommate also mentioned that Albert referred to his work as “The Universal Theory” and never as “The Theory of Relativity”.  And we also talked about how Albert combined other people’s ideas and theories into his theory and Albert did not see his theory as being anything more than linking a series of math problems.  We also talked about the space continuum and Albert’s roommate said that Albert did not believe in his own theory but Albert used to get a laugh out of some people that took his theory so seriously.  But not mentioned between us but the prevailing thought was that if you go faster than the speed of light that time reverses itself.  But what about ultra violet and alpha, beta, or gamma particles which travel faster than the speed of light?  How could such a thing exist and be measured?  Precisely, but no one ever seemed to catch on (outside myself, Nick and Albert).  But Albert's theory pertained to the speed of light squared, not just the speed of light, so who's to know?  Albert’s roommate also reflected about Albert’s fascination with studying the properties of light.  You can see light.  Feel warmth from light.  But just try to catch some light in your hand.  Reflecting.  Refracting.  Redirecting.  Pretty cool talk, huh. 

But then the conversation started turning and Nick said something like, “You’re not like my roommate.”  And I said something like, “Yeah, you got that right.”  He said his roommate was very conscientious about his work and when he found out that his work was being used to make weapons, it mentally devastated Albert and Albert became reclusive and withdrawn.  I said something like, “Blowing up people, cool, decrease the surplus population.”  And he said something like, “That’s what I mean, you have a dark side to you that Albert never had.  Albert cared a lot about people and you don’t.” 

Then Nick started saying some stuff to me that made sense.  And then Nick went from talking about Albert to talking about me and some things that Nick had read about me.  These things were written in a book by Edgar Cayce, who had become a recluse himself after some scientists had pulled out his fingernails while he was in a trance.  And when he was brought out of the trance…  Ouch!  But Edgar, who wrote this book, had done some amazing things.  He had helped people get better simply by telling them what was wrong over the phone, and giving directions where to find the medicine in a house he had never visited many miles away.  Nick also talked about how he, himself, was kind of fascinated with prophecies and had met many people over the years because of Einstein.  But his famous roommate believed in whatever happens, happens, blind fate.  Nick was fascinated because what he had read about me were some prophecies and it was the only prophecies he had read that might have two paths.  He noted the one path as peace and prosperity while the other path led to darkness and despair.  And all this little eighth grader’s fault no doubt.  But, anyway, because the prophecy dealt with a certain specific personal characteristic that no one else has, my double-nerved upper left bicuspid, I must be the one that these prophecies are about and portend towards.  Nick also said I may do wonderful things in about 20, no wait, 30 years and develop a new type of mathematics and many other things.  He also said something like, “You’ll be the youngest, oops, wait, not that, that was Mark, but you’ll be the first to win the prize in three categories, maybe four.  Scratch the fourth.  You get nominated for it but never rule a country.  You’ll possibly start a new world order.  Or possibly not.  The prophecy goes two ways.  If you do the book, but if not, then the dark side and mankind will suffer for a thousand years or more.  I think you’ll do the right thing when the time comes but who knows.  Hopefully you’re still around.”  But he also said that it would be a book that would even outsell the Holy Bible and net me an unheard of (back in 1979 anyway) ten cents a copy for each book sold in many different languages and many different countries.  He also said that two companies reject it before the third accepts.  He also stated that I start a new process for publishing and writing that becomes very popular when he mentioned the ten cents a copy stuff.  He also added that the original handwritten manuscripts end up in a museum but never get displayed and also a near perpetual motion engine.  Supposedly the engine and papers burn up in a fire started by a bumbling night watchman and a kerosene or gas lantern.  He also said that he doesn’t want to interfere with fate too much so he tried to avoid being too specific about certain things he had read in this book of prophecy.  He also said that if he told me what happens to me after I write the book that I probably would not write the book. 

Nick also sidetracked a little saying that my surroundings (where I lived and how I lived) were very basic.  Then Nick kind of debated with himself for a short bit in front of me.  It went like this, "I had thought about adopting you but I got thinking about the prophesies and how you're supposed to come out of nowhere in about thirty years or so.  You have so much potential and it seems like a waste to have someone with your talent in such meager surroundings.  I don't have an heir.  But with my title and such, I could introduce you to a world that is so much more.  But according to the prophesies it is meant to be this way, so I decided against adoption.  What is to be is to be.  I shouldn't tempt fate because who knows for sure.  It is what it is." 

Also, forgot, I took the IQ test in seventh grade english class.  The test got thrown out and they go to multiple choice tests afterwards instead of fill in the blank.  The directions were faulty and I really made it apparent that I didn’t like the test.  I don’t think that the ones that designed that IQ test considered themselves “a**holes”, but Albert’s roommate kind of discussed what happened afterwards with me, but this talk was about a year after taking the IQ test and went something like:  The test was thrown out and the one who wanted “fill in the blank” instead of “multiple choice” took offense of what you wrote about him” or something like that.  Note, I wrote "a**hole" on the test, so I understood what he meant.  So others on the committee for the IQ test that didn’t like this “cocky, pompous, overbearing windbag” agreed that only an a**hole could have designed such a faulted test and the name apparently stuck.  Nick never said the word, a**hole, throughout the conversation.  The format got changed and the committee in charge of the test got to chortle someone they weren’t too fond of anyway.  Such is life.  “Answers on the following page” indeed.  Should have been labeled “the following page” with a heading of “the following page” like I had wrote in…  I missed five (119) but I couldn’t resist.  A tree (not werewolf) barks at the moon…  A red (not tandem) bicycle…  It was obvious that I had pulled the answers out of nowhere for the entire test, but I only missed five (and I used to know all five because I was really being silly to use such answers, but they evade me now…). 

Nick also stated that he had personally asked people to keep quiet about me and my tooth just in case someone might find out and want to change history.  And then Nick mentioned that he felt a little awkward because when his famous roommate passed away that Nick was not appointed as Albert's replacement for the "world's smartest".  Nick didn't feel bad about it because there were many other people he could think of that were as smart or maybe even smarter than him, but to have Stephen Hawking win the title was a bit hard to swallow for anyone (overbearing, pompous, windbag that he is). 

Then Nick told me that Albert had given Nick an unofficial title of "World's Smarter" and that Albert figured Nick would not get the "World's Smartest" title.  Albert always felt that no matter how smart you think you are, you can always figure out a way to be smarter.  Learning is an ever evolving process.  And before leaving, Nick wished to share the unofficial title of World's Smarter with me.  And Nick said, "It means nothing really, but I'd like to share the World's Smarter title with you."  Don't know if Nick shared the title with others or told the World's Smarter story to others but stuff happens. 

Then I said something like, “Nice to meet you”, and he said something like, “No, no, the pleasure’s been all mine.  I got to meet you.”  Then Nick left and I went back to class.  Very nice person but really weird that someone would travel to meet me because of a math test extra credit question.  Oh well.  I like weird stuff and I got to get out of class for a while too.  I know; I’m famous.  I mean my name is Ace and people try to compare others with me all of the time, but who else can “ace” a test like Ace, himself.  Julie is so cool for finding that nickname for me.  It fits so well.  And this leads to the Dalai Lama next...

What came of this : I recieved the unofficial title of "World's Smarter" and I found out about the IQ test being changed.  I also learned about Edgar Cayce and something about that odd tooth of mine, my double-nerved upper left bicuspid, that Dr. Robert Wylie seemed so nervous about finding in my mouth in 1976.  I also heard a bunch of cool stuff about Albert Einstein too.


When : June 1979

Where : Dennison Park Babe Ruth Field, Corning, NY

Who : Lester Dann

What happened : During baseball practice for the Elks in the Babe Ruth league, Keith Dailey was having a rough time at batting practice and I was just lobbing the balls in as usual.  I kinda faked it a bit and said I was spinning the ball, but I wasn't really.  Lester Dann, the coach, said stop throwing so hard and I said, "Trust me, I'm not throwing hard, why, do you want me to?" or something like that and I'm pretty sure Lester said, "Yeah, go ahead".  Then Lester turned around talking to someone else and I just let one rip.  Keith swung with all his might and his helmet fell off and he wasn't even close to hitting the ball.  Problem was there wasn't a catcher and the ball was nowhere to be found.  So we grabbed another ball and continued practice with Lester saying, "I didn't see nothing."  About three days later I ran across Brian Bavisoto and Ron McAuliffe at the field with a baseball.  I don't remember asking or such but Brian said, "We found a hole in the dirt behind home plate and we thought there was a woodchuck or something in there.  We couldn't reach down in the hole so it must have been over three feet deep.  Next we dug down in the mound and found this baseball about three feet back."  Yeah, anyway, riddle solved where the practice ball ended up from three days ago.  Through the chain link backstop and over three feet into the dirt mound used to fix the field behind home plate.  It wasn't a game, but this was the last time I actually threw my fastball.

What came of this : Nothing that I know of.


When : June 1979

Where : I believe Corning Free Academy but not really sure if it may have been a field trip, Corning, NY

Who : the former and current Dalai Lamas (13 & 14), Karen Carpenter

What happened : Before an assembly, I was escorted backstage and met with both the Dalai Lama and his soon to be replacement (the current Dalai Lama).  The former Dalai Lama didn't speak much english so the current Dalai Lama did the talking.  The one that escorted me was Karen Carpenter.  On the way to the steps, Karen licked her thumb and wiped my cheek and said, "You had some dirt on you."  I was like, "Yuck, my mom does that."  And Karen was like, "Sorry, I'm just nervous.  Remember to ask about soul mates."  And I was like, "OK."  There were several others in front of us and the assembly was about to begin so everyone was getting rushed through.  I was the last one in line.  The current Dalai Lama said, "Hello Dolly."  And then the current Dalai Lama winked at me.  Then the current Dalai Lama said, "You are only allowed to ask one question of me, but first I need to ask you a question.  Was Sir Nicholas upset that he did not get the title of World's Smartest?"  I said something like, "He's not upset he didn't win, there were a few others that Sir Nicholas felt may have been smarter than him, but why Stephen Hawking?" or something to that effect.  The former Dalai Lama motioned his arms to the current Dalai Lama to hurry up.  The current Dalai Lama told me, "When Albert Einstein died there were many people possible, but no one really stood out from the rest.  Sir Nicholas' name was definitely brought up, but the people that decide could not give a consensus to Sir Nicholas because there were doubts.  They tried several others but still could not gain a consensus with anyone because no one at the time really stood out above the rest like Albert Einstein or Charles Darwin had done.  It was only when the committee asked the question, Who would be least likely to stand against the others? (or something to that effect and definitely a pun with the word 'stand' as Dr. Hawking was in a wheelchair at the time) and then they could agree on Dr. Stephen Hawking."  Hawking won not because he was smartest, but more because he was least likely of the bunch to "rock the boat" so to speak unlike what Albert and Charles had done before.  Stability.  Karen said, "Well, that was a loss of a hundred and twenty-five bucks down the drain." towards the end.  Then the 14th Dalai Lama also said something like, "Like I said, you may ask only one question, but Karen why do you wish to waste your money to ask a question when you already know that the answer to that question is yes?  I was unable to read him, so I played a trick on you Karen.  I made you think that he had dirt on his face so that you would touch him, and after you touched him, I was able to read him through you.  He has a block on him so I can not read him directly.  Very unusual.  But I hope that you forgive me for my trick, O (yes, a translation error as I know the Dalai Lama wished to say Enlightened but that word eluded him at the time) Divine One, I did not realize it was you Buddha.  And may I congratulate the happy couple and wish you much happiness.  I must go now.  Thank you."  And the Dalai Lama winked again.  After all, the Dalai Lama said "ask only one question" but he did not say that he could not give more than one answer.  As the 14th Dalai Lama stated about himself, the ultimate trickster.  I said, "Thank you your Holiness."  And I believe Karen said, "Thank you again your Holiness.  I should know better by now." or something like that with a big smile on her face.  The Dalai Lama had a card which read "The meaning of life in one word, duty."  I also believe that this was at Corning Free Academy because of the curtain and stage setup, but not totally sure.  And then the Dalai Lamas went on stage and Karen and I left.

What came of this : Well, I figured something was up with Hawking as World's Smartest.  Now I know.  And Karen did touch her soul mate once by licking her thumb and wiping my cheek.


When : April / May 1980

Where : Corning - Painted Post East High School, Mr. Lane's Earth Science Class (room 403), Corning, NY

Who : the Crowned Prince of Morocco

What happened : A person came into our class because he needed to do a makeup class.  He was dressed in a suit and sat in the front row near the door.  Near the end of the class he said to me, "I noticed a lot of people ask you questions and advice and I was wondering if you could help me with something?"  I said, "I don't know but I can try.  What is it?"  And he started talking, "I figure everybody knows anyway even though people are asked to keep who I am a secret from others.  I use my mother's maiden name, Farah, but I think everybody knows anyway that I am the Prince of Morocco.  I have talked to other teachers about my problem, but they do not seem to give me advice about this.  What I was wondering is if you could help me with this?"  I said, "Probably, what is the problem?"  And then he said, "I saw my father taking a bribe and I can't believe my father is corrupt and would take a bribe, but I saw him take a bribe.  I saw my father in his room with the other people and I saw him accept a suitcase full of money and then they signed a contract.  My country has poor people and I can't believe that my father would take a bribe when my people are so poor."  My response was, "Have you talked to your father about this?  How do you know that he took a bribe, maybe he accepted money to help the poor people in your country.  You probably need to talk to your father about this."  He then said, "I can't talk to my father about this.  He is king and he would not like me saying such things to him.  I know it was a bribe.  I know I saw my father taking a bribe.  I don't want to be king if I am going to be corrupt."  I then said, "How do you know for sure your father took a bribe.  Bribe is a pretty strong word.  Maybe your father accepted the money to help the poor people in your country.  You should talk to your father about this as he is the one who knows what happened.  He is your father and king and someday you will be king too.  Your father knows, ask him.  He will understand.  You seem like a very kind and caring person and you care very much about your people and your kingdom which is very good.  Your father is king now and he makes his own rules, just as someday you will be king and you will rule your kingdom and make your own rules too.  Who better to rule your kingdom, when your time comes, than a kind and caring person such as you?  And remember that no matter how nice your kingdom may become that someone will always have the unpleasant job of cleaning the toilets."  And then the prince said, "I can see why many people talk to you.  You talk to me like I am a person, not like a prince.  Thank you."  And class ended and we both left the classroom.

What came of this : We all have our crosses to bear I guess.  But you'll have to skip ahead to August 8, 2000 for the next part of this.


When : late August / early September 1980

Where : Corning - Painted Post East High School, Corning, NY

Who : Doctor (Donald / Ronald?) Darling

What happened : I needed a physical done to get 'working papers' to work at a local furniture store.  I was 15 at the time and the New York State laws required it, so I went into the school and got a physical.  The doctor that was there was my original doctor, Doc Darling.  Doc was in a thoughtful mood this time and recognized his handiwork on my belly button.  When I was young, like about 3 months old, Doc found that I had a ventral hernia and the operation usually involved removing the belly button and then leaving a hole there which required a 'belly band'.  Doc had read about a new type of surgery called 'skin grafting' and tried that and it worked.  I didn't need a belly band.  But I did good on the physical and Doc was in a reflective mood and started talking to me because I was older now and could understand more.  Doc told me about when I was born and how, at the time, Doc was kind of wondering if he had made the right choice about becoming a doctor instead of something else.   December 4, 1964 was when Doc realized that he made the right choice.  They wheeled my mother into the delivery room and she was having labor pains and contractions.  Doc noticed something else.  The baby was in the breach position and needed to be moved around.  The correct medical procedure was to reach in and rotate the child to the normal position to avoid the umbilical cord from possibly wrapping around the baby's neck during birth.  Although the breach position was a definite problem, there was another problem as well.  My mother's hymen was not broken.  My mother was a virgin with child.  As Doc said, "Every text book ever written says explicitly to move the baby out of the breach position before birth to avoid possible strangulation with the umbilical cord.  I had to make a decision.  It was not an easy decision to make and went against every text book in the medical profession."  Doc said he decided to let the birth occur as naturally as possible and as a breach birth.  I believe Doc said that the sac had already broke, but the fluid was still trapped and after my mother had her third contraction and had dilated to about 5 or 6 cm, the hymen broke and the amniotic fluid came out then one of my feet popped out and Doc grabbed my foot and pulled me out as quickly as possible figuring that if the cord had wrapped around my neck that he could still quickly cut the cord if needed.  The cord hadn't wrapped around my neck.  The birth was fine, kind of.  The placenta (afterbirth) was a deep blue color which meant that it had been disconnected from the uterus for a bit before it came out.  I probably came out at just the right time when I was born.  My mother had told me that I was 10 months instead of the normal 9 months when I was younger.  Doc told me that after I came out that he grabbed me by my feet and he could tell my mother was upset and saying something, but Doc couldn't make out what she was saying.  So Doc patted my feet and then when Doc turned sideways to hand me over to the nurse, Doc smacked me good on my bottom to make sure I cried and I was alright.  I found out from my mother that my mother was trying to say, "I wouldn't do that if I were you, he'll probably knock you on your ass." or something like that.  Doc said, "When I presented the birth certificate to your father, I knew your father was a good man, because he did not hesitate to sign it.  I have always had great respect for your father since then.  He may yell a lot, but he is still a good man and I respect that.  And I thought to myself, if I was in your father's shoes, I don't think I could have done what he did and signed that birth certificate."  Doc also said, "I witnessed something that had not happened in nearly 2000 years on that day.  Something I never thought possible had I not seen it with my own eyes."  Doc was honestly not a religious man or such nor did he become any more or less religious after this.  Doc also said that three religious people came in to witness my birth and when they entered Doc thought to himself, "If these are the three wise men, then we're in big trouble." but he didn't say it out loud, he just thought it.  Supposedly my birth was to be entered into the 'Book of Miracles' that the church kept somewhere, but I am not sure if the entry was ever made, let alone if such a book actually exists.  But after this, Doc realized that he had made the right choice becoming a doctor on December 4, 1964 when I was born.  Doc was like, "Sometimes you just have to trust and go with your instincts, and on that day, my instincts told me that I had made the right choice becoming a doctor instead of a lawyer or such."  Also, Doc Darling was asked to perform a circumcision on me when I was 7 days old, which he thought was a bit odd, but he did it.  Doc told me, "I was asked to keep quiet about all of this as you can imagine, which I have.  But at this time I feel myself getting older and my own mortality setting in and I feel you are old enough to know and understand.  I was glad that I was the one that was there when your mother needed me and glad that I had decided to become a doctor.  I recognize you by your belly button and I always think back to the day you were born and not really about your belly button surgery that I did.  Before the day you were born, I had always wondered if I had made the right choice becoming a doctor.  After you were born, I didn't wonder any more and I knew I had made the choice that was right for me just like some day you'll make your own choices too, and like me, I hope you make the right choices for yourself as well.  But maybe it's all decided for us anyway.  Who knows?  Life is full of surprises.  You just never know."  I think that Doc died in 1991, but not sure on that.


When : October 2 / 4, 1980

Where : Corning - Painted Post West High School, Painted Post, NY

Who : Julie Sage, Karen Stirpe

What happened : It was honestly my last day of four weeks at 'the other high school'.  Earlier in the day, a guy had tried to butt in front of me to go up the stairs inbetween classes.  I just grabbed the guy and slammed him hard up against the wall by his shirt and I said, "Don't ever try that again."  And I walked away.  Later on, after school was out, I went to my locker to clean it out as I was going to be going back to my old high school, East High.  While cleaning out my locker someone tapped me on the shoulder.  I thought it was the guy I slammed against the wall earlier and so I turned around with my fist held high and then I saw Julie standing there with her friend Karen and I just kept my fist up, looking to make sure the other guy wasn't sneaking up somewhere.  Karen just grabbed Julie and said, "Let's go."  And Karen and Julie walked away.  I grabbed my stuff and then proceeded to walk about seven miles home because my teachers and such had held me over so I missed the bus home.


When : December 5, 1980

Where : Prisella's Car Wash, Corning, NY

Who : Joseph Comfort, Larry Comfort, Police Chief Richard Faulisi

What happened : Anyway, from someone that was in the pickup truck that pulled over along Cohocton Street as the event unfolded... The Comfort Corvette pulled into the wash bay at Prisella's Car Wash and the unmarked police car pulled up behind and stopped about two feet from the Corvette bumper but did not hit the Corvette. After pulling up behind, the two undercover officers got out of the vehicle one in the passenger side, and the other behind the driver side door. Guns were drawn by both undercover officers, and the one officer yelled out "Free" and before he could get the words "Freeze Police" out, two shots were fired through the back window of the Corvette. The first striking the undercover officer on the passenger side, the second striking the undercover officer who was behind the driver's door of the undercover car. Both officers were in "street clothes" and were not recognizable as officers (unless you saw them from behind like I did and realized why they call cops 'flat foots" because when a cop draws a gun, they brace themselves with 'feet flat on the ground as trained to do'). The one on the passenger side rolled on top of the vehicle grabbing his head and rolling back and forth and the one behind the driver's side door was just slumped over and motionless. Just after the shooting, Police Chief Richard Faulisi came around the alley side of the car wash in a marked car with the light on and yelling out the window, "Don't move, those were cops you just shot." And I heard Joe Comfort say "They're not cops." And then police chief Faulisi drove around to the undercover car and reached in on the car's dash and turned on the red 'undercover' cop strobe light on the dash. And then Joe Comfort said, "Oh sh!t." And then another police car showed up and Joe and Larry were arrested while Chief Faulisi seeing that I was about 16 years old at the time, looked inside the pickup truck and said to me, "You didn't see nothing did you, just say no because you don't want to get caught up in all of this mess, do you? So, you didn't see nothing did you?" So I said "no" and I shook my head no and that was that. More info here, in 1978 Larry Comfort was the coach for the Trophy House Corning National minor league team and I was the official scorekeeper for the Corning National minor league that year. Also, Ed and Norma Comfort (Larry's and Joe's parents and two of the nicest people you would ever want to meet unlike Larry and Joe who constantly got into fights and head-butted all the time) lived on Third Street just four houses down from my grandfather Zeke so I knew Joe was in the passenger seat of the vette and Larry in the driver's seat. I also know chief Faulisi was married to Patty Comfort and that chief Dick Faulisi had warned Larry and Joe that if anything bad happened that chief Faulisi told Larry and Joe that he would personally see that Larry and Joe rotted in jail for the rest of their lives.

What came of this : They tend to overdramatize a lot of stuff in movies and TV.  In real life you don't have all these explosions and blood flying all over and that kind of stuff.  Movies and shows on TV and the big screen are not real life.


When : March or April 1981

Where : Elmira / Corning Regional Airport, Big Flats NY

Who : G. Gordon Liddy (George Gordon Battle Liddy)

What happened : The family (father, mother, sister, and me) took a family vacation to Florida the week before spring break in 1981 or 1982 (I'm not sure which year anymore, but it was the year where I got a two week spring break).  We flew People's Express down and back with stops in Newark NJ for connecting flights.  For me on the way down and back, nothing spectacular other than seeing Jamie Barkley down there at Disneyland.  I'm thinking now that it was 1982 (Junior Year) but still not positive.  After getting back, we were collecting the luggage off the belt and I sat there with the luggage in seats about where the middle of the airport is now.  After the flight cleared, another flight landed direct from St. Louis and the people at the counter looked excited and were saying "G. Gordon Liddy's on this flight.  Shhh."  Anyway, the St. Louis flight lands and people start coming through the airport.  Next thing I know G. Gordon Liddy walks around the corner and says, "It's you, isn't it?"  And I said, "Yes, me and my family were just in Florida for a week and just returned"  And then G continued, "I know, I noticed your aura disappeared about a week ago and then I saw it in Florida.  I saw your aura leave Florida and I jumped on a direct flight from St. Louis hoping to catch you and I noticed you had a layover in Newark and here you are.  I kept thinking your aura might be a bear or something wandering around out here because it always seemed to be within about a 100 mile radius of here.  Your aura is about a 25 mile radius and I easily tracked you all the way here from Florida.  Your aura is huge but it's always been comforting seeing it roaming around out here and then one day I looked out and it was gone but I saw it down in Florida for a week.  So I jumped on the direct flight from St. Louis and I was getting ready to go for my rental car and here you are.  Looks like  this is going to be a short trip.  Don't worry, I'll always know where you are.  I can see your aura even from the State of California.  Thanks."  And then he asked, "Do you know who that other aura was a little while ago that seemed to bounce around a lot?"  And I was like, "I'm not sure what you're talking about."  And then G was like, "Nevermind, I've got another flight to catch now."  And then G turned around and went to the ticket counter and exchanged his tickets for a later flight for the same flight that was leaving.  And then G got on the same St. Louis flight and left.

What came of this : A 25 mile radius aura must be some sight, but I can't see it so how should I know?  Things happen.  And now, I believe the aura that he was asking about was Karen Carpenter's aura as Karen used to live around Downey that was close to Burbank where G Gordon Liddy lived.


When : June 12, 15 - 20, 1981

Where : Corning - Painted Post East High School, Corning, NY

Who : Karen Carpenter

I. June 12, 1981? Karen and I reunited

And on August 16, 2019 I remember that Karen and I did meet again at Corning - Painted Post East High School in 1981.  It was a sunny day, so I am thinking it was the middle of June 1981 but not positive on that.  Karen came to the school and had me paged to the office at the school.  The secretary called up my room I was in and had me come to the office.  When I got to the office, Karen was standing by the reception desk and she was all decked out with a short black dress, black fishnet type stockings, heels, and a couple luau necklaces.  When I got there, Karen said, "Hi, I was the one who had you paged.  Do you remember me?" as I was going to the reception desk.  And I was like, "You look kind of familiar, but I don't really recognize you."  And she said, "It's me, Karen, remember, you and I spent most of 8th grade together?  I still have that ring you gave me."  And I was like, "Oh my God, it is you.  I remember.  But you're kind of dressed like a slut so you threw me off a bit."  And she was like, "Well, that was blunt.  I guess I should have seen that coming the way I'm dressed with the fishnet stockings and all.  I just flew in and I didn't have time to change out of my secretary clothes.  I got a job in the area now.  We can be together again."  And I was like, "You look so different dressed up but it is still you on the inside that counts, and as we both know, I like..." and Karen and I both said in unison together, "Tomboys and mud pies."  And we were both like, "It is you, how've you been?" at the same time to each other again.  And the receptionist / secretary said (Lois, who lived with Marvin's son, Ed, and Ed and Lois used to rent the upstairs apartment from my parents at 265 East Third Street), "You can use [whatever] room if you two want some privacy.  Don't forget to close the curtains.  Don't worry, I'll keep a look out for you two.  And here, put on this sweater [a long white knitted sweater].  If you remember, it's your old sweater and you left it at the apartment when you left two years ago.  He's right.  You do kind of look trashy and I think the sweater will help cover it up."  As a side note here, the assistant principal at Corning Free Academy became an assistant principal at Corning - Painted Post East High School, Roger Grigsby.  Marvin Mishrell was the other assistant principal and Marvin's son Ed rented the upstairs apartment from my parents before at 265 East Third Street.  We'd moved to 8 Garden Street at this time.  And so we went in the room and Karen said, "I told her that I was your fiancé and she believed me.  I hope you don't mind."  and I was like, "Like always, you make me smile.  That was a good one."  Karen was like, "Yeah, she also told me that you haven't been seeing anyone and the secretary was actually glad to hear that we were engaged.  She told me to say that my ring was a Cubic Zirconia but looked real and she said it was still a beautiful ring and that you seem to be a really nice guy.  She remembered me from before when we woke up the neighborhood that time.  We had a good laugh together.  The secretary also said that she sent her boss out on an errand and that we had about an hour before he got back.  Us secretaries need to stick together."  And then Karen asked, "I forgot, what were our pet names for each other again?"  And I was like, "Honey and Darling."  And she was like, "That's right.  I keep forgetting." And I was like, "That's OK.  I only remember because you used your Marlene Dietrich voice and Marlene called everyone Darling and honestly, I came up with Honey after I looked over at your honey dipper for your tea.  I almost called you Bear because your honey was in that bear jug."  And she laughed and said, "I remember that.  I forgot about the honey bear.  I kind of wondered how you came up with that so fast."  And I was like, "Yeah, it just kind of just slipped out like that."  And then I said, "That was really great that the secretary did that for us.  I saw Patti in my french class so it was a bit awkward.  I didn't really know what to say to her half the time.  She did talk though and told me about you getting married."  And Karen was like, "Yeah, I got married on August 31st?, 1980 to a guy named Tom Burris and he has a boy Patti's age.  [then some personal information that I would rather not repeat in public, not only because of privacy issues, but also because it is still a bit garbled and I don't want to take a chance of writing something again that may be a bit off and possibly wrong].  Then she talked about her husband, Tom, and said something like, "When people give you good advice, always listen.  People have always told me not to marry someone you meet in a bar and now I'm paying for it because I didn't listen."  And I was like, "I know, the 5 F's of meeting someone in a bar - Find 'em, feel 'em, finger 'em, f*** 'em, then forget 'em, but in your case it is probably Find 'em, feel 'em, fondle 'em, f*** 'em, then forget 'em."  And Karen was like, "I like that better.  I'll have to remember that.  Tom kind of blind-sided me because at first he kind of looked like you without your glasses only he is about ten years older than me.  But then too, he was more of a beefcake and you are more of a hunk.  After seeing you again, I definitely see the difference between a beefcake and a hunk.  Beefcakes are great to look at, but then I got to know him better and realized that he was not the hunk I thought he was at first.  Tom is definitely not a diamond in the rough.  Tom got me on the rebound because I never got over you.  My hormones were raging and my biologic clock was ticking.  You weren't there to protect me.  I was lonely and vulnerable and how did Rod say it?"  And then I said, "You were desparate."  And Karen said "Yeah, I was desperate.  Really desperate.  Do you like my ring?  Yeah, I bought it myself, so it is just what I wanted and this is the ring I wish you had been able to give to me.  I originally picked this ring out with you if you remember right.  You made that growl sound in your throat when you saw that ring.  You were so cute.  I had to get it and I stuck it away in my hope chest hoping that some day...  Actually, I sent a limo to pick you up at your house, but you weren't there."  And I was like, "We moved on February 23rd, 1980 to a different house."  And she was like, "I kept hoping that you would show up at my wedding and be my knight in shining armor like always, I kept looking for you but you weren't there.  And you know me and my signs.  When you didn't show up I figured it was a sign that I should marry Tom, so I did."  And I was like, "Try to remember this, if I don't show up at your wedding it is a sign that you are marrying the wrong guy again.  Besides, I was only 15 at the time and that would have looked great splattered all over the papers.  You know me, I still would have gone through with it somehow, but..."  And Karen was like, "I'll try to remember that.  And speaking of papers, People Magazine was there.  I almost backed out, but my mom made this big speech and I went through with it.  Her speech wasn't that good, but my mom rarely makes speeches so I figured it was important to her that I went through with it, so I did.  I was also good friends with his cousin [I believe Debbie (Vaiusa?) Cuticello] and so I figured how bad could he be?  Anyway, Tom got a vasectomy because he was worried that if I got pregnant that it might wreck my voice and destroy my singing career.  I asked him several times to get it reversed and I would pay for it but he refused every time."  And I was like, "Well that was thoughtful of him."  And to Tom's credit, Karen had arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) and with that, Karen getting pregnant would be a difficult situation and a definite cause for concern.  And Karen was like, "Not funny Ace, but Tom admitted he wasn’t being totally honest with me when he told me about the vasectomy before we got married so I figured maybe he changed and was going to turn over a new leaf after we got married.  Tom changed alright after we got married.  Tom and I had great sex before we got married, but you can't live on love alone.  Before we got married, Tom always asked permission and such before doing something.  After we got married, Tom kept trying to run everything.  I kicked Tom out of the studio because Tom was trying to tell Richard how to record me."  And I was like, "I remember Richard that time and I remember Richard and I there and you sitting at your desk and telling Richard and I when it was alright for us to talk.  We knew better.  But Richard has been recording you for years and what does Tom know about a recording studio anyway?  Vasectomy, strike one.  Bossy, strike two."  And then Karen said, "I forgot about you meeting Richard.  You two were funny.  Richard doesn't usually make jokes around others, so I know he at least felt comfortable around you.  But Tom and I even fought on Christmas.  It was our first Christmas together so I wanted to spend it at our new home and Tom had made plans to see people and didn't tell me about it until the last minute.  I piled up all the presents in the back seat of the car, which is a small seat, and off we went with his son trying not to sit on presents the whole trip.  So we ended up spending Christmas on the road and I was not happy and I definitely let him know I definitely was not, as you call it, a happy camper."  And I was like, "I know how much you love Christmas and I'm surprised that you didn't shove the tree, angel and all, up where the sun don't shine and then turn the lights on.  Our family usually visits everyone on Christmas day, but with you, I would definitely let you decide and if you wanted to stay home, we would stay home.  No questions asked."  And then Karen said, "I just got an image of that tree thing you just said.  That's funny.  I wish I had thought of that.  I was definitely mad enough to do it at the time.  And as you say, pardon my french, but Tom is definitely a big enough a**hole that the tree would fit with room to spare and we had a really big tree this year.  [And we both laughed].  But that wasn't the straw that broke the camel's back.  Tom and I visited [my friend] and then when I asked him to visit again he seemed to be making up excuses.  A few times of this and I got suspicious and called up [my friend] and asked her if something had happened while Tom was there."  Karen said that "[my friend] said that Tom had tried to talk her into having sex with him and she felt awkward because she didn't know what to do about it.  [my friend] was worried that I might be offended if she didn't want to have sex with him because she found him to be kind of repulsive.  Tom lied about why he and his ex wife split up.  And after I found out that he hit on [my friend] I am all done with Tom.  Three strikes.  You're out.  Tom and I are definitely having some problems lately and I guess it was to be expected.  We both kind of started out on the wrong foot and lied to each other.  I lied to him about the rings and about almost everything really.  I never trusted him for some reason...  I think that reason was because I already knew someone that I knew I could always trust.  That someone is you.  I remembered what you said too about promises."  And then we both said together, "I don't make promises, but I say what I mean and I mean what I say."  And then she said, "We were both vulnerable and lonely and we made all of these promises to each other and I think we've broken about every promise we ever made to each other.  It's a real mess.  I know you can see my thoughts again and I know you just saw that.  Yes, he did.  I was his wife.  He wanted sex.  I was dry and we were both sore for a couple of days afterwards, but he wanted sex and he got it.  And I know you and I know you’re different than that.  That was one of the worst experiences I’ve ever gone through in my life.  He had his hand over my mouth and it was just awful.  As you can imagine, we haven’t talked much since then.  It’s pretty much over between us because of that.  [...Unspoken : I could read Karen's thoughts and I definitely read this one.  This happened sometime in October or November 1980 just a little after Karen and Tom had been married.  Karen had both fear and anger associated with remembering this stuff.  Tom snuck up on Karen and physically held Karen down so that Karen couldn't fight back or get away.  A guy that cares about a woman would only restrain a woman to keep her from hurting herself or others.  Not to force, but restrain.  This was forceful.  This was bad, but after this Karen started to physically keep her distance from Tom as protection as Karen was rightfully worried that the physical confrontations between Karen and Tom would start getting worst ('escalating' for people that like the 'big words').  As far as I know, Tom did not physically strike Karen, however, holding someone down like that for that reason is what ended it and is physical abuse.  Karen could never trust Tom again after that happened.  What next?  Was Tom going to start beating Karen up if Karen didn't do whatever Tom wanted?  Karen was NOT going to let it get that far.  The marriage was over at that point but it was passed the 'annul' date and California law at the time stated that they had to wait at least a year before getting a divorce unless Karen could prove that her life was in danger.  Over.  That was that.  There was something wrong with Tom and Tom couldn't talk about it with Karen and at that point, things were only bound to get worst between them as you know, if there is something you can't talk about with someone you say you care about, it must be REALLY bad.  This wasn't a "this hurts so let's try not to talk about it" thing.  This was definitely a "if I tell you the truth then you are going to hate me and never want to be around me again anyway" thing.  And now back to Karen speaking again...]  I'm a Christian and I can't hate anyone but Tom is the closest to hating someone I've ever known.  If you remember Max, Max was a saint compared to Tom.  And if you remember too, you were an answer to my prayers.  Tom never got me like you did with that coin trick.  And I figure that you had figured out by now that it was Olivia and Dionne that time and we still laugh about it because I had that racing stripe down the middle of my face and I didn't know it.  That was funny and everyone knew that you got me except me until later.  The pencil mark wiped right off so it was no big deal.  That's right, what did you and Dionne talk about anyway?"  And I was like, "Dionne just wanted to make sure that I was the one that did that to you and that I told you about it before someone else did.  We talked about you mostly.  She was just looking out for you."  And Karen was like, "I was kind of jealous because you two talked and were laughing, but that's what she told me too later on was that she wanted to make sure you did it and that you told me before I found out about it and that you and her talked mostly about me.  I really messed up with Dionne because I was jealous, but there's nothing I can do about it now.  We weren't talking and it was all my fault because I got jealous and I wasn't thinking."  And I was like, "You didn't did you?"  And Karen was like, "We got arguing and I did, we both did, and I kind of regret it because I was not raised that way but there's nothing I can do about it now.  I don't take back what I said, but I just wish I could have found a better way to say it was all.  It just happened like that."  And Karen continued, "Tom pulled the drinking glasses trick on me where the glass leaks, but it's just not the same.  It wrecked my new pants suit and was just a mess really.  You got me good, with Tom I got myself.  And, oh, what a mess I got myself into with Tom.  I really don't care about him any more and I just want him gone and out of my life."  And I was like, "Uh oh.  I messed up again, didn't I?  Sounds like things aren't working out so well in your marriage.  You know how I always wish you the best and to be happy, I'm sorry to hear that things aren't going so well, but maybe things can get better somehow."  And then I paused a little and then continued, "It still seems kind of weird that everyone is our 500th or whatever great grandkid."  She was like, "Yeah, I still remember what Nick said to us about not having children and possibly bringing about another Great Flood and all that.  I forgot to tell you that he did say I could call him Nick too instead of Sir Nicholas."  And we both said, "But only in private.  Jinx."  And then we both said together again, "He sounds just like John Cleese.  Double jinx."  And we both laughed a little and then she said, "He told me he is actually Olivia's distant cousin.  Oh and Rod and I made up at my wedding.  I realized that he was just caught between a rock and a hard place and it wasn't really his fault.  Rod and I came up with a new nickname for Itchie at my wedding, Tagalong.  Wherever I went, Tagalong wasn't too far behind.  I actually kind of feel sorry for her as she got the role as an antagonist in that Flashdance movie and people look at her as a bad person because of that movie.  So I've kind of taken her under my wing to see if we can soften up her public image a bit."  And I'm like, "Actually, that antagonist image does kind of suit her if you remember correctly.  Not the man stealer part from the movie, but she ain't exactly a nice person as I don't tend to get into arguments with nice people; she can be sneaky at times like in the movie.  You know I trust you, but I don't trust her and never will.  I can still see the knife marks from the last time she tried to stab you in the back.  Remember that article and the pictures?"  And Karen was like, "I'll be alright, but I'll try to remember that.  My solo album is actually tied up in limbo for who knows how long.  I almost made the cover of Rolling Stone and they did an interview with me on Saint Patty’s day.  I thought it was a joke at first because I didn’t think people worked on Saint Patty’s day, but it was a real interview and I got to watch the Saint Patty’s day parade from a window.  I had on a top hat but somehow my top hat disappeared and someone gave me a derby instead.  But that interview got me thinking that the papers were looking to make this into a possible breakup and so I had them hold off on the article and they did.  I later decided to shelve that can of worms as I could see the papers looking to use it as a Carpenters breakup and I am not about to leave my brother.  I was figuring because the album wasn’t good musically that it would be looked at as a flop.  Until that interview, I hadn’t thought about what could happen if the album was a hit.  When I first played it for everyone I remember the looks on their faces after I played it.  My brother said it sounded like crap and that was what I was hoping for.  I was hoping that the album would tank and that people wouldn’t bother me again about doing another solo album.”  And I was like, “All filler and no killer.  I remember you telling me how Phil took all your good stuff and left you with leftovers.  What if it backfired and sold?  People tend to listen to crap nowadays if you haven’t noticed.”  And Karen continued, “We were getting ready to release the album and I thought that too about it possibly being successful and not a flop.  With that thought I decided to shelve the album.  I didn’t feel like having every interview start off with so are you going solo?  So I decided to shelve the album.  I asked them if I could hold off and not release the album and I was surprised that they did.  I also cried because everyone had worked so hard on that album and I felt like I was letting everyone down when I didn’t release it.  I had enough nonsense on my plate without adding a solo album to it, so I decided to shelve the album for personal reasons and Richard, Jerry, Herb, and even Phil said they would back me up on it.  And if you remember right, part of those personal reasons were because of your age and what if people asked about that stuff too.  Out of sight.  Out of mind.  Too risky.  And you know me and my signs and when I got those signs at the last minute that the album was a can of worms, I felt it best to leave that can of worms on the shelf and still in the can where it belongs.  I still love the album because most of the songs were about us and it has been about all I have of us besides my pen and a couple of those kinky critters you left in my desk drawers.  I actually gave most of them away, but I did keep a few as souvenirs.  And yes, I still remember and put them in different positions here and there when others aren't around and I still laugh about it.  You had a pretty wild imagination as a kid."  And I was like, "Sorry I wasn't there to tonsilectomy the bride at your wedding.  Honestly, I have been trying to get you out of my system for the last couple years.  I haven't been doing so well as you can see.  I know I look terrible.  I did buy Michael Jackson's Rock with You single and I played it almost non stop for over a month after it came out and I pretty much wore the single out because the grooves are white now instead of black.  I wore the needle out too and I had to replace that as well.  I definitely hugged the stuffings out of my pillow for quite a while and then I just started forgetting about you for some reason.  I'm not sure why, but I did.  It wasn't until Patti was in my french class that I started remembering again.  I honestly don't remember half the things we did anymore, I just remember that we had some great times together."  And Karen was like, "Yeah, it hit me pretty hard too and a few times I just started crying and I didn't know why.  I just did.  And then I met Tom, but I never really forgot you, I just put you in the background.  You are still my strength when things go wrong and such.  I remember what others said about us being soul mates and honestly, even though I missed you being there, you still gave me strength when I needed it.  Like you, I was an emotional train wreck too.  We had always helped each other feel better for so long and you never realize how good you have it until it's gone."  And I was like, "Long and gone.  Hey you're a poet and didn't know it.  I didn't realize either.  I mean I did realize, but when I forgot about you for a little while, it kind of affected me a lot different than what I thought.  I honestly didn't think it was possible to forget about you back then, but it happened and there is still some stuff I know I have still forgot about yet.  When I just started getting too lonely, I thought of you and felt better even though you weren't here.  I also thought about everyone being our great whatever grandkids too."  And Karen was like, "Actually, that stuff still kind of freaks me out.  I try not to think about it too much.  We almost came close to possibly destroying the world and we didn't even know it.  It's just creepy."  And I was like, "Me too.  I mean I love you, but not enough to destroy the world over.  Finding that stuff out kind of ruined us getting together in the future when I get old enough.  I still love the thought of us spending forever together."  And then she was like, "Me too.  I still love you and miss you so much.  Us being together forever sounds great to me too.  And I got to thinking too that I think Nick was wrong because we've had other lives since then and even the Bible says there isn't going to be another Great Flood when it talks about rainbows.  I think we'll be fine if we do get together.  Well, I just came back into town for a little while for Patti's graduation and I thought I would stop by and say hi while I was here.  I'm staying with my cousin Wendy so the spinsters are back together again and we're having a blast and catching up on the soap operas and our knitting."  I was like, "Does she still have that room above the garage available for rent?"  And Karen was like, "You remembered.  Actually, Tom came with me and I rented the room above the garage for him and his son.  We had to put it in his son's name because Tom doesn't have a good credit rating.  Oh and by the way, I ran a credit check on you too, just for the fun of it.  Very interesting as your rating puts Tom’s and his son’s ratings to shame.  I told Tom I was getting a secretary job at the school so that I could sneak off and see you again."  And the reason why a bit fuzzy is because of what went on next, Karen said, "Well, we don't have much time left, do you want to keep wasting it talking or do you want to make out with me?"  And I took my glasses off and Karen wrapped her arms around me and I wrapped my arms around her and I tonsilectomied (stuck my tongue down her throat and rubbed it back and forth like a dog in heat) her for the next two minutes or so.  Karen was trying to push me away, but I let her have it.  After I let her get away, she slapped me.  I then gave her the 'you asked for it' look.  And then she saw my thoughts again and realized what I was upset about and she got a bit nervous.  She then said, "Sorry I slapped you but I didn't like what you did to me just now.  That was just horrible.  If it had been anyone else I would have been looking to break something over their head."  And I was like, "That's OK.  I deserved to be slapped or even worst and as you know what I did was intentional."  And she was like, "Yeah, I just realized why you did it too.  Here I am dressed like a slut as you called it and then asking you to make out with me and not wanting to talk.  I kind of asked for that.  I thought at first you did that because you didn't know what you were doing.  I think that my thinking you are just a kid kind of backfired on me again like before."  And I was like, "You got it.  And I gave it to you.  If you want to act like a slut, I can treat you like a slut.  Welcome back.  But actually that's wrong of me especially with you.  I took what you said the wrong way.  And I need to say something else, myself.  First, I think we are both sliding on thin ice right now.  You have two strikes against you and I have two and a half strikes against me with that tonsilectomy I gave you and thinking about you being a slut when you're not.  We are definitely starting out on the wrong foot.  I think it is because you are looking for someone to be a lover and I am looking for someone to share my time with.  We don't match.  You want a lover and I want a companion.  But I think we both need a lover that is a companion too.  We both want something, but I think we both need something even better."  And Karen was like, "I think you are on to something there and I agree."  And then I said, "Do you remember when we visited the Dalai Lamas and the Dalai Lama made you think there was dirt on my face?"  And Karen was like, "I think I remember that, but what's your point?"  And I was like, "If you remember what Rod said about soul mates and touching, well, we've touched each other.  In all honesty, I don't want to spend the rest of eternity with you wanting to wipe dirt off my face or giving tonsilectomies, do you?"  Karen was like, "Do you think we could start over?"  And I was like, "We can try."  And then Karen and I gave each other a long (five minutes or so) passionate kiss (liplock) as we held each other in our arms and embraced each other.  The smiles and cloud 11 were definitely back between us again.  Our eyes were even brighter (more engaging) than before too.  At the end of 8th grade, Karen and I had the world in our eyes.  Now, Karen and I started having the universe in our eyes.  Instead of sparks and flames, we were having nukes and supernovas.  Also, back in 1979, it was passion and an urge to go further.  In 1981, we found out about 'first contact'.  We didn't hug or hold, we caressed each other.  Soft and sensual, not wild and crazy.  Intimate and meaningful, not just out for a good time.  Lovingly, not bumping and grinding.  A lover (well, she had her visitor so as close as we could get to it...) and a companion.  We went from a feeling of now to a feeling of forever.  As everyone noticed, it was awesome.  Before, the secretary told Karen that she would knock lightly three times on the door about five minutes before her boss was to arrive.  The knocks came and Karen and I waited about a minute or so and then I proceeded to open the door and walk out with Karen just in front of me.  We were both definitely floating on cloud 11 or higher and so staggering out might have been a better word for it.  I leaned forward and gave Karen a kiss on her cheek and I said, "I love you forever Honey."  And she spun around and gave me a liplock (no tongue) and said, "I love you forever too Darling."  On the way out we both thanked the secretary and she said, "No, thank you, it was my pleasure.  It's about time his office got put to some good use for a change.  My father in law is about as romantic as a [I think she said 'wet sponge' but not sure now].  Good luck you two.  And Ace, just wait a couple minutes and go to your next class."  And I walked out with Karen and then we wrapped our arms around each other and embraced and kind of did a slow dance together while giving each other a liplock again and slowly spinning around.  And then Karen and I parted company and we blew each other kisses and caught them.  And I was like, "I still love that smile."  And she was like, "Me too as much as I love you."  And I was like, "I love you too."  And Karen went out the front door and I went to my class and got my books and then went to my next class.

II. That eye color saying thing. Air bubbles.  Elvis.  Pony tails

Karen mentioned about the eye color thing and she said, "How did that go again?".  And I was like, "If your eyes are brown, you are full of it, and if your eyes are blue, you are a quart low."  And I think Karen said something like, "Tom's eyes are blue, but I think it is because he has an air bubble in there somewhere."  And I was like, "I hadn't thought of that.  Could be."

At some point I also mentioned to Karen, "Remember how you always thought that Elvis was my dad.  Well, I had a school physical last year and my doctor told me that I was born breach and my mom was a virgin when I was born."  And Karen was like, "Anyone else and that would just freak me out, but with you that makes sense.  It figures.  Actually, that explains a lot.  Are you sure about that?"  And I was like, "Positive.  My doctor told me probably a couple days after you got married.  I guess that explains why I've never been normal or whatever."  And Karen was like, "I think normal is overrated too.  Welcome to the club" or something like that.  And of course Karen and I didn't have much 'private time' and kids started coming around again so we got back to serious cuddling and such.

And of course a new saying, "People wear pony tails so that if their head gets stuck up their butt, others have something to pull their head back out again with."  In all honesty, Karen usually wore her hair in a braided pony tail in the back and she looked great.  Karen wore very little makeup and her freckles made her face shine bright.  Karen also wore brightly colored pastel sun dresses.  Most people thought Karen was in her late teens or early 20s (23 at most) because Karen just had a glow about her that gave her a youthful and attractive appearance.  I have no idea who's idea it was for Karen's "Made In America" album videos to try and make Karen appear middle aged.  No one that saw Karen at the high school would have guessed that Karen was the one in the "Touch Me When We're Dancing" videos.  Even I have a hard time believing it is Karen in those videos.  But then too, the "statues" video definitely has a type of 'sex sells protest' feel to it which I believe both Karen and Richard were tired of all the 'sex sells' hype at the time.  If women can bare it all, why can't men bare it all too?  Why is all of this 'sex sells' stuff only aimed at women?  Great video.  [Side note, I think I remember Karen saying something like, "We kind of did that video because if you remember our manager, Jerry, always said, ‘sex sells baby’.  There were a bunch of complaints about the statue video and the guy's schlong hanging out.  Only a couple people mentioned anything about the bare breasts (Karen would on occasion say cleavage, but most times Karen used the word bosoms.  That's why I am pretty sure she said breasts on this one).  Because of the complaints, they had us make another video".  And me of course, "Doesn't the record company know that sex sells?  It was only statues.  It's just art, but still...  But then too maybe the video wasn't sexy enough because as a statue he was hard, but his schlong wasn't really hard.  Maybe that was it."  And I think Karen said (with a giggle in her voice), "my thoughts exactly but we made another video anyway without the statues."]

III. I was only gone a little over a half hour

I remember the one time that I came out after an exam and Karen had tears just streaming down her face and I said, "What happened?  Are you all right?"  And Karen said, "I'm sorry, I missed you.  I couldn't help it."  And I was like, "Aw, I missed you too.  I love you so much."  And then we embraced and liplocked and then I assumed the position against the wall and Karen climbed on top.  Then I said, "Are you sure you're OK?"  And she said, "I'm OK now."  And within a minute later she was out like a light with her arms wrapped around me again and my arms wrapped around her.  A couple of the others asked, "What happened?  Is she all right?  We were all talking and then she just started crying."  And I was like, "She's tired and she missed me.  She's fine now but she needs some rest.  Her visitor, period, takes a lot out of her and she gets emotional sometimes."  And a couple minutes later I zonked out too.

IV. Hiding out

Another time I came out of an exam and Karen was hiding out in the auditorium.  I had told Karen earlier that day that the legal age in New York was 18 and not 16 like in California.  A police officer came into the school and Karen got nervous so she ducked into the auditorium and hid just inside the auditorium door.  When I came around by the trophy case, Karen opened the door and told me she saw a police officer come into the school and the officer started asking people questions and then she got nervous and hid.  There was a car parked out front that wasn't supposed to be sitting there and the cop had just came in to the school to see if he could find the person and have them move the car.  I also told Karen after that, that if it had been something else that both of my parents worked about 5 minutes away and that they would definitely say that Karen had their permission to be with me aka 'parental consent'.  I told Karen that because she wasn't a teacher now that she didn't have to worry about the teacher and student stuff any more.  Honestly, no one really thought Karen was that much older than me so no one really thought much about it or asked about it.  Plus Karen and I were happily engaged and Karen had a ring on her finger to prove it.  Karen and I were fine together.  Nobody really bothered Karen and me except to wake me up for an exam or that one time that I was snoring and they didn't want me waking Karen up, which wasn't a bother really, but more of a necessity.

V. The aftermax recollection

Karen also brought up Max again.  Karen was like, "I know Max was a sore spot with you, but I was glad it worked out the way it did.  What did we call ourselves?"  And I was like, "The walking wounded."  And Karen was like, "I remember.  I was definitely sore and bruised for a couple days and you were hobbling around too with sympathy pains."  And I was like, "Actually, I pulled a groin muscle when I reached over your desk and grabbed him.  We were both a sorry sight afterwards and I remember how the other kids thought we had had sex as being the reason why we were in such bad shape."  She was like, "I remember that too.  I just saw an arm come over my book rack and then Max wasn't there anymore and the building shook and it felt like an earthquake and stuff just fell off the walls and glass breaking and all that.  I had heard about adrenaline rushes from people before then but I got to see one first hand.  I remember the kids talking and such too.  I just didn't feel like arguing afterwards, so I just let them talk."  And I was like, "I didn't feel like arguing either, so I let them talk too."  And Karen was like, "I was very grateful that you didn't hit him because I know you would have killed him, but I always wondered why you stopped and let him go."  And I was like, "After he hit the wall, I saw the look in his eyes and he knew it was all over.  He knew if I hit him he was done.  And then I heard you say no Ace don't.  That was what saved him.  But I let him go because I felt that everyone should be given a chance to make amends for their mistakes.  And the reason why I was always so upset about Max is because after I let him go and gave him his chance, he threatened to have you arrested and told me not to tell on him.  I don't regret giving him his chance, but he definitely blew it with me and that is why I couldn't forgive him if you remember.  No way, not after that."  And Karen was like, "I saw Max and he apologized and said he just lost his head that time because he knew that you loved me, but he just didn't understand why you didn't have sex with me.  After you cussed him out, he understood and felt really bad about it.  I was so proud of you for standing up for me and saying all those wonderful things to Max about me.  Your words hurt Max worst than any beating could have ever done."  And of course Karen and I started making out with each other and lost our train of thought after that.  Come to think of it, we were making out before this conversation took place as well.  We really didn't talk much in June 1981.  We were usually either making out with each other, doing "The Couples Show", or sleeping (we didn't nap; we slept.  You don't nap through loud buzzer alarms going off) together with our arms wrapped around each other.  We were very comfortable with each other but also, Karen was still "grooming me to be her husband" with teaching me about forgiveness with Max, while I was still "briding her to be my wife" with teaching Karen about repentance (admitting a wrong was done) and penance (making amends) with her husband Tom.

VI. Smoking

I had started smoking not too long before Karen came back around.  I had only been smoking a couple months and not too heavily, maybe two packs a week.  When Karen first came back around, on June 15, we went to the corner a couple times and I grabbed a smoke there with the other kids that were smokers.  After Monday, June 15, I did not smoke when Karen was around again.  Karen actually didn't say a word about it and she was actually fine with it, but I wasn't fine with it.  And honestly, it wasn't because of Karen the singer or that kind of stuff, but it was because with Karen around, I honestly did not feel like smoking anymore.  I would rather be inside cuddling up with Karen and stuff like that than polluting my lungs or such.  After Karen was around me for just a short time (3 or 4 hours) the urge for me to smoke just disappeared.  No lectures or any of that stuff, I just quit because I really didn't feel like it and I had better things to do now.  Would you rather spend your time kissing and hugging and cuddling up with someone truly very special or waste your time burning money away and smelling like an ashtray?  Me too.  That's why I quit smoking for a while.  Think about it more which is what I did.  You have this great pair of sizzling lips and an awesome cuddler right there in front of you and this stupid thing getting in the way of you having a great time.

VII. Made In America.  American Top 40

Karen also mentioned that her and Richard had a new album coming out and I mentioned that I had already heard the new song "Touch Me When We're Dancing" on the radio.  And Karen was like, "Actually Richard and I heard that song and thought it was good so we did it like usual.  I told them about the story of you and me dancing and you calling me an osprey."  And I was like, "I remember, I called you an ostrich because you buried your head in your arms like an ostrich that time."  And Karen was like, "Oh shoot, I guess I messed that story up a little and that kind of explains the funny look they gave me but they still kind of laughed a little about it.  I'm kind of wondering now if they laughed because I mixed up osprey with ostrich.  Oh well.  There's another song on there called I Believe You by the Addrissi brothers and Tom asks if the songs are written about him.  I tell him yes most of the time just to shut him up.  You know how it is though.  Usually the song is just written already and I just tell people about what I feel my motivation is behind singing the song a particular way or choosing a particular song to sing.  I don't actually write songs myself.  Once in a great while, like with Rock With You, I provide kind of a story to use for a possible song, but I'm not much of a poet myself."

Karen also mentioned that her neighbor at one time was Casey Kasem who did the American Top 40 show.  Casey also did the voice for Shaggy on the Scooby Doo cartoon.  Karen told me that Casey had almost been let go from the American Top 40 show after Casey stuck to his principles and did a show as a tribute to Bon Scott who had passed away in March of 1980. Casey was very proud that he stuck to his principles even though it almost cost him his job. Casey felt very strongly that maybe Bon’s problem child type lifestyle and how Bon passed away might be a good lesson for younger people to learn about drinking alcohol too much and the dangers associated with it. Regardless, ratings went down after the show. I actually watched that show when it aired and I can say that it was very awkward watching Casey Kasem say “Hell” a few times and such, but I can say that Casey did show genuine concern as far as the rowdy “Rock N Roll lifestyle” wasn’t as glamorous as others were trying to make it out to be. There is a downside to excess. There is also a downside to having advertisers that sell alcohol and a guy hosting a music show trying to say “don’t drink too much”.  But then too, if your customer drinks too much and dies, then you lose a customer.  But even better was that Casey believed that if the tribute he did to Bon Scott helped keep just one person from overdosing on alcohol, Casey felt it was worth trying.  It may have almost cost Casey his job, but Casey (and Karen too) felt it was the right thing to do by raising awareness about the side effects of drinking too much.

VIII. A little excitement?

At some point during her 1981 visit, Karen mentioned that when she went back home that there had been a bit of excitement in the Corning area in December of 1980.  Karen also commented that when it hit the news out there in California and because Karen's family in California had known Karen was in Corning New York, they figured that Karen probably knew these people as Karen had a habit of seeking out the 'black sheep' so to speak.  So Karen and I talked about the Corning shootout that happened on December 5, 1980 in Corning New York, where the Comfort brothers, Joseph and Larry had shot two undercover police officers.  Corning is a small area of 12,500 people, but still big enough where you don't know everybody in a year.  I knew that Karen had never met the Comfort brothers, but Karen wasn't quite sure so she asked.  Karen also refreshed my memory because when she was in Corning from September 6, 1978 to June 22, 1979 there was talk in the town about a guy named Bill, that had two sons that Karen knew (Brian and Tim), and Bill had been arrested for counterfeiting after Bill was found with a printing press in his basement that Bill used to make counterfeit money with.  Brian and Tim were students that Karen knew and Karen knew that Brian had problems because of an accident at a local parade and Brian was hit with a rifle butt and had head trauma but Brian was doing better but learning at a slower rate.  Brian and Tim also had a sister, Mary, that would talk with Karen at times as well.  Brian's brother Tim was another story and Tim was a handful even without his father getting into trouble.  Several times Karen had to separate Tim from fighting with a guy named Fran.  Tim and Fran had both been held back in school.  Such a lively town with a history was Corning New York during the late 1970s and early 1980s.  As Karen was noticing, she was kind of turning into her mother and if someone had a problem, Karen would always listen and then she would start talking your ear off about it.  Karen started loving solving problems by sharing her experiences with others and others sharing their experiences with her without others knowing she was a celebrity of sorts.  Karen did know quite a few people in the area expecially after being an 8th grade english teacher plus people that her relatives in the area knew as well.  But in a small area...  So Karen and I talked a little.  I told Karen that I was actually there when it happened and I saw what happened, but I had just turned 16 the day before so the police chief did not want me as a witness because of my age at the time.  But the Comforts lived down at the end of Third Street and just around the corner from where Bill lived.  Nice neighborhood huh.  My grandfather and my cousins Becky and Carla lived about 4 houses down from where the Comfort's parents, Ed and Norma, lived.  Ed and Norma were probably a couple of the nicest people you ever wanted to meet, but their sons Larry and Joe were the opposite and constantly getting into fights and such.  But I knew that Karen had not met Joe or Larry Comfort while she was in the area.  I knew them a little bit in 1978 as I was a scorekeeper and Larry was asked to be an assistant manager to a team as part of his probation.  I also explained that there was some stuff not leaked out and that Karen probably knew a couple of Joe's and Larry's relatives, but not Joe and Larry themselves.  Karen knew Ed and Lois that rented upstairs from my parents.  We lived next door to the Glossars (Marge from the sneaking incident) and their oldest son, Jack Glossar married Linda Comfort.  The police chief, Dick Faulisi, was married to Patty Comfort.  So there was a larger mess under the surface and the police chief had warned Joe and Larry that if something happened, chief Faulisi would make sure that Joe and Larry spent the rest of their days behind bars (hint too, chief Faulisi was one of several town drunks but did not do drugs.  Joe and Larry were drug dealers).  Shooting two undercover police officers was definitely something and Joe and Larry were kept behind bars (I think Larry got out 3 months before he passed away from cancer I believe).  But it had shocked Karen when she first heard the news about the shooting as Karen had always known Corning to be a quiet and friendly area.  And Karen still saw Corning as a quiet and friendly area when she returned in mid June 1981.  Karen did know the children of a guy that made his own money in his basement, but Karen didn't know the cop killers.  Corning is a small area, but just big enough where there is a little elbow room if you need it.  Yes, Karen and I were both street smart enough to find trouble, and street smart enough to avoid real trouble when the need arose.  Like Karen said to me, "I saw those two guys riding around in that Corvette so I figured they were trouble and Wendy told me they were trouble so I avoided them.  I can tell people I saw them but I didn't really know them because I could tell they were trouble."

IX. Karen and I and the 'couples hangout'

Karen and I were seen many times at the school after this.  I was age 16 and Karen was age 31 and I became known as "Karen's old man" at the school.  Honestly, despite the actual age difference, Karen and I looked only a year or two apart when we were together.  The secretary said that Karen could wait for me in the lobby any time.  I would see Karen and then Karen and I would usually start holding hands and then sit down in front of the trophy case.  I would 'assume the position' which was sitting and reclining against the wall.  My back against the wall and my butt about a foot or so away from the wall.  Karen and I would then cuddle up and hug together and hold hands and kiss and such.  At times, Karen wore cherry flavored lipstick too which was awesome.  Karen and I joked around too and wondered if they made onion flavored lipstick for Tom. 

Karen's ring stood out and a lot of times the upper classpeople (classmen, classwomen) would start coupling up and sitting around us.  Under the trophy case kind of became "couples hangout" at the school.  Originally it was just Karen and me.  By the end of the week there were probably around twelve couples gathered around the trophy case and all of us chatting together and talking about stuff much like back in the 8th grade days with Karen and me in Karen's classroom.  And the others would see the ring on Karen's finger and would ask, "Are you two engaged?" and we would answer, "Yes".  And of course, "Congratulations.  That's a beautiful ring."  And Karen would say, "It's a cubic zirconia.  It looks real but it isn't."  (Of course it was actually real, but at about three quarters of a karat, it would definitely draw the wrong attention to Karen and me). 

One of the teachers was actually a gem enthusiast and asked to examine Karen's ring.  We were like "OK, but we have a confession to make first.  Yes, the ring is real.  Do you promise not to tell." because we knew the jig was up with him.  He pulled out his eye piece and said, "I know it's real and I also know that ring from a story a while ago in a magazine about [name] gem cutter and how he used the flaw to enhance the diamond.  That is a one of a kind piece.  I always wanted to see that ring and now I have.  Thanks.  I promise not to tell that it's real." 

One time, it was just Karen and I sitting there, side by side, and talking and holding hands together (we usually locked our fingers together).  Karen had been standing and waiting there for me to get out of my exam in the morning.  On my way to the exam I had ran across Renee Araujo who was in my french class and I said hi to her.  After the exam, Karen told me how she had seen my thoughts and asked me about talking to Renee.  And I was like, "She's in my french class.  I was just being nice and saying hi to her.  As you know from my thoughts, I don't think of her that way.  She's a nice person so I just said hi was all."  And Karen was like, "I know because I saw you flip through all those people including my cousin Patti until you figured out who she was.  Watch who you get friendly with but I know you're telling me the truth about her.  But remember too, you can't hide from me and I'll know if you start thinking of someone else and you know I'll make you pay for it if you do.  Watch your step."  And then we sat down side by side and I said something like, "I love you so much." and then Karen said something like, "I know.  Me too." and then Karen just started crying.  I asked, "Are you alright?"  And she said, "I just realized that it's really you and you're really here again and I'm just so happy.  I can't help it.  I've missed you so much."  And I was like, "I know what you mean.  I have been missing you so much and now we're together and it just doesn't seem real.  We've never really been able to be together without some major obstacle causing problems.  Being able to just sit here and relax with you is just too wonderful to describe.  I love you too."  And we are still side by side and she is still crying.  Then a guy walks around the corner and sees her crying and yells out, "Hey you, take your hands off her.  Can't you see she's crying?"  I said, "I know she's crying, but if I take my hands away from her she'll cry even more?  She's not hurt or sad, she's actually happy."  And he said, "She sure don't sound happy to me.  I said take your hands off of her or else and I mean it."  And then Karen raises her hand up with the ring on her finger and the guy says, "Oh sorry, I didn't realize.  You two got engaged?"  And I was like, "Yes.  Come on over.  We don't bite."  And I put my hand up in the air and motioned for him to come over and he did.  And when he came over I shook his hand and said, "Thanks for being concerned about her.  I really appreciate it.  I would have probably done the same thing myself.  No need to be sorry.  Thank you."  And he said, "That's a big rock on her finger."  And I was like, "It's a cubic zirconia and not a real diamond, but it's still beautiful like her."  And he said, "I can't argue with that.  Thanks and congratulations to you two."  And Karen and I both said, "Thanks."  and then he left and I gave him the thumbs up and Karen just rolled her head over onto my chest and wrapped her arms around me and we both cuddled up and closed our eyes for a bit enjoying the moment.  Men tend to get upset when they don't know how to express their feelings.  Women tend to cry when they don't know how to express their feelings.  Karen was just beyond happy and it showed. 

And then another time, Karen and I just cuddled up and went to sleep together in our usual spot.  The secretary came out later and woke us up after she finished work and before she left for the night (either 6 or 8 PM).  We probably would have been there all night if she hadn't woke us up.  Karen and I were still just that comfortable with each other.  We both also drooled in our sleep, a lot.  My shirt was usually kind of soaked in drool in spots by the end of the day.  I soaked my collar and my shoulder and Karen soaked my chest.  We were still definitely a lot alike.

[Added May 2, 2022] And yet another time, Karen had been talking with a group of girls around the trophy case and I had came around the corner just after taking an exam.  Karen had been talking with the girls about how women should always have a happy face when their man came home from a rough day and be waiting with open arms and such.  So I came around the corner and there Karen was standing and smiling (and demonstaritng to the girls the happy face and such) and I just came out with, "OK, what did I do wrong now?"  And Karen was like, "Nothing, I'm just glad to see you." and I was like, "Glad to see you too." and then we kissed and the little sneak had put on cherry lipstick as a surprise.  Yeah, I've been addicted to cherry ever since then - cherry pies, cherry cigars, cherry whatever.

Also, Karen used the 'count the days' method for knowing when her period (menstrual cycle) would happen and as her form of 'birth control'.  This time around her period was really difficult.  For the week Karen and I were around each other, Karen was having a rough time.  Karen would take some Midol pills and then cuddle up with me under the trophy case and usually fall asleep with me.  She would put her arms around my neck and then rest her head against my chest (because she said she liked listening to me breathe and listening to my heart beat
and hearing my heart beat helped her relax about her arrhythmia enough to just fall asleep) and she would usually be sound asleep within five to ten minutes of cuddling up with me. 

On the last day, Karen was doing better again and tried to apologize for the rough week she had.  She also said, "What was the school name again?"  And I was like, "Corning Free Academy, but we also called it Corning Freak Asylum"  And Karen was like, "Back at CFA my visitor usually happened on the weekends so you didn't see me this way.  Maybe only a couple times."  And then she said, "Is there anything I can do to help make it up to you?"  And I said, "You already have.  You were feeling miserable and you still spent your time with me.  What more could I ask for?"  And she said, "But I wasn't good company."  And I was like, "Says who?  Oops, that's right, you just said so.  Sorry, you're right as usual.  You weren't good company; you were great company.  And yes, I still love seeing you smile again even if I have to sleep with you some more.  Is there something wrong with saying I slept with Karen Carpenter and she feels better now?  Don't answer that.  I just caught myself.  I promise not to tell on me if you promise not to tell on you."  And yes, she smiled.  And after she smiled, the old familiar words, "smart ass", just rolled out of her mouth.

X. June 18, 1981? Our last day together?

On our last day together, Karen and I were under the trophy case as usual and through the front doors of the school came Karen's husband Tom.  Tom rushed right in and grabbed Karen by the arm and started dragging her out the door saying, "You're coming with me." among other things.  Karen then saw me stand up from against the wall and Karen had the 'uh oh' look on her face because she knew I was getting upset about her being dragged across the floor.  Karen then said to Tom, "Let me go.  I will go with you if you only let me talk to him first."  And Tom let go and Karen came over and just said to me, "I hope you remember what I said to you, I really meant it.  I'll be back soon."  And I was like, "You know I always mean what I say too.  I'll always love you."  And then Karen turned around and walked out with Tom. 

There was also a couple couples sitting near us as the trophy case became the 'couples hangout' at the school.  I remember the one guy sitting next to me saying, "If you love her, you should fight for her.  Why would you let him just take her like that?"  And I was like, "You don't understand; that is her husband, but he did some bad things and she doesn't love him anymore and she can't forgive him for what he did."  And he was like, "I think I understand now.  That makes more sense.  Sometimes you have to go through some bad things before you can realize how good you can have it.  I feel bad for her.  That guy seems like a jerk.  She's such a sweetheart to everybody and she deserves better than that."  And I was like, "Yes, and we all can make mistakes, but a bigger mistake for me would have been to try and interfere between her and her husband.  That would anger him and cause her more problems than she already has.  So long as he did not physically hit her or such, I was not going to intervene.  Karen is a big girl and can take care of herself for the most part.  Karen has to wait a year before she can file for a divorce which would be in August this year at the earliest.  In the meantime, it is better if Karen and I have some patience and try not to make her situation any worst than it is.  That is also why Karen and I stayed out here in plain view so that people couldn't accuse us of stuff.  Back then, Karen thought she would never be able to see me again." 

I am not sure now if Tom brought her back to the school or not.  I keep thinking that Karen came back, but I am not sure as it has been 38 years now and counting.  For some reason I keep thinking that Karen came back and had tears in her eyes and said something like, "You didn't tell them did you?"  And I was like, "I finally told them you were in a bad marriage because I think they found that out now.  I also told them that you had to wait a year after getting married to get a divorce.  Everyone was kind of shocked because you have been so happy that they didn't think anything was wrong.  That's about it unless there was something else that you could think of."  And Karen had a look of relief and was like, "Thanks, I was hoping to tell them myself but I guess it couldn't be helped.  Tom brought me back and said I could stay here.  I just started crying in the car and saying that we are surrounded by a bunch of kids and just talking.  We can't do anything with a bunch of kids hanging around us and where am I going to go?  Why won't you let me stay with him?  It's been over between us and you know it and you know why.  But if you want, I can tell you why so that your son can hear it too and hear why his mom divorced you too.  Is that what you want from me now?  And so here I am.  And Tom said he would pick me up later."  And it seems like everyone was glad to see her back under the trophy case again after seeing her being dragged off earlier and finding out she was still legally married to a guy that she didn't love anymore.  It seemed like everyone was so supportive and giving Karen hugs and such.  And it seems like I remember Karen saying, "I love all of you so much and I feel so loved when I'm around you.  Thank you so much.  I am going to miss you guys after the school year is over."  And I think they said back something like, "We are going to miss you too Honey.  Too bad you couldn't send Smart Ass instead.  We'd rather miss him than you."  And I think I said something like, "Gee, thanks guys, you really know how to make a guy feel loved."  And then everyone looked over at Karen and then Karen looked at me with a big smile on her face and finally said, "Smart ass" in her usual way.  So yes, it is definitely true that no one likes a smart ass except possibly Karen Carpenter; I should know.  And then everyone laughed and then we got back to some serious cuddling. 

Tom stopped by later and came in and picked Karen up.  Tom came over and said something like, "When I got back, Wendy filled me in that you saved her life before.  Sorry about earlier.  I didn't know.  She never told me about it.  Thank you." and Tom and I shook hands.  And Karen and I kind of had a blank stare and then I was like, "Actually, Karen and I kind of forgot about that." or something like that.  And Tom's jaw just dropped and he was like, "How could you forget about something like that?"  And I think I pulled Tom closer and I kind of whispered, "People here don't know that she's Karen Carpenter and we worry more about people finding that out than whether or not I saved her life or whatever."  And then I think I spoke up and said something like, "Yeah, Karen and I have so many great stories to tell that we kind of forgot about that one.  But one time Karen thought she dropped her pen in the road and I grabbed her before she went in the road and almost got hit by a car.  It really wasn't that big of a deal.  It was just one of those things that happened and Karen's cousin Wendy came out and saw us crying together by the store because I almost lost her.  Sometimes you never realize what you have until after you almost lose it." or something like that.  And then I think Tom and Karen left the school after Karen said her goodbyes and such.  Earlier that day, Karen and I agreed that to avoid any complications in her divorce and to avoid any possible 'adultery' allegations or such against Karen by Tom, that Karen and I would not contact each other until her divorce was final.  We did that.  Karen also asked me if I had an old shirt that smelled like me that she could sleep in to help remind her of me until her divorce went through.  I don't remember which shirt now, but I did give her one of my shirts that she took with her when she left.  She hid it under her dress so that Thomas wouldn't see it when he picked her up.

XI. The Couples Show

Karen and I got a lot of questions about being a couple and such.  We developed a routine together after the first day.  With Karen having problems with Tom Burris, we didn’t want to have a nicey nicey talk and we opted more for the ‘dysfunctional’ couple idea.  Karen and I were seen by the others as ‘the perfect couple’ as we never argued and we were always caring about each other.  So Karen and I decided to ‘dirty up’ our image a little during the couples show.  Well, a lot actually.  The real world is not a perfect place where everything always goes according to a perfect plan.  How did we get to be such a ‘cute couple’?  I guess by me sleeping on the couch all the time with that one spring that keeps you up all night.  Karen and I even had a few of the teachers wanting to record this show as it was educational as well as entertaining about personal relationships.  So many things can go wrong and how do you cope with it?  Being a couple is about working together.  We slid the message in sideways as there was this guy (let’s call him Smart Ass) that always had his own way of doing things.  If Smart Ass was to ever be allowed back off the couch again and get a good night’s sleep, then Smart Ass was going to need to learn to work together with Honey (Karen) and straighten his act up.  Karen was having a rough time with her menstrual cycle (period / 'visitor') and she would come in and take a couple Midols and crawl up on me and sleep for a little bit with her arms around my neck and her head against my chest.  I would usually have to wake her up when I had to go to an exam and I always hated to wake her up because I knew she was exhausted.  But, at times I would feel bad about it and wake her up and take my exam and I would usually be back within a half hour.  I would be like, "I'd rather take a zero than wake her up.  She's so peaceful and resting comfortably and having such a hard time with her period."  And the guys would be like, "Don't worry about it.  You'll be back soon and we'll keep an eye on her for you.  She'll be fine."  Afterwards, Karen would usually be wide awake and many times someone new would start hanging out under the trophy case.  Because Karen was exhausted many times, I did a lot of the talking about things and Karen usually threw in a bunch of "smart asses" which kind of became my nickname around the trophy case.  And really, the less Karen talked, the less likely people were to recognize her as being Karen Carpenter.  Actually, most people knew Karen as Honey.  And we would start out with (either of us might say this), "Hi everyone.  When we started out as a couple, we had a whole bunch of things to learn and no one to really ask about it.  So if you have any questions, just shout it out any time and we'll work on it.  In the meantime, just sit back, relax, grab some popcorn, and enjoy the show."  And then I would start out with, "So anyway, the first thing is we're Karen and Ace.  We're a couple.  Karen and Ace, and the reason Karen and Ace is because she comes first and then I can roll over and go to sleep.  Karen and Ace.  Otherwise, she's up all night and I never hear the end of it."  And Karen would be, "You got that right smart ass".  And I had one of the guys that was a 'smart ass' fan so to speak.  He would say stuff like, "Go get 'em smart ass" and "Watch your step smart ass you should know better by now" and my favorite, "If this house is a rocking, don't come a knocking" and stuff like that.  And then I would continue, "The first thing that guys need to learn is that she is always right.  Right Honey?"  And she would be, "If you know what's good for you, you'd better know I'm right and admit it smart ass."  And I would continue, "There are dire consequences for not following this rule.  The shortest distance between two lines is the couch.  The couch actually isn't too bad once you get used to it, but there's always that one spring that keeps you up all night.  But this is if you're lucky.  Remember, you did something wrong and now you're going to pay for it if you know what's good for you, right Honey?"  And she was like, "Right smart ass."  I would continue, "If you mess up again, then the dog house and it just goes downhill after that.  Guys, try not to mess up.  Also remember, high heels can be used like boomerangs.  Think about it.  If she throws something at you, let it hit you.  Your bones will probably heal faster than being able to get a new TV because you were stupid and thought that ducking was a good idea.  It isn't.  Women love to pamper a guy that's been hurt.  Your bones heal.  That picture window doesn't heal and now you have to replace it and learn all these new words just because you thought you were being smart and ducked.  You weren't so smart were you?"  And Karen would be like, "See what you get for being a smart ass and ducking.  Is it really worth it?"  And I would continue, "Definitely DO NOT ARGUE WITH A WOMAN.  Remember rule number one, she is always right.  It saves on a lot of aggravation and couch springs.  Watch."  And Karen would say, "You know that new bowling ball you wanted, well the curling iron bit the dust and I need a new bathrobe and slippers."  And I would say, "Now guys, I know that you're thinking that she looks better naked and curly hair really isn't that important, but remember your priorities.  It can get lonely on the couch all the time.  Trust me.  I'm a smart ass.  I know.  She's fine.  She has the bed because if she doesn't have the bed then she'll get a bad back and you'll never hear the end of that either.  One of these days she'll feel sorry for you and you can get that bowling ball, but until Hell freezes over, you are going to have to be patient and wait.  And I think this is a good time to bring up priorites.  There are two kinds of priorities, wants and needs.  Actually, Karen and I when we got back together we had a big fight and almost broke up because of wants and needs.  Karen wanted a lover and I wanted a companion.  It doesn't match does it?  Remember, don't argue with a woman.  She had two strikes on her and I had two and a half strikes and we were both ready to call it quits because we weren't getting what we wanted.  And then I looked at the problem again and I said, you know, you want a lover and I want a companion, but I think we both need a lover and a companion.  You have two points for acting like a slut and I have two and a half points for that horrible tonsilectomy I gave you and saying slut to you.  But we both want something, but I think we need something even better.  You want a lover and I want a companion, but I think we both need a lover that's a companion too."  And Karen was like, "Then I just said, can we start over?"  And then I said, "We went from sparks and flames to nukes and supernovas.  Take care of your needs first.  You are always going to want something sometime, but if you need something and don't get it you can be up sh*t crick and she'll definitely shove that paddle somewhere where the Sun don't shine."  And Karen would say, "And you'll be walking funny too, right smart ass?"  And then I would continue, "And speaking of which, guys, how would you feel if you had someone over top of you just beating on you relentlessly then rolling over and falling asleep when they're done.  This is the woman you love.  Enjoy every moment you get even with a paddle shoved up your ass.  Think of what you're doing and how would you feel if it was being done back to you?  Love only goes so far, because if you really love someone, they know how you feel and you know how they feel.  It's a two way street.  Everybody's different and it takes a little while to get used to someone.  Karen and I were around each other for 9 months and in that 9 months things just kept getting better and better between us, but some people around us started behaving worst and worst.  Karen and I love making each other feel better.  Others liked trying to make others feel miserable.  Karen and I had more than enough problems to feel miserable about if we wanted to feel that way, but we loved making each other smile and we really loved seeing each other smile too.  And it was weird too because many times we didn't think we could be any happier than we were, but somehow it happened.  All because we love to make each other happier.  We learned to work together to make each other happier."  And Karen and I would just go on and on and talk about different things that happened and how we dealt with stuff and such.  We definitely threw in a bit of humor too because we realized that a lot of times people remember jokes better than just saying things and trying to memorize a bunch of stuff that didn't seem very fun.  Rolling pins, baseball bats, bazookas, and all I remember was hearing 'you son of a b*tch' and then I slipped and fell down the stairs right into the dog house.  And we would talk about going from being single to being with someone and all the ups and downs of adjusting.  We didn't have kids ourselves, but we also talked about making kids a priority in a way, but not spoiling them and trying to teach them how to do things on their own.  With kids, you want to teach them to do for themselves and take the patience it needs to let them work it out at their own pace which is the tough part.  If you do it for them, they don't learn how to be able to take care of themselves and that leads to kids having more problems if they figure everyone will always do everything for them.  We would also talk about 'sex signals' where instead of saying something out right, you would just rub your finger a certain way to let your partner know or such.  Sometimes, you can't always tell.  And Karen would be like, "Well, I don't have that problem with Ace.  I can always tell.  It's kind of hard, sorry about that, to miss."  And we would always try to work in 'work together' as being essential.  "If we work together, we can get things done quicker and that leaves more time for other things.  And time is the key to a lasting relationship.  Because with a good relationship, time always seems to fly by and you keep hoping that time will last and continue, where as with a bad relationship, time seems to drag on and you keep hoping for it to be over soon but it never is."  We would also talk about jealousy and Karen would admit that she would get jealous and Karen would say that I didn't get jealous.  And we talked about the reason behind jealousy and people feeling inferior or superior to others and how Karen and I found out that when we thought of each other as equals that the jealousy went away.  We both cared a lot about each other but Karen would get worried about me finding someone else and such because of her past experiences.  And that was the problem with jealousy, you think about losing someone instead of enjoying the times you have together.  And as far as myself, I explained, "I only want Karen to be happy and Karen is a people person.  If Karen were to find someone else, I still wish for her to be happy even if she wasn't with me.  But we both noticed that neither one of us was happy without the other.  Karen and I were apart for about two years and absence makes the heart grow fonder.  But with Karen being a people person, I know Karen is going to meet other people.  It's Karen's nature to make as many friends as possible and talk to as many people as possible as you've noticed.  Karen would not be happy cooped up by herself with no one but me or herself to talk to.  And Karen and I both realize that the more people we talk to, the more ideas we get, and the better we feel.  But after meeting others and such, we still have that special bond between us where we enjoy coming back to that someone special after we've been away from each other.  We are just so comfortable with each other because we know each other like the backs of our hands.  But that's us and everyone is different, so what works for one may not work for others.  And sometimes it may not work at all and you may need to move on to something that works.  The grass may seem greener on the other side, but a lot of times when you get to the other side, the fertilizer smells funny.  You need to find what works best for you and yours.  And no one likes a smart ass so why does Karen worry about someone taking her old man?"  And Karen would be like, "I know, but I miss you and I don't want to lose you again smart ass."  And we would always throw in, "We found out through our own experiences that when you try and help others you end up helping yourself too.  A lot of times we noticed people were having problems because after being a couple, they didn't really talk too much to other people either because someone was jealous or not enough time or such.  And when you talk to others, you get different ideas as different people have different experiences.  We like it when people share experiences together and learn from each other.  And no matter how much you think you know, there's always someone out there that may know something different that you could learn from."  We got caught too with a question.  Nancy asked Karen and me if we were actually like that at home and I confessed that "Karen and I actually only see each other at the school and not outside school.  We don't really do that stuff to each other."  And of course I would bring up how Karen wasn't feeling too well because of her 'monthly visitor' as she called it, and how I really enjoyed her cuddling up on me and taking naps and such.  I knew she wasn't feeling well and at times I would feel kind of guilty because I was enjoying the fact that we were so comfortable together and we could just cuddle up and fall asleep about anywhere together.  And at times, Karen really didn't understand that I really did enjoy just holding her in my arms and falling asleep together.  Honestly, to this day, Karen is still the only woman that I have been able to fall asleep with.

XII. Cousin Patricia's Graduation

Friday, June 19, 1981 was a short day and the final half day of school for the 1980 - 1981 school year.  I am pretty sure (but not positive now) that graduation ceremonies for the graduating class of 1981 were held on Saturday, June 20, 1981.  I remember riding my bicycle by the school stadium on the day of graduation ceremonies for 1981 and thinking that I would be unable to see Karen because I figured Karen's husband would be there with Karen.  While I rode around the stadium entrance, Karen saw me and a couple of the 'couples' people saw me as well and yelled down for me to come up with them.  I locked my bike up and went to the entrance to get in.  Of course you need a ticket to get into the ceremonies and I didn't have one.  But being resourceful and 'street smart' as Karen put it, Karen handed me her ticket through the railing, which I used to get in, then they hand you the ticket back, which I gave back to Karen after I got in.  It worked out well.  After getting in, we went to the back of the stadium.  I did not see Karen's husband Tom either which was a kind of relief.  And yes, Karen and I were glad to see each other again.  A few of the couples from the couples hangout were glad to see Karen and I together again too.  Several of the couples were graduating, but there was still 3 or 4 couples that weren't graduating and were just kind of hanging out.  There was one guy in particular (I think his name was Steve, but not sure, it could have been Alan) was a guy that liked dirty jokes.  Karen knew a lot of dirty jokes over the years too.  So this guy and Karen had been swapping dirty jokes back and forth while I was busy with my exams during the week.  Karen had told me all about it and that Karen was still holding back the better dirty jokes for later.  You know, dirty jokes.  Stuff like, "Why does a woman have two holes close together?  So that when she gets drunk, you can carry her home like a six pack" or "How do you make a woman scream during sex?  Wipe your dick on the curtains" or "What's your flow like?  Linoleum." or "What is grosser than gross?  Biting into a hot dog and finding a vein" or "What do you do with an elephant with 3 balls?  Walk him so you can pitch to the rhino", stuff like that.  As an inside joke, Karen and Alan (I'm pretty sure now it was Alan and not Steve, but still not positive) numbered the jokes and when the other kids would walk by, Karen and Alan would say something like, "He looks like a number 6" or "She looks like a number 17?" and they would both laugh about it together.  They both had a great time with it too and they became good friends.  But we were up there out of the way and kind of reliving the good old days of the couples hangout days.  The stadium was starting to fill up, but there was still a bit of room left yet.  So we kind of had the area to ourselves with a little breathing room.  Next, I am pretty sure it was Karen's husband, Tom, that yells out, "Hey, look, it's Karen Carpenter!" and we see people looking around and it looked like Karen's husband's son was the one that stood up pointing at Karen and me.  Of course Karen and I are looking around and the others are looking around too, and then a couple of the others notice that people are coming our way.  Then the other couples kind of look at Karen and me and then... [Steve or Alan? Austin] says, "No way.  Karen Carpenter's a dork.  You're not a dork, you're cool... I didn't mean it that way, but you?" or something like that.  And Karen shook her head yes and then I think she gave him a hug and I think she said something like, "Thank you.  That's probably one of the best compliments I've ever got."  And I think his face turned beet red as he realized he had been swapping dirty jokes with squeaky clean Karen Carpenter and maybe she wasn't so squeaky clean after all.  And then they see people coming our way so the couples go, "Don't worry, we got your backs covered like always."  And then we came up with a funny plan.  When the people got there we would say, "What's the password?" just to throw them off a little bit.  The password if I remember right was "I don't know".  It seemed easy enough to guess and if they couldn't guess it, we'd tell them, "Pssst, the password is I don't know".  But that way it gave the people a chance to talk a little with Karen and such without it getting too messy with too many people all at once.  A lot of them asked who Karen was there for and Karen said, "My cousin Patricia Carpenter" and some people stayed in the area and others went back to other areas.  But now about cousin Patti.  Patti was a year behind in school.  Patti had some trouble learning some things and started almost giving up feeling like she was never going to graduate.  Patti had to work extra hard to work around the learning block that she had.  It was difficult, but cousin Karen and her family were not going to let Patti give up on herself.  If it takes extra work then so be it, but keep trying and keep doing the best you can do, but don't give up on yourself.  Patti did not give up and was now going to graduate.  The commencement started and the names started being read off and kids started getting their diplomas.  Karen clapped for each person that had their name read and she would do her pinky whistle for the ones she personally knew.  And if you hadn't guessed yet, when the name Patricia Carpenter was read off, there were loud whistles, yells, and applause throughout the stadium and a standing ovation.  And of course with the standing ovation, Karen couldn't really see from where she was.  Yes, Karen got up on my shoulders and she could definitely see and be seen up there.  I made the comment, "Nice" and Karen commented back, "I went commando."  The other couples did the same thing as well with the girls getting up on the guy's shoulders (I think Karen was the only commando though).  And the principal said, "Looks like you've got quite a fan club out there.  Would you like to say a few words" or something like that (not sure now exactly).  And Karen and I started cracking Gerald Ford jokes as Patti went up to the microphone.  And Patti had tears in her eyes as she was so happy and you could hear her tears when she said "Thank you all so very much.  We've all worked so hard to be here and we're so proud that you can be here to share this moment with us and a special thank you to those who wish they could be with us but couldn't because they had other commitments they needed to attend to and I hope you continue your enthusiasm for the others that are graduating as well.  They worked hard too.  Thank you." or something like that (it was difficult to hear her as unlike her cousin Karen or myself, the scorekeeper and announcer, Patti wasn't used to using a microphone) and she got her diploma and more cheers.  I don't remember Patricia's exact words now, but I do remember that her speech was unplanned, unrehearsed, genuine, and very thoughtful of others.  Short, sweet, and to the point.  The Carpenters as I knew them to be.  And Karen was next to me and said, "She deserves this and more.  She's worked so hard to get this.  I'm so proud of her."  And then Karen does her loud whistle with her pinkies in the corners of her mouth and [Alan / Steve?] joined in as well.  At times too, I would come around and I would start wanting to cuddle up with Karen, but we had all these people wanting autographs and such.  I would rest my head on Karen's shoulder and put my arm around her, then Karen would send me out into the crowd to tell people the password because we both wanted to cuddle but we couldn't, so Karen tried to keep me busy.  A newspaper reporter and cameraman came around as well.  Karen tried to get the cameraman to take a picture of Karen and me together and introduced me as her husband, Ace.  The reporter heard my name, Ace, and said something like, "I know you're not Tom, is your name Bubby by chance?"  And I was like, "It used to be."  And the reporter was like, "You're on the blocked list.  I can't."  And the reporter had a small slip of paper that had maybe three names on it and was smaller than an inch long and about three inches wide.  There were only about 3 or 4 names on the list which I believe included Charles Manson and myself, Bubby.  And Karen gave him a mean face for not taking our picture together.  And the reporter was like, "Please don't be like that.  I can't.  It would be my job.  You don't look or sound like the type Bubby.  I have a feeling I am missing out on a bigger story here.  What did you do to get on this list anyway if you don't mind me asking?"  And I just shook my head no and put my hands out and said, "I don't know."  And then Karen says, "His mother was a virgin when he was born and the Church is afraid of him."  And the reporter says, "That explains it.  That explains a lot actually.  You look more like the type to have a halo than horns."  Then I had an idea, I had Karen sit on my lap so that she would be higher up but also so I would be technically not in the picture.  Then a few of the others got behind Karen and we kind of put our arms up to make it look like Karen had 8 or 10 arms on her.  It was really kind of cool and if the pictures had existed, probably would have made an awesome album cover.  I have a feeling that the media kind of deemed it as too hindu for the Carpenters and probably if they hadn't destroyed the pictures, Richard probably did.  No big deal though.  Understood, but still fun.  I didn't see any pictures, but I know there was a write up in the local paper about Karen Carpenter being at the graduation and being mobbed.  Also, I know Karen asked the reporter if he could forward stuff to her brother because her brother always liked collecting newspaper stories and such about Karen and him.  It would have been probably the June 21st or June 22nd 1981 (Corning) The Leader paper as well as possibly the Elmira Star Gazette also.  After the reporter showed up, Karen's Uncle Jack and Aunt ? showed up as well and sat behind us.  Karen and I heard a familiar gruff italian sounding voice say, "dull rusty butter knives" behind us and Karen went from sitting in my lap to sitting in the seat next to me.  Karen and I weren't quite as rowdy as we were before.  Karen and her Uncle Jack talked for a little bit as privately as possible.  Karen's Uncle Jack talked with me a little bit as well and I remember him saying at the end, "...I don't like him.  He chickened out and had his balls (nuts?) cut off by a doctor before I could get to him...  I still remember the day my mother smiled.  She passed away peacefully in her sleep God rest her soul.  You both still have my blessings" and then Karen's Uncle Jack started getting rowdy too with us so I guess it all worked out.  And remember, if you messed up and your balls (nuts?) are still attached, then you don't know Jack (Carpenter).  As far as the 'finger pointer'?  Thanks.  I know it was meant to be mean and create problems for Karen since Karen was not one to like being the center of attention and being mobbed.  But then too, Karen and her cousin Patricia were very happy about the result of an awesome graduation for a person that had worked very hard for that wonderful moment that could never be taken away from her.  And yes, she is Patricia as Patti had grown up now and realized that giving up on yourself was not all it was cracked up to be.  You never know what you might be able to do until you try.  And sometimes you may have to try harder than others.  And others may even need to try harder than you.

XIII. Conclusion (1981)

What came of this : Karen Carpenter (Edna) and I (Enoch) came together as best we could under the circumstances.  No Methuselah, Lamech, or Noah and after thinking a bit, no Rahula either.  I (Lord Metatron) would definitely rather spend eternity wanting to make out with Karen (Lady Metatron) than have Karen spend an eternity wiping dirt off my cheek.  Karen also pronounced Enoch as Ē nō ch (long e, long o, not a k but a ch sound as in chip as Karen said that one time).  As far as I know, Karen has been the only one with a regressed memory of Edna, Methuselah's mother / mom and therefore I feel her pronounciation of Enoch carries more weight than anyone else's pronounciation or mispronounciation as the case may be.  Buddha is another story as are Karen and Ace too.  Isn't that what life is about, stories?


When : February 4, 1983

Where : Me, Corning, NY / Karen, Downey, CA

Who : Miss Bihuniak (Karen Carpenter)

I. Remembering February 4, 1983

What happened : I did not hear about it that I remember.  I probably did hear about it, but I most likely blanked it out of my mind.  If it was over the school anouncements, it would have been Jay Felli's voice.  I would have been in Corning, NY at the time.  Karen died.  Karen's heart just stopped.  Karen said to me on the day before that her visitor would be starting soon and maybe Karen mixed up pills or possibly was just too underweight to deal with her visitor starting.  Karen usually took Midol for her visitor.  Also, menstrual cycles usually cause nausea and vomiting so taking ipecac syrup sounds a bit far-fetched.  Also, no ipecac syrup container let alone containers as accused anywhere to be found.  Karen was 108 pounds when she died, not 80 or 84 as another said.  That rules out Karen being too underweight.  Karen was nude (actually, Karen told me she preferred the word nude over naked) when her mother found her in her brother’s walk–in closet.  Karen weighed herself once a week (in the nude) on Friday mornings and she had hidden the scales in her brother’s room.  Karen was nude so not sure where the red jogging suit or the Ativan (sedative?) came from in the autopsy report.  No foul play or such.  It was just Karen's time.  Karen's time (number) was up and that was that.  Who knows how long Karen may have been dead before her mother found her, five seconds, five minutes, not too long, but Karen was dead.  They took her to the hospital rather than bring the coroner to the house and all that mess.  Even with a celebrity, they don't bring a person out of a house with a sheet over them on a stretcher unless they are dead.  You can't suffocate a corpse.  No marks or anything to indicate a struggle or foul play.  Like said, Karen's heart just stopped before Karen's mom, Agnes, found her.  And the reason why Karen's mother found her is because Karen had a court date to sign divorce papers and was not downstairs yet.  Cardiac arrest; Karen's heart stopped.  Karen died. 

When my grandfather, Zeke, passed away in 1986, my uncle Gary was an EMT at the time and arrived at my grandfather's house with my grandfather motionless on the couch.  Almost immediately, my uncle said, "I think I just felt a pulse" and they brought the stretcher in and took my grandfather away.  Like my uncle Gary said to me, "I didn't actually get a pulse, but if they pronounce him dead at the hospital or in the ambulance then it isn't as messy.  If a person is found dead in a house then they have to bring in the coroner and the coroner has to try and determine time of death and the cause of death and the body can't be moved and all this other stuff which just gets to be a big headache and a bigger mess than it needs to be especially for an older person.  I had a couple calls where after the husband or wife was declared dead, the wife or husband of the dead person had a heart attack themselves on the spot.  So if we can get the person to the hospital before declaring them dead, especially around older people, the better chance we have of saving someone else if something more happens.  About the only time a person is declared dead on the scene is if the person lived alone, a probable crime scene or the paramedic is a rookie and doesn't know any better."

II. What is meant by Karen's heart just stopped?

(April 8, 2020) Good question.  It has been kind of explained to me what happened only I forgot one part of this.  Anyway, I will try to explain as best as possible so that most people can understand this, myself included.  Karen's Toxicology Report was very interesting for several reasons but the biggest thing that should stand out (and was overlooked by the coroner or whoever prepared the report) is that a condition known as hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) was present.  Not a slight, but HIGH.  A level of 800 or higher is considered very high and a normal level is around 100.  Karen's level was 1106.  Over ten times normal and a definite cause for concern as a level of 800 or more can cause a person to become dizzy and pass out.  On top of this was another cause for concern, Karen's very low potassium level.  The third part of this is what I forgot and I can not remember if it was sodium, iron, nitrogen, or such, but the third part was very low as well in Karen's Toxicology Report.  As the numbers indicated, Karen's heart stopped.  Honestly.  That was what happened.  It has the nickname of "the Death Spike" and is fatal in all cases where this happens as this natural process was what was used as the basis for 'lethal injection'.  The 'spike' is because the body sees something as being wrong and out of balance, so the body produces and releases an enormous amount of glucol (blood sugar) into the system in a short period.  About the best way I can explain this in layman's terms is that Karen's body suddenly produced enough internal glycerine tablets to stop a rhinoceros' heart as it was explained to me.  Glycerine tablets (nitro glycerine) are what are used to lower blood pressure and slow the heart.  The body naturally has a way of producing this.  With the low potassium and other (sodium?) level, it was apparent that Karen's body had produced enough glycerine (tablets) in her system that Karen's heart had stopped and there was no way that anyone could have got her heart to start beating again on its own.  The person explaining this to me also explained that this is usually very sudden and painless.  The person just passes out and dies within 5 minutes as their heart just stops beating.  No chest pains or such.  No physical damage to the heart.  But the process is a natural process that can happen in certain people unexpectedly and without warning.  It can also be a gradual process too with levels adjusting slowly over time.  If Karen had been a rhinoceros or even an elephant, Karen did not stand a chance.  And it was not really diet or medicines or weight or physical damage or such that caused this either.  But that was also why this doctor asked me if I knew what Karen might have had to eat the night before.  Karen had not said that to me, so I didn't know.  But according to other sources, Karen had eaten out at a restaurant the night before and not sure what she ordered (spaghetti possibly?, no idea really).  Karen's body had somehow sent the wrong message at the wrong time internally and that was that.  Instant internal lethal injection.  Gone.  Suddenly and unexpectedly but gone.  Nobody's fault.  These chemical imbalances were also probably the reason why Karen had been having arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) over the years.  Not really a heart attack, coronary, aneurysm, stroke (brain), or such, so not really sure what to call this or what category it might fit under.

(Added on July 3, 2020) And about the autopsy report.  What a mess that is.  (A) EMETINE CARDIOTOXICITY DUE TO AS AS A CONSEQUENCE OF (B) ANOREXIA NERVOSA Anatomical Summary: I. Pulmonary edema and congestion II. Anorexia Nervosa (clinical). III. Cachexia. IV. Distended abdomen. V. Dehydration. VI. Congestion of liver and spleen. VII. Hyperplasia of porta lymph nodes. VIII. Distention of bowel.  A break down is that later Karen's heart is listed as being normal.  Karen has fluid in her lungs (I), Karen weighs 108 pounds which is considered average for a 5'4" female which kind of negates the Anorexia Nervosa (II), Cachexia is a medical term for low birth weight or a preemie but no aneurysm found (III), Distended abdomen (stomach is sticking out) (IV), Dehydration (side affect of diabetes/hyperglycemia, shhh) (V), Congestion of liver and spleen (VI), Hyperplasia of portal lymph nodes (slight swelling of lymph node under jaw, left side, note, not the thyroid) (VII), Distension of bowel which explains distended abdomen in #IV (VIII).  In the toxicology report later it lists Karen's blood sugar level as being over 1100 (a person's average blood sugar level is around 100 so 11 times higher than average yet hyperglycemia [high blood sugar level] is missed by the coroner).  Most people pass out at a blood sugar level around 800 to 900.  A person put to death by 'lethal injection' usually has a blood sugar level between 1300 and 1450.  Yes, 100%, a blood sugar level above 1100 will cause a person's heart to stop beating.  The Emetine level was .46 ml which is roughly the equivalent of a small drop (if that) and as it has never been studied as to how long emetine may stay in a person, no idea how long this small drop of emetine may have been in Karen's system but the drop is listed as 'residua (leftover)' opposed to 'active' or 'recent'.  Cardiotoxicity of a normal heart?  That would actually be a blood sugar level over 1100 which would cause the heart to stop beating but that would be a toxicity to the nerves that tell the heart to beat and not actually toxic to the heart itself.  Karen's heart and aorta are later listed as being normal.  Oops.  And also (for a little levity here), Karen also had athlete's foot (tinea pedis) which she figured she had picked up from taking showers after gym class when she was in middle school in Connecticut which was why Karen opted to take marching band instead of gym class when Karen started going to high school in Downey California.  But unfortunately Karen was not able to tell the coroner this so that the coroner could add that information to the autopsy report.  And Karen had one cavity that was filled too (As Karen later said, “All natural.  Just little old me.  The way God intended me to be plus that one filled cavity because I didn’t brush my teeth good enough after eating DOTS candy at a movie theatre”).  And to add here, Karen was found on her brother’s floor near his walk-in closet.  Karen usually weighed herself in the nude on Friday mornings and I am fairly sure that the weight scales had been hidden in Richard’s room on that Friday.  Someone grabbed a red jump suit (most likely out of Richard’s closet).  Inside this jump suit (that probably had not been worn since most likely the late 1970’s) was found a bottle of I believe Antivan.  Who was taking pills for sleep problems?  What room was Karen found in?  Karen usually wore pastel colors, so red jump suit?  How long had that jump suit been sitting in Richard’s walk-in closet before one of the paramedics, that noticed Karen in the nude, grabbed the jump suit so that Karen might have something to wear after recovery (which Karen didn’t recover but it is the thought here that counts).  The expiration date on those pills was 1/10/83 which is exactly 4 years after Richard was admitted into Meninger's Clinic on 1/10/79.  Yes, fiction writers taking information out of context yet again to try and promote some whacked out story that just does not sound right upon closer examination of the facts.  And another fact, lymph node, not thyroid.  And a bigger note too.  Karen had told me that she had her tattoo of a rose removed (the needle marks near the groin area as that was where the tattoo had been located) I believe around mid January 1983 and during the process, Karen had contracted jaundice (hepatitus).  The lump in her lymph node was because of her tattoo being removed and a ‘dirty’ needle.  I believe it also says that Karen’s thyroid (around the voice box) had been damaged too.  They had put Karen on a life support machine and as stated in the autopsy report, the breathing tube from that machine had been left behind.  The damage to her thyroid was physical and from the breathing tube of the life support machine.

III. February 3, 1983, Karen's phone call to me (@ 8 PM EDST or @ 5 PM Pacific I believe)

On the day before, February 3rd, I had got a phone call from Karen telling me that her divorce came through and asking me to take an overnight bag with a suit, tie, shoes, birth certificate, toothbrush, and something to sleep in into school with me the next day and that Karen would be coming by the school to pick me up.  I also added deodorant too.  The phone call started out with me being downstairs in the basement playing drums I believe to records and my mother or father yells down, "Ace, you have a phone call.  Someone named Karen."  Now, mind you, I rarely got phone calls, maybe once a year and I am like, "Karen who?"  And my parent was like, "How should I know, just pick up the phone."  So I stopped playing drums and answered the phone in a cranky voice, "Hello, who is this?"  And the voice on the other end goes, "That's a fine how do you do, I ought to hang up on you right now.  Karen who.  This is Karen, remember me?  I sure am not going to tell your parents who I am and I shouldn't have to tell you either.  This is Karen, you know, Karen."  And I was like, "Sorry, I didn't recognize you at first and I rarely get a phone call.  Hold on a second because I have a feeling someone is still on the other line."  And then I hear a click and then, "OK, I think we're good.  How've you been?"  And Karen was like, "My divorce goes through tomorrow and I need you to... (and then Karen talks about picking me up the next day and us eloping)".  Karen then goes, "Was that you playing?  You sound a little off."  And I was like, "Yeah, just a second..."  And then I went over to the drums and played a little bit then I kind of shut down and turned off the record player.  Then I picked up the phone and Karen was like, "Was that what I think it was?"  And I was like, "Yeah, monotone.  I have been playing one-handed lately with my left hand to make my right hand jealous so that maybe my right hand might learn to cooperate more.  It's not really working though.  As you can tell I'm healing the stick on the snare which makes a dead hit sound and sounds a bit off.  I'm working on it though."  And Karen was like, "Monotone.  I can't even do that.  Only thirteen people can do that, well I guess fourteen now.  You'll have to show me some time."  I then say, "There is a secret to it that I stumbled upon by accident.  It's more about stick control than speed.  You have to keep the sticks low to the drum head and not too much pressure because you don't want the sticks to bounce off the drum head too much.  I'll definitely show you some time.  Is Richard going to be our best man?"  And Karen said, "Actually, Richard is a little upset at me now.  I have been playing a prank on him about me getting another manager because I need an excuse as to why I am flying out tomorrow.  I have been telling my friends that I have plans to get another manager too so that Richard doesn't get suspicious.  I realize that after we get married that some people might not be too keen on you being my husband because of your age, so I am using this manager story as a reason why I am flying out to New York instead of telling people I am planning to elope with you.  It is going really well so far.  But Richard thinks that I am looking to replace him so Richard is a bit upset at me lately, but he'll get over it."  And I was like, "Oh what a tangled web we weave, but I understand somewhat.  But still, you know how every time we try to be sneaky, something goes haywire.  You have me kind of worried now.  Has anyone asked who this great manager is yet?"  And Karen was like, "Not yet and that's kind of another great part of my plan.  I'll just tell people that Richard is my great manager.  It'll work.  OK, I know it's kind of a flimsy plan, but it can't be helped at the last minute.  It's all I got.  If I told them I was wanting to get married again after all that I went through with Tom they would have me locked up and throw away the key.  I also took most of my money out of my accounts just in case Tom tried to pull a fast one after signing the divorce papers.  Can’t be too cautious you know.  I stuck the money in a shoe box in my closet.  Anyway, after I get back I can explain it all to them.  After all the stuff I went through with Tom, I know that everyone would be really worried about me getting married again so soon.  I really want to get married to you though.  I've waited so long for this.  I miss you so much."  And I was like, "I miss you too, but what makes you think I really want to marry you?  It seems like you've been burning the candle at both ends and in the middle and sowing your wild oats all over the place.  But really you're special to me and not because of your career and such but because of all our wonderful memories we have together.  Remember when we tried sneaking out the back door?  OK, you're right.  I've been miserable without you too.  You got me.  I do."  And Karen was like, "I do too.  I like the sound of that."  And I was like, "Me too.  It sounds great and so do you saying it.  I can't wait until we get to say it to each other in person.  I hope this all works out."  Karen was like, "Me too, otherwise I may need another manager.  But then too, you could earn your keep.  How hard can it be answering the phone once in a while and say yes or no?  That's about all I've ever seen managers do."  Karen also mentioned talking with Phil Ramone and that Phil wanted to work with Karen again.  And I was like, “I bet after the last time.  What was it a half million and he took all your good stuff and gave it to Michael Jackson and left you with not much.  OK, tell you what, as your new manager Phil can produce you so long as we get the cash up front.  Do you think we could live off five million because you know Phil tried to ruin your career before so if we let him back in again we need to consider your career being over if that makes sense.”  And Karen was like, “Perfect sense, but five million is a bit low really, we probably ought to just start out at ten million and if he says no, it jumps to fifteen and more each time.”  And I was like, “Now you’re talking.  Get while the getting’s good.  And if he don’t want to get got, then we’re better off anyway without him.  There are plenty of other fish in the sea.  And besides, you get tired of being used as shark bait all the time.”  And Karen was like, “You got that right.”  Karen also said that she had told Tom over the phone that she didn't care and would give Tom a million if he would just sign the papers and get out of her life.  Karen also said that she would never put that in writing, but she was figuring that Tom was greedy enough to "take the bait" and sign.  Karen then said, "I never told him a million what, just a million."  I am pretty sure that I said, "OK, so Tom gets a couple down jackets, a couple down pillows, and a down blanket.  Maybe just a down mattress even.  A million duck feathers.  Even better, how about a million thank yous for getting out of your life and not trying to make you feel miserable all of the time?  Thank you; thank you; thank you; thank you...  Just make a tape and he can play it as many times as he wants.  That's cool."  And Karen was like, "Actually, Tom said he wasn't interested in the million and he said that if I wanted the divorce that bad that he would just sign the papers and be done with it.  I think it's about the only nice thing I can remember he's done for me since we've been married."  And I was like, "After all the stuff with Tom, if you want a prenuptual agreement, I understand and I definitely would sign it.  You know that all I want is just you anyway, and if you didn't want me anymore; I would leave; no problems.  I'd give you the clothes off my back so that when I left I would have a place to stay after getting arrested for indecent exposure."  And I am pretty sure that Karen said, "Who was your cell mate again?"  And I was like, "Bruce"  (Note, I never was in prison or such, so 'Brooth' aka Bruce was an inside joke between us about being butt raped in prison from 1979 after the 'Max' incident.  Yes, Karen and my odd sense of humor again).  And she was like, "That's right.  Bruce is going to have to find someone else because you are mine.  I figured you would say something like that which is why I plan on getting a house with a big yard and a tall fence that the neighbors can't see over.  That way you can just wander around the yard until you're ready to come back in.  I'll just grab some popcorn and enjoy the show.  Honestly, with what we've been through, we both know that you aren't capable of doing anything that would hurt my feelings, let alone get the cops called on you.  I am not going to let you get away that easily.  I had thought about a prenup, like you said, because of Tom, but you're not Tom.  Tom couldn't break my heart.  If you and I got a divorce, it would honestly break my heart and I know it would break yours too.  I honestly thought about it and after thinking, I don't want a prenup because I honestly don't ever want to think about going through another marriage or divorce again after we get married."  And I am pretty sure I said back, "I agree.  For life and forever."  And I am very sure that Karen said, "I like what you just said and I definitely agree.  Now that we got that out of the way..."  And then I was like, "I got a confession to make because you'd find out anyway because we can see each other's thoughts, but when I was little I had the mumps twice on both sides and at the start of school this year they forced me to take the Measles and Mumps shot and I'm probably sterile."  And Karen was like, "You're not getting out of it that easily.  I've heard about that and we'll just put some ice packs around your testes.  It'll be a bit awkward at first but we'll get used to it.  You know us, we'll figure it out."  And I was like, "Thanks.  Yeah, we'll figure it out.  Ice makes it nice or whatever..."  Karen told me that she had a dog and that she wanted to make it perfectly clear that I was not going to be allowed to spoil her dog.  Karen was like, "I know you and you're not going to spoil (him / her)."  And I was like, "Please, just a little.  You know I love dogs, not that way, but you know."  And Karen giggled and said, "I know, but no.  You are not spoiling (him / her); that's final.  (He / She) sleeps on the floor."  And I was like, "I'm sitting here naked talking, how about you?"  And Karen was like, "Me too."  And then I go, "You and me make horrible liars but it was worth a shot."  And we both started laughing.  Karen asked me if I "drove stick" and I said "No, not yet."  And Karen was like, "Well my car is stick so I'll have my cousin Wendy pick me up and get me at the airport (and I am pretty sure Karen said "in Rochester") but maybe I'll teach you later."  I told her that I would need to drop off my car at the house before we left and that she could follow me there.  We would then take a blood test together and wait in a hotel room for two days and then see a Justice of the Peace.  Karen said that she wanted our marriage to be just plain and simple like us.  We agreed.  No big fanfare or such, just us.  It wasn't because of her previous marriage or such, it was just that we were not really wanting anything elaborate ourselves.  A big wedding just wasn't us.  Karen also warned me that her visitor (menstrual cycle) would be starting soon.  We also talked about Karen's "public image" and that Karen was tired of the business trying to push this 'sex appeal' and 'sex sells' stuff.  Karen was wanting to stay with her 'girl next door' image.  Karen was never one to show off and such and she was always body conscious to begin with.  Karen wanted to stay with being just plain Karen with the freckles.  Karen was tired of being thought of as a 'barbie doll' and wanted to be thought of as someone that was more than just looks.  I commented back that I always thought Karen was her "most beautiful as the girl next door" anyway and that the 'sexy' image made Karen seem 'trashy'.  Karen knew I was never the jealous type anyway and I wanted Karen to appear sexy and desirable and beautiful, not cheap and trashy and just out for a good time.  But business is business.  And Karen and I both agreed that Karen's public image was Karen's own business to do with as she wished and it was best if I just stayed in the background.  Karen said, "If asked, I liked your most beautiful as the girl next door comment, but try to stay away from that trashy talk stuff.  I know what you meant, but others might take it the wrong way."  And I was like, "I know what you mean and I agree.  Keep it simple in public.  Keep it positive and avoid put downs and such that can be taken the wrong way."  And she was like, "I know you'll do alright.  You've always had a good head on your shoulders about that kind of stuff."  Karen also talked about being in New York for about a year and her experience there.  And before the rest of this here I need to try and sort some stuff out that Karen and I talked about coming up here.  First, as far as Karen herself, in this, some very strange things happened that Karen talked about and because Karen didn't know all the details, Karen couldn't say for sure just that she knew something wasn't right about Itchie and Levenkron.  And Itchie and Levenkron here as Karen was caught in the middle of something and neither her nor I knew the rest of this that is coming up at the time and I only had what Karen had told me in this conversation to go on here.  I did, however, get some information indirectly, but without a direct answer from Itchie or Levenkron (which won't ever happen) I can say what happened, but I still don't know exactly the reason(s) why only there are some major problems there.  First, later Karen mentions the pill incident when she checked into Levenkron's clinic with just Karen, Itchie and Levenkron there.  Karen is correct in that they weren't her pills.  Not mentioned by Karen (as it probably didn't happen) was other pill finding events (as elsewhere since then was a mention by Itchie saying she found pills in Karen's room and took them to Levenkron.  Karen didn't have pills outside aspirins, Pamprins or Midols in New York City).  What has also popped up has been that supposedly the name on these pill bottles was Karen Burris.  Note, Karen never had identification for a Karen Burris and to pick up prescriptions in the 1980s, you needed identification.  On top of that is the date on that pill bottle of August 1981 and the story of Karen saying that she took 10 pills a day.  Bullsh*t.  There is no way a pill bottle dated August 1981 would have a prescription for a Karen Burris at 10 pills a day lasting until January 1982 or such.  Karen did tell me she was forced to sign a paper about it when she checked into the clinic in January 1982 (and on that paper was a listing of six items that Karen had no idea what those six items were) and Karen says later that she was also threatened to be taken to Bellevue Hospital if she tried to say anything so she kept quiet and just signed the paper but also since she was being accused of being a liar if she spoke up, Karen said she became a liar as Karen was one if you were going to accuse her of something, she was going to do it rather than being falsely accused.  And another thing, there honestly were not any pills or such in Karen's condo or her room after she passed away.  I am pretty sure that Richard checked and I know that Karen's place was clean.  With Karen passing away suddenly and such, Richard wanted to make sure that if there was something that it was found that might explain why Karen passed away so suddenly.  There wasn't anything to find unfortunately or fortunately depending on how you want to look at this.  But with finding something, Karen passing away suddenly would be easier to explain, but honestly, there wasn't anything there so it was a bit more difficult to accept the suddenness I guess you could say.  There wasn't any cover up or such as if there had been ipecac or such found, then that could help explain it, but like said, nothing.  Karen's condo and her room were clean.  Richard's red jogging suit had the AntiVax or AntiVan or whatever from the late 1970s in the pocket.  As far as Itchie, Karen was around Itchie to make sure that they didn't try to sneak off and release Karen's solo album somehow behind Karen's back.  After so many incidents (1979 to 1982), Karen did not trust Itchie or Phil at all and as Richard had said to Karen in mid May 1979, "in business, you keep your friends close but your enemies closer so you know what they are up to".  Karen did NOT want her solo album released as she didn't want to deal with the adverse publicity as Karen was not looking to ever leave her brother or the Carpenters group or hear rumors in the tabloids or newspapers about it either.  Karen had told me that in 1982, her and Itchie had an argument and during that argument Karen asked Itchie the “64 thousand dollar question” as it was called back then.  Karen said she just came out and asked Itchie if Itchie had been trying to get Karen fired from A&M Records.  Itchie never answered that question according to Karen on February 3, 1983.  So, yeah, some really screwed up and messy situations here that Karen was dealing with.  As far as Levenkron, you have to be able to prove it.  Had Levenkron never came forward after Karen passed away, it would have been a moot issue.  But Levenkron did go public and stuff between a patient and a client is supposed to stay between that patient and client.  That was broken in 1993 beyond repair with Levenkron doing the "A Current Affair" show.  With the patient / client confidentiality broken by Levenkron there in 1993, hopefully privately Richard sued Levenkron's a** off over that (and since it would be a legal proceeding, kept quiet and should remain that way whether a lawsuit was actually filed or not).  But yes, one big mess here and I know Karen felt stuck between a rock and a hard place with Levenkron and Itchie and Phil.  The truth lies in honesty and there is never a big mess with honesty.  But information one way checks out whereas other information is a mess and I have seen stories change on one side, but not the other.  Truths check out, stories don't check out and stories tend to change over time.  After going over the autopsy later here, the truth about Karen's room and condo checks out.  The stories about Karen RECENTLY taking pills and ipecac don't check out.  The ipecac was in Karen's liver and not in her blood so it was not recent (and no one knows how long that stuff stays in the system, but with it being only in the liver, it was not recent and could have been anywhere from a couple weeks to 3 months or even longer before, but not recent within the last week or so as no emetine was found in her blood, just her liver and had gone through her system).  It is what it is, a mess to try and sort out here.  But what I feel needs to be stated by me here is that there were definite problems as far as this situation with Karen and Itchie and Levenkron.  I would honestly hope that this is an isolated incident and with Karen's celebrity status involved, I would hope that stories and trying to spread rumors and such that don't pan out would stop and not be attempted again.  An author (not a doctor or MD or PhD) which raises more eyebrows on my part here considering these questionable circumstances and hoping lessons learned as I am not liking what I see with this mess but it is what it is and rather than blame or such, just hoping that no one should ever have to go through something again like what I wrote about here.  And honestly, had Levenkron never gone on "A Current Affair" in 1993, I would have never felt the need to write this and I would have left this part out which is the real mess here because as stated, information is supposed to be kept confidential and it looks bad to me for the leaker when that information isn't kept confidential.  And then the Itchie stuff on top of this increases my skepticism even more.  As far as Karen and Synthroid.  You are kidding, right?  You're not?  Well, let me put it this way, hypothyroidism is marked by fatigue where the thyroid is not producing enough hormone and thusly the heart does not beat as fast.  Hyperthyroidism is where there is an overabundance of thyroid hormone being produced which would cause the heart to beat faster.  Synthroid and other type hormone supplements for the thyroid are for treating hypothyroidism.  Taking Synthroid would speed up the heart rate for a short while, not stop it.  Karen's heart stopped.  NO, Karen had not been taking Synthroid or other such medications if her heart stopped as the heart rate would elevate slightly but then return to normal not just stop.  Now back to the program here.  Karen said something like, "I was in your neck of the woods and I had an apartment in New York City for a year and I was looking to see the author, Steven Levenkron.  It was all over the papers.  I was looking to sow my wild oats, so to speak, and I still remember you saying that to me.  That was funny.  Probably my third best memory of you.  My second best of course is when you sang Close To You with the trumpet sounds and all of that.  That was great.  But my greatest was when we had our first real kiss, not that other junk that happened.  I just melted.  I really loved his book and I wanted to meet him.  He is nothing like his book would suggest.  He is a manipulator.  He is more of a manipulator than Thomas ever thought of being.  He is a master manipulator.  When I first checked in he dumped the contents of my purse out and you know my purse, I just had a couple pads, a few aspirins, a couple Pamprin, some laxatives, my wallet and pictures and tissues and makeup and stuff.  Nothing bad really.  You know me.  I have nothing to hide.  Next thing I know, I'm a kleptomaniac that I don't know about and it looks like I had been raiding people's medicine cabinets while sleepwalking as well evidently.  I had no idea what this stuff was, but I have a list from the paperwork he gave me and we can look it up sometime."  And I was like, "Do they have the iris system out there, because I have an iris library card now if needed."  And Karen said, "Yeah we have iris out here too.  We can try it when you get out here.  It should work.  I know there were only three of us in that room and I know I didn't put that stuff in there."  And I was like, "What about the hallway or the elevator?"  And Karen was like, "No one in the hallway, but there were a couple men behind us in the elevator on the way up but they were back a little ways and not right behind us.  Steven then told me that if I tell anyone about this that he will call me a liar in front of the whole group and sign papers to have me committed to Bellevue.  And you know me when people accuse me of things.  I'm not going to let people accuse me of things if they aren't true.  He threatened to call me a liar so I became a liar.  He strung me along for a year and I finally got my visit from him.  After my visit from Steven, and he let me call him Steven, I left about three and a half months ago after being in the hospital again.  [Somebody] dared me to drink a case (six pack?) of ipecac and you know me and my dares.  No one is going to call me chicken.  So I ended up in the hospital before I left.  I can only imagine what the people there thought about me in the therapy sessions.  I just made up a bunch of stuff for the therapy sessions.  People aren't supposed to talk about that stuff outside of the group meetings and so I had a little fun with it and made up some wild stories.  So if you hear some rumors about me that don't seem true, they aren't.  Just consider the source and if the source is someone from the looney bin, you'll know.  I also had a breakdown while I was there.  A meltdown actually.  It was supposed to be a meeting with just me and my family but Itchie knew about it too.  I don't know how Itchie knew about it, but she did.  It was just awful.  And of course they tried to blame it all on my family again and they tried to force me and my mom to hug again.  Another setup and of course they keep trying to blame my family for it.  Like I said back when, my mom is not a hugger; my mom is a thinker.  But what do I know?  I just started crying because the way they treated my mom and my brother was horrible.  I didn't blame them for leaving after that.  I wished I could have left with them too, but I'd signed the papers.  I figured Steven would have me committed to Bellevue if I told him and Itchie what I really thought of them after what they did to me and my family that day.  I just kept my mouth shut after that.  My family left and I was all alone again with no one that really cared about me.  After my meltdown, I went to a very deep, dark place and I didn't care anymore.  I don't suggest going there.  It is not a good place.  Evil Karen lives there.  There is nothing good that survives there.  Not even you."  And I was like, "I was there with you.  I know.  Evil Ace, remember?"  And Karen was like, "How could you be there, what have you ever done that was evil?"  And I was like, "Remember Max against the wall and all that, then my backing Phil and Itchie into a corner so that you stayed until the end of school, and of course Tom avoiding us at the graduation ceremonies.  I know my mom was a virgin when I was born but how soon we forget that, like you, I'm not exactly Mr. goody two shoes all the time."  And Karen was like, "I remember now.  The arm that reached in and pulled me out.  That WAS you that brought me back.  Thanks."  And I was like, "Don't mention it.  Really, don't.  I like the surprised looks on people's faces when they meet Evil Ace for the first time and become scared sh*tless."  And Karen was like, "Don't worry, I won't mention it.  I like seeing the surprised looks on their faces too.  Anyway, after that I was focused on just do whatever and get out of there.  It's all marketing and advertising and that kind of stuff with slogans and gimmicks and such and none of that stuff works with me.  I'm not really a motivated person if you remember correctly.  What finally got me to stop was when I thought back to you and when you quit smoking.  You just came right out and said that you needed to quit because you had better things to do than waste your time smelling like an ashtray so you quit smoking.  I was so proud of you which is why I started crying that one time if you remember.  You chose me and I never asked you to choose; you just did it on your own.  And I was so proud of you because you chose me.  Not the superstar, me.  You wanted to be with me."  And I was like, "That was a real no brainer.  I just looked at you and I wanted to kiss and hold you so bad and I had this stupid thing sticking out of my mouth, so I quit.  It was that easy."  Then she said, "I realized I had better things to do than to worry about losing weight and ending up in the looney bin again, so I quit worrying about losing weight.  It's been working so far.  I told myself that I am only going to step on the scales once a week and I'm sticking to it.  I weigh myself on Friday mornings.  Anyway, Steven told me that he wasn't interested in me and it showed.  I got more satisfaction from my little pinky than from him.  Don't worry, he doesn't hold a candle compared to you."  And if you know me I couldn't help but say, "Can I hold the candle too.  It sounds like fun.  Twisting it around and around and in and out and..."  And she started to laugh a little over the phone and she was like, "No candles.  No artificial ingredients or preservatives.  Just little old me.  You know me.  Remember the auditorium?"  And I was like, "How could I forget that.  We knocked over the cymbals and then...  Front row center.  We forgot where we were and then someone opened the door and we both had that oops look on our faces because we forgot where we were.  That works too I guess.  Are you sure?"  And Karen was like, "I'm positive."  And then I was like, "What about a jack hammer to make your teeth rattle?"  And Karen was like, "No.  My teeth are fine and I want them to stay that way."  And we both laughed again.  And I was like, "I miss seeing you laugh."  And Karen was like, "I miss you too, but we'll see each other tomorrow."  I also asked Karen if she wanted me to bring a bib for when we drooled in our sleep at the hotel and she said her favorite words, "Smart ass".  We also sang, "Row row row your boat" together over the phone for a little bit.  Karen also told me that her and Richard were going to start touring again soon so it would be a short honeymoon.  Karen never showed up.  The last part of our conversation was about Karen’s big secret.  Karen’s biggest secret was that when she met people she would tell them a secret and see who ‘blabbed’ about it.  Karen learned this from her mom.  If someone blabbed, no more secrets and Karen would hide stuff from those that blabbed or, like her husband, those who weren’t honest with her to begin with, Karen would hide stuff from them too.  The last part of our phone call before Karen hung up was a bit odd.  Karen said, “I can tell by your voice and you can probably tell by my voice that I’m a little nervous too.  Like you, I remember that when we try to be sneaky, something always seems to go wrong.  You know about me and my secrets and you are the one who holds my secrets as I have about 10 secrets from Richard now which you know.  The shoe box in the closet, my hair dresser, us eloping, my Bible stash, that past life stuff, the therapy stuff, Max and Tom.  Actually, you know all but but one or two of my secrets [slight pause] thinking about it, you know them too don’t you?”  And I was like, “Yup, but don’t worry those are safe with me too.”  And then Karen continued, “If something should happen to me or go wrong, you know how I feel about blabbing, I give you permission to blab if needed.  I leave that up to you.  As you know, I trust you and I feel you wouldn’t tell unless it was necessary.  Is that clear?”  And I was like, “Crystal clear.”  And then I said, “We’ve talked a while so we probably ought to go so you and I can get some rest for our day tomorrow.  Who am I kidding, we’re both excited and we both aren’t going to sleep anyway and we both know it.”  And Karen was like, “I’m fine.  I’m a little tired because my visitor will be starting soon but I’ll be fine.”  And then Karen and I both at the same time, “Love you too.  Can’t wait to see you tomorrow.”  And we both hung up.  The area code for the call would have been (607).  The area code for Karen's cousin Wendy and Lois the secretary would have been (607) too.

IV. February 4, 1983 my recollection

I was at school in Corning NY and I had got a call from Karen the day before.  The secretary, Lois, said she had got a call from Karen as well and that she was the one that gave Karen my phone number to call as it was after school hours.  The secretary at school saw me in the hallway during lunch and called me into the office and asked, "Is that Karen on the TV?" as the secretary saw it on the news on TV in the office.  The news clip was showing the ambulance with Karen under the sheet being transported and I believe after that it said something about neighbors seeing a tall lanky unidentified man running down the street afterwards (but it has been a while).  And I think I said something like, "well it looks like she won't be picking me up later after school."  And then I said something like, "Why are all the kids out in front of the trophy case?"  And the secretary said, "Don't you remember, that's the couple's hangout and you and Karen started that during final exams in 1981?"  And I was like, "I kind of forgot about that stuff.  It's been a while."  And she was like, "Sorry about Karen. she was such a sweetheart and I know you two were very close.  Are you going to be all right?"  And I think I said something like, "It's been so long since Karen and I were around each other that I've kind of forgot what all right was like.  I guess I'll manage.  I probably ought to be heading to class,  Thanks for letting me know.  Are you going to be all right?"  And she was like, "I'm fine, but you look kind of green around the gills."  And I was like, "I'll survive I guess.  How much worst could it get?"  And then I left and went to my next class after lunch.

I am pretty sure later that day (about 95%) but it could have possibly been the Monday afterwards (maybe 5% if that).  Anyway, I got paged down to the office and when I came in there was Karen's brother Richard.  Richard was furious and the minute I came in he was like, "Well, it looks like your little plot was foiled.  I pulled the plug on her a little while ago.  How do you feel about that?"  And I believe I was like, "What plot?"  And Richard was like, "You know what plot.  I pulled the plug and it ain't gonna happen.  They had these tubes down her throat and I knew she was done.  Even if they had been able to revive her, the tubes down her throat would have made it so that she couldn't sing any more.  I did it.  I pulled the plug on her.  She's gone.  How does that make you feel?"  And I said, "I can imagine how tough that was for you.  She would have been alright without talking or singing, but I honestly think that Karen would not have wanted to spend the rest of her life hooked up to a machine."  And I raised my voice and I said again I believe, "What plot?"  And I am pretty sure Richard said, "Come on.  Bring it on.  Get good and mad so I can have a good reason to finish you off.  I know about your plot to take advantage of my sister and be her manager and take her for everything she's got.  Well it ain't gonna happen now is it?  I pulled the plug.  It's over.  Your little plot is done."  And I was like, "OK, I know we're both hurting right now and you're angry and I'm numb because we both lost our best friend, but before either of us do something really stupid..."  And the next part I am kind of still trying to remember but I continued with something like, "How am I going to be her manager when I haven't even graduated high school yet?  Didn't you think it was odd that she never said who this big manager was?  Karen was playing a joke on you and the big manager she was talking about was you.  Karen and I were going to elope and she didn't want you to know about it for whatever reason.  I told her to tell you about it, but obviously she didn't.  I don't know why.  I didn't get a chance to ask her."  And Richard was like, "I can see your point, and that explains her plane tickets to Las Vegas, but how does the fact that I pulled the plug on her make you feel?"  And I believe I was like, "How does it make me feel?  Terrible.  You got to see her.  I couldn't write to her, talk to her or see her because she was married.  How do you think that makes me feel?  It hurts.  Oh God it hurts.And the waterworks (crying) started with me and I think I put my head down in my arms.  Not a major cry, but enough to have Lois, the secretary, hand me some tissues and say something like, "Now see what you did to him." or something like that.  And I think I said something back to Lois like, "He's fine.  He just lost his sister and he needs to say what he needs to say.  I need to say what I need to say too" or something like that.  And while Lois and I were doing that, I believe Richard shed a few tears himself and then he continued with something like, "You gonna cry like a little baby.  Come on cry.  She needs someone to cry over her now.  Maybe it's you.  Her husband isn't crying, he's more worried about if he's going to have a place to spend the night if we take the house away from him.  He definitely ain't gonna cry unless we take the house away.  He never cared about her.  I already cried on my way here on the plane just like you.  I bawled my eyes out like you and then I realized that she would want us to be strong and go on without her.  Let's see what you're made of.  You're just like all the others and when it gets real you bail out on her.  She needed a real man.  Look at you now.  A cry baby."  And then Richard was like, "It's just you and me.  Don't bail out on me now.  Please don't cry on me now.  Come on.  I didn't mean it like that.  I know you wouldn't be crying just now if you didn't have feelings for her."  And I was like, "She's gone and there's nothing we can do about it.  Do you have any papers for me to sign or whatever, because I never wanted anything from your sister, just her.  That's it and she knew it.  Nothing else mattered to me.  Just her.  Whatever you want me to sign, I'll sign it."  I am pretty sure Richard had some papers for me to sign, but I honestly do not remember for sure what they were about now.  I do know that my thoughts were along the lines of about the only thing left of interest to me might be to be buried or interred or whatever next to her.  And thinking of being buried next to Karen...  I am very sure now on Christmas 2019 that Richard and I did discuss this as I remember now Richard mentioning something about it being an amendment or a rider to Karen's will and Richard making the comment of, "I figured that you didn't have the guts and you would chicken out on that."  And my comment back of, "I don't mind being buried next to Karen, it's being possibly next to you that bothers me.  I wouldn't mind being thrown in the same casket as her, no problem.  But chances are that you and I would argue throughout eternity and I don't want that and I don't think you want that either, do you?" or something similar.  And I believe Richard said, "Touché.  Maybe you've got some balls after all.  Come on this is for all the marbles" or something like that.  And I believe I continued, "In all seriousness, I would love to be buried next to your sister, but if this is going to cost extra, I'm not interested."  And I think Richard said something like, "This would cost a pretty penny but I leave it up to you.  It is my sister's last wishes." or such and I am pretty sure I said something like, "I'm not really interested in money or any of that, so it's not really about money anyway with me, but me being buried next to Karen could keep her will tied up for decades.  That isn't fair to you and your family.  No closure.  I'm not interested in that, do you have papers for me to sign off on that?"  And then I believe Richard handed me a blank piece of paper and said something like, "If my sister could only see you now.  Look at you.  Obviously my sister saw more in you than I did until just now.  As you know my sister was the kind that would give up everything she had just so that others didn't have to suffer.  I just saw you do the same thing.  I see what she saw in you and I know you would have made a great husband for her.  I remember you now.  You weren't in love with the superstar, you were in love with her.  After all she went through with her husband you must be something really special for her to even consider getting married again.  And I can see she was right.  [And he smirked] Either that or my sister was completely nuts (off her rocker?), but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt on that.  You failed my test, but you passed her test with flying colors and I see why now.  You were willing to give up spending an eternity next to my sister so that me and my family didn't have to suffer.  I'm touched.  I'm deeply touched.  And what a crock.  But if there was someone that deserves to rest next to my sister for eternity, it's you.  I honestly wish that piece of paper wasn't blank and was for real because I wouldn't have let you sign off on it.  I wouldn't mind putting you there myself" (and honestly, Richard said it in a way to infer that he would feel better if his sister had someone resting next to her for eternity or forever, whichever comes last and not like he was wanting to kill me or whatever) or something like this.  My thoughts were I wouldn't mind being next to Karen after I pass away but let me pay for it or something because it would be my funeral and such.  Even back then I couldn't see myself finding someone I cared about more than Karen.  I knew that wasn't happening.  I knew the love of my life was gone and I wasn't going to find another even back then.  I also know that I still love her whether we get buried or whatever together or not.  I am not positive on Richard's thoughts but I had a feeling he thought I was trying to back out of being with his sister since his sister was dead now.  I also don't know for sure, but I think Richard may have actually been looking for a way to tie up Karen's will so that it couldn't be settled since Richard really did not need Karen's money or such and Thomas Burris seemed so uncaring.  Sure, I can try to think of what Richard might have been thinking now, but my mind was just drawing blanks back then and I never thought to ask Richard what he may have been thinking.  Karen passed away unexpectedly and Richard and I were both emotional and not thinking too well.  It was just a mess.  And honestly, if I wasn't messed up, why didn't I just come out and say, "I have nothing else to look forward to without your sister, sign me up and send me the bill" or whatever instead of beating around the bush like I did.  It wasn't really our faults either.  It was just the way things happened.  We were both upset.  Things never go well when people are upset.  And we didn't have a choice.  Karen was dead and that was it.  Done.  Over.  No second chances.  No do overs.  Gone like that.  February 1, 2021 and I kept thinking there was something else and there was.  Richard also had a list of personal items that Karen had left to others.  On this list was Karen's record collection and stuff like that.  On this list also was an entry for 'Adrian Dowling' I believe and "To Adrian Dowling I leave... my everlasting love." or something to that effect (with very romantic stuff written between leave and my).  After Richard had handed me the blank paper he pulled out the list and he had me sign the list and the secretary, Lois Crandell, was a notary public and notarized it as well.  As far as I know that list has never been made public, but I don't remember exactly what Karen wrote as I was getting a little teary eyed when Richard had me read it and it was happy tears, not sad tears.  May 12, 2020 and at the end of our talk Richard had three questions.  The first question Richard had was if I would be interested in a dog.  Yes, I was interested, but I couldn't as there was no one at the house that could take care of Mush, so I had to turn it down.  And the second, Richard asked if I might possibly know where Karen hid her money from her accounts and I think I answered, in a shoe box in her closet and I think Richard called up his mom and I think his mom said she found it.  Third question, do you know of any place that has red roses.  Richard had called and checked every place within a 50 to 100 mile radius of Los Angeles and everyone was out of red roses as it was close to Valentine's day.  The area I live in, Corning to Rochester New York was bone dry too, but we tried.  Richard put out an APB (All Points Bulletin) on flower shops through the shops in Los Angeles and in the end Richard had to go with yellow roses as there weren't any red roses to be had since Karen's funeral was so close to Valentine's day.  And then of course we had a talk about possibly attending Karen's funeral on Tuesday the 8th...

V.  Karen's last prank

December 24, 2019 and I finally remember what others have been talking about.  Karen was going to be getting a divorce from Tom Burris (again, Tom wished to be called Thomas as it sounded more distinctive I guess.  But after the mess in their marriage and divorce I prefer Tom myself so as hopefully his wishes don't come true.  But then too, you don't teach people how not to be mean by being mean yourself, so I apologize).  Before Karen passed away, Karen was looking to play a practical joke on her brother, Richard.  Karen had told her closest friends and even Richard himself, that Karen would be flying out to New York and then Karen was going to be getting the best manager she could get.  This had several reasons behind it.  A big reason was that Karen had just got done with a messy divorce with Tom Burris and if Karen had even suggested that she was wishing to get married again, they probably would have locked Karen up and threw away the key as Karen actually said that to me.  It was a joke, but also a diversion too.  Karen told me that Richard was very upset about this and that her joke was going according to plan when Karen called me on February 3, 1983.  The truth was that Karen was flying out to get me and that Karen and I were going to elope.  When Karen got back, Karen was going to tell certain people that she found the best manager she could ever hope for, her brother Richard.  Unfortunately, Karen passed away before the 'joke' got revealed.  Even more unfortunately, Karen is not around any more to expose this joke herself, however, think about it - there is a reason why Karen never mentioned who this great manager was to anyone.  Karen was not looking to go out on her own or such.  Karen was playing a joke on Richard and unfortunately, Karen passed away before this joke got exposed for the joke it was.  If Karen had actually been looking to leave Richard and go out on her own, she would have said who this great manager was.  The truth was that Karen was going to say Richard was her great manager.  And another unfortunately, as stated, I did not remember this until December 24, 2019.  I could not remember this prank or joke, only that I knew for sure that Karen had always told me that Karen always wished to work with her brother.  I forgot about Karen telling me about the prank she was pulling on her brother just before she passed away.  I only remember now because I remember Richard coming to Corning NY using the tickets from Karen's Holy Bible stash and Richard being very upset at me when he arrived.  And I remember now on Christmas eve 2019, that I had said to Richard when he came to Corning on February 4, 1983, "It was a joke.  There was a reason why Karen never said who this manager was."  But I think I may have stopped short of saying to Richard, "It was you." but maybe not.  It sure wasn't an 18 year old that hadn't finished high school yet and I probably would have done a GED (Government Equivalency Diploma) instead of graduating with my class in 1983.  But now I remember why all of this stuff started after Karen passed away.  Karen had told people (Olivia Newton-John, many others) about her getting another manager, but Karen never had the chance to explain that it was meant to be a joke on her brother.  So after 35+ years, someone finally remembers that this was supposed to be a joke, but the jokester passed away before she could say the punch line.  Karen was looking to elope with me and then bring me back with her and then announce that her brother Richard was this great manager that Karen was talking about while saying to others that I was Karen's new manager.  This 'joke' also served another purpose.  In all honesty, when Karen and I were together, people did not really notice an age difference between us.  We were almost 15 years apart in actuality,  Some people might look at the age difference and think that Karen was 'robbing the cradle' or she had a 'boy toy' and such.  As a precaution with certain people, Karen thought that introducing me as her manager might be better than "this is my husband".  In all seriousness, I was not looking to be Karen's manager nor was Karen looking to have me be her manager neither.  An 'easy out' as we used to call it.  So it was a kind of practical joke, but it could also be used as a 'cover up' if the need arose.  I know Richard and Olivia would have definitely known about our marriage.  I'm not so sure about others (including 'mom and dad').  That was kind of Karen's decision.  Karen is not around to ask any more.

VI. February 8, 1983 The Funeral

For some odd reason now on December 19, 2019 I am starting to remember possibly something related to a talk about going to Karen's funeral on Tuesday, February 8th.  Like Karen warned me, "Ace, you really should keep a diary".  I have a feeling it may have been on Friday when Karen passed away, but it could have been on Monday, February 7th, the day before the funeral.  I do kind of remember I think Richard showing up at the high school and having me paged to the office at the school I believe.  The rest is really fuzzy as you can imagine, I was really kind of out of it after hearing about Karen passing away on the news at the office.  I remember Richard and I talking about going to the funeral and I remember thinking or saying that it would be a bad idea because of the media coverage and such.  I had an order of suppression still enforceable against me by the office of the Archdeacon of Canterbury and I remember thinking about a bunch of goons just taking cameras and removing the film and smashing video cameras and stuff like that.  I think that I remember Richard saying something like I could probably be isolated so as to not get caught up in the media coverage and such and then maybe after all that I could probably pay my respects in private without others around.  The office of the Archdeacon was definitely very adamant about my image not appearing anywhere nationally or internationally in the news at the time.  And I knew they meant business too and they would have people there making sure that any pictures or videos or such bearing me were destroyed.  If I was there, definite big headaches.  If I wasn't there, well, no problems that I was aware of other than a couple onlookers that were there to make sure I didn't have any pictures taken of me at the funeral that I did not attend.  I honestly do not remember anything legal being discussed between Richard and me (well, at midnight December 20th I am thinking maybe a possible cemetery plot or something being discussed, but I am thinking that this discussion about a cemetery plot probably did not happen.  Just one of those pop into your head 'did this possibly happen' rather than my usual 'this definitely happened' that ends with an extended topic somewhere.  I am thinking that I am thinking this not because an actual offer was there, but more because it would be about the only thing I would have been interested in at the time was to rest in peace next to Karen)  but I do remember thinking that my even being anywhere near Karen's funeral because of that gag order on me would definitely be a bad idea for Karen's funeral and anyone attending Karen's funeral.  I did not go.  I stayed in Corning NY.  I did not want to take a chance of making a mess out of Karen's funeral because of all the gag order stuff possibly creating all kinds of problems that I didn't want, nor did Richard nor anyone else.  I guess when your mom was a virgin when you were born sometimes you can expect you will have to sacrifice yourself for others.  This was such a time.  I don't remember ever bawling my head off after Karen died.  I know if I had gone to the funeral, I would have probably hugged the casket and bawled my eyes out and made a big scene and such.  I believe the offer to have me attend the funeral was made in person by Richard, but I know for certain that I did not attend Karen's funeral.  And if I remember correctly, had I been there, I would not have known who she was as I believe I lost my memories of her on the night of Monday, February 7, 1983 after I recieved a vision of Karen while just sitting in my room that evening around 7 to 8 PM.

VII. Thinking about Karen's death

As far as Karen's death itself.  I wasn't personally there, however this I know for sure...  Richard saying that Karen's eyes were hollow and lifeless and that Karen did not look too well was probably true.  Karen and I had been away from each other for about a year and a half and my eyes were about the same as Karen's honestly.  Karen and I missed each other a lot.  In 11th grade (September 1981 to June 1982) I had ran away from home 4 times just because I didn't care any more and I just needed to get away from everyone else because I was driving everyone else crazy (at the house and in school).  I had a racist english teacher in 11th grade (I am part native american aka savage) and I won the war with him by getting an 80 on the final exam.  There were also a few racist students that I was having problems with as well.  I had found real and true love with Karen, but it seemed like everyone else kept trying to make me feel miserable and angry.  I didn't want to feel miserable or angry, so there were a lot of problems.  I also realized that if I killed these racists, even though they would have deserved it, I would have got 25 to life and I would have not been able to see Karen if that had happened and I was definitely close a couple times.  And Karen and I kept our promise not to see each other until after she got a divorce so that neither of us got accused of anything.  My parents and my sister just did not understand that I really did not care and that I was tired of dealing with a bunch of racists at school.  Karen and I always helped each other feel better and we were both going through 'withdrawals' so to speak.  While I was going through what I was going through, Karen had her problems too dealing with a messy divorce from a guy that kept trying to make her feel miserable too.  Karen did die and most people thought I was a zombie in all honesty in 1983.  I looked kind of bad in 1981 before seeing Karen again for that short week, but from 1981 to 1983 I just kept looking worst and worst to the point where in August 1983, I literally could not keep my head up straight any more.  I graduated in June 1983 and the pictures my parents took were all horrible with my head leaning over in every picture.  I was going to college in 1983 and they took 6 pictures of me for my Sheriff's ID card and my head at 30 degrees from straight up was as good as it got.

Karen also did not get a chance to sign and finalize her divorce papers.  Karen was planning on signing at the court around 9 AM that morning.  I guess Karen’s official time of death was 9:51 AM.  As such, technically Thomas Burris would inherit Karen’s estate.  Karen did have a will in place and I believe it had been updated in 1981 at the time when Karen knew that her and Thomas were going to be getting a divorce.  Karen left the house and a couple things to Thomas, but the bulk of Karen’s estate went to her family.  And after taxes and such it was not very much leftover I imagine.  Karen had also done her solo album, the wedding, and Thomas had used a lot of money buying a cheap house in need of repairs, then not being able to fix up that house, then getting fined for having a bad house that wasn’t up to code.  The real estate development developed into a financial mess.  Karen had also pulled the money out of her accounts so that Thomas couldn’t make a quick withdrawal before the divorce happened just in case.  But also Richard got left holding the bag after Karen passed away.  The extra money from Karen’s estate would mean extra taxes at a higher rate.  Richard already had enough money as it was but he also didn’t want Thomas getting much as when Karen passed away like Richard told me, “He ain’t going to cry unless we take the house away from him…  He never cared about her…”  Richard did have Thomas sign a type of suppression order which actually helped Thomas as it kept Thomas from being able to talk publicly about Karen.  Thomas couldn’t talk publicly so Thomas couldn’t get accused of saying things and since Thomas couldn’t say things publicly, the press couldn’t try and twist that stuff around.  The nice part also is that Thomas was able to just walk away and not have to worry about publicity and such.  Thomas couldn’t talk about it publicly.  On another hand, Richard also had the mess with me.  I was underaged when Karen and I met but also my name and picture were blocked from being made public by the order of suppression issued on me by the Archdeacon of Canterbury, Bernard Pawley, and his assistant Sir Nicholas Born.  How do you tell people that your sister was planning on eloping with an 18 year old guy that you can’t mention his name or show his picture publicly?  Precisely, a mess.  In all honesty, if my name had appeared next to Karen’s in the mausoleum, because the mausoleum was public, the least would have probably been defacing the mausoleum so that my name wasn’t public, but could also have had the mausoleum bulldozed to the ground because my name wasn’t to be made public.  It was just a huge mess that couldn’t really be talked about publicly.  As far as myself, I was only wanting to share time and be with Karen and share a possible life together.  Karen and I always had great times together even when things weren’t going so well.  I wasn’t looking to be a celebrity or wealthy or any of that stuff; it was just that Karen and I had all these great times and memories together (both good and bad, we weren’t just ‘fairweather friends’ so to speak.  We had some clunkers and bummers too but we felt better when we shared and went through it together).  But things happen.  Karen’s heart stopped beating.  No one wanted it to happen including Karen herself, it just did.  No one’s fault.  No one to blame (her family or her husband or the therapists or the doctors or…) We all have to go sometime and it was just Karen’s time was all.  Like said, no one’s fault.  Karen had some great memories during her lifetime and many wonderful stories to learn from and some clunkers too.  But then too, like with everyone, if you don’t have some bad times, you tend not to appreciate the good times as much when they happen.  Those that knew Karen knew that the name Karen suited her as Karen was a very ‘caring’ person and wished for everyone to get the chance to enjoy a better life.  And some people enjoy being miserable too, so each person is different, ourselves included.  Everyone.  Different.  Forgive me as I didn’t realize that you are happy being miserable, and hopefully you forgive me as I enjoy being happy and not being miserable and I didn’t realize our differences until now either.  Stuff happens.

Karen weighed 108 pounds when she passed away.  Karen never complained of having chest pains or numbness which are indicators of heart problems.  I talked with Karen the day before on the phone and she was actually in a very good mood and not depressed at all and very happy honestly.  I was happy on the phone too.  Karen was diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa which was mentioned on her death certificate, however, it is very debatable if this was a cause of death.  Anorexia was mentioned, but honestly, Karen's heart stopped and Karen weighed 108 pounds.  An anorectic would weigh 90 pounds or less if in trouble, so like I said, very debatable as Karen was not underweight at the time of her death.  Could the excess weight have caused heart problems?  Honestly, there are warning signs of a person having heart problems.  Karen did not have any of these warning signs beforehand.  Karen having a problem with her heart was honestly sudden and unexpected.  Karen was always worn out or tired during her 'visitor' (menstrual cycle).  Karen knew her visitor was going to be starting soon if it hadn't started already.  Karen went downstairs and made a pot of coffee and then went back upstairs to get ready for the day ahead which involved Karen signing her finalized divorce papers with Tom Burris (I don't care if he wishes to be called Thomas, because I don't want his wishes coming true, Tom Burris, OK?).  The coffee pot was on and Karen's mom was downstairs.  Karen's mom noticed that Karen hadn't come back downstairs as the pot of coffee was still going.  So Karen's mom went to check on Karen and Karen was laying on the floor motionless and not wearing clothes (Karen weighed herself once a week on Friday mornings in the nude).  Karen's mother called the ambulance and they showed up and took Karen out on a stretcher (and for those that saw the video, the sheet was over Karen when they brought her out in the stretcher which indicates that the person is dead usually because of suffocation issues, hint, but they also wish to avoid other possible problems when dealing with living family that are elderly and the other living family are gray haired and possible to have a heart attack or other condition themselves if they find out that someone is dead, so usually they try to have death declared in an emergency room or an ambulance unless the person in question lived alone with no one around, or unless there is a probable crime scene, another hint).  They had Karen at the hospital and could not revive her.  They also have to cover their actions and why they did what they did and they did an outstanding job as usual with getting Karen to the hospital after they found her motionless on the floor.  Cause of death, Karen's heart stopped.  A person's heart stops beating when they die in every instance of death.  Karen was not an exception.  What caused Karen's heart to stop is purely speculative and worth possible study as I have done.  It was sudden and unexpected.  Aneurysm?  Stroke?  Seizure?  Air bubble in the blood stream (unlikely, but...)?  There weren't any warning signs beforehand.  It just happened.  Totally unforeseeable.  Almost unforeseeable except for the diagnosis in 1975 and or 1977 of arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) after Karen was in the hospital those times.  Karen was not going to have a pacemaker put in as Karen was against being kept alive by a machine.  And anybody trying to blame Karen's sudden death on anybody is not thinking properly.  Karen's heart stopping is a physical problem.  Karen's heart stopping is not anyone's fault including Karen herself.  No one's fault.  Karen passed away.  People pass way when they die.  Things happen.  Seriously, if Karen's heart had not stopped, she would not have passed away.  Is there something wrong with being honest?  Blaming anyone under Karen's situation is not being honest.  The truth.  And another truth, even with a pacemaker, Karen's heart probably would have still stopped beating at some point.  That's life and death, but not the end.

And yet another truth, a part of me that can't be replaced died when Karen died.  How do you replace someone that literally knew what you were thinking?  Someone that you couldn't argue with?  Someone that shared great memories with you?  Someone that made you feel like everything was going to work out all right?  Someone that made you feel like you were floating on air?  That one special someone that was your dreams come true.  Sharing wonderful memories with someone is special and when that someone special is not around any more to share with, memories still remain.  I love you too Karen.  Thank you Karen for being that wonderful person that I always knew you to be.

VIII. Karen's mom and shrinks in general

To note, for all of this psychobabble about Karen and her mom (mother).  Note, Karen died at her mother's house with her mother there.  If Karen did not love her mother and if Karen's mother did not love Karen, Karen would have not been allowed around her mother let alone being allowed in the house.  Psychobabble.  Think about the truth.  Karen's mother was not a person that hugged people.  There is NOTHING WRONG with a person not being a hugger.  Karen's mom did care about Karen.  Karen did care about her mom.  Honest, at our house, the piano was on the first floor and the drums were in the basement.  You can not hear pianos too well near drums.  Richard played the piano and Karen played the drums.  That's a house of love.  Just because they did not comform to a bunch of warped views about what they felt was proper and trying to prove some whacked out theories that are false, doesn't mean a damned thing.  It does mean a damned thing but not what it has been tried to be made out to be. 

To note, Karen always did better around her family (mom, dad, and Richard) and her cousin Wendy, and many others that cared about Karen, and myself.  Karen seemed to have problems after being around Karen 'Itchie' Ramone, Phil Ramone, Tom Burris, and others that kept trying to get Karen to work towards being seen as some 'sex goddess' or whatever.  That image just was not Karen, hence the "statues" video for "Touch Me When We're Dancing".  Honest, if sex sells so much then why wasn't that video and the song #1 everywhere?  It was probably the 'sexiest' video ever done at the time for sure.  Itchie and Tom kept trying to get Karen to focus on outward appearance, while Karen's friends were trying to get Karen to realize that Karen was a truly beautiful person and well-loved regardless of her physical appearance and that we loved Karen for being the kind and caring person that she truly was.  The girl next door.  Karen.  Karen was a tomboy and 'the girl next door' and since when were tomboys and girls next door supposed to be beauty queens too?  Well, actually, when you think about the 'sex sells' image at the time, not beauty queen, but slut was more like it.  Karen was having problems with her public image of being seen as being 'fat' because of her bone structure while most 'shrinks' kept trying to deal with her private image and messing Karen's private image up as is evidenced all over the internet and most books written about Karen (Karen's private image is her family which has what to do with Karen's public image of being seen as fat?  How are news articles and pictures in a paper about Karen's body type and size related to Karen's family?)

You can not honestly say that the shrinks were not trying to get Karen to hate her family despite Karen's family having absolutely nothing to do with newspaper or tabloid articles saying that Karen was 'chubby' (Note also, that srticle in Billboard that is accused of writing "Karen was chubby" was actually an article that stated that Richard was chubby and not Karen, leave it to fiction writers to change things around to suit their purpose[s]).  Karen knew better because every time Karen had problems, Karen's family was there trying to help her whether Karen wanted help or not.  Karen was always welcome at home, always.  When the shrinks tried to get Karen to hate her family, Karen had had enough.  Karen was a Christian and was against hating anyone even the shrinks.  Karen and her step cousin Wendy B even came up with a saying between them that they couldn't get "fat" any more, just "pleasingly plump".

Karen was a very resilient person and not one to give up on something.  Karen was NOT a 'quitter'.  Karen never gave up on something unless it was futile (quick, flap your arms and try to fly like a bird.  I know you're a people and not a bird but don't give up as you never know.  Maybe people can fly and we just haven't tried hard enough?).  In mid September 1978, I had noticed that Karen never gave up on something but also, she told me that she liked to exercise during our 'arrhythmia' talk.  So that was what gave me the idea for our 'futility' dance and talk.  It was before class started one day and Karen and I were talking and I mentioned 'futility' and Karen was like, "you never know what you can do until you try."  And I started flapping my arms up and down and I asked Karen to join in and she did.  Then I was like, "we're not flying yet, maybe we need to flap faster and harder."  So we flapped faster and harder but we still couldn't fly.  We brought our hands in and we spread our hands out.  We jumped.  No flying.  But yes, as kids we see birds flying and maybe if we do like the birds, we could learn to fly too.  Then the futility of realizing that we are not birds and we are not meant to fly on our own.  But as we get older, we forget that lesson.  We just remember that we can't fly and so we move on to trying other stuff that maybe we can do.  The toughest part in Karen's anorexia was getting Karen to realize that her bad habits were hurting her physically and she needed to quit those bad habits.  It wasn't until Karen saw me throw down my cigarette and quit smoking on June 15, 1981 (which I did start smoking again and I do smoke now, but this was back then) that Karen realized that maybe 'quitting' wasn't such a bad thing after all.  Karen started realizing that quitting bad habits would be good.  But still, putting her finger down her throat, starving herself, taking laxatives and such had helped her lose weight before.  Why quit something when it works?  Karen just hadn't realized that there were possible side affects from overdoing it.  And as the autopsy report showed, Karen's heart wasn't physically damaged, however, somehow Karen's glycerine (glycerine is the 'blood sugar' level and glycerine is a substance that relaxes muscles including the heart and not just a 'sugar' level) level had skyrocketed to the point where Karen's muscles and her heart muscles just relaxed and stopped.  No one's fault, including Karen, as no one foresaw Karen's glycerine levels rising as high as they did.

Karen also learned her singing style, not with emotions, but by listening to her own voice and trying to make her voice sound a certain way.  Karen could also pronounce diction and articulation really well, however Bruce Forsyth was a challenge.  It was all technique and mechanics with Karen listening to her own voice and Karen getting her voice to sound a certain way.  Karen told me that was why she would sing so softly sometimes as she would be listening to her voice and not really singing out loud.  But Karen would hear a certain sound in her head and she would try to imitate what she heard with her voice.  And Karen had a wonderful vibrato in her voice that she learned to use when she felt the need arose.  Karen would also sing softly to convey like a ‘secret whisper’ and sing loudly for more emphasis and more openness and more impact.  With all of that to think about as far as how Karen wanted to convey the meaning behind the song, Karen didn’t have enough thought room to think about personal experiences or any of that stuff.  It was honestly all technique and mechanics with her voice.  Karen’s breathing, or lack thereof, and her accenting certain sounds and lyrics while diminishing emphasis on other parts were all a part of Karen enjoying that music can convey emotion when done properly.  It wasn’t the emotions themselves, but the techniques and mechanics of her voice to try and convey that emotion.  If done properly, Beethoven’s 9th symphony, ode to joy, will convey a feeling of happiness and triumph.  If not done properly, it sounds a bit off.  Honestly, Karen wanted a sad song to sound sad just as a happy song should sound happy.  And it is the sound, not the emotion, that is what makes that happen.

Karen's mom was not a very emotional person as Karen's mom was more of a thinker.  Karen got her 'thinking' side from her mother.  Karen and her mom used to have meaningful talks with one another, not hold "hug fests".  If Karen had a problem, Karen could always talk with her mother about it and her mother would listen and talk as well.  Think about it, Karen and mom were the ones that were together when Richard was seeing Karen's hair dresser.  Hint, the "dragon lady" was Karen's mother and the "two-headed dragon lady" was a term that Karen and her mother came up with for Karen's hair dresser that was seeing Richard (hint, Karen kind of used this to cover up the 'dragon lady' reference for her mother.  Meant to be confusing so don't sweat it if you don't understand).  Karen's mom was a 'clean freak' so to speak and Richard was the clean one while Karen would get dirty playing baseball and drag mud through the house.  Richard was favored by mom and that was why.  No big deal.  Richard and Karen knew why and they were fine with it.  Even Karen said herself, "I'd rather be yelled at than fussed over (and, shhh, hint, at times Karen would pick on Richard about Richard being a "mama's boy" in private.  It was a private joke between Karen and Richard about mom fussing over Richard so much.  It wasn't Richard's fault, just the way it was.  Don't forget that Karen was a tomboy too.  Richard would pick back)."  Karen's mom didn't hate Karen, but Karen's mom did not like dirt and was hoping that Karen would stop dragging mud through the house.  The truth. 

Steven Levenkron was an author, not a doctor or MD or PhD.   Note also, Steven found those pills and such when Karen checked in there in January 1982?.  I believe Karen checked out around September 1982.  After Karen checked out and ended up in the hospital again, Karen started weighing herself only once a week.  A person that is weighing themselves only once a week is not worrying about how much they weigh on a constant basis.  A person trying to lose weight will weigh themselves many times while taking laxatives and pills and such to see the immediate affect of what taking those pills and laxatives is having.  And as you know, that is the catch with anorexia.  The pills and laxatives are not actually immediate in most cases, which leads to a person over taking pills and laxatives to try and speed up the process which is not immediate anyway.  A messy and dangerous cycle.  So as has been said (and ignored by many), Karen weighed 104 pounds when she left the hospital in November 1982 and Karen weighed 108 pounds when she passed away on February 1983.  Karen also had arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) which was found in 1975 (and later) and was a sign that Karen's heart was not getting the signals to beat at times.  You would think that a person taking thyroid medication(s) to speed up metabolism in the thyroid would not be having problems with their heart stopping.  Karen was having problems with her heart stopping and not beating in rhythm (arrhythmia) on occasion.  Not rapid heartbeat, but Karen's heart stopping (no heartbeat) aka 'skipping a beat'.  The last I knew, synthroid and such medications do not cause the heart to stop beating.  The heart can also only beat so fast.  Karen's heart was missing cycles of beating at times without medications.  And Karen would actually starve herself at times and become underweight.  Also, Karen did not actually seem to have any symptoms indicating that she was having a thyroid problem.  No profuse sweating or mental disorientation or stuff like that to indicate an actual thyroid problem or side affects of someone that was taking medications for a thyroid problem that did not exist.  Karen did have problems with her menstruation (visitor) and Karen would become very exhausted during her menstruation which would usually be about three days.  This happened regardless of Karen's weight.  But it is not unusual for a person that is discharging blood to become tired or such.  If Karen had not started her menstruation, she was expecting it to start between February 3 and February 5, 1983.  Karen refused a pacemaker for the arrhythmia as Karen was against being kept alive by a machine.  And Karen was definitely looking forward to living her life with a guy when she knew that this guy cared about her whether her name was Wendy or Karen, whether she was 94 or 124 or even 224 pounds, whether she was happy or sad or upset (preferably happy though as it was difficult for either of us to feel sad or upset when we were around each other), a singer or a school teacher or a mime or even nothing at all, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, and he would definitely obey if he knew what was good for him.  A guy that loved "tomboys and mud pies".  A guy that loved her despite what the critics and tabloids and shrinks thought about her.  And these two people that apparently shared all these past lives together that they didn't even know existed because they were both busy enjoying the times they had together when they could have them together.  Together.  Karen and Ace.  Maybe not now, but more likely forever.  Is forever long enough?  Exactly why Karen and I haven't wrote our own songs because most of the cool stuff doesn't rhyme all the time or whatever.  But stuff happens.

IX.  Control freaks

(Added April 9, 2020) Having spent much time around Karen, I really wonder where this 'control' theory came from.  Honestly, there wasn't any control from Karen's family (Richard, mom, dad).  On the other hand, yes, there was attempted control by Phil and Itchie Ramone as well as Thomas Burris, Steven Levenkron, Max Baer Jr., and probably a couple therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists.  Karen and Richard always worked together.  If Karen or Richard didn't want to do something, it wasn't done.  So I am kind of sure this 'control' stuff has been started by those that had guilty consciences about the way they treated Karen.  And yes, the ones listed under 'attempted control' were the ones who tried to control Karen.  I saw it myself.  I intervened on the Phil and Itchie control as well as the Max Jr. control and Karen was looking to get rid of Tom which I would have helped with that also.  Karen had 'control' when around Richard and her family and such.  If you notice, the ones who keep trying to push this 'control' stuff with Karen are the ones most guilty of trying and FAILING to control and use Karen.  Karen was used to working together with people which is the true reason why Karen's marriage was not working out.  After the ring went on Karen's finger, Tom started trying to control Karen and that was that.  Marriage over.  Karen was a tomboy.  Tomboys do their own thing or else they go somewhere else where they can do their own thing.  Karen's anorexia had nothing to do with control.  Honest.  Karen's feeling she needed to lose weight had nothing to do with newspaper articles and tabloid stories and being on screen and Karen feeling she was 'chubby'.  And 'fat chance' on this as if you actually do the research, the papers (especially Billboard magazine) never called Karen "chubby" and that stuff was actually started by a writer that didn't get his facts straight.  Karen didn't want to do opera and be the 'fat lady' that sings at the end.  And Richard didn't want to do opera either.  Karen was not trying to gain control through losing weight.  Karen was tired of being picked on by the newspapers and tabloids because Karen was a tomboy and also Karen liked wearing loose clothing.  Karen did not like clothing that was tight or form fitting.  Loose clothing hangs loose and makes someone appear larger than they are.  You could always know when Karen was having problems as you could start seeing her cheek and jaw bones become more prominent when she was losing too much weight.  And like I said, I was around Karen and I saw what happened when others tried to control her.  I honestly never saw Karen's family ever try to control Karen and if you notice, when Karen had problems, she always went back to her family (or me too a couple times).  And as you also look at the ones that try to bad mouth others and you should realize that the ones doing the bad mouthing are also the ones most guilty of that bad controlling behavior towards Karen.  And that goes for the rest of you too.  Those of you looking to bad mouth Karen's family are all IGNORANT.  All of you.  You believe nonsense from idiots that have a guilty conscience.  Randy L Schmidt as well.  Shame on you for not checking facts.  And a big fact is that when someone says something bad about others, you need to consider the source.  Most honest people, when they have nothing nice to say about someone, they say that they have nothing nice to say or they say nothing at all.  Silence speaks volumes.  Unfortunately, I am doing a recollection here and as such, I am including the good with the bad as a way of demonstrating the difference, but also as a remembrance as to why.  Otherwise, certain events and people would have been left out of this.  You should know better.  I do.  And speaking of Karen and my eloping together, Karen and I talked on February 3, 1983.  Karen and I talked about going to the library and researching what that prescription stuff was that was planted on Karen in Levenkron's office as Karen had no idea what those pills were or what those pills were used for.  Karen also knew that I had no use for Phil or Itchie Ramone nor Tom Burris.  Too many stories that don't make sense and only add up to nonsense.  And when you confront those spreading nonsense with facts, the nonsense starts to stop.  Karen and I were also going to come forward with Karen's dealing with her eating disorder and how Karen and her mom had figured out that if Karen only weighed herself once a week, Karen stopped her anorexia.  Karen weighed 104 pounds when she left Lennox Hill in November 1982 and Karen weighed 108 pounds when she passed away at her parent's house on February 4, 1983.  Karen weighed at most, 86 pounds when she left Levenkron's clinic in September 1982, which if Levenkron 'cured' Karen, you must be nuts (cuckoo, crazy) to believe that nonsense.  Nonsense.  And of course the coroner not seeing Karen's extremely high glucose (blood sugar) level of 1106.  Karen had diabetes but no one noticed including Karen herself.  And a glucose level of 1100 is definitely deadly as a level that high and the heart WILL stop beating.  Karen and Richard never competed against others.  Who were Karen and Richard competing against, Lawrence Welk?  Really?  Karen and Richard always worked together and if one or the other objected, they didn't do it.  Karen was actually close to her mom and Karen and her mom would talk about problems and such, not hold hug fests.  Karen and her mom were thinkers and Karen's thinking side came from her mom.  Honestly.  And Karen didn't actually see much of her mom for quite a while, but like I said, whenever Karen had problems, Karen's mom was always there to help Karen.  The control freaks, Phil and Itchie, Levenkron, Tom Burris, many shrinks (therapists, psychiatrists, psychologists) were not much for Karen's mom as Karen's mom would give it right back to them.  And if worst came to worst, Karen's mom would not even talk to someone and be silent.  Karen's mom was not much for nonsense.  Controlling people is nonsense.  Karen and Richard always worked together.  No nonsense.   Karen and I always tried to work together and working together means honesty.  Try and be honest with an individual that has something to hide and is trying to use someone and you see what I mean.  No nonsense.  Tell it like it is instead of trying to twist things around to make a story that makes little to no sense.  Karen was not a 'lonely clown' nor 'little girl blue'.  One of the few songs that Karen was directly involved in writing was Rock With You which Phil Ramone sent over to Michael Jackson (and speaking of which, I seem to remember Rod Temperton being very vocal about the 'Phil Ramone' call on February 2nd, and I believe Rod said something like, "I don't believe it because Karen never used the f word [and note also, Karen used the word cuss and not curse too, but I don’t remember Rod saying that, just the f word part, but maybe he did.  Been a while].  I wouldn't mind hearing that tape myself because I would know if it was Karen's voice or not."  Does anyone ever remember actually hearing that tape?  I thought not).  Face facts people, Karen sang those songs, but she really didn't write them.  Karen was honestly a jokester and a very fun loving person.  She sang those songs well as she had that kind of voice, but she didn't write those songs nor draw personal inspiration from those songs.  Of course you don't want to come off singing a sad song sounding happy as that would throw the song off a bit.  Sing a sad song sad, a happy song happy, and a funny song funny.  As Karen told me, it is not really emotion but technique (a vocabulary word we had that year too in 8th grade).  Karen thought more about how loud or soft or the intonation or how her vocal chords should feel and not really about emotion or such when singing.  The tempo, little nuances (intonations, outtonations too) and more about the mechanics of the singing and how it should sound as well as listening to the drum beat to keep in tempo when singing live and stuff like that.  Karen always liked music that conveyed emotion in the music itself (arrangements of instruments and such too) as otherwise as Karen would say that it would be like just reciting poetry.  And Karen would laugh too and say that, “I know it sounds weird because I’m a singer, but my least favorite thing to do is recite poetry.  That stuff is boring.”  But Karen would have personal stories about why she chose to sing certain songs and such, but while singing Karen said that she needed to concentrate on the lyrics and the sounds and not on any personal experiences.  So for instance, if Karen was singing, “Touch Me When We’re Dancing” and if Karen started thinking about the ‘hiding her head like an ostrich’ story, Karen would forget the lyrics and mess up.  While singing, Karen concentrated on the sounds and the lyrics and not on personal experiences.  The one exception I knew about was a song off her solo album called “My Body Keeps Changing My Mind” where Karen says “dancing” in that odd way.  The inspiration from that was actually from me as when Karen and I were dancing, I would say, “Look, Honey, we’re dancing, we’re dancing” with a weird drawn out accent on the an in dancing.  Karen really wasn't much like the songs she sang either.  Karen was usually very upbeat emotionally and very resilient and she was a lot of fun to be around and Karen had a lot of fun around others.  Child-like, not childish.  Much like myself at the time as well.  Enjoy every moment.  Have fun and try not to take things too seriously.  And the big draw between Karen and I was that we could be serious and it was still fun too.  We had never had that before.  We enjoyed it.  And no one knew that Karen had diabetes until after it was too late.  And stop to think, how often do you hear the truth as far as Karen Carpenter, herself?  Exactly, Karen passed away, so the ones that had been using Karen will still try to use Karen as Karen is not around to say anything on her own behalf anymore.  And the ones that worked together with Karen are still trying to work with Karen even though she isn't around anymore to work with either.  Can you tell who is who?  Do you know how to spot the difference between someone that works together with someone compared to someone who uses someone?  And that includes therapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists too.  Karen had an internal warning sign that told her when people were using her.  Karen told me that she would start feeling lonely around those that were trying to use her.  Karen felt lonely around Thomas Burris, Phil Ramone, Karen 'Itchie' (Ichiuji) Ramone, Max Baer Jr., Steven Levenkron, and probably a few others as well (these people I mentioned I knew about personally from Karen).  Karen also told me that she never felt lonely around her mom or dad, her brother, Olivia Newton-John, Dionne Warwick, John Denver, any of the band members, Rod Temperton, myself, or many others.  And if we learn anything from this it is that users will try and isolate people by bad mouthing others to try and make themselves seem caring when in reality the bad mouthers are users and do not care about others and try to isolate the one they are using from those that care about the one being used.   Manipulators.  Loneliness.  Those that truly care about others do not try to isolate people.  Those that care about others do not usually bad mouth others either.  But sometimes, just let others talk, and if the shoe fits...

And I imagine next to burying his parents and his sister, having Thomas Burris sign the "no public comment" paper was probably the next most difficult thing that Richard Carpenter ever did.  The media was gearing up to tear Thomas Burris to shreds and Richard had to have known that.  It would not have mattered what Thomas said, just so long as he said something so that it would sell papers for people.  Karen and Thomas lied to each other during their marriage and Thomas was not used to public speaking.  The media sharks would have and still would rip Thomas to shreds publicly.  It was not 'secrets' or such as the media would wish you to believe, but an ethical problem and I feel Richard made the right choice.  Without Thomas being able to speak publicly, the papers and such could not use anything for or against Thomas.  Thomas could lead a life without being hounded by press reporters and others looking for a 'story'.  What did Thomas really know?  Privately you can actually ask him if you happen to see him.  And why would you want to keep a low profile after people are accusing you of killing a popular singer when you weren't really even around that person for quite a while?  I know that Richard did not personally like his soon to be ex brother-in-law, however, I feel that Richard did a very humane deed by allowing Thomas to sign that "no public comment" paper that kept Thomas from being hounded by the media and such.  Like said, I know it wasn't about 'protecting secrets' as Thomas really didn't have any secrets to protect.  But the media was preparing to tear Thomas to shreds publicly for anything Thomas said or did (like tossing the wedding ring into the casket).  Richard, being the Christian that he is, allowed Thomas to walk away from the whole mess and not be in the public spotlight.  I know Richard made a difficult decision as I know Richard would have loved to see the media rip Thomas to shreds over anything Thomas said or did.  Richard made the honorable choice and actually helped someone he was not very fond of.  That is the Richard Carpenter I knew and the type of family I knew Richard came from.  Two people getting a divorce is not a good relationship and is only good for 'tabloid fodder'.  And Richard robbed the tabloids of that fodder when Thomas Burris signed that paper.  Instead, now Thomas can just walk away and not get caught in the media frenzy of trying to sell papers at someone else's personal expense.  Richard really didn't have anything to gain by Thomas signing that paper, but Thomas was able to walk away and lead a more private life without having to worry about reporters hounding him for 'the inside story' or whatever.  Peace and piece of mind.  Inner peace.  Piece of paper.  What secrets?  The truth was that Karen and Thomas were getting a divorce because they couldn't get along well together.  That was Karen and Thomas.  What if Karen had met someone else and what if Thomas were to meet someone else, get married, have his vasectomy reversed and have another son (purely hypothetical here of course)?  What if there really weren't any secrets and it was just that Thomas and Karen were good for others but they were not good for each other personally?  What then?  Where's the "inside story" of that?  News flash, two people find out that they can't get along together, but maybe if they find other people more like themselves it might work out better.  So if you get a chance, talk with Thomas Burris privately and keep it private.  And if you get a better chance, thank Richard Carpenter too for trying to provide accurate information after Karen passed away.  And thanks to whoever (lawyer) for getting Thomas Burris to sign that 'no public comment' order which protected Thomas Burris from getting his and Karen's names from most likely being dragged through the tabloid mud by a greedy press just looking to make money with "inside stories" at other people's expense.  And another note here, but I believe that the order of suppression for Thomas would have been part of Thomas and Karen's divorce agreement to keep that from being a tabloid mess.  It wasn't 'hush money' to keep secrets, but merely to keep the divorce from being a huge publicity mess in the tabloid papers with all that 'he said she said' type stuff.  So the suppression order was probably an original idea from Karen and her divorce lawyer.  After Karen passed away and news got out about Karen and Thomas getting a divorce, it did keep the looming divorce from being splashed all over the papers.  Thomas couldn't talk publicly so it kept Karen's name from getting dragged through the tabloids with Thomas if Thomas had commented about the pending divorce.  But like said, I think the suppression order was part of the divorce stuff and not originally part of Karen's Will.  But still, yes, there was and still is a tabloid mess with all of Karen's anorexia stuff.  But fortunately there was not that kind of he said she said mess with the looming divorce information that was made public.  In large part thanks to that suppression order issued on Thomas (which was probably originally Karen's idea with the divorce but Richard, being executor, would know for sure).  I'm pretty sure it wasn't Richard's original idea of a suppression order on Thomas and was actually Karen's and the divorce lawyer's idea (about 99% positive).  As far as myself, I'm glad I never saw he said she said stuff splashed across tabloids based on stuff mentioned by a real estate mogul who had a 136 credit rating at one time (May / June 1981?).  You know that as usual the tabloids would leave out that 136 credit rating stuff to sell more papers and keep the story sounding more credible than it actually would be if all of the information was included.  Yes, for tabloids and tabloid type journalism and writing, it's not about what is written but usually about what gets left out of 'the story' that someone wishes to tell.  "The reading lines" or what is known as "reading between the lines" for that stuff that's missing or doesn't sound right.  

X. My last thoughts about Karen

A short while after Karen passed away I got a vision (I think on Monday night, February 7th, but not positive.).  Visions are like dreams only you are wide awake when you get them.  The vision was me sitting in a mausoleum next to Karen's casket.  Next thing I know the casket opens up and Karen comes out with a white blouse and a gray dress and black shoes (flats really without much of a soul on the shoe) with I believe a strap across the top with whitish stockings on and I am sitting by her casket and she comes over and stands next to me.  I stand up and I start to talk to her and she grabs her throat and shakes her head because she can't talk.  I look over and see a man standing there in a black suit next to a stand, a caretaker of sorts I guess.  I look over to him and I say, "I need a marker, a marker" and he hands me a black marker.  I then say "I need something to write on" and he hands me several small squares of white cardboard.  Karen and I talk, in a way, for a little while and then the vision just stopped.  I think it was all yes and no questions so we didn't really need the cardboard anyway and she just shook her head.  I think my first question was, "Is it really you?"  And she shook her head yes.  And I think I asked, "Do you still love me?"  And she shook her head yes.  And I said something like, "Me too.  I still love you.  Forever like we said."  And she shook her head yes.  And then I think I said, "Are you all right now?"  And she stood there and spread her arms out to the side as if to say what do you think?  And then I think I was like, "I miss you so much."  And she put her index finger to the middle of her lips and then put that finger on my lips and she shook her head no telling me not to cry and keep my head up.  And I said something like, "Can I touch you?"  And she shook her head yes and I wrapped my arms right around her and gave her a big kiss and she wrapped her arms around me too.  And then we looked at each other with our hands together and then we were side by side and started walking towards the door.  I handed the marker and cardboard back to the caretaker and we continued to walk towards the door.  Then Karen wasn't allowed passed the door so we went back by the casket and I grabbed the marker and cardboard from the caretaker again and then people started coming in and Karen and I were writing on the cardboard while the people were talking and asking us questions and such.  And if you know Karen and me, we started clowning around and holding signs upside down and switching signs with each other and such (you know, me holding a sign saying, "I'm Karen" while Karen was holding a sign saying, "I'm Ace").  And then the vision stopped a short while after that.  I never saw her funeral until recently and that was what sparked my memories of this vision as she was buried in the same dress I remember in that vision, and I only remembered this vision on New Year's Eve 2020 (the last day of 2019).  I don't remember all of what we talked about and I just remember that after this vision in 1983, I lost my memories of Karen again until late May 2019.

XI. Conclusion

What came of this : Karen died.  See September 1978 to May / June 1979 for more details.  If I remember right, just like Julie Sage, Karen told me that she had a short life line as well (about an inch and a quarter to an inch and a half long).  Karen was the only one I ever felt 'cloud 9' with.  Karen was supposed to sign divorce papers from Tom Burris on February 4.  I always wished for her to be happy.  Karen was definitely looking forward to the future after signing her divorce papers and being able to be happy again and getting her life back again.  Neither one of us knew how to get a hold of the other, but I know if she had been really depressed or in trouble, she would have definitely tried to find me somehow in Corning NY.  I turned 18 years old exactly three months before she died, so the 'minor' problem would not be a factor anymore.  But not to be.  After thinking about her around late May to mid June 2019, I remembered what it felt like to be on cloud 9 again and even though she isn't around to share it with me like before, it still feels great.  Karen and me had some really great times together in the short eight months we knew each other.  I noticed that there were 2 songs on Karen's solo album (Lovelines, If We Try), and 2 outtake songs (Midnight, It's Really You) from that album that contain 'Darling' (Karen's pet name for me) in the lyrics.  Oddly too, the 'baby' songs appear to be about me as well.  Karen told me that when she started her solo album, that she didn't have a pet name for me yet.  I still do love Karen (Honey, my pet name for Karen) in 2019.  Karen was definitely my soul mate and I was definitely her soul mate too.  I also happened to think that if Richard or one of them found out 'darling' was a student that was 14 years old at the time, there could have been some problems too.  And honestly, even now, I would wish to avoid any scandal or such involving Karen.  And honestly, the only things that touched between Karen and myself were our words, our thoughts, our hearts, our souls and our eyesight.  Nothing more.  Nothing less.  OK, maybe a little bit more after I turned 16, but shhhh, OK?  We had to be sure somehow, and we had just enough somehow to be sure.  Also note, with Karen and I being soul mates, we are seen as equals after she passed away.  With that being said and because I am the one with the double-nerved upper left bicuspid aka the Holy Scribe, I believe Karen is helping to fill that position until I get back.  If you see a blonde haired woman with the Akashic Records, It is Karen Carpenter, my soul mate.  After I die or whatever happens to end my life in the flesh, I have a feeling that Karen and I both stay together for eternity and do not return to the flesh.

XII. An afterthought

And one for the road, so to speak.  Below are the school pictures from the 1979 Corning Free Academy classbook.  The extra hand in Karen's picture is from the social studies teacher Mr. (Tom?) Cook.  The pictures were taken around October 1978.  Karen was very nervous about it and asked me to be in the room during the picture taking.  I was sitting in a chair about 15 to 20 feet away and in front of Karen and Mr. Cook.   Karen's eyes closed in the picture because when the photographer snapped the picture, Karen and Mr. Cook started laughing because I was saying, "Rump roast, Liver and onions, Castor Oil..." instead of the usual, "Say cheese".  Karen wore a black wig and weighed I think 104 pounds at the time of this picture.  The vest on Karen was a rainbow color with reds, yellows, blues, greens, and oranges that Karen made herself (on a side note, Karen made her own poncho too and she kind of started a fad in the area where girls wanted ponchos, including my sister).  I believe the papers in Karen's hands were just a bunch of papers that were lying around in the room and Karen just threw a paper clip on them to make the papers look important.  I think the picture was taken in an unused classroom that became more of a storage room but I am not positive on that now.  A funny note, The writing on the blackboard is Karen's.  The funny part is that the math teachers were lined up in front of the english stuff that Karen wrote on the board, and Karen (the english teacher) was lined up with the math stuff that Karen wrote.  And on an ending note, Karen did not usually wear yellow as she had already “gone bananas” a long time ago and it was by her own choice so she was fine with that, but no one seemed to notice or say anything about it unless she wore yellow.  Karen liked surprising people and how are you going to surprise someone about going bananas when you are wearing yellow?  True, Karen didn’t like being considered ‘normal’ and enjoyed being considered a little ‘different’.  Anyway...  Every little bit helps and hopefully when and if the time comes people can hopefully get the help they need.  Like Carpenter Family Foundation, 1800 Avenue of the Stars Suite 900, Los Angeles, CA, 90067-9818, or Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research Centre, .  Or, the Olivia Newton - John Foundation$283138_hash$4622b1a9d05b9c2a9972a0b11c8cfcf570f7246a/Default.aspx . Just another thought here.  Oh yeah, the pictures (note, Karen is wearing a wig and looking down.  Karen would also wear a prosthetic face mask at times to try and hide her features [her chin especially].  Unfortunately, this is a black & white yearbook picture and not the greatest resolution so a bit blurry and grainy too.  And for those that asked how Karen could be a teacher and not be recognized, this is her and as people notice, it doesn't look like her.  Thank you to the many who have noticed that the picture doesn't look like Karen.)…

Miss Bihuniak (Karen Carpenter)       Me, Darling, Ace, Adrian     math / english


When : Mid May 1983

Where : Holiday Inn, Painted Post NY, Senior Banquet

Who : Thee Ace Man & Julie Sage

What happened : Senior Banquet and earlier my accounting teacher, Mr. Wilcox, asked if I would be going to the Senior Banquet and I said, "Yes".  Brian Bavisoto also asked if I was going as well.  On the night of the banquet, I picked up Cherie Walker and Ruth Makin (Ferguson before, Ruth used to live across the street on East Third Street at one time) and I drove them and myself to the banquet that night.  At the banquet, it was pretty much all "And the award for... Cort Anastasio" about 4 times with I believe just one other person (I think Eleanor O'Brien, but not sure).  Side note, Cort did not take secretarial or accounting classes.  And then, "The Sally Rand Award for Bookkeeping and Accounting goes to Adrian Downing, III (<-- my legal name)" and I heard a chant started, "Ace, Ace, Ace" and I looked over and there was Brian Bavisoto with Julie Sage, and Julie leading the chant.  I walked up and I was told away from the microphone, "Congratulations, just take this check to a financial office to pay for the paperwork for a scholarship." and then the end of the banquet.  In all of my excitement, I ended up leaving without Cherie or Ruth or even talking to Julie or Brian.  I just grabbed the check and left.  After getting about 4 miles away, I turned around and went back realizing I left Cherie and Ruth there.  Someone else took Cherie and Ruth home, and Julie and Brian had left as well before I returned.

What came of this : I won the Sally Rand Award for Bookkeeping and Accounting for the Corning - Painted Post East and West High School.  I also ended up ranked 123 out of a class of 268 students.  Later, I just cashed the check and did not use it to apply for the scholarship.  I honestly didn't even know what to put for grades either, but I figured it was the 100, 100, 100, 100 in the computer system, and not the 108, 106, 104, 102 that I actually got.  I did go to Corning Community College for two years and I got an Associates degree in Business Administration in 1986.  I paid off the college loan ($4,800 + 5 years interest over $8,000, $84.71 every month) in 1991.  This was the last time I saw Julie Sage (the one who gave me the nickname Ace).  I did not go to the Senior Prom on June 2, 1983 even though I told Brian Bavisoto I was going to the prom.  After the Senior Prom, Julie Sage (Family Jewels) died in a car accident.  I heard about it on Monday, June 3rd (or 4th?) over the morning anouncements at school.  After the anouncement, I saw someone go into the boys' bathroom and I heard them puking.  I think it was Brian Bavisoto, but not sure.  The puking wouldn't have bothered me as I was numb anyway, but possibly hearing the story of how Julie died would have bothered me, so I didn't check out the 'puker' on purpose.  I just put my head down into my folded arms and went numb.  For the last few weeks of school, I was just quiet during school.  After school, I just cried myself to sleep every night for at least three weeks.  In 2019, I still love Julie.  Julie was my identity, Ace.


When : June 1988? roughly to March / April 2007

Where : South Corning NY to Painted Post NY

Who : Mary Beth Sofia, Me

What happened : I had been working at the local grocery store since 1986 and a new cashier started working there, Mary Beth Sofia.  We partied a bit here and there and we got along all right (I was still a bit messed up over Karen and Julie from 1983, but I really didn't remember Karen or Julie in 1988 so it was kind of hard for me to be honest with someone at that time and for a time to come, but anyway...).  Mary Beth had a jealous boyfriend named Chris.  And of course me, "Let me deal with him, I'll knock that jealousy right out of him.  We're not doing anything."  And Mary Beth just said back to me, "Chris is coming over so why don't you just go and take a walk somewhere and cool off."  So I did.  I walked and I wasn't as hyperactive either.  At first I just walked a short ways, but by 1989 I had stretched that walk out to about 6.5 miles each way and about 3 hours (an hour and a half out and an hour and a half back to Painted Post).  At the time (and still to this day) the news loved to run stories about how there were all kinds of problems out there and that people needed to stay inside and be safe.  I was walking around the area and "What problems?" and some would say back, "Kids being abducted, fights breaking out, kidnappers, people with guns, etc."  And I was like, "That's odd.  I walk all of the time through the area and I don't see any of this going on.  Are you sure?".  And because I was working at the grocery store people would ask about why I walked so much and Mary Beth and I heard people ask so many times that literally Mary Beth and I had a routine and we would say at the same time (me in parentheses), "Ace (I) walks because he (I'm) hyperactive and it helps him (me) to burn off excess adrenaline."  And then I might add, "That's why I don't jog or such because I'm not looking to create more adrenaline, just burn off the adrenaline I got."  But from 1988 until around 2007, people always saw me just walking around from South Corning to Painted Post but also I didn't really bother others besides the ones that thought I was nuts because of all this crazy stuff on the news that really wasn't happening in our area.  I believe in 1989 Mary Beth started going to college at Mansfield University in Mansfield PA and I would drive her down on occasion in my 1979 Chevy Monza.  Mary Beth was a tomboy, but I was a mess emotionally and I just didn't know why.  So how can you get close to someone when you really don't even know yourself any more?  I knew all of this stuff, but I couldn't remember why I knew it, just that I knew it.  Mary Beth moved away around 1991.  I still kept walking until around July 2007 when I started my new job that I still have.  The walking worked somewhat, but there were still a few times where people could see me kind of talking to myself or even yelling at myself a couple times (not too often).  But walking does work to help take the edge off the emotions a bit and I try to recommend it to those who are hyperactive.  And still to this day (September 2020) the news keeps running these stories about other areas and people in my area get worried even though that stuff is not happening locally. 

What came of this : Back in the 1980s and 1990s, most people sat around.  Around 2000, I noticed that other people started realizing that maybe things weren't as bad as the news had people believing and more people started just walking around in our area.  Nowadays, people walk around in our area all of the time and the odd part is that people realize that if more people walk around, the 'bad' people seem to disappear like they almost never existed to begin with.


When : December 5, 1989

Where : Airport Bar, Albequerque NM

Who : Mike Judge

What happened : Just after my birthday, my parents sent me out west for a week to stay with my sister and brother-in-law.  I went to New Mexico, Arizona, California, and crossed the border slightly into Mexico.  Was definitely a different experience.  On the way out was a plane changeover in Albequerque New Mexico.  The bartender there was pretty cool and it was a couple hours between flights and no one else really around.  We were doing voices back and forth and he said he was hoping at the time to get the part of the mad scientist in the upcoming sequel movie to 'Escape From New York'.  He also talked about how he liked to draw and that he was thinking about a possible career in animation or such.  He had a sketch book, but I wasn’t much into drawing, but he had a cool drawing of a teenage looking boy with a cigarette out of his mouth (which later became the drawing for the Beavis character).  I said something like, “I usually draw stuff like planes dive bombing people and add horns, mustaches, and the like to the pictures.”  I then said something like, “Animation is rough, drawing a zillion copies of the same thing with just the arm moving is a pain.  Lining up all that stuff.”  Mike said his boss was pretty strict about not being personal with the customers, but no one was really around so what the hay.  We started doing voices back and forth with different accents and such.  I remember saying something like, “Ever notice how southerners always seem to have an answer for everything.”  Then I said something like, “Me and my boss that I used to work for when selling insurance at Combined Life, used to go around…”, then I continued in a southern accent, “Two sticks o’ diney mite, that’ll cure all yer problems.  Got a plugged turlet, take two sticks o’ diney mite.  Yer wife won’t stay faithful, two sticks o’ diney mite.  Solves all yer problems yessiree.  Tired o’ that ol’ drafty house, two sticks o’ diney mite.”  And then he came back with a southern accent of his own and, “Wha’cha need boy is a good ol’ butane regulator.”  in what would later be his Tom Anderson / Hank Hill voice.  Then I said something like, “My german accent is crappy because I can’t roll the R’s that well but here goes…”, then I continued on with a crappy german accent, “Und now here’s Albert Einstein wit his teory o’ relativity.”  Next I changed to a spanish / mexican accent and came out with, “Hey gringo, wanna f*ck my seester? Five dollar, no hollar.”  That one definitely sent Mike back a little.  Mike then said he wasn’t much into ethnic jokes and that his mother came from somewhere (Mexico?, El Salvador?, Honduras?, Ecuador?) illegally I think.  Wetbacks?  But yeah, that was a little too much from a guy you don’t really know named Ace.  But that’s me, always going over the edge.  It was after this that I think I did some more hispanic talking using one of my aliases that I used back in tenth or eleventh grade.  The Great Cornholio.  I just kind of went “hyperactive” for a little bit and went on and on about how great I was and how well I always tried to look after my people.  Before I started I introduced this long skit saying something like, “I used to do this kind of stuff in school.  I pull my shirt up over my mouth, bandito style, like this, and…”  (I know I was either wearing my Ted Nugent Out of Control or my AC/DC Rock 'N' Roll Explosion T-shirt).  And then I went into my act.  It went something like, “I am The Great Cornholio.  I need TP, TP for my bunghole.”  Then normal voice, “TP means toilet paper.”  Then bandito voice again, “My people they have been without TP.  Do not make my bunghole angry.  You must bow down to The Almighty Bunghole, Bunghole, Bunghole...”  "Would you like to see my bunghole?"  In a regular voice I said, "Fidel Castro".  And then back to bandito with, "The streets will flow red with the blood of the nonbelievers."  I think I also did some Confusionisms with a chinese accent like, “Man must be wise like potato chip” and the classic, “He who hesitay mus’ pause” and probably a couple others maybe even “luck suck f*ck duck.  Rife nah orrays av lime or leazon.”  We went back and forth killing a couple hours then it was getting time to take flight so I think I said something like, “Hey, it’s been one of the greatest times I’ve ever had but I gotta plane to catch.  I wouldn’t wanna spend the rest of my life as a couch potato and there’s a whole world out there to see.  Hope you don’t get in trouble with your boss.”  And then he said something like, “I’ll be alright.  You’d probably better get going.  Yeah, I had a great time too” or something like that.  And I think I finished with, “Break a leg cuz it’s bad luck to wish someone good luck or whatever.  Have a good one.”  And off I went to grab the plane.

What came of this : Well, it's actually really nice to be remembered.  It was around 1995 I believe before Mike Judge did the Great Cornholio stuff in the Beavis & Butt-Head show.  I knew after that that Mike had gotten into animation.  The other good part is that I wasn't the celebrity or such that Mike became.  It's nice to know someone before all the fame and glory stuff.  I've never seen Mike since then, but with all that happened, I hope he doesn't feel guilty about using the Great Cornholio skit and such.  We had no way of contacting each other and if he hadn't done that bit in the Beavis & Butt-Head show, I never would have remembered him or this stuff.  I'm glad that Mike was able to follow his dreams of going into animation.  And Yes, The Great Cornholio was originally from Cornholing New York and not Lake Titicaca in Nicaragua.


When : December 8th or 9th, 1989

Where : Universal Studios, Burbank (Hollywood) CA

Who : Thee Ace Man

What Happened : I was at Universal Studios and we showed up a few minutes after they were getting ready to close up.  My sister was arguing with the lady at the gate and saying that I had just came in from New York, but I was like, "Let's go.  They're closing."  And then the lady said, "OK, go on in" so we went in.  Most of the stuff was still operational and they still had the Conan reenactment set going on.  We watched.  The sound had problems and the actors ad-libbed it on stage as best they could.  Then the show ended and we all went outside including the actors.  Next thing, the Conan actor was talking to the magician character and the Conan guy pointed towards me and said, "I wish I looked more like him.  All I get are these grunt roles.  No real acting.  I'm constantly in the gym training and I have no time for anything else.  My trainer won't let me do anything anyway because he's worried I might pull a muscle."  And the magician is just nodding his head and then we move on to the big attraction.  At this time they were working on closing up the movie "Back To the Future Part Two" and possibly moving on to "Back To the Future Part Three".  But they had the site all set up for a movie filming and they grabbed everyone and put us behind a barricade to shoot what would be a dropped sequence for Part Two.  It was thought of to be the opening scene where Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd who was there on set) would come out of Mel's Diner and say "Oh my God, it's a galaxy of stars." with all this stuff going on at the diner.  There were a lot of extras on this set and they had the T-Birds (which I think Jim Carey may have been the T-Bird combing his hair back in the scene) in the back and girls on roller skates with trays, another girl on roller skates with a paddle ball, and many different things in the background with extras on the set.  So me, my sister, and a couple of my sister's friends were watching this behind the barricade.  Each time it was, "Take 2. Quiet on the set. Roll 'em.  Action."  And each time everything went according to plan and each time Christopher Lloyd came out and forgot his line or tried a different line.  I saw an outtake once where they had the "oh my God" line in it as a final take, but they tried many different lines each time.  And several times Christopher Lloyd just came out and said, "I forgot my line, sorry."  So "Take 3.  Take 4,.. Take 9, Take 10."  Not sure how many takes on this, but it was a lot.  Anyway, the worst part was that I was back behind the barricade going, "Gee, there's a whole lotta extras on this set and a whole lotta stuff going on.  I hope no one has to fart because a fart would just ruin this take and they'd have to do it all over again."  For at least three takes, each time, I went, "Gee, I hope no one has to fart this time either."  And each take...  After about the 6th or 7th take I leaned over to the Director and asked, "Do you mind if me and my friend jump over the fence and wander around the park a little bit?",  And she was like, "Sure, no problem, go ahead."  And so me and my sister's friend jumped over the fence and wandered around the park a little bit so that hopefully they might get the scene shot.  Honest, no one farted during all those takes, but there was a bit of laughing between takes (even from Christopher Lloyd) for some reason.

What came of this : An outtake (I believe) for the Back To the Future Part Two movie that was planned as the opening sequence to the movie but the movie was almost ready to be released and the scene had some problems (well, I think I was a problem anyway).  I've always kinda wondered if that was Jim Carey as the hair combing T-Bird on the set because I was wearing my black leather jacket with my name 'Ace' sewn in the back with chains.  You never know.


When : Late 1989 / Early 1990

Where : Corning, NY

Who : Rosemary Cavallaro Knott

What happened : After getting back from my Wild West trip and after the new year, Rosemary told me a secret about herself that later was confirmed.  When Rosemary was younger, she was seeing a guy that was a drummer in a band.  The band was Edison Lighthouse and their big hit single was "Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)" in the late 60's early 70's.  The drummer told the lead singer a story about Rosemary and the lead singer, Tony Dowd, turned it into the song.  Rosemary never saw the drummer again after that.

What came of this : Well, how many people can say they've had a hit song written about them.  You never know.


When : October 3, 1994

Where : my bed, 8 Garden Street, Corning, NY

Who : my dream

What happened : This dream happened on October 3, 1994 and I woke but then went to sleep a little while later.  This dream ended at 2:30 am in the morning and I went back to sleep at 4 am in the morning.  The dream started with me in knight’s armor on a white horse navigating a maze with floors, walls and ceilings.  The walls didn’t reach the top of the ceiling but I couldn’t really see over the walls.  Partway through the maze I was still a knight in blue armor on a white horse and battling another knight in green armor on a dark brown horse.  We both had lances.  I knocked the other knight off his horse and then proceeded outside this maze and then got off my high horse, grabbed a sword and stuck it up into this white ceiling then kneeled down on one knee looking down towards the floor.  After sticking the sword in the ceiling a voice stated, “In thirteen years you will have a son.”  I then went back to sleep thinking - I will have a son?  Who is the son's mother?

I had another dream at 4 am.  This dream started out with me at my old high school and going to my old high school locker with two women sitting in chairs near my locker.  There was one woman with blonde hair and one with dark hair.  The one with dark hair stood up from the chair and slid a piece of paper into my locker then both women left.  I tried to open the locker but couldn’t remember the combination.  Next I just rotate the locker dial a little bit then pull on the handle and the door opens.  I find the piece of paper that looked like a hall pass and the name on this hall pass was the name Mary K. Wilder written in signature form.  The blonde looked like Mary Beth from 1987 only older and a bit heavier.  The dark haired woman looks like a woman I would meet in 2003 named Brandi only she was heavier and older as well in this dream.  So now on October 3, 2007 between 2:30 am and 4:00 am I will have a son and the mother is Mary K Wilder (whoever this is).

Cool!  Some stuff to think about and drive me nuts for thirteen years.  Awesome.

What came of this : Yeah, if you skip ahead, there is nothing for October 3, 2007.  Go figure.


When : October 1997

Where : Corning NY

Who : Kay Moulthrop Hively, Julie Sage (kind of)

What happened : I started remembering my memories of Julie Sage after talking with a girlfriend of my cousin Bobby's.  Her name was Rochelle and for some reason something she said just brought back my memories of Julie Sage and how I got my nickname, Ace, and such again.

What came of this : It's a long haul, but I started getting my feelings back again.  I broke up with my girlfriend, Kay Moulthrop Hively, not too long after this.  It was nothing she did.  I was just starting to become an emotional mess and I didn't want Kay to get caught in the middle of all that.  Kay was a nice and decent person.  I became an emotional mess again.  We ended on good terms as far as boyfriend and girlfriend.  Still friends.


When : August 4?, 2000

Where : Yankee Stadium, New York, New York

Who : King of Morocco (King Mohammed VI)

What happened : I was asked to take my grandmother Minnie to a Yankees baseball game for an early birthday present (she was born on September 16th) where the New York Yankees played the Kansas City Royals.  I think it was the 8th but may have been the 4th.  Been a while.  Anyway, it was the seventh inning stretch I believe and I left to go to the bathroom.  I go to the bathroom and I'm standing outside and waiting in a long line of probably about 50 or so other guys waiting to use the bathroom.  Down the corridor comes a man with 4 women bowing before him and the women spreading purple orchids at the man's feet.  Yes, it was the former prince, now King of Morocco that I had talked to in 1980 in Earth Science class.  Anyway, I say off to the side to the guys behind me, "You'd be surprised how many people lose contact lenses these days."  The guys behind me are saying, "Do you know who that is.  Many people would give their right arm to shake his hand."  Which is kinda funny in its own way when you think about giving up your arm to shake hands, but... And the King walks up to me and shakes my hand and says, "Thank you." and then walks away.  I am pretty sure he got up the courage and knowledge to talk to his father but I didn't ask.  He evidently became king so I figure my talk helped him, but I knew that back in 1980 him talking to his father would help him more than anyone else could.  After shaking hands, the king went back to where he came from with his servants and I still waited in line.  And then it was over and I finally got to the bathroom about 5 minutes later.  I went back to my grandmother and we finished watching the game then left and caught the tour bus back to Corning.

What came of this : People are people.  We each have our own lives to live.  I guess he talked to his father and also realized that he is to be king and do as he does, just like his father did.  Well, not just like, for we each have our own things to do in our own time.  But truthfully, how many people shake hands with a king that says, "Thank you" while you are waiting in line to take a leak having women spread orchids at a person's feet and all that.  Life's cool that way some times.  And sometimes, you wish you had been the one to think of "People would give their right arm to shake his hand." instead of "lost contact lenses.", but not to be.


When : August to October 2000

Where : Internet email

Who : Chris Webber and his brother Paul Webber

What happened : I have done a bunch of things for the fighting game engine MUGEN, but the most interesting one still is working with Willoughby Jackson (Paul Webber - Rochester NY) and his brother ChairmanKaga (Chris Webber - Michigan).  Paul was on the TESTP Forum (which is now gone) and was working on a Mortal Kombat Scorpion character.  Paul was a night watchman in Rochester, NY (in an area called Webster I believe).  I asked Paul if we could email and he said he couldn't because his work wouldn't allow it.  The forum had some strict rules at the time about posting coding on the site, but we did anyways.  The first part was the Scorpion coming out of the floor move and Paul, Chris and I (GohanSSM2) all realized later that it would have to be an illusion with the sprites being cut off to make it appear like he came through the floor.  The next part was the rough part and I posted an outline of what needed to be done to make Mortal Kombat type fatality moves in MUGEN.  After this and the fact that there was no way Paul was going to understand the method behind this, Chris Webber and I talked back and forth through email about how to go about the fatality coding.  But when I first talked to Chris by email, Chris thought I knew about the 1993 University of Michigan basketball game and the technical foul for not having any time outs left.  Seems like every time Chris talked to people, they always seemed mad at him for the mistake in 1993.  Chris even said he had to change his name because of death threats and people calling him up at 2 to 3 am yelling about how could he have messed that up in 1993.  And it was 2000 and it still continued I guess.  Chris and I worked out the details and Chris figured things out on his own anyway.  But Chris had a lot on his mind as did I and after both of us got too used to arguing with others, we just publicly argued because we were just that used to it with everyone.  So around October / November 2000 was the last I heard from Chris Webber.  Chris's brother Paul released the Scorpion character around October 2000 as Willoughby Jackson.  And Chris helped and did a lot of the coding with the Scorpion character.  After the TESTP forum collapsed, Chris disappeared.  Chris's brother Paul stayed around for about a year or two then disappeared too.  But the truth is that the Mortal Kombat fatality type coding for MUGEN was originally done by a guy that had a rough life because of a bad situation in a basketball game.  And no, for the record, not at any time did Chris ever appear to be an 'idiot' or such.

What came of this : Well, even though he made a mistake in 1993, people never seemed to forgive Chris Webber.  Even after helping people with learning how to do Mortal Kombat fatality coding, publicly, most people think Chris Webber must be an idiot because of a basketball game.  The truth is that Chris Webber was smart enough to figure out how to do Mortal Kombat fatality coding before other 'brainiacs' were able to figure it out.  The truth is, politics suck!  Popularity contests and the truth never come out right.  But fortunately, Chris Webber did what he did not for any other reason except to prove to himself he could do it.  And he did.


When : 2000 / 2001

Where : Internet - Corning NY

Who : L33t liek Jeff K.

What happened : I was in a fighting game engine community called MUGEN.  There were a bunch of people in the community that had been learning about 'hacking' as we had several in the community that had been hacking other people.

One that had been hacked that I knew about was a guy named kuzu-bei who had left MUGEN before I started in June 2000.  After some discussions I had on a board called TESTP I got a private email from kuzu-bei asking me to stop asking the others questions and just let things go.  kuzu-bei had been hacked and he had left the community and just wished to be left alone.  I was right in assuming that others had not had his actual permission to use his coding, however, after he had been hacked and left the community, he did not care anymore and kuzu-bei stated to me that anyone could use his coding now just so long as they left him alone.  The hacking came after kuzu-bei had been talking with someone named 'The Necromancer' and while chatting another named 'Kogason' had hacked into kuzu-bei's computer and got kuzu-bei's passwords and such.  Kogason then proceeded to hack kuzu-bei's web site and kuzu-bei's posting accounts on forums and such.  After the mess, kuzu-bei wanted nothing more to do with MUGEN.  That was that and kuzu-bei told me that in the private email that he sent me that he appreciated my concern but he just wished to be left alone and didn't want to take a chance of being hacked any more.

And just before Halloween 2000, I had been hacked myself.  An individual asked me to chat with them while on AOL and while on AOL, another had hacked into my computer and got some (not all) of my passwords including my EZ-Board password.  I noticed it had happened as I saw an extra person on the LAN (Local Area Network) that I was using to connect to the internet.  It showed up under "Network Connections" which I had open at the time as I did not trust AOL chat after the email from kuzu-bei.  I was right.  I never used AOL chat again after this incident.  I also avoided the usenet (#usenet) as well.  These places were loaded with hackers as these sites made computers vulnerable to security breaches as they opened up a computer's firewall and left people vulnerable to hacker attacks.

Around late October 2000, I was hacked a little before Halloween.  I got my accounts and such back around November 4, 2000 after I used the 'back door' in my accounts.  During that time I had asked the guy, ReACtOrZ (the bass player for a techno pop band called ''JuNo ReACtOrZ" or something like that) and he suspended my account until after I got it back.  ReACtOrZ had a friend named razorgolem that had been a hacker at one time but was reformed after being hacked himself.  razorgolem was a quiet person now but used to be very arrogant and cocky before I met him, as being a hacker, most hackers start feeling invincible or invulnerable until it happens to them.  razorgolem and I shared a few stories together but razorgolem had learned his lesson about hacking.  The lesson was that 'the madness' doesn't stop until after you, yourself, stop.  The madness is the feeling that you are invincible or invulnerable and that you can do whatever you want.  Anarchy is 'the madness'.  No rules.  It seems all right until you go further and realize that others are not following rules either and are doing whatever they want too.  And it is all well and fine until what you are doing unto others happens back to you and then you feel how it feels to be hacked.  razorgolem had asked if I had ever been a hacker as he noticed I had done some computer programming with a couple Doom and MUGEN utilities.  I had told razorgolem that I knew the processes, but I had never crossed the line that a hacker crosses of doing things to others that you wouldn't like it if it was done to you.  I told him I also knew MASM and TASM (machine language programming) and that I used an old DOS program, HXED, to look inside coding and such if the need arose.  I also told him I knew about the password storage files of Windows and a few other files like "user.dat" and such and how to bypass the 'hidden' file label on a file to make the file(s) visible.

Anyway, I am pretty sure it was in 2001 (maybe 2002 or 2003 even, been a while) and I was at a forum called MUGEN Being.  While on this forum ran by a guy named Infiinma and his little buddy, Kirby, I had run across a hacker by the name of Jeff K. elsewhere.  Jeff K. had been getting notoriety on the internet as being a hacker and hacking people's web sites.  Jeff K. would start an argument with someone and then 'discuss' it with them on AOL or such and in the process gain their passwords.  Afterwards, Jeff K. would "goatse" their site with stuff like "Yuo h4s be goatse by da l33t Jeff K.  Yuo no l!k3 Jeff K.  Jeff K. l!k3 yuo and l!k3 goatse 2.  Y yuo no lik3 goatse?  Yuo n0t l33t l!k3 Jeff K."  And he would add goat pictures to their sites and use a lot of w4r3z type spellings to make people think he was crazy and insane.  Jeff K. also noticed that I had a habit of making others think I was 'crazy and insane' too.  I had also noticed that Jeff K. had a rule and that rule was that he would not hack someone unless they had got into an argument with him.  Jeff K. and I did not argue but I hit Jeff K. with the idea of "someday someone is going to get you back and do the things that you have been doing to others back to you.  How have you been sleeping lately?  Is it worth all that worrying and aggravation for when that day comes?  You wouldn't like it if it was done to you and the only way to end the madness is if it never gets done at all.  But even better, as I know you are a good person deep down inside, you could actually help others and teach others how to protect themselves and you could be a real hero someday instead of worrying all the time like I figure you've been doing."  No argument between us and I guess apparently Jeff K. turned himself in not too long after that.

What happened after this : Stuff.  Whatever that stuff may be.  Maybe we could all learn something someday.  Maybe not.  But most times it is the ideas of people and not necessarily the people themselves that become problems.  Maybe or maybe not again.  Choices.  We all make choices.  Myself included as I am a people too.


When : 2004 to 2009 roughly

Where : Corning NY

Who : screw ups

What happened : Well, I had got a job as a school bus driver with a local non school district busing company.  There was a huge problem as I ended up getting myself in the middle of a bunch of garbage and if you look at my history, there was a conviction involved.  Note also, I pled guilty as if I hadn't, certain people may have walked away unscathed.  Unfortunately, a few that needed to be scathed got away, almost.  There are a few people that know to stay away.  There is a difference too between stay away and don't come near.  Maximilian Adalbert Baer Junior is don't come near.  Don't come near means we can still talk just don't come near in case I may snap.  Several people made my stay away list after this in 2004 and later.  Stay away means if I ever catch you near me, you are done.  But there was a girl named Brandi that a bunch of people around her had pulled some stuff and as a result, done.  As far as Brandi, in 1984 I believe I had met Brandi's mother Nina.  Nina was having problems at the time and had left her husband because Nina had found out that her husband had done some things that were not right.  Nina took her kids and left her husband and had been living with others to get away from her husband.  Nina had a thought that maybe if she could get rid of Brandi that maybe it might be OK to go back to her husband.  Brandi had a habit of making up stories, but something about this story made Nina think that Brandi was telling the truth.  Brandi had told her mother the truth.  After Nina and I talked, Nina realized that she had done the right thing for her and her family.  It was rough on Nina, but after our talk, Nina knew that she had done the right thing as best as she could as the system really did not protect and going through the system was not going to work.  Nina asked if I would adopt Brandi at first, but then Nina realized that she shouldn't try to run away from her real problem.  I was 23 at the time this happened.  Nina and the kids got found and the kids were broken up and put in foster care later on.  It was a mess later on for Nina, but not at this time.  But after Nina and I had talked, Nina realized that her daughter had been telling her the truth and that her ex husband had some serious problems that weren't going to go away and that the system's "help" was not going to actually help.  That was in 1984.  2003 and 2004 I kept wondering why something seemed familiar about this girl Brandi that I was working with.  Brandi was about 10 years younger than me.  I had forgot about all that with Nina as that was 20 years earlier.  Brandi was having problems in college and so I started helping to tutor her like I had done with many others.  You know, acronyms and that kind of stuff.  Brandi had a couple kids that she was paying child support on as well as another kid, Logan, that was living with her and her boyfriend, Craig, at this time.  Brandi had a couple ex husbands and was a mess herself.  Her boyfriend was a bigger mess.  One of her ex husbands, Jimmy Siebert was actually a step uncle of mine.  Brandi had a son, Logan, that was living with her and Jimmy had started calling him Bubby because Logan reminded Jimmy of me when I was little.  When I met Logan, yes there was a little draw between us.  Brandi had also tried to get me to be her 'boyfriend' but I kept thinking there was something odd going on here so that did not happen and I wasn't about to let it happen either.  Help with school, yes.  Boyfriend, no.  Jimmy had a couple kids that Brandi had helped raise, but these kids were step cousins of mine and as it was family, we knew that the only good Siebert was Kenny Siebert and Kenny had died in a motorcycle accident on his way home from Viet Nam in I believe 1969.  And that still holds true that the only good Siebert was Kenny.  The rest were trash and it showed and still shows to this day.  But anyway, this became a big mess as Craig and those around Brandi were and are still trash.  They started making up stories and accusing me of stuff.  I started writing things down.  I still have what I wrote backed up elsewhere.  Yes, this is a very long story, but I would rather just shorten it for this as I have the details elsewhere.  I got accused of Stalking in the fourth degree.  Unbeknownst to me, this Public Defender I was assigned arranged for the Assistant District Attorney to get the charge bumped up from a Class B Misdemeanor to a Class A Misdemeanor of Aggravated Second Degree Harassment and a bigger mess.  But I signed the paperwork and then I proceeded to alert others that were higher up that there was a huge problem here.  Others agreed and in the end, two police officers were asked to retire or else, the Assistant District Attorney became the Assistant to the Coroner within about 3 to 4 months of my case being 'settled', the judge was later asked to resign about 4 years later or else (there weren't any transcripts and oddly, a higher up had been in court that day that I signed the paperwork and this judge had lied in court to this higher up, so...), and the public defender was asked to resign as well about 5 years later after many cases had been reviewed and several found to be suspicious.  But honestly, if I had not pled guilty to that plea, several individuals would have probably been still 'practicing' law instead of performing legal duties.  Had it gone to trial with a jury and such, I would have been acquitted.  I signed the paperwork.  A lot of 'fishy' activity was investigated.  Things happened.  In all honesty, why the blue blazes would I stalk anyone?  I wasn't following anyone around.  Others were following me and I had it all documented and my documentation of events checked out.  The conviction against me didn't check out, but I let it stand as a reminder that sometimes you just have to do what you got to do.  But as a result, Brandi's boyfriend, Craig, as well as the Public Defender I was assigned, Jim, as well as several others figured out that it was best to never come near me again.  As far as Logan, he became a lost cause and ended up being nothing like me and no one calls him Bubby anymore.  As far as Craig and the others, there was a 'baffling' case in the area of a gang calling themselves 'The Outlaws' that oddly seemed to be the same ones I was dealing with.  Um, I sent a huge packet of papers to the District Attorney, John, that helped him solve who this 'gang' was.  Yeah, I know there is this big 'mark' on my name, but I went from a job making $300 bucks every two weeks to a job where I made over $300+ bucks every week (many times 500 or more as I had told my boss, "They keep driving passed my house.  I'm always available because I am actually safer here than I am at my own house so feel free to use me any time."  My boss thought I was joking at first, but he did find out that I wasn't joking).  But if I hadn't got the mark up against my name, others may have got away with many more things than what they did do before being caught.  I'm good, but others haven't been as lucky as they thought they would be.  I'm thankful that I don't have to live a lie like others have been doing.  I mean really, Brandi was almost my adopted daughter in 1984, and a bunch of retards kept trying to make people think I wanted Brandi to be a girlfriend or whatever.  I don't think so.  I'm not like that.  It was a nice learning experience for me, but others I guess don't learn so well.  And when they don't learn, move on, which I did for the most part.  I started work for another company on July 5, 2007 and I still work there even after February 1, 2020 when I added this section.

What came of this : A bunch got added to my 'stay away' list.  Craig, Kevin, Brian, Missy, Jenn, and my so called lawyer, Jim definitely got added to that list.  Done.  No talking.  Stay away if you know what's good for you because you will die once I get a hold of you if you are stupid enough to come around me again.  My stay away list.  My 'do not come near' list is as a precautionary measure as someone snapped and I could possibly snap too so it is best to stay safe and keep a safe distance from each other just in case either of us snaps again.  Me and someone on my 'do not come near' list can still talk about stuff and who knows maybe some day they can be removed from that list.  Once on the 'stay away' list.  Done.  No talking.  Done.  Over.  Stay away!  No removal from that list but probable removal of your life if you are stupid enough to come near me again after being warned.  Only one warning as well for the life of an individual on my 'stay away' list.  Also, I wrote a long piece called 'Now Syndrome' based on this mess.  It is a very emotional piece and almost no one has been able to read it without understanding what abuse is really about and how it can be stopped even though the effects will still linger.  This piece, .  Written by me in 2006 after being sent into an abuse class that not surprisingly did not help me at all, but as usual, I was able to help others in the process.  How would you feel if what you did to someone else was done back to you?  I made my point!  Others can't help because the truth was and is considered to be too religious and since church and state are to be separated, truth is separated as well.  Well, almost since I wasn't working for the state at the time or religion either for that matter.  The truth.


When : May / June 2010?

Where : Sayre PA

Who : Thee Ace Man (Me)

What happened : Luggage delivery.  2 different houses that were about 4 to 5 houses apart.  I delivered the first bag to a house that was on the corner at 2:45:08 PM and literally ran down the street to deliver at the next house (4 or 5 houses down) at 2:45:58 PM.  Our setup is within 5 minutes and so I was at 2 different places at the same time 2:45 PM.  And they said it couldn't be done.  You can't be two places at the same time.  I did it, kinda.

What came of this : Nuttin'.  Just one of those you can't do this; you can't do that kinda things that you just wanna do sometimes just to say you did it.  Well, kinda did it anyway.


When : June / July 2012

Where : Route 86 West Between Wilawana, and Chemung, NY

Who : a NOMAC Derrick Hand & Me

What happened : Well, there were usually 4 people on this NOMAC run, but three of the other guys decided to leave the camp the night before and stay at the Holiday Inn Express in Horseheads.  I went from expecting 4 passengers to having just 1.  About three weeks before, my watch had finally died after 12 (a dozen) years and instead of the usual silver band, I got the gold watch I have now.  I always religiously set my watch for 5 minutes ahead until after this incident in 2012.  I picked the derrick hand up and it was a clear sky normal afternoon (around 11 am to noon, somewhere in there).  We were going from the NOMAC Man Camp in Sayre / Athens PA and heading to the Elmira / Corning Regional Airport in I believe van 939.  After passing the Wilawana exit ramp with not much traffic an odd thing happened.  We were on Interstate 86 heading West and all of a sudden all the traffic we came upon was stopped on the highway.  Not stopped as in applying the brakes, but stopped as in we were moving but no one else was.  Believe it or not, somehow time for everyone else but us two had stood still.  It was real creepy because each vehicle we passed was just standing there and I slowed the vehicle down to 55 mph just in case.  My passenger was nearly freaking out and was looking around and said, "What's going on?  Do you know?  Everything is standing still?"  I looked over at a white mini van that we passed and you could see a little girl (about 8 years old) with her face pressed up against the window making a face, but she couldn't seem to see us or move.  She was just stuck in suspended animation making a weird face pressed into the window.  There was a black pickup truck right behind the mini van and that was not moving either.  We went about 2 and a half miles and passed about 5 to 7 cars and however many cars that were on the other side (86 East) and about the time we started getting near the Chemung exit things were moving again.  I later figured that everything and everyone else was frozen in time for about 2 minutes and 24 seconds because my watch still kept time, but my phone time was stuck too.  Instead of my watch being 5 minutes fast, it was only 2 minutes and 36 seconds fast now.  When my passenger asked the questions I tried to remain calm and told him, "Yeah, something weird's going on here, try not to panic.  We'll be OK.  I'm slowing down a little so that when things come back to normal we shouldn't have any problems.  I don't know what's really going on either, but I'm sure we'll find out once we get back to the airport.  We'll be OK."  And like I said, after about 2 minutes and 24 seconds, things around us were moving again like normal.  We got to the airport and the other 3 guys that stayed at the Holiday Inn Express said when we arrived, "Are you OK?  We heard there was a fatality out near Waverly about a half hour ago involving a white mini van.  We thought it might be you but it wasn't you, was it?  That's a relief."  But no wild vortex or any of that other sci fi type special effects type stuff.  The Earth didn't appear to stand still or any of that either.  We were just somehow going through time at a normal rate while everything else was suspended in time for 2 minutes and 24 seconds.  I think, but not positive, that the derrick hand's first name was Shawn and he was a part of a group of four that we dubbed "The Four Musketeers".

What came of this : I'm pretty sure the time / space continuum theory can't explain this one.  Nothing else I know of can explain it either.  But me and a derrick hand from NOMAC Drilling are 2 minutes and 24 seconds older than everyone else for some odd reason.  Stuff happens.


When : April / May 2017

Where : Elmira / Corning Regional Airport, Big Flats NY

Who : The Son of God

What happened : In 2016 I remember a lady walking by the Terp's counter and talking about her son being able to speak in all different languages.  After the lady, Mindy, walked by, they went over to the Hertz counter and I distinctly heard him say over the counter to Daryl at Hertz, "I can speak in all languages".  April / May and Dave (a car shuttler for Avis) comes over and his older son is on the other side of the counter.  Dave and Mindy are married and I recognized their oldest son as the one who had talked over the counter to Daryl at Hertz about a year before.  The other part, even though older (about 9 years old), I recognize him as being the 3 year old sitting on Shaddai's (God's) lap back in 1973 / 1974.  It's definitely him, but he doesn't know it yet nor do his mom, dad, younger brothers, or step older sister.  He didn't wear eyeglasses in 2016 when I first saw him, but he wears eyeglasses now.  And a blind man shall lead them...

What came of this : Well, I'm pretty sure now that I'm not the actual 'blind man that will lead them'.  As far as this...  Time will tell.  His birthday I believe is June 11th.  They live in Elmira near the old Joycrest Rollerskating Rink.  Just when you think things can't get more interesting... 


When : May 28, 2019

Where : Corning NY

Who : Me, Karen Carpenter (kind of)

What happened : I was making a music CD of material to play on a school bus (which I still haven't played it on the bus) and the third song I used on that CD was "Sing" by The Carpenters.  My memories of Karen Carpenter started coming back.  My emotions started coming back as well.  My feelings came back after remembering Julie Sage; my emotions came back after remembering Karen.  As I warned people around me, "I am back to being me again, that smart aleck that everyone remembers as Ace is back again."  But after being just a 'thinker' for quite a while, it's nice coming back to being that emotional thinker that people used to either openly embrace or run and hide from.  It depends on how others behave towards me honestly.  Those that talk and seek advice and honesty and such start learning to embrace me.  Those looking to cause problems and wishing to be dishonest and such learn to run away and hide from my emotional intellect.  And yes, emotional intellect.  It is possible to have both.  The problem is that most people either rely on emotion or intellect and not both.  Most people when angry, do not think straight.  With emotional intellect you can be angry while still thinking straight.  And that scares people.  But emotional intellect also means that you can care too and honestly mean what you say and say what you mean unlike most people that are just looking to get something back by pretending they 'care'.  Mr. Do Unto Others As You Would Have Others Do Unto You.  Mr. Meek.  Mr. Honesty.  Mr. Emotional Intellect.  Ace.  Shaddai's (God's) grandson, Metatron (Ace, Me).  Me, Myself, and I back to being the same person again.

What came of this : Me again.  A return to Me, Myself and I.  But I still have a way to go yet, but it's a start...


And the most interesting part is that these stories were told to me before I realized what all this fuss was about.  And now looking back on this, this is the way it should be.  According to legend, the only one to have a double-nerved upper left bicuspid tooth is the one referred to as Enoch / Metatron aka 'The Holy Scribe', 'The Prince of the Presence (Countenance)', 'The Knower of Secrets', and the like...  I am supposedly the one that most individuals (in spirit form) get their information from after they pass away.  And the nice part is that they got to meet me as well as I got to meet them.  No bowing or any of that nonsense, but on equal terms for the most part.

And really, you'd be surprised how many people that have interesting stories, but most people anymore just don't want to take the time and listen or may not be in the mood to talk.  But most of these conversations and such I've had were with people that you really wouldn't expect to have these kind of stories.  But they did.  And who knows, you may have some interesting stories to tell yourself.

And on a graduational note (after finals usually comes graduation), please learn to be kind and respectful of others and their wishes.  My big problem with people has been those that are 'pushy' and just care about themselves and such.  Buttholes (Meek are the ones that follow the same rules they ask others to follow whereas Buttholes are those that make rules for others to follow but do not follow the same rules themselves).  There are reasons why many people like to have their privacy.  Respect that.  As far as myself, I'm God's (Shaddai's) grandson and I have been allowed to have my privacy for over half a century now.  I did not intend to in the beginning, but after writing about my own experiences and such I have realized that most of the 'sacred' and 'religious' type works are lacking in some form or another.  I searched for more and possibly better answers.  I found that many of my personal experiences contradicted what has been said and written while others reinforced certain ideas and thought processes and such.  Is there something wrong with learning instead of trying to pretend like you know and have all of the answers?  And how can someone learn when they try to make believe that they have all of the answers when they don't?  And how do you get answers?  Exactly, be patient and respectful of others and their wishes.  Other people came around me.  I didn't go looking to meet people and such.  It just happened as it should.  How would you like your whole life story all over the place.  Even worst, how would you like it if people were spreading rumors about you that aren't true, but you have no idea that these rumors are even being spread?  You have an idea because others are all of a sudden acting strange around you.  What's up?  How should I know?  For those that have been through it, we know the score.  Look at what has been written about Metatron.  And honestly, how many people are looking around to find God's grandson?  Now, if you found him, would you talk to him?  Would you ignore him?  And supposedly I have a twin brother named Sandalphon who was apparently the prophet Elijah and also I am not sure about Noah and his wife nor Abram (Abraham) and his wife Sarai (Sarah) as I do not remember Karen having those in her past lives.  Think about it.  Ask questions.  Have patience.  Think some more.  Ask more questions.  Have more patience.  Am I looking to hide?  No.  Others have been hiding me.  I had an Order of Suppression ('gag order') placed on me so that my name and likeness could not be used in the papers.  And honestly how many times has someone asked "Are you the grandson of God (Allah, etc.)?" in a normal conversation.  God is Shaddai (Allah, Creator, etc.).  God's son is Emmanuel (Holy Spirit).  God's grandsons are Metatron (me, Metatron) and Sandalphon and are there more possibly?  Sons?  Daughters?  Husbands?  Lords?  Wives?  Ladies?  Also, my spirit (Metatron) was the same spirit attached to Enoch the seventh removed from Adam and Noah's great grandfather.  Edna (Lady Metatron apparently) was Enoch's mate and Noah's great grandmother.  So that would make everyone children of God (Shaddai, etc.) now wouldn't it?  And since all are related to Him, then what?  The good, the bad and the ugly?  And what if you were able to meet the actual Metatron (grandson)?  Then what?  Sandalphon?  God (Shaddai, Allah, Creator, etc.)?  Emmanuel (Holy Spirit, son of God, etc.)?  Lady Metatron?  Lady Shaddai?  Lady Emmanuel?  Lady Sandalphon?  And think about when you create something.  Wouldn't you like that thing (or person or whatever) to be important too or else what would be the point of creating it?  Yes, things have been written, but how many times have things been rewritten because what was written was not right?  Correct?  Who are you really?  Are ewe really girl sheep?  Only you (ewe) can answer that.  Sheep?  Shepherd?  You (Ewe) [not to be confused with Eve which is another story].