Karen Carpenter Question & Answer Page


Adrian "Thee Ace Man" Downing, III

Contact Info: email : theeaceman64@gmail.com

Datclaimer (instead of the usual disclaimer) - My opinions expressed on this page are based on the information and events written on this page that I am wishing to share with others.  With that, feel free to have your own opinions too based on the information you may or may not have.  I am fine with having a different or even the same opinion as others, if you are not fine with that then that's your problem and feel free to let others see you lose your sanity over it.  No sane person feels they know it all.  Better understanding is obtained from learning and asking questions, not from knowing it all.  Dat's dat (that's that?).

This page is an attempt to answer many of the questions that have been asked about Karen Carpenter.

For information from Richard try the 'Fans Ask' section on this site http://www.richardandkarencarpenter.com .

I was around Karen from September 6, 1978 to June 22, 1979 as well as June 12, 1981 to June 20, 1981 and I also got a phone call from her on February 3, 1983.  Most of the information on this page comes from the many talks and events Karen and me shared together.  As such, I tried to keep this page from as much of Karen's perspectives as possible.  Most of the Karen passing away stuff comes from her autopsy plus our talks together.  For many of the answers on this page I try to include not only the information but also the events and stories from Karen and me about where this information comes from.

And for those that don't realize, Karen Carpenter has always been the one that knew the most about herself.  For the record, I'm not Karen nor is anyone else that is still alive.  Myself as well as others can only rely on what we remember.  And if some memories are a bit sketchy or fuzzy here and there, it is what it is.

But hopefully this page helps people who are looking to "fill in the blanks" as best as possible about Karen.  As you will read, I still have some blanks to fill in myself.

Also, part of the fun of a page like this is ask yourself the question first and see what you would answer then read what is written here.  If the same that's good but also if not the same or if you don't really have an answer then it is good as well as you will most likely learn something new and possibly gain a different perspective.

Another also, Karen did not like being considered a 'square' or a 'prude' so in her defense, I did answer some controversial subject matter (like plugs or pads?, boxers or briefs?, etc.) as I feel Karen would have probably wanted it that way.

And a question & answer page opposed to a story page as with a story page, the story needs to come first whereas with a question & answer page, the information is first and foremost.

And yes, when stuff doesn't seem to sound right, feel free to ask questions as the need may arise.  Maybe someone else knows?  Is something missing?  You never know until someone asks.

So, I feel enough of the intro here, how about some questions & answers, starting with...

1. What happened with Karen's passing away?

Due to circumstances beyond her control, Karen was not ever able to answer this question directly.  That answer is a web page unto itself here
karenlastdays.htmlNote, this page brings up a lot of stuff missing from others and tries to break down the medical jargon into english as best as possible.  The "Karen's Last Days" page is an objective page that deals with issues surrounding Karen's passing away in an objective, matter of fact, type page. 

I also wrote a subjective type page here rantnrave.html where I discuss stuff that is more subjective, matter of opinion, than objective to try and help explain to others better the difference between objective and subjective topics. 

The Karen's Last Days page is more like reading an encyclopedia (the old encyclopedias, not the new ones) whereas the Rant N Rave Page is more like reading a tabloid in comparison.

2. Who is writing this page?

Hi, I'm Adrian "Thee Ace Man" Downing, III and as you'll read, I am an answer to a few of the questions that have been asked about Karen, such as...

3. Was Karen really in love with a married man named Adrian?

No.  The Adrian that Karen romantically referred to in her diaries and such after September 5, 1978 were for a guy who's first name was Adrian, not last. 

Also, this Adrian was the guy who Richard mentioned during the reading of Karen's Will in mid February 1983 as the guy who Karen left her love to when Richard read off the list of personal things from Karen's Second Codicil of her Will which was not filed publicly.  Yes, Adrian, me, the guy writing this web page. 

After Karen and John Adrian (last name) broke up in 1977, John married another woman. 

Karen and me (Adrian / Ace) met on September 6, 1978.  After John had married someone else three months after he and Karen broke up, Karen was not romantically interested in John. 

And to note here, the Second Codicil entry for Karen leaving her (everlasting / eternal?) love to Adrian (Dowling / Darling?) was signed by myself and notarized by a lady named Lois Crandell in Corning, New York on February 4, 1983. 

And also stated, this document (Second Codicil) was not filed publicly with Karen's Will but was read by Richard (executor) during the mid February reading of Karen's Last Will And Testament.

4. Wasn't Phil Ramone the one who was "Karen's new manager"?

Nope.  Phil Ramone was a producer and as people in the music business know, a manager is a step down from a producer (especially in pay). 

Karen created the "new manager" story in February 1983 to cover up that she was planning on eloping with a guy named Adrian (me).  After the mess with Thomas Burris, Karen felt that if she had even mentioned wanting to get married again that people would want to lock her up and throw away the key.  So Karen created the "new manager story" to hide the fact that she was planning on eloping with Adrian (me) after she signed her divorce papers on February 4, 1983. 

The actual "new manager" was a guy named Adrian (me again).  Karen's actual "new manager" was also almost 15 years younger than Karen but Karen and her new manager (me) had a rule in place of "no physical touching" which was kept until Karen's new manager (me again) got older. 

And yes, tabloid paper writers care more about stories than truths.  Where is the controversial story in "wait until he gets older".  But if you take out the wait part and that "no touching rule", instant classic story that sells papers to unknowing masses.  Remember that not everything ever gets included in a story which is where the term "read between the lines" came from as with most stories, if you look at what's missing (between the lines) and ask questions like "why doesn't this sound right?" then you can figure it out.  And figuring out what is missing is known as "filling in the blanks". 

There is always that trial and error thing when trying to do something different or new or when trying to solve a problem.  And with something new and different or problem solving, as people that have done such things realize, there are those things that didn't quite turn out as planned.  Mistakes.  Speaking of which... Someone saying they think that someone thinks a certain way is not the same as someone asking someone what they think and allowing the other someone to answer with what they actually think.  Not allowing someone to answer on their own behalf or trying to put words in other people's mouths is a process known as "badgering" and is a very dishonest practice used by dishonest people that can't handle other people having a viewpoint that differs from their own.  Don't you agree?  See how that works?  Assumptions (making an ass out of you and me) are never accurate and tabloids and 'story writers' are always loaded with assumptions and second guessing and mind reading and such.

5. How did this new manager story get started?

Karen actually started the story a few days before she passed away but didn't tell anyone (except me) who the story was actually about.

On the day Karen passed away Richard had looked in Karen's secret Bible stash and found a plane ticket to New York plus two tickets to Las Vegas as well as a set of wedding rings.  Richard had heard the 'new manager' story himself and he knew Karen was up to something but did not know what. 

Karen had also told Richard that she was worried about Thomas trying to make a fast withdrawal from her account before their divorce went through so Karen had pulled most of the money out of her account and hid it in the house.  But Karen hadn't told Richard or her mom where she hid the money. 

So to answer another question, Richard told his mom not to let anyone in the house and tell everyone that Richard was sleeping and didn't wish to be disturbed.  Richard then got another ticket to New York and Richard flew out to New York to see who this "new manager" was and if he (me) had been told where the money was hidden.  But until the money could be found, no one in the house except Richard and mom and dad.  That was also why the housekeeper, Florine, was kicked out. 

After getting out to where Karen was heading in New York, Richard met his step cousin, Wendy, at the airport and Wendy took Richard to where I was.  Richard and I met and after a bit of a talk first, Richard asked and I told Richard that I thought Karen had said she had put the money in a shoe box in her closet.  Richard called his mom up and the money was found in a shoe box in Karen's closet.  Richard then told his mom to keep with the "I'm sleeping" story until Richard got back.  But would you want a bunch of people in your house if you knew you had a large wad of cash laying around? 

But also during this trip, Richard was able to get a part of Karen's Second Codicil signed and notarized.  Unfortunately, not sure if leaving your love to someone is technically legal or not.  Like said, that Second Codicil was not filed publicly as it was technically covered in Karen's original Will of 1972(?). 

But the new manager story started as when Richard flew out to New York, wouldn't you know it, there was a reporter for the LA Times on the flight.  When the reporter asked what Richard was doing, Richard had stated something like "seeing Karen's new manager" which was how that story got started back in 1983.  At the time Richard made that comment, he didn't actually know who that new manager story was about but after reading Karen's Will, he had a suspicion that was confirmed when he met with Adrian (me) on February 4, 1983 in Corning, New York. 

I had not seen Richard since mid May 1979.  But do you understand it yet? 

After all the problems with Thomas Burris, Karen wanted to get married to a guy named Adrian (me again) without any publicity or fanfare or such.  We wanted to be married quietly.  We both wanted to elope.  Just us. 

Karen's new manager = Karen's new husband, Adrian (not John).  The manager for Carpenters was still going to be Jerry Weintraub.  Phil Ramone was still a producer and was in a process of having his own family to manage anyway.  But after the problems with Thomas Burris, Karen did not want others trying to stop her from getting married again, so a new manager aka new husband so that Karen could fly out to New York without others knowing that Karen was planning on getting married again to the guy that most had thought was the one Karen was getting married to in 1980.  Probably around a third tenth of those that attended Karen's wedding had met Adrian before as Karen had met Adrian (me) in September 1978 and Karen hadn't met Thomas until April 1980.  Many antennae, radars and red flags went up from a bunch of different people when Karen married Thomas instead of Adrian in August 1980.

6. What about Karen's boyfriends?

As far as Karen's boyfriends (and one husband, almost two)...  The relationships.  I know a bit about those too. 

Frankie Chavez was actually never a boyfriend but kind of Karen's first crush so to speak.  Frankie was seeing someone else though and within a couple months, Karen realized that outside the drums, Karen and Frankie didn't have much in common with each other.  But Karen told me Frankie was her first crush or puppy love or whatever. 

Note, looking at Karen's time line of boyfriends Mark Harmon (acquaintance?), Bill Hudson (acquaintance?), Jerry Vance (late 1960s), Gary Sims (?1969?), Gary Luby (1969-1970?), Nicky Chinn (1971 - 72? and 1974 - 75?), Alan Osmond (1973), David Alley (1973, not sure if they did actually get together or not with the Maria stuff that happened with Richard.  Karen never told me for sure or not, but oops, I saw a picture of Karen and David recently and Karen had a secret she told me about herself in June 1981.  Karen and David were a couple at one time or another), Mike Curb (1973 - 1974), Terry Ellis (1975), John Adrian (1976 - 1977), Steve Martin (1977), Tom Bahler (1978 - 1979),
Tony Danza (maybe 1978? and maybe 1979-80? Twice?), Thomas Burris (1980 - 1983), and a couple others I know about but leaving off here (at least 3 more that Karen had sex and a relationship with them from 1978 to 1983). 

Yes, Karen was pretty lonely I guess.  Karen had a lively dating history despite the schedule.  And as far as scheduling, many of Karen's boyfriends and Karen, herself, had secretaries or assistants that would try and match up days when they were available.  It wasn't really arranged by the assistants or such, but they had to have 'days off' and the secretaries and assistants were the ones who kept track of that stuff.  Karen never had an 'escort' (someone just there to be a guy at an event or such without any possibility for a relationship) I guess you could say.  Karen always had 'dates' (guys that Karen was interested in seeing if there was a possible lasting relationship there).

In the beginning...  I am positive that Karen said her first was the guy who took her to the prom.  I believe that would be Jerry Vance.  Karen noticed in 1978 that her first three were Jerry, Gary and Gary.  At the time (September 1978) Karen hadn't ever dated a Tom, Dick or Harry.  Karen also commented that she had thought about Jim Squeglia (1971?) but the problem there was Jim's last name so I am not positive now if they actually dated or not here.  I am positive that Karen could not pronounce his last name (pronounced skwejlia)  and so if Karen and Jim had dated or if they hadn't, Karen didn't want to tell people that she was Mrs. Whats-his-face was the reason that Karen figured out it wasn't going to be a lasting dating relationship with Jim.  So not sure if they actually dated or not but I am sure that since Karen couldn't pronounce his last name, Karen wasn't going to introduce herself to people as Mrs. Whats-his-face.  That was that.

As far as what didn't work... 

I didn't realize who Nicky Chinn was at first until I remembered that Karen said she had gone back with a guy that she had broke up with before.  Karen only referred to him with me as Mr. Know-It-All which was why his name, Nicky, didn't click with me at first.  I got two good pieces of advice from Karen when she talked about Nicky that one time.  Number one, DON'T EVER INTERRUPT KAREN AND SPEAK ON HER BEHALF AND PUT WORDS IN HER MOUTH which led to number two of don't ever go back with someone you break up with as THEY DON'T CHANGE AND INTERRUPT YOU AND DON'T LET YOU SPEAK ON YOUR OWN BEHALF AND PUT WORDS IN YOUR MOUTH AGAIN. 

Alan and Karen didn't have enough time together because of their schedules but also Alan was a Mormon and Karen was Methodist / Baptist.  As far as Alan, Karen had a rule that she told me about in 1978 and 1979 that if people were going to accuse her of something, she was going to do it and not be falsely accused.  Also, Alan's family was Mormon and so sex without marriage is not allowed.  So a probable publicity nightmare here for Alan and a principle issue with Karen (being accused).  Another principle issue or 'rule' that Karen had that she told me about in June 1981 was that she would keep her fingers together while holding hands with a guy who was just a friend, but Karen would interlock her fingers and palms together while holding hands with a guy that she was wanting to be 'more than friends'.  There were a lot of family pressures between Alan and Karen.  They were both very interested in each other.  But Alan was a Mormon and Mormons believe in bigamy (multiple wives, husbands) and no sex without marriage while Karen was Christian and felt one woman one man.  There were reserves about Alan and Karen as Karen wasn't about to become Mormon against hers and her family's wishes and Alan wasn't about to become Christian against his and his family's wishes.  And Karen did come out publicly and state that despite the tabloid rumors, Karen and Alan did not have sex together as Karen was worried that even though it was just rumors, that rumors such as those would get Alan ostracized from the Mormon church.  With that being said, like most personal stuff, best to leave the real answer up to Alan and Karen and the rest of us need to butt out of that.  Speculation is just that, speculation.  Thank you. 

David Alley was about 5 years older, but with the working together, a conflict of interest and like with Richard and Maria, work or boy/girlfriend - not both.  David chose work; Maria chose neither work nor Richard. 

Mike Curb was kind of a work conflict too and Mike chose someone else a year or two later anyway. 

Terry Ellis was a work and a compatibility issue as well; a mess.  Terry was an executive and co-owner of Chrysalis Records and a definite conflict of interest there.  Terry didn't want to break up the Carpenters as Karen without Richard would not be a good thing.  If Karen AND Richard, definitely.  But the big problem there was not as much the conflict of interest, but the fact that Karen was a home body and Terry was an executive jet setter so to speak.  Just two different worlds.  Karen told me that she lived with Terry for about a week and then after that week (or two?) Karen just snuck out on Terry and broke up with Terry over the phone as Karen felt an in person break up would have just been a long mess with trying to talk about all the differences and such.  There were just too many differences there and Karen liked sitting at home in front of the TV with a TV dinner and Terry liked eating in posh restaurants and such.  It was just two different worlds.  Terry was a jet setter and Karen was a country bumpkin so to speak.  As far as the 1979 or whenever where Karen talked with Terry before Terry got married, Karen said that Itchie had talked Karen into doing that and that Karen was glad that Terry married someone else.  Terry wasn't a bad person but Karen and Terry just weren't made for each other so to speak.  Two different worlds. 

Steve Martin and Karen cared about each other, but it just didn't feel special for them so they decided to just break it off with no hard feelings or such.  Karen said that her and Steve just didn't have any 'zing' there between them.  Usually someone gets violins or harps or wedding bells or such and it just didn't happen between them so they broke it off and Steve met someone else a little while later. 

John Adrian was a kind of odd one.  There were sparks there, but also a conflict of work interest too.  Part I believe was also the countries (Karen - USA, John, UK) and in the USA an affair is seeing multiple people, playing the field as it was called back then.  In the UK, an affair is seeing (one) someone out of wedlock.  Karen and John were having an affair by British standards (but not by USA standards that I am aware of) which is what they call a "toss up" in the UK and when John was asked about having an affair, John did say yes that he was having an affair with Karen.  Anyway, ultimatum by Derek Green (A&M UK), John either stops seeing Karen or John loses his job for having an affair with a client (John was an UK publicist for A&M).  John took a vacation and about 3 months later got married to someone else.  Karen chose the song, "I Believe You" for a single in October / November 1978 as she felt the song tied in with her problems with John Adrian and that after Karen found out that John married someone else 3 months after they broke up, Karen wasn't interested in John anymore.  Karen wanted to believe what John had said to her, but after John got married after they broke up, Karen didn't believe what John said. 

Yes, as Karen noticed, she seemed to be the kind of girl that tended to get guys in the frame of mind to marry 'the next one that came along' so to speak. 

Tom Bahler was another as Karen saw him just after he had broken up with a girl he had been with for a couple years (Rhonda or Rhoda, something like that).  Tom wrote the song "She's Out of My Life" about Rhoda or whatever and gave Karen the song to possibly use in I think either 1978 or early 1979 (and the song went to Michael Jackson). 

As far as the others, Karen was actually 'the other woman' with one guy and that went on from September 1978 until around mid May 1979. 

And as far as Tony Danza, I know Karen met Tony around 1978 but not sure if they actually dated back then.  Tony was younger than Karen and Karen felt awkward about that.  I think Karen and Tony came together in either late 1979 or early 1980 for a short while but like Karen said, she just wasn't comfortable with a younger guy. 

And of course Tom Burris which is a post and a half all in itself. 

Karen originally had a long list of things she was looking for in a guy and also in that list were things that she was looking to avoid in a guy.  Originally the list was over 50 long and Karen managed to shorten it down to about 15 later on. 

Karen may have had a lively dating history but it was because Karen had many options available to her but also the ones she dated had many options available to them too.  And Karen and the ones she dated sorted out their options and Karen and the ones she dated pretty much had clean breaks, not that messy "he said, she said" type stuff and Karen remained friends with her ex-boyfriends. 

And also, if you look at the reasonings Karen had behind her break-ups, there wasn't really a pattern there outside of that 'work' thing which is understandable as Karen always seemed to be working.  Each guy had different problems and Karen had different problems with each guy (in addition to that 'work' thing).  A two way street.  And as Karen loved baseball, three strikes and you're out. 

And there was also a guy Karen met in September 1978 that was younger too (even younger than Tony).  People that knew Karen knew that Karen was head over heels for this guy but it was the age thing and also that this guy, at the time (1978-1979) wasn't a millionaire or such.  This guy (Adrian, Ace) also wasn't wanting an older woman or a celebrity either.  Later, Karen and this guy saw each other again for a short while in 1981 and it was more like nukes and supernovas than the sparks and flames stuff.  Karen and this guy were planning on eloping on February 4, 1983 in Las Vegas.  This guy was Karen's 1983 "new manager" story actually. 

Karen wasn't really sad or lonely for any length of time.  There were opportunities out there but Karen's biggest problem was finding a guy that was good on his word but also wanted a tomboy that enjoyed being plain and ordinary and not some glitzy show girl or a 'trophy wife' so to speak. 

Karen had found that guy finally in 1978 but there was an age and a money type problem.  So, Karen noticed that almost everyone that saw Karen with this guy thought Karen was actually two years younger than this guy (even though he was younger) and in 1981, Karen ran a credit check on this guy and this guy had a credit rating of 726 whereas Thomas, her husband, had a credit rating of 136 and Thomas's son had a credit rating of 500 (636 combined).  So although not a millionaire, this guy was not a financial mess and also, Karen noted that when Karen and Richard were this guy's age that neither Karen nor Richard even had a credit score at that age.  The guy also felt that Karen being a celebrity wasn't a bad thing (but he wasn't looking to be in the media spotlight and such) and that the age difference was fine as most people didn't even notice that he was younger and thought she was younger and he was the older one.

7. Did Karen ever have a tattoo?

Karen would publicly answer this question as "no".

Karen and I talked about this in late March or early April 1979 just after AC/DC's Highway To Hell was climbing up the charts.  Bon Scott became my favorite lead singer and still is to this day (Karen is my favorite female singer of course, but she never gargled with razor blades like Bon did).   As Karen warned me, "If you ever get a tattoo I'll disown you, I got one and I've regretted it ever since...".

Karen had actually got a tattoo though and it was in a hidden area in her hairline.  The tattoo was small and was of a red rose.  If you read the Karen's Last Days page above you probably knew this. 

Karen had got the tattoo as a dare when she was younger (late teens) and she got it because she told one of her friends that she was afraid of needles so her friend dared Karen to get a tattoo (and the friend paid for it).   Karen was always for what was "God given" and a tattoo is not God given. 

Very few people knew about this tattoo.  But also, Karen had the tattoo removed in January 1983 and as a result she contracted hepatitis from the removal.  From her own experience, Karen would not recommend getting a tattoo which is why she would publicly answer this question as "no".

8. Did Karen play chess?

Yes, but not very often and she preferred checkers as she was more likely to win at checkers than chess. 

Karen was actually I guess you could say an intermediate type player.  Karen would start out (in her words here) moving the horsey thingies first.  Karen would start out moving the knights to a position that would block the 'three move checkmate'.  Then Karen would move pawns and such to be able to set up the castling move and such.  Yes, Karen could play chess and knew the game.  Karen also knew how to play dumb too.  "The horsey thingies move in an L shape and can jump over other pieces right?"

While out on the road, Karen and Bob Messenger would play chess together to help pass the time (I think this question was first asked by Bob's daughter).  Playing chess was a special game between Karen and Bob with special memories there between themselves of playing chess together.  As far as with me, Karen preferred playing checkers with me, because...

But in checkers I would tell Karen "King me" and Karen would tell me "Queen me". 

Winning isn't everything but it does help if you want Karen to play with you again.  Karen liked challenges and if she won too much then not challenging and winning too little and she would get frustrated and try harder. 

Karen and I also played paper football, penny basketball, Parcheesi, Backgammon, poker, solitaire, Mille Bornes and probably a few others I am forgetting.

9. What was Karen's astrological sign?

Pisces.  Karen always thought that her horoscope matched better with Aries or Capricorn though.

10. Why didn't Karen talk about her anorexia publicly?

Karen's therapy was a mess and Karen didn't wish to say anything that could be taken as negative in public so she tried to keep it quiet. 

Karen and me talked at great lengths about anorexia and such in September and October 1978 but in private without others around.  Karen was trying to understand it herself as well as still learning how to pronounce it. 

There is also that doctor / patient confidentiality stuff.

But it was just a big mess privately.  Not so much privacy issues but more about what do you say when stuff is not going right.  I have seen what has been done since and Karen was right.  I thought she was joking back when when Karen said that they didn't talk with her about stuff and kept assuming things that weren't even close to being accurate like her and Richard competing against each other.  Even I knew that Karen and Richard always worked together and didn't compete against each other but yeah, a big mess.  And talking about a mess publicly just creates a bigger mess is all.

11. What about Karen's anorexia?

Back to this page again karenlastdays.html

For information on Karen and her treatment sessions try question #67.  I tried to add a section in here but it just got too long and cranky so I took it out.  The rough part for me in this is that the information is on the page as far as what happened with Karen during her anorexia and the events and problems that led to Karen passing away.  With that being typed (said?), most of the "Karen's Last Days" page contains the extra information that others try to leave out for various reasons as many of the 'stories' about Karen fall apart when her autopsy report is examined closer.  The autopsy report itself has several problems when examined closer too.  But after others have spoken, one has to ask, "What would Karen say about all of this?"  The Karen's Last Days page.

Also, this is not some 'expert' on anorexia but is actually from me, a guy that actually talked with Karen about her problems and I listened to what she had to say about it as well.  You would think that supposed people trying to learn about anorexia would wish to talk and ask questions of an anorexic, but apparently not as I have been witnessing.  About the only thing I have seen noteworthy from anyone was her brother Richard ("straight as a board") and Tony Peluso ("why don't you eat?").  And of course people saying "eat" or "Mangia mangia mangia" (italian for eat).  But none of that other stuff I see out there about anorexia has anything directly from Karen mentioned in it.  Even worst, many of the things I do see mentioned about anorexics from therapists and such never fit Karen at all and are from Cherry Boone's "Starving for Attention" book, not from Karen.  Karen had even told me that her therapists would put words in her mouth and not talk with her or ask her questions or such.  Back in 1978 I thought Karen was joking about the therapy being that bad, but I've come to find out that she wasn't joking about it being bad.  And after having so many adults that felt they knew everything, Karen turned to me, a 13 year old at the time in September / October 1978, for someone to talk to about it for a different perspective.  Since when do kids know everything?  But then there was this 13 year old that apparently at least knew enough to ask questions and like Karen, an "old soul" that appeared to have wisdom beyond his (my) years about a lot of stuff (my mom had arrhythmia, life in general, people in general, work, relationships, medical and legal problems, etc.) or as it was called at the time, "street smarts".  Words come from books whereas street smarts comes from experience.  Both Karen and me had a lot of street smarts aka we were "old souls" with a lot of life experiences to draw from.  Grown ups always act like they know everything; kids ask questions; neither Karen nor me were ever into that grown up stuff which was why we always preferred being child-like not childish as when grown ups get caught not knowing everything like they pretend to know, grown ups become childish when caught.  Karen and me were "old souls" but child-like old souls that preferred acting our shoe size instead of our age.

From my own observations of Karen, her anorexia would seem to kick in more after she had difficulty going to the bathroom than anything else.  Karen talked about image problems and weight and such, but it seemed like that stuff would kick in after she had difficulty going to the bathroom (a half hour or more at times and using a plunger afterwards and she hadn't thrown up but had plugged the toilet).  Karen had colitis for nearly seven and a half years and although not directly stated on her autopsy, Karen's autopsy revealed that she still had colitis when she passed away (swollen intestines and such).  But also, it wasn't just one problem like "colitis" as Karen might worry about her eating if she had a TV show to do but also if she was feeling that guys didn't find her attractive enough and such.  Karen also had a difficult and rough time with her visitor (menstruation) and she would always get tired and feel drained during her visitor.  Karen found out that if she lost too much weight, her visitor would stop.  At times Karen would purposely lose weight so that her visitor stopped and she didn't get the cramping and bloating and feeling drained and exhausted and such.  There were several different reasons Karen might have for not eating and in order to find out what Karen might be thinking about, you had to ask.  In all seriousness, at times, Karen wouldn't even know why she hadn't been eating.  Karen seemed to have more reasons not to eat than to eat.  Colitis (trouble going to the bathroom)?  Her visitor (menstruation)?  Nervous stomach?  TV show appearance?  Being on stage?   Feeling unattractive?  Feeling she needed to be "straight as a board"?  And whatever else.  Karen's anorexia was a set of several underlying problems and not just one problem of 'not eating'.  And after having so many thoughts of "don't eat because of this" and "don't eat because of that" that Karen just wouldn't eat out of the habit of not eating.  The only person asking Karen not to eat was Karen, herself.

And a real kicker here, but Karen had felt that being thin was attractive to guys so before around 1979 Karen might try to lose weight to attract a guy she would be interested in.  Karen had problems with a guy named Max and around April 1979, Karen started putting on weight to try and appear unattractive to Max.  Karen had got up to around 136 pounds I believe in late April 1979.  Then around September 1980, after Karen married Thomas Burris, Karen had started thinking that being too thin was unattractive.  And with Karen being married to Thomas Burris and Karen not wanting to feel attractive after the marriage fell apart (November 1980), exactly, Karen started losing weight again.  But changing her thinking process from thin = attractive to thin = unattractive didn't really work either for her.  Just one of those things.

But I tried to cover it all and not leave anything out on the "Karen's Last Days" page for a more complete picture of Karen's passing away and her anorexia.  Hepatitis, colitis, hyperglycemia, arrhythmia and so on.

12. Who was Karen's best friend?

Snoopy passed away a little while after an accident and later Mush became Karen's best friend.  Karen could talk with Mush about anything.  No one ever interviewed Mush that I am aware of which means that there will always be some things unanswered as far as Karen Carpenter's thoughts. 

After Mush would be Karen's mom as Karen and her mom could also talk about anything. 

Richard would be just after mom in the best friends department. 

Karen and her mom talked about family and all kinds of stuff in private together.  Richard and Karen were very close too as they were out on the road and such, but when it came to secrets, Karen actually had more secrets between her and her mom than she did with Richard. 

Karen had a three-ring circus of friends as she called it.  The inner ring, middle ring and outer ring.  For the inner ring, if Karen told someone a secret and they kept that secret, they were in her inner ring of friends.  Mush was Karen's ringleader so to speak.  If Karen didn't trust them or if they told a secret then the outer ring.  The middle ring were the ones Karen talked with but no secrets involved. 

As far as is known, Karen didn't have enemies, only friends in her three-ring circus of life.

13. Was Karen a lesbian?

No.  Karen was not at all sexually interested nor attracted to other women.  Also read #6 too for info on Karen's boyfriends. 

13A. How do you know for sure that Karen wasn't a lesbian or interested in being a lesbian?

I believe it was around November 1978 and Karen and me did have a discussion about it.  Originally Karen said 'thespians'.  Karen had told me that she had thought about it and that thought was that she was not attracted to other women at all.  As Karen said, "I like guy parts, not girl parts."  But the conversation came up after Karen had picked up a tabloid and Karen told me the rest of the story (that of course wasn't in the tabloid).  But the tabloid referenced an event that happened between Karen and her mom in February 1978 at the LA Mental Health Clinic.  And after mentioning that her mom didn't hug Karen, yes, Karen and me talked about that it was probably a good thing her and her mom hadn't hugged as if there had been pictures of Karen and her mom hugging or such and it just went from there.

Eh, since this is a reference work... 
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."

But of course none of that stuff made that article in the tabloid around November 1978.  The article was written by a man with the initials DV and was based on misinformation DV obtained from the therapist that had messed up.  So a lot of information was missing from that article.  The article tried to state that Karen had left the clinic crying because her mom didn't hug her for the therapy session.  The truth was that both Karen and her mom were p*ssed off and walked out of the clinic after a huge mess had happened from a therapist that hadn't talked with Karen or her mom before making false accusations and such.  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 (the station wagon) 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.  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 for those that noticed what Levenkron had said about the LA clinic not working with Karen on her anorexia, the incident that happened in February 1978 was the reason why the clinic would not deal with Karen and her anorexia.  Karen and her family would not go back there and the clinic didn't want them back there either.  Just a big mess that started from a therapist that had absolutely no common sense whatsoever.  If Karen's mom didn't care about Karen then why was her mom at the clinic trying to get her daughter some help.  Exactly.  That's stupidity on the therapist's part.

But to finish here, Karen was not the least bit sexually attracted to other women.  Karen could never be a lesbian.  Fans are fans and all that and if they were lesbians then fine that was them.  But it wasn't really a choice with Karen as she was only turned on by men and had no sexual interest in women whatsoever in any way, shape or form.

13B. What about the picture of Karen and Olivia in their pajamas?

From what I remember from Karen, I believe that picture was taken in November 1980 when the drive shaft broke on her boat, the Lucia, after Thomas had forgot to turn on the water pumps for the drive shaft on the boat.  So, Thomas, Matt, Olivia and Karen ended up being stuck on Catalina Island with only two hotel rooms available.  "The Hotel Dumpwater" as Karen described it on the Merv Griffin Show which I believe was taped in late August / early September 1981.  There were two rooms available and they rented the one room for Karen and Olivia while Matt and Thomas stayed on the boat leaving the last room available just in case someone else had an emergency as well.  I think it was Matt that took the picture (but it could have been Thomas, but pretty sure it was Matt).  But finally, in their 30s, Karen and Olivia finally had a slumber party like most of the other girls had when they were growing up.  But Karen and Olivia didn't have and didn't really get invited to slumber parties when they were growing up, so in their 30s, Karen and Olivia got to have their slumber party at the "Hotel Dumpwater" on Catalina Island.  So they had a private picture taken to commemorate the event of their first slumber party.  The picture was a kind of shared moment of Karen and Olivia making the best of a situation as best as possible under the circumstances.  It wasn't planned.  Karen was married to Thomas and Olivia later married Matt (I think in 1984).  But the picture was kind of a private joke with Karen and Olivia about the first slumber party they had surrounded by not so adoring cockroaches.

14. What was Karen's favorite movie?

Karen and me talked about this in early September 1978.  It probably changed over the years.  "Gone with the Wind".  Her next favorite was "A Street Car Named Desire" (play or movie, didn't matter either way).

15. What was Karen's favorite song?

Karen's answer to me on this was that she was always hoping to find a song that connected with everyone and that hopefully her and Richard would find it and get to record it.  Karen didn't find such a song before she passed away. 

As far as Carpenters' songs she sang, her favorite was "I Need To Be In Love". 

The closest Karen actually came to writing her own song was the song Rod Temperton wrote (based on ideas from Karen) called "Rock with You" that was given to Michael Jackson. 

Karen liked different stuff based on the mood she was in, so her favorite changed a lot.  Karen liked a lot of different music so trying to pick a favorite just wasn't possible as it depended on her mood as to what she might want to listen to.  An attempted trying to list Karen's favorites would be a huge list as she liked just about anything musically. 

But one song that did stand out for Karen, personally, was a song written by Michael Nesmith (the Monkees) called "Different Drum" and the version recorded by The Stone Poneys (with Linda Ronstadt). 

But I am still kind of stuck with that "song she was hoping to find but she never found it" answer too.

16. Did Karen have self esteem issues?

Karen Carpenter?  The one that was against the music industry trying to promote women as just being nothing more than sex objects?  Karen lived by her principles and not by the principles of others.  Nope, Karen did not honestly have self esteem issues. 

Others did have issues with her going against the grain of demeaning women though.  Most of the industry wanted women to be seen as nothing more than sex objects.  Karen reminded them that women were their moms and grammas and such and are more than just sex objects.  Karen had enough self esteem to stop her solo album before it was released and others (as has been noted) might get the wrong ideas (women as sex objects and the Carpenters break up rumor mill). 

So Karen did not have low self esteem or self esteem issues actually. 

Others did have problems with Karen and her 'girl next door' image though.  Not A&M Records, but others.  A&M saw themselves as a family type business which was perfect for both Karen and Richard but not so perfect for those like Harvey Weinstein and such. 

Being humble is actually a sign of high self esteem.  Being arrogant is a sign of someone with low self esteem.  Blaming everyone else for your problems without any introspection is also another sign of arrogance and low self esteem.  Stating a problem or a possible problem is one thing while blaming is a different animal as one that blames without some introspection will always have to have a scapegoat even when they are the only one there.  A blamer always has to blame someone else without taking responsibility for that blame (someone with introspection realizes that false accusations harm others whereas a blamer doesn't care if they hurt others or not so long as they aren't the ones being blamed and hurt).  I wish people would learn to get the truth straight and stop listening to those that have low self esteem and try to twist the truth to suit themselves (and their college degrees which they try to laud over others that have more common sense in most cases).  Karen did not have self esteem issues that I was ever aware of.  Karen was humble and had good principles.  Some can mix up being humble with low self esteem which is fine with me.  Others trying to say Karen had inferiority complexes and issues appear to be the ones that are arrogant and blaming others which was not something Karen would do.   Karen was the one with anorexia, not her family.  Why do they keep trying to constantly (to the level of brainwashing) blame the family when Karen had actually moved out of the house and had her own condo and such since 1975 / 1976?  And Karen's family included cousin Joanie too who was like a big sister to Karen growing up as well.  As has been accurately stated, "They (therapists, etc.) were a**holes" and from what I have personally seen, I agree and I wish to add as well that they still are a**holes in my humble opinion. [Note, clarification of this paragraph performed on May 27 and August 7, 2022, oops on my end].

Go back to question number 10 or 11 now if you wish as yeah, this was part of Karen's therapy problems.  It's difficult when you apparently know more than those that have college degrees but apparently don't have enough real life experience or 'common sense' to understand people in real terms instead of some book jargon. 

Humble people don't have low self esteem. 

Richard did do a lot of work while Karen got a lot of credit.  There was a little self esteem issue there with Richard.  Not a bad issue, but it was a problem at times as Richard always put in so much work and Karen always got so much praise.  At times Richard would have a little low self esteem creep in there as publicly there has always been so much praise for Karen while publicly many saw Richard as "Karen's brother" and chopped liver so to speak.   Karen was never too happy about that.  But Karen was always proud of what her and her brother had accomplished together but Karen was careful too as "Pride always comes before a fall".  Being humble.

The truth always was though that Karen and Richard were a team and they always complimented and enhanced each other and worked together.  The whole being greater than the sum of its parts so to speak. 

And not just Karen and Richard, but on stage is was always a group effort with Bob, Doug, Gary, Tony, Cubby (before Cubby was Jim) and others like Sandy Holland and Mark Rudolph and how can you forget Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss and...  The Carpenters tour group always had to work together too.  But all the talk about Karen and Richard but what about Joe Osborn and Hal Blaine and Gayle Levant (really, how many times does Gayle's name get mentioned?)...  It wasn't just Karen and Richard.  The focus has been primarily on Karen and Richard but many other wonderful people were involved too that don't get mentioned that often.  How do they feel about all that?  Quick, everyone rush out to the papers and make up a bunch of stories and such.  But yeah, the whole was always greater than the sum of its parts. 

But also, many mix up self esteem and humility so to be expected I guess. 
Arrogant people and those that constantly try to blame and berate others have low self esteem.  Same as those that tend to say bad things about others tend to have low self esteem as well (speaking of which, aren't these the same ones saying that Karen had self esteem problems while trying to say bad things about Richard and Agnes and trying to throw blame on Richard and Agnes for Karen's problems while the ones making those accusations act like arrogant, self-conceited know-it-alls that act like they are beyond reproach.  News flash approaching...).   Some people do earn 'a bad rap' but I have noticed many times that the ones trying to give others a bad rap (rep) need to clean out their skeleton-filled closets instead of trying to push it off onto others.  Smoke screens only last so long before the smoke clears, same as someone can't keep abusing a mirror for too long before the mirror breaks and others see through that mirror.  Smoke screens and mirrors are the primary tactics used by those that have a lot of skeletons in their closets and try to project those skeletons onto others to try and make believe that others have those problems and not themselves.  The smoke screens and mirrors are mentioned down in the 'After Thought' question at the bottom of this page.  Not one of the smoke screens or mirrors (rumors) have ever originated from anything Richard or Agnes has or hasn't said or done.  All of the smoke screens and mirrors (rumors) originate from those trying to support a faulty anorexic profile that never fit Karen or her family at all.

But anyone that ever knew Karen knew that Karen was not one to cave in to others or go with the flow because of that peer pressure stuff.  Karen was never wishy washy or a pushover which are signs of someone having low self esteem issues.  Just as Karen wasn't arrogant either which is another sign of low self esteem.  And being humble is a sign of good self esteem and those that knew Karen knew Karen to be humble. 

For more information on this, try question #119 about Karen and Richard picking on each other.

For more fun, start playing Mac Davis' "Oh Lord it's hard to be humble..." [Group hug everyone]

17. Was Karen looking to leave the Carpenters?

Nope.  Never.  Karen would have never left her brother. 

Yes, definite proof that people never read liner notes on albums as in Karen's solo album, Phil Ramone made it perfectly clear that the album was not released due to concerns about the press trying to start false rumors that Karen was planning on leaving her brother.  INCONCEIVABLE as Phil wrote in the liner notes (question #213). 

In reality at the time Karen did her solo album, Richard had said "I quit" on September 4, 1978 after a Vegas show, so Karen was technically the only one left in the Carpenters at the time that she did her solo album.  Richard was the one that left the Carpenters, not Karen. 

But without Richard there, it wouldn't have been Carpenters (as is noticed on Karen's solo album). 

But the rough part that some people don't realize about Karen's solo album was that it wasn't really Karen Carpenter for that album, but at least most realize that it definitely wasn't a Carpenters album either.  Karen was always a romantic at heart.  An actual "Karen Carpenter" album would have to be romantic to be "Karen Carpenter".  It missed.  Karen had it shelved.

But at the time of the start of Karen's solo album (spring 1979), Richard had said he quit so there technically wasn't a Carpenters without Richard AND Karen.  Richard was the one who said he quit on September 4, 1978 which left Karen by herself as without Richard AND Karen, there wasn't really a Carpenters there for Karen to leave. 

And if someone was looking to actually leave someone else they wouldn't try to do it with the same record company. 

Then came the Made In America album after Richard had dealt with his Quaalude addiction and decided to return.

18. Why a solo album if Karen wasn't trying to leave the Carpenters?

This is what is known as a "loaded question" (a question based on a false assumption in this case being Karen trying to leave the Carpenters which is answered in question #17) which there are two possible ways to answer this type of question...

One way (the long way, PS, use a long paragraph for this too as people are less likely to read a large/long paragraph)...

On September 4, 1978 during a Las Vegas concert Richard had said "I quit" and the rest of the concerts for the tour were cancelled.  Richard was having problems with Quaaludes and just could not function very well anymore without shaking from his addiction.  For the rest of this try question #110
about the events that happened to start Karen's solo album.  The album was definitely not Karen's idea and that album was more Jerry Weintraub and Phil Ramone than Karen Carpenter.  I first met Karen on September 6, 1978 and Karen and me spent a LOT of time around each other until June 22, 1979 and so I was around for most of the start of Karen's solo as well as personally involved in the 100K meeting and such.  That 100K meeting was what gave Karen the idea for her "new manager" story about me (Adrian/Ace) in 1983.  Karen and I also discussed this when we were around each other from June 12, 1981 to June 20, 1981 as well as Karen's phone call to me on February 3, 1983.  Outside of Karen I was probably the one that knew how the solo album started and how Karen ended it too.  Outside Karen and myself, Rod Temperton probably was the next one and outside the meeting where the album was shelved, Richard wasn't involved with the solo album either.  Karen, Rod, Phil and myself were involved, but Richard wasn't really involved much with Karen's solo album.  The 'not another Carpenters album' was an idea shared for trying to do something different and possibly in another direction as after Horizon, A Kind of Hush and Passage maybe the Carpenters sound was getting stale I guess would be the best way of putting it.  As Richard has stated, Christmas Portrait was pretty much a Karen Carpenter solo album as Richard hadn't been that involved with the album as he was having problems with his Quaalude addiction.  Christmas Portrait didn't do half bad on the charts and such.  Maybe if Karen did more on her own...  But if Karen had actually been looking to go solo and leave her brother, she definitely wouldn't do it with the same record company that Richard and her recorded with.  If you are breaking ties and moving on, you don't use the same record company to "break away" from someone else.  Some people and their stories that are illogical and don't make sense.  Ask questions.  Remember, the farther someone goes out on a limb, the weaker the limb becomes and the more likely the limb will break and that someone will fall.  Same with stories as the farther one gets from the truth, the more questions that come up from stuff not making sense and the more the stories (not truth) fall apart and come crashing down.  As Phil has stated (and I saw it too and I agree) that Karen was doing well when her solo album started but near the end, Karen looked like an Auschwitz figure which doesn't sound to me like Karen was doing well with her anorexia while making a solo album.  Karen weighed over 120 pounds (I believe it was actually 136 pounds around May 1, 1979) when she started her solo album in May 1979, when Karen and me parted company for nearly two years on June 22, 1979 Karen weighed 124 pounds (as could be seen in the July 6, 1979 pictures of Karen with Olivia and her brother and the Bee Gees, Karen was still over 120 pounds in those pictures), and when Karen did her photo shoot for the solo album (February? 1980), Karen weighed roughly 80 pounds.  So the truth is that Karen did NOT do well with her anorexia while doing her solo album and her anorexia had actually got worst during that time.  But leave it to fiction writers to leave stuff out and twist the truth to try and make up best selling fictional stories to try and bolster their writing careers.  Who in their right freaking mind would believe that someone going from roughly 136 pounds down to about 80 pounds was doing better with their anorexia?  Yeah, stop and think about that one for those of you that were duped by others with all that solo album and that anorexic profile nonsense that doesn't make sense when facts are presented.  And yes, duped as a con is something that is possibly believable.  The old switch-a-roo.  Trying to make something unbelievable sound believable.  Duped.  Don't assume and definitely don't take assumptions and second guessing and mind reading as facts or truths.  Asking questions and allowing answers is what eliminates assumptions and second guessing and mind reading and such.  If Karen had been looking to get away or break up or such, there never would have been the Made In America album.  And if breaking away from someone, you don't use the same record company to leave or break away from someone else.  Sheesh.  When people realize that Richard had actually been the one to quit and not Karen, then what happened for Karen's solo album should start making sense.  The Carpenters was Karen and Richard and without either one of them (as Richard had said he quit) there wasn't a Carpenters.  Yes, the answer there is a question unto itself of "How could Karen quit the Carpenters when Richard had already quit so there wasn't really a Carpenters left for Karen to quit?"  Yes, this is the actual answer to the question of "Why did Karen do a solo album if she wasn't wishing to leave her brother?"  So the non question answer is - Karen's brother was the one who left, not Karen.  After Richard left the Carpenters, there was nothing left for Karen to leave.  Without Richard, Karen worked on a solo album not because she was wanting to leave her brother, but because her brother had said he quit and had already left.  The truth is that how could Karen leave her brother when her brother was the one who had already quit and left Karen.  But yes, the wording on this question is a bit off and misleading as it insinuates that Karen was wishing to leave her brother but in reality, on September 4, 1978 Karen's brother had already left Karen.  And a poorly worded question leads to a long, drawn out answer to try and correct the bad assumption (insinuation) and misinformation that was contained in the question asked. 

OK then, short answer to this question (next paragraph, and oops, yeah, leave a large paragraph here to make the long answer appear even longer)...

Another way (the short way which normally ends up being the longer way)...

Richard had said "I quit" on September 4, 1978 so how could Karen leave Richard after Richard had already left?  You aren't making any sense there.  Could you rephrase that?  Which would only lead to more problems, so I feel it would be better to just stick with a long, drawn out explanation that the person asking the question probably won't bother reading nor respond to.

For those unfamiliar with "loaded questions", loaded questions many times are signs of what are known as "trolls".  Trolls usually post a type of loaded question hoping to get someone to disagree with them.  After someone bites (answers the troll) the troll will have an argument and try to belittle and berate anyone that disagrees with them.  As this is a personal web page and not an actual forum or such, this question didn't get messy.  Use extreme caution on forums and posting sites when you see a question that appears to contain wrong information in the question itself.  Many times the person that does those types of posts is just looking to hassle and create problems for others and doesn't really care about the question or the information, but they do care about trying to humiliate and intimidate and hassle others.

19. Why did Karen marry Thomas Burris?

And Karen told me about her feelings about her wedding when we talked on June 12, 1981. 

Karen said that she always decided things by three signs (as I knew that, the Father, Son and the Holy Ghost, three) and Karen got her signs crossed. 

The first and biggest sign was that Karen had sent a limo to pick me up at my old house and then a plane ticket to fly me to California but I was not there (Karen hadn't realized we had moved or else I would have been there) so Karen thought I didn't care about or love her anymore (not that I didn't want her accused of stuff because of my age and that we had moved since she last saw me on June 22, 1979).  We moved on February 23, 1980.  The owner of the old house, Jesse, sent the limo driver away.  The legal age in Virginia at the time was and still is 15 and yes, if they had known, my parents would have consented.  And at the time as well (and probably still) underage marriages are allowed with parental consent as the Amish get married usually at an early age in New York as well as California (at least at the time anyway, probably still is allowed but I just haven't looked to see for sure). 

The second sign was that the Burris's were a relation to the Cuticellos and Karen getting married to Tom would make her friend Debbie a distant cousin by marriage. 

The third sign was that Karen's mom rarely made speeches and Karen's mom made the 'People Magazine' speech which Karen said wasn't that good of a speech, but if mom made a speech it must be important to her that Karen get married.  Karen thought it wasn't a good speech though as her mom talked about People Magazine and Karen was hoping her mom would talk about commitments and promises and such but her mom just talked about the magazine people being there. 

The fourth sign as all of these signs had 'change' in them was the fact that Tom had been caught in several lies and with that Karen thought that getting married would be a good change in Tom and maybe Tom would start being honest for a change. 

Getting married was a change all right as Karen told me on June 12, 1981, "Tom changed all right.  Before we got married, Tom would ask permission before doing anything.  After we got married Tom tried to run everything." 

But it was four signs and not three and a sign that stuff was messed up and not about 'changes'.  And as I told Karen on June 12, 1981,
"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.

But after our talk in June 1981, Karen realized that there were four signs that things were messed up and not three signs meaning change.  Karen willingly married Thomas at the time (she wasn't forced into it or such) but afterwards, what a mess.

What had happened was that Karen had met me before but I was 15 years younger and Karen was hoping for someone older feeling that an older person would be more mature with age.  Tom was about ten years older (but definitely not as mature as the guy, me, that was 15 years younger and Tony Danza, also younger, was more mature than Thomas.  Tony and I were both child-like but Thomas was childish and a big difference as child-like and childish although they may look similar are actually antonyms [opposites] of one another in connotation and meaning).  Tom had also dug himself in a financial hole to try and make Karen think he was wealthy and a big real estate mogul (the name Thomas Burris was noted down in Florida on a couple buildings).  But like I'll write about later (question #155 & #210), a smoke screen and mirrors and after the smoke screen cleared and the mirrors shattered, Karen realized she would be happier with a guy that was 15 years younger and at least had maturity and financial common sense (a 726 credit rating at age 16 compared to Thomas's 136 and also, neither Karen nor Richard had had a credit rating at age 16) compared to that mess she had actually married on the rebound.  But maturity comes through experiences and is not determined by age.  Older people are not necessarily more mature and younger people are not necessarily immature.  The smoke screen was that Karen had age mixed up with maturity and after the smoke cleared, Thomas was Karen's eldest but also the most immature whereas Adrian (me) was the youngest but the most mature (like her brother Richard) and Adrian (me) was child-like (like Karen) whereas Thomas was childish and there is a big difference in maturity between someone child-like and another that was childish.  Childish people are never mature.

20. Did Richard and Karen have sex together?

Karen and me had a talk around late May 1979 about rumors and Karen had this to say to me,
"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..." so I hope this answers that question.  It answered it for me.  Yes, the answer is a definite "no".

21. Is Mary Rudolph really an adopted first cousin?

Yes.  Mark's mom was only pregnant once and Mark and Mary were not twins (and with one being blonde and the other having darker hair). 

Karen told me the story that there was a car accident in the paper where one parent died and the other parent was in a wheelchair (and lived I believe about three months before dying from complications with the accident) and the newspaper also talked of a 'miracle baby' that survived without a scratch. 

And really, Richard and Mary have four girls together and two girls - Kristi and Mindi, look like their dad and two girls - Traci and Taylor, look like their mom. 

Yes, they had a test done but it was  to make sure that there wasn't a possible problem genetically between them.  People can be not related but still have a genetic type match that could cause birth problems.  Just to be on the safe side as Mary had been adopted, Richard and Mary had the test done just in case as Mary's biologic family wasn't really around to check with about family medical history and such.  And added on June 18, 2022 for those wanting to see this typed as well as for those without a clue, had Richard and Mary been actual first cousins then this test would have definitely shown up as a positive match for probable birth defects instead of the actual negative match that came back.

22. Did Karen approve of Richard and Mary seeing each other?

Before the actual start of Karen's solo album in late March or early April 1979, Karen was refusing to do a solo album and Richard was wanting time off for some reason. 

Karen's mom called Karen up and I was there during that phone call between Karen and her mom which is where I heard the story about number 21 above.  Anyway, mom (Agnes) called Karen up after sending Richard out to the store to get groceries and Karen and her mom talked while I was in the background mostly listening.  Mom told Karen that she and Bernice had noticed Richard around Mary and Richard's clothes smelling like Mary's perfume and Mary's clothes smelling like Richard's cologne.  You know how women are with figuring stuff out when others are sneaking around. 

But Karen was all excited to hear that her brother was seeing Mary as Mary was adopted and not a "gold digger". 

So no, Karen wasn't mortified or any of that other stuff about it.  But yes, Karen and me talked about this and honestly Karen wanted Richard and Mary to hook up but didn't want others that tended to spread rumors and gossip to try and mess it up for Richard and Mary. 

Karen definitely approved of her brother with Mary Rudolph and Karen even told me that in late March or early April 1979.  And yes, I heard about it with Karen from her mom, Agnes, in late March / early April 1979.

23. Where did Karen's middle name, Anne, come from?

Karen's middle name, Anne, came from her great grandfather's, Thomas Carpenter's, mother - great-great grandmom Sarah Anne (Nash) Carpenter.  In 1949, Karen was conceptualized (created, conceived) in a Nash automobile (a Rambler if I remember correctly).  I am not sure about why Karen though. 

Karen's other middle name was Trouble with a capital T preferably. 

I can't remember where Karen said her first name came from.  I do know that Karen loved her first name, Karen, as Karen loved being a kind and caring person (kind and caring = Karen).  I know Karen came from her mom, just not sure on the story behind it (friend, relative, both, other, something different, ?).  After more thinking (and time passing), I think I remember Karen saying that her mom had a best friend growing up named Karen but it also seems like there may be more to the story than that but I just can't seem to remember it now.  It seems like it was something about her mom had lost contact with her best friend Karen years ago and it was odd that after mom (Agnes) got pregnant that Agnes remembered that she had lost contact with her best friend Karen years ago and then I'm still drawing a blank here on the rest of this.   There was something definitely profound there about life and friendships but I am still just drawing a blank on the rest of it yet.  And yes, another "I wish Karen was around to ask about this to be sure" question and answer.

24. Why did Bruce Forsyth (Brooth Forthyth) say "the sound is ace" and that other ace stuff during the 1978 "Big Night Out" Christmas show?

Karen had asked Bruce to say "Ace" as Karen was a bit nervous during the show.  Karen was not really nervous because she was performing without Richard, but before Karen had left to do the show, Richard had been shaking really bad and couldn't even hold a glass of water without it spilling all over. 

Karen arrived in the UK on December 11, 1978 and then flew to Topeka Kansas to be with Richard for Richard's pre admission into Meninger's Clinic on December 12 then Karen flew back to London to tape the Bruce Forsyth Show on December 14. 

But my nickname is Ace and usually hearing my name would help Karen calm down so Karen asked if Bruce could work in "Ace" on the show and he did.

A side note here as I know Richard was not able to do the show.  But who filled in for Richard then?  If I remember correctly it was a guy named Peter Knight who had also helped with the Christmas Portrait album.

25. Did they actually steal "the Carpenters' sound" for Karen's solo album?

I don't know for sure.  The two that would know for sure would have been Karen and Rod Temperton. 

Rod Temperton had experience with layering vocals while working with the band Heatwave in the mid 1970s (the song "Boogie Nights" comes to mind here for me). 

But Karen and Richard had always had their system of layering vocals as well. 

I can not be positive if Karen did not give Rod extra pointers on vocal layering.  If Karen did give Rod pointers then they definitely stole the Carpenters' sound.  But if it was all Rod Temperton then they didn't steal the Carpenters' sound.  I never asked and I don't remember Karen or Rod ever mentioning it to me so truthfully I don't know for sure. 

And now finally after a while thinking about this, I think I remember Karen answering this definitively.  I remember Karen talking about the album back in June 1979 and during one of our many talks Karen had said something like, "Rod knew how to layer vocals on top of each other but I had to give him a few pointers on how to ping pong the tracks back and forth or else we would have run out of room on the tape.  Rod knew what to do but he had never done it before like that.  Stacking vocals on top of each other by bouncing the track back and forth, you know, ping ponging."  And I think I said back something like, "You mean like overdubbing."  And Karen was like, "Kind of but on a much bigger scale.  Rod knew the basics but I had to give him a few pointers so that we were on the same page with it.  Rod knew how to overdub but he hadn't ever played ping pong with it before so I showed him how." 

So the answer would be yes on a couple songs in a way, but it wasn't really stolen I feel with Karen teaching Rod how to do it.  Borrowed indefinitely without obtaining permission first I feel would be more the close sibling term for this.  Thieves steal; Karen just borrowed indefinitely without obtaining permission first from her brother and the group they were both co-founders of.  And as people know, a thief by any other name would be someone who borrows indefinitely without obtaining permission first (a thief by another name according to Karen to me in late May / June 1979).

26. Did Karen draw personal inspiration from the songs she sang?

Nope.  Most of the songs were written by others and Karen would try to relate what she felt about a song.  But most of the songs were written by others and all were picked out by Richard so not really much was personal with Karen. 

Richard and Karen tried to pick songs with a more universal appeal to people as if the fans could relate to the lyrics and such it would be a better seller.  There were some personal stories here and there about the reason behind choosing a particular song, but Karen and Richard always tried to do songs that they felt had a more universal appeal with people.  A universal appeal is not usually too personal directly but indirectly little pieces here and there. 

But as far as that "life imitates art" stuff, not with Karen or Richard and mostly other people's music that they borrowed.  Karen sang Superstar in 1971 and didn't meet Alan Osmond until 1973 so the song had nothing to do with Karen personally outside of Karen singing it with "the voice" she had. 

As far as with Karen's solo album
karensolosongs.html .

27.  What was Karen's biggest influence on singing?

Karen's first influence was singing in a church choir and then in high school Karen wanted to get out of Geometry so she joined the school choir.  Karen would play the drums on stage with her brother (after about age 15) but she wouldn't sing.  Then a couple times Richard asked her to sing so she did. 

But before age 15, Karen really didn't sing much.  Karen would at times have a very low voice when she was trying to figure out how to get a certain sound.  As I joked with Karen, "You sing like Marcel Marceau".  But Karen listening to her own voice and how it sounded was how she learned to sing. 

Karen was not taught and she really didn't try to sing like anyone else but only what her voice could actually do.

28. What was Karen's biggest influence on playing the drums?

According to Karen to me (in private of course), Karen had athlete's foot in high school and was looking for a way to get out of gym class as Karen's athlete's foot started after taking showers after gym class back in Connecticut and the athlete's foot had only got worst. 

So Karen joined the marching band (glockenspiel) and then she had a crush or puppy love with Frankie Chavez (but Frankie had a girlfriend and Karen said the crush wore off after about two months and realizing that her and Frankie had nothing in common outside the drums so Karen and Frankie never dated or such). 

But Karen liked keeping her hands busy so the drums came natural to her. 

But Karen told me that her biggest influence on learning to play the drums was having a foot fungus. 

Karen was right-handed so the high-hat was on the left and her right foot on the bass drum and such.  I was left-handed so I would have the high-hat on the right and my left foot on the bass drum and such.  Karen would get frustrated at me if I mimicked playing the drums (air drums) as I would do it backwards as she would say.

29. What was Karen's favorite color?

Red and black from 1969 to September 1978.  Red and black and yellow after mid to late September 1978. 

In September 1978 Karen mentioned her favorite color to me of red and black.  I told Karen my favorite color was silver and black.  Karen and I just looked at each other kind of funny then I said I change my color to clear unless you want it and I could choose opaque.  Karen instead chose red and black and yellow. 

Yes, Karen and I both loved being different from everyone else.  So after September 1978 Karen's favorite color became red and black and yellow and my favorite color changed to clear.  Then Karen mentioned that other people thought her favorite color was red and black because of Mickey Mouse but her favorite color was actually a burgundy red as that was the color of her eyes, burgundy red with a black pupil.  And of course me to Karen about the yellow color, "Did you catch jaundice?"  and Karen was like, "Yeah, are my eyes still yellow?"  and of course me, "I can't tell.  There's too many stars in the way so you'll have to ask someone else."  And then Karen again,
"Actually, yellow is the going bananas color and you've got me going bonkers lately."

30. Why were there yellow roses at Karen's funeral?

Karen's favorite was actually red roses.  However, Karen passed away close to Valentine's Day and there just weren't any red roses to be found.  So Richard had no choice but to use yellow roses or none at all.

31. Did Karen have a boat?

Yes, Karen had a boat (well, a 70 foot yacht I believe that took four crew to run) and then Karen found out that it was bad luck to have a boat without a name.  And Karen and her three signs.  The boat's name was "the Lucia" after Lucille Ball, Lucy in the comic strip Peanuts and the island of St. Lucia.

32. What cars did Karen have?

KAC 1 - Karen's 1972 Mercedes 350 SL, KAC 2 - Karen's Corvette, KAC 3 - Karen's 1979 Jaguar XJS (XKE?).  And to note here, the his and hers (charcoal gray?) Rolls Royces were under Thomas's name and weren't technically Karen's.  On top of that, yes, her 10 ct. (kt.?) engagement ring as well as the Rolls Royces were repossessed within three months after Karen and Tom were married.

33. Did Thomas Burris actually throw his wedding ring in Karen's casket?

Yes.  Before Karen had passed away she had asked for the wedding ring back as part of the divorce settlement.  Thomas had signed the divorce papers but Karen didn't sign the divorce papers.  Thomas threw the ring in Karen's casket as after Karen had passed away he couldn't give it back to her any other way. 

Also, Thomas had a suppression order issued on him that he had signed as part of the divorce agreement (it was not part of Karen's Will but was part of the divorce papers) so  he wasn't able to talk publicly about Karen so Thomas visited earlier and was not there during the actual viewing or funeral.

34. Were Phil and Itchie Ramone at Karen's funeral?

No.  Itchie was pregnant with Phil and her first son and Phil would not let Itchie travel while she was pregnant.  There were several complications from Itchie being pregnant which was why Itchie and Karen had talked by phone but had not seen each other for a while (at least a couple months) before Karen had passed away.  For reference, Phil and Itchie's first son was born on February 8, 1983.

35. Why was there a suppression order (gag order) issued on Thomas Burris?

I believe that actually the gag order was a part of Karen's divorce agreement with Thomas. 

Karen did not want Thomas talking with the tabloids about the divorce and that he said she said type stuff that always hits the tabloids after a divorce.  Would you want someone that was a real estate mogul with a 136 credit rating blabbing to papers that would leave out that 136 credit rating part of the story? 

And thanks for jarring my memory again peeps. 

I remember Richard saying on February 4, 1983 that the suppression order was a part of the divorce agreement and had nothing to do with Karen's Will or such.  I remember Richard had that suppression order against Thomas in Karen's silver briefcase that Richard had with him on February 4, 1983. 

But honestly, Richard had NOTHING to  do with that suppression order and it was from the divorce agreement and Karen and the divorce lawyer's idea.  Although Karen had not signed and finalized the divorce agreement itself, the suppression order only needed to be signed by Thomas and Thomas had signed it when he signed the divorce papers. 

But Thomas said on the first date that he had never heard of the Carpenters so after the "living under a rock" comment, Karen put Thomas in her outer ring of friends (question #12) as she may have married him (question #19) but she didn't trust him since day one. 

From my own meeting with Thomas on I believe June 18, 1981 that I know for a fact that Thomas didn't know any of Karen or her family's secrets. 

But Karen didn't want to go through that tabloid mess that always happens with divorces and the only way to avoid that was to have Thomas sign a suppression order with the divorce.  There wasn't a back door deal or extra money or such involved.

As far as Karen's secrets...  I (Adrian) was the one with those secrets, not Tom.  Tom even knew that.  Tom even knew that Ev Wallace knew way more than he did about Karen.  [sarcasm] And they really silenced Ev by putting her on the "Yesterday Once More" (1996) documentary [end sarcasm].  And you need to realize that I met and I have never been too fond of Tom Burris but I need to ask (on my own behalf for Tom's sake) these gossipers spreading this malicious gossip that question that just begs to be asked of "What secrets?"  I met Tom and I never knew Tom to say he knew any secrets about Karen or her family.  That nonsense comes from others, not Tom.  So again, "What secrets?"  Exactly, silence.  The silence that comes from stuff that is just gossip and rumors started by others to try and make others (including Thomas) look bad.

36. What about the Dragon Lady stuff?

The Dragon Lady stuff actually started when Karen was babysitting a neighbor boy, Jason, who was 5 years old around 1972. 

Karen and this boy became good pals.  But Karen used to make up stories to tell Jason and one of Karen's favorite stories to tell Jason was about the fierce Dragon Lady that had a warm and tender heart.  Karen's stories about the Dragon Lady followed a pattern where the Dragon Lady would meet a young boy and the boy would be afraid because she was a fierce dragon.  Then something would happen and the Dragon Lady would save the day and the Dragon Lady and the boy became good friends. 

Karen had several different variations like "The Dragon Lady Saves LA" and "The Dragon Lady Visits the Zoo" and "The Dragon Lady Saves the Day" and "The Dragon Lady Visits New York" and "The Dragon Lady Saves Tokyo" and such. 

But yes, the band members would refer to mom (Agnes) as the "Dragon Lady" at times as a kind of code word for Agnes (mom). 

Karen and her mom would also refer to Maria, the hair dresser / assistant / Richard's girlfriend (secretly) as the "Two-Headed Dragon Lady".  So this was around 1972 to 1973. 

But yes, Karen did base the Dragon Lady stories around how she felt about her mom, fierce and protective with a warm and tender heart.  The band did use it as a reference for Agnes (mom).

37. What was Karen really like?

Karen was usually a quiet person at first that loved to tell jokes and pull pranks after she got to know someone better. 

Karen loved being different.  And being different is about being unique. 

Karen was a very caring person. 

Karen also was not arrogant or such and was very humble and down to earth.  Karen loved to help people try and solve personal problems too. 

Karen was funny and witty and also had a slight drawl to her voice with a pennsylvania dutch type accent of warshing clothes, tawking and such. 

Karen was modest and not much for being praised and such. 

Karen liked being treated like just a regular person but being a celebrity does have its perks as some won't bother with just anyone.  But after meeting a few of those types of people, Karen wasn't much for those that felt they only bothered with celebrities and such. 

Karen always tried to enjoy everything as much as possible and wasn't one for judging others as everyone has their bad days and such.  Karen enjoyed it when she was thought of as being plain and ordinary.  Karen wasn't much for being thought of as a celebrity and such as most people behave differently when they know they are around a celebrity instead of being themselves.  Karen liked people being themselves and wasn't much for the false type people that try to impress someone rather than just chat.  Karen enjoyed those that were just average or even below average over those that thought their stuff didn't stink any time. 

Karen always liked trying to make people smile and feel better which was why she always had friends and made many friends. 

Karen didn't like to prejudge or stereotype others either. 

Karen was unique.

38. What color were Karen's eyes?

Karen's eye color was actually a deep burgundy red but at times they would change to a milk chocolate or a dark brown color.  With color cameras, many of Karen's pictures had 'red eye' which many cameras would correct to that dark brown color.  But actually Karen's eye color was a deep burgundy reddish brown that is difficult to catch on camera without having 'red eye' in the picture.

39. Did Karen wear a wig?

Yes.  Not always though.  Karen used bobby pins on her wigs to hold them in place. 

In later years during concerts, Karen was worried about moving around and a wig possibly falling off so she tried not to use wigs during her later concert years. 

Karen used to have dark grayish blue (and a couple white ones too) styrofoam heads that she would store her wigs on when not in use.  But rather than spend a lot of time trying to get her regular hair to cooperate, Karen would just throw on a wig and put in a pile of bobby pins to hold it in place and away she went.

40. What color was Karen's hair?

Karen's actual hair color was blonde with a light red tint to it. 

At about 8 or 9 years old there were a couple kids in Connecticut that picked on Karen at church and called her 'Evil Karen' because of her reddish hair and red eyes.  After hearing this, Karen's mom started dying Karen's hair (in private) and Karen liked the darker color as she thought it framed her face better with the darker color. 

When I knew Karen she used Miss Clairol Auburn color when she could find it. 

The Carpenters were lower middle class so hair dye wasn't the highest priority in the budget but mom would make allowances for it. 

Karen's biggest problem with her hair was split ends as it got longer. 

But Karen had freckles and only those with reddish hair develop freckles.  The blonde was a Carpenter trait and the reddish tint was from Nellie (Lynn) Carpenter.  Karen's grandfather George Carpenter (that passed away before Richard was born) loved red heads.

41. What perfume did Karen wear?

Occur by Avon.

42. What kind of tea did Karen drink?

During the cold, Karen would drink hot tea from a coffee mug (Karen drank tea from a coffee mug and coffee from a tea cup, she liked being different). 

During the heat, Karen would drink iced tea from a glass (12 or 16 oz clear glass).  Karen would usually drink whatever was on sale for iced tea (Lipton, Nestea, 4C, etc.). 

For hot tea Karen usually drank Chamomile with fresh lemon and a dip of honey (Karen would sprits the lemon in and leave the wedge on the rim of the mug or glass). 

Karen would do the same fresh lemon but not the honey dip with iced tea as iced tea has sugar already. 

Karen also would on occasion drink a Tab soda (usually out of the can but on a rarer occasion out of a clear 12  / 16 oz. glass with ice).

43. What was Karen's favorite food?

Karen's favorite food changed over the years, but the one food that was usually at the top of her list the most was chili. 

For breakfast, pancakes with butter and syrup. 

For lunch, usually a light salad (Karen liked the inner part, heart, of iceberg lettuce and Thousand Island or Catalina or French dressing but Karen wasn't that picky about dressing either and would mix it up a little). 

Karen was not a picky eater and usually liked whatever was on her plate. 

But Karen did have a problem as she didn't like to eat 4 hours before performing (nervousness) or 4 hours before sleeping (restlessness). 

Karen had also developed colitis and with that she had tried to change her diet around to include more soft foods and vegetables and fruits and such in later years.

44. What was Karen's shoe size?

Karen's shoe size was 7 1/2 men's or 9 1/2 women's A or B width and Karen had a high arch.   With the high arch, Karen could fit into a size 5 1/2 men's or 7 1/2 women's size shoe or sneaker.  Karen preferred the smaller sizes.

Karen borrowed my sneakers a couple times (size 7 1/2 men's) and she complained because I had fallen arches (flat feet) and my sneaker's arch support was non existent.

45. What was Karen's favorite sport?

Baseball.  Karen's favorite position was pitcher.

46. Who was Karen's favorite baseball player and team?

At the end of 1978 and in the beginning of 1979 it was Nolan Ryan and the California Angels.  After talk that Nolan was going to be traitored, I mean traded, Karen switched to the New York Yankees and Thurman Munson. 

Karen always loved baseball the most but her favorite player and team would change here and there over the years. 

Karen's baseball nickname was Pudge starting around 1963 to 1964 and so Carlton Fisk was always on Karen's list of favorite players to watch when she got the chance.

47. What was Karen's bra size?

It had to be asked, didn't it.  Well, it varied depending on how Karen was doing.  I think the smallest size was when I first met her in September 1978 and it was a 34 B I believe.  Around March 1979 I believe it was a 42 C (Karen weighed about 136 pounds at the time).

Karen did not like wearing a bra if she could avoid it.  Several times Karen just took her bra off under her blouse and had it off in about 5 seconds without taking her blouse off.  According to Karen, "Only men could design something so evil and confining as a bra."

48. What was Karen's waist size?

That varied too.  Karen usually wore long skirts or long dresses.  I don't have an answer to this one.  I don't know. 

But I do know that it did change a few times from September 1978 to June 1979.  I'm trying to remember, but I think Karen said she wore a size 7 or 10 or 12 dress in June 1981 but I can't swear to that one either.

49. Did Karen know how to swim?


50. Did Karen use a night light?

Yes.  Karen would use a night light under her bed so that if she needed to get up in the middle of the night she didn't have to turn on a light.  Karen wasn't afraid of the dark or such but she didn't want to take a chance of stepping on something in the middle of the night.

51. Did Karen ever sleepwalk?

Yes.  I know of Karen sleepwalking for about a week around September 5, 1978 to around September 10 or 11, 1978.  Not sure if there were other times.

52. Did Karen like to recite poetry?

Believe it or not, you would think that a singer liked reciting poetry but actually reciting poetry was one of Karen's least favorite things to do.  Karen felt reciting poetry was boring.

53. What was Karen's most embarrassing moment?

Karen would turn beat red and try to hide whenever someone showed a picture of her in the oversized cleavage costume from the Carpenters' Grease tribute section of the concert in 1976 (1977?). 

Film clips and such were fine, but a picture was another story.  Karen actually enjoyed doing the show and it was a funny show but she would get embarrassed seeing a picture of herself with the oversized cleavage costume and if a man / boy picked on her about it. 

So it wasn't actually the Grease tribute show but a picture from that show with Karen having the oversized cleavage costume that embarrassed Karen and if someone (Max Baer Jr.) showed the picture and said the magic words, "She's hiding something you should know about", Karen would have another embarrassing moment.  So to clarify here, it wasn't doing the Grease Tribute show itself or wearing the costume that embarrassed Karen, but it was if someone picked on her about wearing the oversized cleavage costume that would embarrass Karen and her face would turn beet red in the process of showing a picture but not if showing a film clip or such.

54. Did Karen ever feel unloved by her family (mom, dad, brother)?

No.  Karen never felt unloved by either her mom, dad or brother. 

For a reference, Karen did say that if she felt someone was using her (unloving / uncaring) or such that she would start feeling lonely around them.   Users try to isolate people from others so that they can use them without others interfering.

Karen told me that she never felt lonely around her family. 

For another reference here, Karen did say that she felt lonely around Steven Levenkron, Phil and Itchie Ramone, Thomas Burris and Max Baer Jr. as well as most of her therapists.

55. Did Karen ever drink alcohol?

Yes.  On occasion Karen might have a glass of wine with dinner or such. 

Her favorite was Dom Perignon Champagne as the bubbles tickled her nose. 

In Karen's own words, she was "about as graceful as a bull in a China shop".  Karen would lose her balance easily (especially with heels, so Karen preferred wearing flats whenever possible).  If Karen would be drinking, she would always make sure that she didn't have anything else going on (so usually before going to bed or such). 

Karen did not drink that often but when she did, just let her sniff the cork and you could pick her up off the floor later.

56. Did Karen ever smoke?

Not that I am ever aware of either pot, cigars or cigarettes. 

Karen did tell me that when she had been at the college (Cal Long Beach) that she had walked into a guy's room that had been smoking pot.  Karen got a slight buzz and then had the munchies for two days afterwards.  Karen didn't actually smoke pot and after walking in that room and getting the munchies, she avoided being even around it if she could help it.

As far as others, that was their choice just as it was Karen's choice not to smoke.  Karen always believed in people's right to choose what they felt was best for themselves just like Karen could choose what she felt was right for her.

57. Did Richard, Alpert and Moss block the release of Karen's solo album in 1980?

Actually no. 

Karen talked with me about it on June 12, 1981 and Karen told me that she was the one that shelved her solo album at the last minute (I believe she said May 5, 1980 but lately I have been thinking that the 'shelve' meeting was probably on March 25, 1980 and probably some kind of mix up on the date on my end).  And after time passes again, yup, the shelve meeting for Karen's solo album was on March 25, 1980 according to Karen to me on June 12, 1981.  Karen had told me about (and had shown me a copy of the rejected magazine) her interview on March 17, 1980 with Rolling Stone magazine and about how she had shown up wearing a glitter covered green outfit and top hat but someone had taken her top hat and left a Fedora which Karen wearing the Fedora (derby) was the picture taken for that March 17, 1980 article (and would have been a cover shot but instead Elvis Costello was moved to the cover I believe for that April 4?, 1980 magazine release).  Then on June 12, 1981 Karen also told me that it was odd but after that interview (which Karen had the article release cancelled) that the following Tuesday (which would be March 25) was the day of the meeting and Karen told me that usually the release meetings were held on a Monday, however, the release meeting for her solo album was held on a Tuesday (the 25th).  Then Karen told me the details of the meeting...

In fact, Karen told me that at that meeting that Richard and Moss had focused on the musical content (lack of any hits) during that meeting but somehow it had clicked with Karen that the album was a publicity nightmare.  So while the others were focusing on musical content, Karen had thought about publicity concerns. 

But Karen told me that at the last minute she just asked if it was all right if she shelved the album and Jerry Moss said "Yes" (I am fairly sure that Karen said Herb Alpert left the room during that meeting) so at that moment Karen shelved the album. 

The way the contract was written, only Karen or Alpert and Moss could shelve the album, no one else.  Karen told me she shelved it but also told me that she didn't tell the others why, she just shelved it. 

But why.  Karen had done an interview for Rolling Stone on March 17, 1980 that was not published and during that interview it had focused on publicity concerns. 

The biggest concern was about possible rumors from the press with Karen doing a 'solo album' and the tabloids starting up a "Karen leaving the Carpenters" rumor.  Karen had no intention of leaving her brother and the 'solo' album was done as Richard was taking time off and Richard wasn't sure if he was going to get back into music after dealing with his Quaalude addiction January to March 1979 at Meninger's Clinic in Topeka Kansas. 

But nothing that Richard or Alpert or Moss said influenced Karen's decision to shelve it. 

But Karen had realized at the last minute that the 'solo album' was as Karen and I called it "A Can of Worms" and a publicity nightmare.  False rumors about a breakup were her biggest concern but also a secondary concern was of the lyric content. 

Karen said that the album was a "diamond in the rough" and if ever released the edges would need to be knocked off first.  One of the edges was a song called "My Body Keeps Changing My Mind" which Karen thought the lyrics were a bit too much on blaming a woman for that sex stuff.  So maybe "Your Swagger Keeps Changing My Mind" would have probably been a better idea putting the blame for that sex stuff on men where the blame belongs. 

Slight changes here and there as Phil had talked Karen into trying stuff more sexual in nature but Karen still wanted to keep her "girl next door" image but was tired of the squeaky clean nonsense. 

But in 1996 try to remember that Karen's solo album was released in the state that it was rejected by Karen in.  Karen did not want that album released without fixing a few things here and there. 

But after Karen passed away, stuff couldn't be fixed and Karen was very adamant that the album did not get released while she was alive.  Karen had never stipulated anything as far as if she had passed away.  With that loophole Richard and Alpert and Moss allowed it to be released for the fans. 

But with that release again try to remember that Karen (not others) had rejected that release based on publicity concerns (a breakup that wasn't going to happen, lyrical content, Karen's girl next door image and such) and not based on musical content (lack of hits). 

Another reason Karen shelved it was that Karen thought the album wasn't that good and after some problems with Phil Ramone that maybe that album would tank and be a black eye on Phil's reputation.  And when Karen thought about that, really the album's selling point was only that it had Karen's name attached to it and her voice.  The songs were lackluster musically (no hits) but another big problem was what if the album had sold and been successful.  It's not like an album that has "sounded like sh*t" hasn't sold before (Karen did say that Richard did actually say that the album sounded like sh*t which with Karen being upset at Phil for taking away "Rock with You" and "Off the Wall" and "He's Out of My Life" and giving those to Michael Jackson and Phil getting Karen to do 'sleaze bucket' type songs, Karen was actually not too happy with Phil). 

And with that, Karen did not want to release an album that she was hoping would actually fail so that people would leave her alone about "going solo" when Karen never wished to go solo and was hoping that her brother got over his Quaalude addiction and back into music.  If the album wasn't released at all then no possible press problems or image problems. 

And another bigger problem, in Karen's recording contract with A&M Records was an 'image clause' and what if the press ruined Karen's image after that album was released.  Karen didn't want to take a chance of her contract with A&M being violated either. 

Karen shelved it.  Not Alpert, Moss, Richard or mom (mom didn't even know about Karen doing a solo album actually until at least after Karen passed away), but as Karen told me on June 12, 1981 that she was the one who shelved her can of worms. 

Then came Made In America starting in June 1980...

58. What music did Karen listen to most?

The radio.  And if a radio station played Carpenters' songs non stop 25 hours a day, 8 days a week, that was fine with her.

59. Who were Karen's favorite musical artists?

The radio.  Karen liked everybody but her ears weren't much for that non melodic stuff like punk rock and such.  And after 1978, the 4 B's - The Beatles, The Beach Boys, The Bee Gees, and Burt Bacharach.

For a longer list here...  Karen loved Christmas music the most.  That was her favorite. 

She liked The Beatles, The Beach Boys, The Bee Gees, and Burt Bacharach, the 4 B's.  The first song that Karen and I sang together (always non public) was Barbara Ann by The Beach Boys. 

After finding out that he broke keys on her brother's piano, Karen was not much for Neil Sedaka.  But that was more personal than musical. 

She liked Ella Fitzgerald, Bing Crosby, Perry Como, Nat King Cole, Matt Monro, Bobby (as Karen told me all his friends call him Bobby not Robert) Goullet, Tony Bennett, Tom Jones, Englebert Humperdinck, Danny Kaye, Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong, the Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly, The Righteous Brothers, The Sandpipers, Glenn Miller and his orchestra, the Andrews Sisters, Les Paul & Mary Ford, Peter Paul and Mary, Jan & Dean, The Mamas & The Papas, Blood Sweat & Tears, The Lovin' Spoonful (Daydream especially), Elvis Presley, The Fleetwoods, Fleetwood Mac (some stuff, Karen did not see "Tusk" as being melodic but she did like the beat), Bobby Darin, The Coasters, Abba, Alvin & The Chipmunks (David Seville), Ann-Margret, The Association, Simon and Garfunkel, Starland Vocal Band, Bill Haley & His Comets, Billy Joel, Jackson 5, Rockin' Robin (Bobby Day), Bread, Brenda Lee, Carole King, Charlie Rich, Ricky Nelson, Connie Francis, Jackie DeShannon, Linda Ronstadt, Dean Martin, Dionne Warwick, Cab Calloway, Scatman Crothers, Fats Domino, The Drifters, Hermans Hermits, The Hollies, Spike Jones, Jerry Reed, Olivia Newton-John and a whole bunch more but she liked the melodic stuff with harmonies. 

She could listen to Jimi Hendrix a little because of Mitch Mitchell and it was different (Karen loved being different), but he wasn't her favorite by any means.  Karen did love Led Zeppelin because of Bonzo's drumming and like probably everyone else, her favorite song of theirs was "Stairway To Heaven", but another favorite of theirs that Karen liked when Karen felt like being in a wild & crazy mood was "Moby Dick" but she couldn't quite get the hang of the lyrics for that song. 

Karen wasn't much for the psychedelic, acid rock, hard rock, heavy metal, glam rock, punk rock, new wave, 'twangy' country music (post nasal drip stuff).  Country music like John Denver type stuff she liked.  She kind of liked dance music to dance to but most of that stuff was out of her range or too fast paced as far as singing it (Karen would sometimes get tongue tied if too fast of a tempo).  Disco somewhat (Bee Gees, Heatwave, Donna Summer, a few others). 

Karen wasn't too picky so usually whatever was on the radio was usually good enough or on a demo tape or such (later on). 

Growing up it was pretty much whatever Richard was listening to at the time from their dad's record collection or on the radio. 

And as far as the radio, the more Carpenters' songs the radio station played, the more likely Karen would listen to that radio station.

60. Why haven't people heard of you before?

I was blocked by a suppression order issued on me in 1973 by the Archdeacon of Canterbury, Bernard Pawley, and his assistant, Sir Nicholas Born.  The order of suppression had to do with the "Keep Christ In Christmas" and also the "Merry Xmas"  movements that started in 1973.  The church was worried as I had information and the church did not want that information possibly becoming public somehow so I was blocked from the API / UPI, public films, public books, tabloids, national and international news articles, Who's Who Among American High School Students (1982 - 1983 edition), and so on. 

The incident happened where I asked a substitute Sunday School teacher, "We know Jesus was born on December 25th but do you know what year?  Surely if you know the month and day someone must know the year."  And the teacher replied "The year zero" which the year zero does not exist as it went from 1 BC to 1 AD and no year zero.  Yes, a big possible mess there.  It had nothing to do with the Carpenters or such.

And really, you probably have heard of me before in a way, but Richard also knew about my name being blocked and how do you mention someone publicly that is blocked?  Hints possibly without a direct reference?  Like...

Well, "Karen's new manager" - Phil Ramone was a producer, not a manager.  It wasn't Phil.

Adrian - Karen was not in love with a guy that was married.  Adrian was a first name not last.

The sound is Ace - Why would Bruce Forsyth say such a thing?

Why doesn't anyone know about how the song "Rock with You" started?

61. Were you and Karen soul mates?  or Did Karen ever find her soul mate?


It was first noted by Rod Temperton after a phone call between Rod and Karen and me in mid May 1979 and after a series of questions Rod stated that Karen and I were definitely soul mates. 

In June 1979 Karen and I talked with His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and he confirmed it as well. 

Also Sir Nicholas Born, assistant to the Archdeacon of Canterbury mentioned it as well in early mid May 1979 too. 

A bunch of people saw it.  But to explain...  When Karen mentioned and talked about her past regressive therapy that she did in either 1977 or 1978 in San Diego, the therapy went back too far by accident and Karen had all these past life memories in other languages just floating around in her head.  Karen wrote them down and we discussed it in late September or early October 1978.  During the discussion Karen kept looking at me and saying how my face seemed to match these past life faces she saw.  And the names that came up came up in later talks Karen and I had with Sir Nicholas and His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.  But also, Karen and I would just start saying and doing things at the same time together and it would kind of freak people out (including us at first, jinx).  Karen and me could also see each other's actual thoughts but we couldn't do that with others (even Karen and Richard didn't see each other's actual thoughts).  Karen and me would also both get feeling lighter than air when we were around each other for any length of time.  Karen and me also never argued with each other either.  And the one that Rod said was the clincher was that Karen and me never dreamt about each other.  I know people say "the one of your dreams" but Karen and me thought about each other a lot but never had dreams about each other.  As Karen and I thought about it "soul mates are your dreams come true" which is why we felt actual soul mates don't dream about each other as they are your dreams come true. 

But all of Karen and my past life information matched up with each other except my first one (Abel) and Karen's last one (Barbara Allen) before being Karen Carpenter. 

But yes, Karen and me were actually confirmed soul mates through several different sources.  Karen had found her soul mate in 1978 (and later).  But also, Karen's soul mate was almost 15 years younger than her and my soul mate was almost 15 years older than me.  A bit awkward there and a definite possible publicity nightmare. 

How long is an eternity anyway?  I made a list of our past lives and the connections between them in question #128.

62. Did Karen ever have a Myers-Briggs Personality test done?

Yes.  Her results were that she had the INFJ-A personality type and she was more the emotional side than the intellectual side.  For a reference here, Introvert, iNtuitive, Feeling, Judgemental - Assertive as opposed to ESTP-T which would mean Extrovert, Sensing, Thinking, Prospecting - Turbulent.  Assertive means positive thinking while Turbulent means negative thinking and were added later.

63. Who originally came up with the idea for Karen's solo album?

Jerry Weintraub.  Around January 26, 1979 Jerry had flown out to New York State (not the city) to have Karen sign her and Richard's new recording contract with A&M Records.  After Karen signing it and Jerry reading it, Jerry found the "new album" clause in the new contract.  With Richard taking time off and Karen taking time off there was a possible contract problem.  So it was Jerry Weintraub that came up with the idea that Jerry Weintraub was tired of sitting around and twiddling his thumbs and that Karen needed to do an album to fulfill that contract clause to give Jerry Weintraub something to do besides twiddle his thumbs. 

64. Who was the first producer brought on for Karen's solo album?

Eddie Kramer.  Eddie and Karen did not record anything together however.  Eddie was the one who recommended Phil Ramone to Karen in late March or early April 1979.

65. What was Karen worth when she passed away?

Priceless.  Some things money can't buy.  Karen was one of those priceless things.

66. Was Karen a Mormon?

Karen was a Baptist / Methodist.  Karen considered herself a Christian first. 

But as far as religion, Karen was a kind of mish mash of different ideas based on if it works it works and if it don't move on to something else. 

Karen did not believe in multiple wives or husbands, so Karen wasn't a Mormon and was not interested in becoming a Mormon. 

After her experience with her past regressive therapy, Karen was fascinated with the idea of reincarnation and certain Christian groups are against that. 

Methodists and Baptists are usually pretty lenient on that "other kind of stuff" which was why Karen was kind of comfortable there. 

Karen did have a firm belief in God and as God being like a person and not a higher power or such. 

Karen also believed in Jesus and was very big on forgiveness of others. 

But Karen was a conglomerate of different ideas based on her own life experiences and not a Bible thumper or such.

Outside being devoted to pitching baseballs and singing and playing drums and being romantic, Karen wasn't really a devout anything.

67. Why didn't anyone try to save Karen? or Why didn't Karen get treatment for anorexia?

Thanks for the question.

Many people asked Karen to get help but unfortunately the help was and still is not there.  I was one of them as was Richard, her mom and many others.  But like Karen told me about the therapy stuff back in September and October 1978...

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 a big problem was that in February 1978 Karen and her mom did go to the LA mental health clinic together and it was so bad that Karen never went back there again.  Karen dropped the 'f bomb' on the therapist right in front of her mom.  And as I am trying to keep this page child friendly as much as possible, the rest of this paragraph is being blotted (whited) out.  And honestly, what kind of quack tries to say that two people don't care about each other when her mom is right there trying to get her daughter to get some help with an eating disorder and if that ain't caring then the f***ing quack needs to get his f***ing head out of his f***ing a** and f***ing realize that someone's mom is the only f***ing reason she is there because her mom cares enough about her daughter to take time out of her busy f***ing schedule to go down to the f***ing quack farm and have some f***ing quack have his head up his f***ing a** so f***ing far being a f***ing dipsh*t and not realizing that if someone's mom didn't care, she wouldn't f***ing be there, would she?  How f***ing stupid can you f***ing get?  And even today these f***ing quacks still keep f***ing trying desperately to find a resolute answer to that mind boggling question of "How f***ing stupid can you f***ing get?"  And those that appear to side with these quacks still keep trying to help these quacks find an answer to that question of "How f***ing stupid can you f***ing get?" as well.  No, that therapy bullsh*t did not (and still does not in most cases) help Karen (and most other anorexics) one bit.  Why do the numbers of anorexics keep increasing?  Well, maybe if they would talk to the patients instead of making sh*t up that makes little to no sense, there might be an answer to that question which might help people actually get some help for a change.  Wishful thinking.  Doctors (including psychologists, psychiatrists and therapists) try to help people while quacks try to make a lot of money.  And why quacks?  Quacks make a lot of noise but really don't do anything useful or helpful for anyone else.  Quacks.

Another question that begs to be asked is "Why didn't the therapists talk with Karen instead of trying to put words in her mouth?"  Richard and Karen never competed with each other on anything.  Karen never felt unloved by her family.  Those problems still persist.  I get so tired of them trying to make Karen sound like she was Cherry Boone when Karen and Cherry were nothing alike.  Karen never fit that profile of an anorexic just like sadly, Ariel Castro doesn't fit the profile of a 'sex slave abductor' either.  Psychology, psychiatry and therapy are still back in the dark ages because of this 'profiling' (stereotyping) nonsense that has been proven time and time again not to work.

Yes, back to this page again karenlastdays.html .

68. What was the cost of Karen's solo album?

Interesting question with two possible answers.  The reason why two possible answers is the middle part here that I am not positive about. 

But first was 50 thousand to Eddie Kramer.  I think Eddie split this with Gene Simmons but he may have even possibly turned it down.  That was up to Eddie.  As far as I was concerned, even though Eddie and Karen didn't work together in the studio, Eddie was worth at least ten times that much with his help and advice and recommendations and such.  Eddie was very thoughtful and very honest and down to earth like Karen.

Then I can't remember this next part exactly anymore as I am not positive if it was 250 or 350 thousand to Phil Ramone.  I do know that at the negotiation with Phil that Phil had stated an amount and then a disagreement and then Phil raised the amount.  I believe it was 350 thousand agreed upon, but as it was so long ago I'm not positive that it wasn't 250 thousand either. 

In early June 1979 there was another problem and an additional 100 thousand to Phil Ramone. 

It was either 400 thousand or 500 thousand total depending on that 250 or 350 thousand amount.

69. Why was there an extra 100 thousand for Karen's solo album?

I believe it was early June 1979 and there was a meeting held with Phil Ramone, Itchie Ramone, Itchie's toy poodle, Rod Temperton, Karen Carpenter and that "new manager" Adrian guy (me at age 14 but somehow that age 14 thing didn't get mentioned, shh). 

An article had been written by a Karen Iuchanji (Ichiuji?) and submitted to a tabloid and that article had contained a couple pictures and a name of a person that was on the media blocked list.  The rejected article had been sent to the individual, Archdeacon of Canterbury, who had placed the block on the article. 

The assistant to the Archdeacon of Canterbury was sent out and he chatted with Phil Ramone and Itchie in early May 1979.  After the chat with Phil and Itchie, in mid May, the assistant, Sir Nicholas Born, had a chat with Karen and me about the article as well. 

After this problem arose and based on Phil's arrogance of "who does this assistant guy think he is, I'm Phil Ramone" and the fact that Phil's hands were slimey during the handshake with Sir Nicholas, what became known as 'the ultimate injunction' was levelled by the Archdeacon of Canterbury against Phil Ramone. 

The ultimate injunction was a four part injunction which froze Phil's bank accounts, removed Phil's line of credit, did not allow securities (stock and bond) selling or trading and did not allow real estate sales or trading. 

With that, Phil had borrowed 50 thousand from Rod Temperton and 20 thousand from Itchie plus outlaid about 30 thousand for expenses related to Karen's solo album (studio time, musicians, etc.). 

During the 100K meeting Rod Temperton left the room before the actual meeting happened. 

Karen's new manager was talking about how Karen would probably be better off just dropping Phil and going elsewhere. 

Phil was just fuming at Karen's new manager as how dare this guy have someone place the ultimate injunction on Phil f***ing Ramone.  And like said, Phil was just fuming, f*** this, f*** that.  Itchie was fuming too.  Itchie's toy poodle was a female so her b*tching (barking?) was to be expected I guess. 

So then Karen's new manager (me) was like, "I really think Karen would be better off elsewhere but if you were to continue how much do you think you would need to continue?"  Then Phil was kind of mumbling numbers to himself and then said, "One hundred thousand" and then I just held my hands out and looked at Karen and then Karen said, "Will you promise me this will cover everything and do you promise not to ask for anything more?"  And then Phil said, "Yes" and then Karen and Phil shook hands and Karen said "It's a deal" and she would have the papers drawn up. 

But yes, Karen's solo album was almost cancelled in mid May 1979. 

Part of the hundred grand was also used to get a lawyer so that the injunctions against Phil could be removed.  In May 1979, Phil's water, gas, garbage and electric had been turned off as a result of the ultimate injunction. 

The project was continued for a short while in June 1979 and then put on hold until the fall of 1979.

70. Did Karen used to tie a string around her finger to remind her of things?

Yes.  Karen would use a different color needlepoint thread tied around her ring finger to remind herself about things.  A forget me knot.

71. Did  Karen have a  nickname of Pudge?

When Karen and her family first moved out to Downey, Karen was about 4 foot tall and weighed 120 pounds (according to Karen).  Karen would play baseball with the area guys and one of the guys came up with the nickname Pudge for Karen at the time (1963 / 1964?). 

So at school, the guys would ask Pudge if she was going to play ball later. 

So of course with the cute baseball players talking to Pudge (Karen), other girls would ask Karen if she could fix them up with [such and such] baseball player. 

So Pudge was actually fairly popular at school in Downey. 

And like other ball players too numerous to mention, all great baseball players should have a nickname.  Karen's ball player name was Pudge after she moved to Downey. 

After getting her nickname, Karen would always try to make sure others had nicknames too.  Well, most others but not that copy cat Carlton Fisk guy that caught for the Boston Red Sox.  But Karen was glad that at least one Pudge played in the major leagues even if he did have to borrow Karen's nickname to get there.

72. Did Karen ever hate anyone?

According to Karen on February 3, 1983, the closest she ever came to hating anyone was Thomas Burris.  But then Thomas signed the divorce papers, so Karen ended up never hating anyone.

73. If Karen were still alive would she have a solo career?

Only if Richard had passed away or couldn't perform anymore.  Otherwise, no, Karen would have always been with Richard as half of the Carpenters.

74. Did you and Karen ever talk about having and raising kids?

As Karen would say to me, "If you haven't been noticing, I've been grooming you to be my husband" and as I would say back to Karen, "And if you haven't noticed, I'm also briding you to be my wife" and then we would say at the same time, "What's good for the goose is good for the gander". 

We already agreed on the house with a white picket fence and our own china pattern with a two car garage with a dog and two point four kids.  Yes, two point four kids, a boy, a girl, and a point four midget that we keep in the basement like every other typical american family at the time.  Statistics don't lie you know. 

Karen loved and adored taking care of babies and toddlers and I was more for the older toddlers and later.  So infant and toddler, Karen, older, me although we would both work together. 

In 1978 to 1979, Karen and I honestly had some thoughtful discussions about this.  Cloth diapers, safety pins, rubber pants, Johnson's baby powder, the works.  That stuff was being phased out at the time though, but we weren't much for 'disposables' and all that.  There was, however, a company out in California that still ran a cloth diaper service (Karen checked). 

As far as our own kids, we were going to raise them to take care of themselves.  Infants and toddlers can't take care of themselves, but as they started getting older they were going to learn to "earn their keep" like Karen and I had both learned.  Chores definitely as they got older.  No emotional outbursts and we were not going to raise any 'spoiled brats'. 

Dad (me) had the louder voice so I would be the disciplinarian so to speak. 

We also discussed too, no corporal punishment or such.  If needed though, restraint as we weren't going to let a kid just throw a tantrum or such.  At the table, we need to talk or in the corner until you can learn to behave then talk at the table. 

Definitely the kids were not going to be babied (after being old enough anyway).  Karen and I were both cuddlers, but like said, we weren't going to baby the kids.  If they got hurt somehow, brush it off and get back out there as that was how Karen and I were ourselves. 

Karen and I both believed in empathy (you can do it) and not sympathy (aw, poor baby).  Karen and I weren't going to raise any quitters.  Hump busting 101. 

Church (Methodist or Baptist, up to Karen really) and community and helping others.  Karen and I were both independent too and like said, the kids weren't going to be babied.  Brush your teeth; comb your hair; don't leave a mess; clean up after yourself; if you take care of things they'll last longer and help take care of you. 

Karen and I also weren't selfish either, but people appreciate things more when they earn them too. 

Don't make fun of others as how would you feel if they made fun of you like that.  No arrogance allowed.  Humility and humbleness but not a pushover either.  Stand your ground. 

And of course forgiveness and repentance and penance and all that too. 

Mush passed away in 1984, but as far as the household, yes, we would have had at least a dog and pets.  With that was responsibility and with that responsibility is a good lesson of "if you love something, you take care of that something."  Responsibility and learning to take care of stuff (or you don't have any more until you learn to take care of what you have). 

Also, definitely, "do unto others..." would have been stressed most likely with "how would you feel if...?" type lectures as the need arose. 

As far as Karen and Richard out on the road, I would have stayed back and taken care of the house and such.  Jerry had already started booking tour dates for late February 1983, so I would have stayed back and taken care of Mush and the house in late February 1983. 

As far as Aunt Dumb Aleck and Uncle Smart Aleck (or Aunt Karen and Uncle Ace and as they got older, Aunt Dumb Ass and Uncle Smart Ass, well actually Aunt Honey as I know Karen liked the dumb / smart thing there between us and dumb is a 'black sheep' thing, but I just didn't like using that word for Karen, but there were some stories in those names of Dumb Ass and Smart Ass.  Nobody likes a smart ass, right dumb ass?  Precisely.  Everyone loves a dumb ass, not a smart ass), if the nieces or nephew needed a break or were having problems, yeah.  No spoiling and no emotional outbursts or such.  No cussing either.  Family is family and if the nieces and nephew could tolerate the wackiness but also our "you need to behave" intolerance (no fits or emotional outbursts and no "spoiled brats" and such) then fine or else "you'd learn". 

But yeah, Karen and I were a lot alike and with Richard and Mary...  Rules and boundaries as Richard and Mary would have their preferences too and Karen and I would have respected that. 

Karen actually knew about Richard and Mary but kept it a secret from others. 

I also have a sister, Robin, who had two daughters, and one of the daughters has a daughter and a son.  Family is family and in the late 1980s my sister lived in San Diego then they moved to Yuma Arizona then they moved back to New York in December 1989.  My sister's husband could be obnoxious at times, so Karen and I would have been more with Richard and Mary and 'the folks (both sides)'. 

My mom was actually a Karen Carpenter fan so would have been interesting there.  After the settling in after Karen and I would have eloped, the grandparents are the grandparents.  As Karen and I would have been out in California, we would have been closer to Harold and Agnes (Karen's folks) than to my folks, (Bud and Lee) in New York. 

The tough part would have been Karen and I eloping and our explanation would have been that we needed to because of the age difference and we needed to get married on our own without any kind of fanfare from others (and also with Karen after the Tom stuff, something different as Tom definitely didn't work out so why repeat that). 

The father-in-laws were both the types that liked to sit around and were jacks of all trades and masters of none. 

The mother-in-laws, oh boy.  My mom would have been asking Karen's mom all kinds of questions about Karen and Richard growing up.  My mom was also the oldest in my grandmother's family and had 5 younger brothers and no sisters, so my mom was a tomboy (and no, I didn't nor do I have an oedipus complex or whatever.  I do have a 'tomboys who like to make mud pies' and the 'I only have unique experiences with a unique person' complexes though).  Karen and my mom-in-laws were both the no nonsense types.  Yes, Karen and I were both "in for it" as Karen and I loved to goof around but both of our moms were the 'no nonsense' types and not much for 'foolishness' or 'clowning around'.  Yes, Karen and I were both 'black sheep' and Karen and I were both proud of our nonsense, foolishness and clowning around which probably would have kept our moms and dads talking about it for days. 

The thing is though that my mom's side was loaded with tomboys and Karen would have fit right in with them.  Karen and I would have been alright with family (and non family) get togethers and reunions and such, but as far as kids, unless Karen and I were both on our deathbeds so to speak, we were taking care of our kids and they were going to behave properly and responsibly. 

As any of our kids would be someone that had "our blood" so to speak, yes, Karen and I were the kind that we were actually tougher on our own than on others.  With "our blood" they should know better. 

But for visits and such, Karen and I would have been about rules and behavior and such but also about teaching life lessons and learning life skills and such.  Karen and I would have probably encouraged the kids to be physically fit as Karen and I were the outdoors types, but Karen and I were also 'bookworms' too.  Books tend to be more open to the imagination than movies.  Definitely kid's books, encyclopedias and a library and also baseballs and gloves and that kind of stuff.  Athleticism and intellectualism. 

And of course, jokes and stories.  I was actually the real life kind of guy and Karen was the one with an imagination.  I would have been the old fart with stories of "I remember the time when..." where Karen would have been the old fart's wife with stories of "Once upon a time there was a Dragon Lady (Super Turtle, Flying Wombat, Courageous Kangaroo, Lonely Teddy Bear, etc.)..." 

We definitely would have had the full Dr. Seuss library (Theodore "Teddy" Geisel was/is my favorite author) and also Grimm's Fairy Tales and Nursery Rhymes.  We also would have definitely had a music library too.  Spike Jones, Sheb Wooley (Ben Colder), Allan Sherman, David Seville & the Chipmunks, Ray Stevens, Little Jimmy Dickens, all the classics. 

Had Karen and I had kids, we would have raised them to do chores, but the gender stuff would have been interesting as Karen and I both realized that if something needed to be done, it didn't matter gender so long as it got done.  So boys would have been taught to do dishes and girls taught to mow lawns and such as a lesson of "as you get older and have a husband or wife, if something should happen, you should know how to do this stuff" with "work together" and such.  Boys have boy's things and girls have girl's things normally but stuff can happen and stuff still needs to be done sometimes.  Yes, cooking and cleaning and such is "woman's work" but men should learn to do it when the woman can't same as if a man can't do it then the woman needs to wait until the man does it (unless you might get a fine for an unmowed yard) or something like that. 

Yes, standard boy / girl type roles, but with Karen and I, we were always "work together" like with Karen and Richard of "work together".  "Stand your ground."  "Grades aren't as important as what you need to learn."  "Plan ahead but always have a backup plan just in case."  "Don't get stuck in a rut."  "We're not normal and we like being different."  Alternatives.  Manners.  Family.  Honor.  Dignity.  Respect.  Reputation.  Patience. 

And the big question from kids as they get older, "How did mommy and daddy meet?"  Yes, Karen and I had a lot of stories together to share with others.  Karen and I also knew a lot of secrets about each other too (which had Karen not passed away and others not opened their big mouths to say things untrue about Karen, those secrets would not have been mentioned elsewhere).  Karen and I also had a lot of personal experiences to share too, so it may seem like we were going to be 'hard*ss' parents, so to speak, underneath all of the responsibility stuff were a couple parents that had a lot of wisdom and stories about how that wisdom came about to share. 

Karen and I went through a lot together, both good and bad.  There was (and still kind of is) a lot of love there and also a lot of shared unique experiences between Karen and I between ourselves and with others. 

And definitely, since raising kids is serious business so to speak, Karen and I were jokesters and pranksters at heart.  Seriously?  Well, kind of seriously.  The kids would have most likely developed a good sense of humor too and a happy home (as Karen and I were usually happy around each other even during rough times). 

Karen and I were both child-like too so the growing up and ducks in a row type stuff our kids probably would have got from their uncle Richard and aunt Mary and gramma Agnes and grampy Harold and gramma Lee and grampy Bud and possibly uncle Bill (after 2010 or so uncle Shawn) and aunt Robin and great great uncles, great great aunts, great uncles, great aunts, at least two great great grammas (Et and Grace), great grandmas, great grampys, cousins galore (if they got any growing up that is.  Learning responsibility is one thing but 'growing up' and 'being serious' just wasn't for Karen or me.  People tried; Karen and I were all right with responsibility and such, but 'growing up and being serious' just wasn't for us) and many friends too. 

And that first big question from children, "Why?" which we knew the answer to that as being, "because mom said so". 

All the cute and cool stuff they got from mom and all the bad stuff was from dad (even though Karen and I were pretty much identical in personality). 

Yeah, together, Karen and I had a lot of family on both sides to try and keep track of (and a bit of juicy gossip on both sides too which would have kept Karen busy trying to keep up on all that stuff). 

And more here as Karen and I were going to focus more on intellectual over emotional thinking with kids.  Emotional people are rarely rational and after our own personal experiences, Karen and I wanted kids that thought things out rationally and not emotionally (usually when emotional thoughts kick in, rational thoughts go out the window, so we wanted our kids to have a good rational head on their shoulders as much as possible.  Emotions were fine so long as they have some sensibility attached with them I guess you could say.  And honestly if you look at all the emotional nutcases out there today that are easily brainwashed and just rely on emotion without intellect, Karen and I had the right idea for raising 'healthy' children.  Honestly, throwing a fit and being destructive for not getting your way is not 'healthy'). 

So yeah, lots of stories to pass on to the kids from Karen and me, but wasn't meant to be I guess as we didn't have kids. 

The other part, if Karen had got pregnant, with the anorexia, we would have had to have kept a constant watch on her.  Of all the guys around Karen over the years, I was probably the most likely to have been able to deal with Karen being pregnant.  But yes, pregnant women gain weight.  If anorexia kicks in, it can be a real experience (probable restraint and such to keep her from possibly hurting herself or the baby).  I knew what to look for as Karen would behave oddly when anorexia was kicking in (Karen would usually start being a little distant from being personal and almost arrogant as Karen would start thinking that since she was getting thinner she could do whatever she darned well pleased 'almost' as everyone likes women that are thin since all thin women are attractive and cute like little girls.  Karen was normally very warm, caring, funny, modest and frugal.  When anorexia kicked in, Karen would start behaving almost like a 'spoiled little brat' compared to her normal self.  It wasn't anorexia per se or a Jekyll & Hyde type thing, but it was a side effect of her becoming more determined, which with the anorexia, Karen was more determined to be 'straight as a board' and with that determination she wasn't as warm, caring, funny, modest or frugal.  Also, Karen and I had a habit of being what people called scatter brained.  Karen and I would be talking about one thing then switch to something completely different and then back to something else without missing a beat.  When anorexia was kicking in, Karen might start getting sidetracked and miss a beat here or there).  In a word, when Karen's anorexia would kick in, she would become more easily "distracted".  And then after kicking in, Karen would start talking about how much she weighed (weight number) almost constantly.

Also would have had to have her mom and her dad and brother look in on her too.  Constant serveillance which Karen would have tried to revolt against and sneak off and such. 

Also, with the arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) probably would have had to have kept Karen monitored too. 

Morning sickness and all the fun that goes with that.  Empathy (no sympathy) pains, Pickled ice cream and stork jokes of course. 

I knew the risks as did Karen know the risks if Karen had got pregnant. 

Karen wanted totally natural child birth.  No epidurals under any circumstances.  No c-section (caesarean).  And if Karen ripped my arm off and shoved it where the Sun don't shine during child birth that was fine with her, so it would have been fine with me too (what choice did I have). 

And Karen would have been fine, but I would have been a nervous wreck worrying about everything had Karen got pregnant. 

Yes, this is actually real life (non fiction) written here and all of the head scratching that goes along with being honest about stuff that happened (or could have happened).  I hope this helps some people at least (it helped me realize how confusing this stuff can be sometimes).

75. Where was Karen's birthmark?

I knew this back when but I do not remember now.  So I need to say I don't know on this one too.  I can't remember for sure if it was on her back or on the back of one of her legs.

76. What did Karen weigh when she passed away?

108 pounds.

77. What did Karen weigh when she was born?

5 pounds.

78. Did Karen drool in her sleep?

Yes.  So do I too.  It is caused by an overactive saliva gland and not much can be done about it.

79. Did Karen use teeth whitener?

Yes.  She would put the whitener in a tray and then in her mouth but I can't remember which brand she used.

80. Was Karen afraid of spiders?

No.  Karen was not afraid of any bugs.  Like everyone else, Karen didn't want to be bit by bugs, but she wasn't afraid of them. 

Good question here as it brings up an incident that happened in I believe early 1979. 

Someone had brought in a mouse and it got loose and next thing you know Karen was standing up in her chair afraid of the mouse.  A tomboy afraid of a mouse?  She was.  I picked on her about it too for a little while anyway.  The mouse was caught and we were going to let it loose outside but instead, Karen kept the mouse in her desk drawer for a couple days and fed it celery, lettuce, water and of course cheese too.  Karen had always talked about "facing your fears" and Karen had been afraid of mice.  After keeping the mouse in her drawer for a couple days, Karen got over her fear of mice.  Karen also wasn't afraid of snakes either. 

Karen wasn't fond of snakes or mice, but so long as they didn't bug her or chase after her, she was fine with them.  Karen always let them know though that if they were going to be mean, Karen could be mean back. 

Karen learned to get over most of her fears but she always had a fear of needles and DC-10s.

81. Did Karen prefer plugs or pads?

Karen actually preferred plugs but after hearing about 'toxic shock syndrome', Karen would wear pads at times.

82. Was Karen left or right-handed?

Right-handed.  Karen wrote with her right hand and ate with her right hand too.  I ate left-handed for a reference here.

83. Did Karen watch soap operas?

Yes, actually, Days of Our Lives and I believe also As the World Turns from September 1978 to June 1979 at least.  In 1979 Karen met Larry Hagman's mom, Mary Martin, and Karen used to watch Dallas as well.

84. Did you and Karen have pet names for each other?

Kind of.  Most of the times we just used our names Karen and Ace with each other. 

But Karen's pet name for me was Darling and mine for Karen was Honey. 

Around mid May 1979 Karen's step cousin Wendy had called Karen dumb ass a few times.  After a visit from Buddy Ebsen in mid May 1979, I had the nickname smart ass.  So Karen and I had the nicknames of Dumb Ass and Smart Ass with a bit of history behind those nicknames between us.  "No one likes a Smart Ass, right Dumb Ass?"

And yes, always Karen and Ace.  Which brings up my joke of "We're a couple.  We're Karen and Ace as she always needs to come first so I can roll over and get some sleep otherwise I'd never hear the end of it.  Karen and Ace."

85. What about the name Kristi Lynn?

First, boys would have had the last name Downing and girls the last name Carpenter. 

Of course Karen and I talked about naming kids and of course Adrian IV for a boy and Karen Junior for a girl, but... 

(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, but the third thing was Bob Messenger which was a plus on one end but also a minus as Karen didn't want to favor one band member over another, so Roberta and Carla and such were ruled out].  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 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.

86. Was Karen into politics?

Nope.  Karen told me that she had registered as a Republican but had never voted.  Karen rarely talked about politics or world events type stuff.  Karen liked talking about personal relationships and such.

87. Did Karen use facial masks?

Yes.  Karen would use facial masks to help refresh the pores in her skin.  I can't remember which kind though only that it had a green color to it. 

Karen would also put cucumbers over her eyes at times too. 

And yes, curlers in her hair sometimes too. 

Foot baths with epsom salt for those callouses. 

A hot wax job for unwanted body hair (Karen didn't shave). 

Karen also used tweezers to pluck her eyebrows with.

88. Was Karen afraid of needles?

Yes, actually.  Karen wasn't really afraid of anything (including her mom) except needles and DC-10's.

89. What was Karen's favorite time of the year?

Christmas.  Christmas and more Christmas. 

Karen was always family oriented and Christmas was always that family get together time of the year for her. 

But Christmas was about family and helping those in need with Karen and not about the presents or such. 

And like with a big family, shouldn't we all be more helpful with one another and more understanding. 

Peace on Earth and goodwill towards our fellow peeps.

90. Did Karen speak beatnik?

Yes, she did.  Fluent beatnik.  Can you dig it?  Groovy.  Far out. 

Karen also knew Valley Girl lingo as well.  "Fer sure".  "Gag me with a spoon".  "Like Totally".  "Oh My Gawd".

Karen also knew a bit of 'sailor talk' as well (which if I remember right, she learned most of her sailor talk from her dad).  Karen had noticed around late October / early November 1978 that she was having problems with sailor talk so I brought in a gallon pickle jar (with a white lid that had air holes in it and a slot to insert coins and bills) and Karen had the jar about half full by the end of November / early December 1978.

91. Did Karen speak other languages besides english?

Yes.  She had learned to speak conversational Japanese (but not fluent).  Karen would always need a translator for Japanese. 

Karen also could speak German / Dutch from either her grand ma ma or great grand ma ma Rudolph.  Karen was a little rusty but she could speak Dutch / German fluently.  I found this out by accident I believe in early 1979.  Karen had sent a letter and mentioned a donation to the Anne Frank Foundation but had forgot to include a check in the envelope.  Karen hired a translator, Gary Yoggi, to translate for her as after the mistake, Otto Frank and his wife, Elfriede, had flown to the US to meet with Karen.  A huge misunderstanding had happened.  But Karen did get to meet Anne Frank's dad, Otto, and his wife in person. 
The big problem though is that Dutch / German uses a lot of big words and Karen would usually get tongue-tied on big words in any language.  Karen and Otto and Elfriede actually ended up talking directly and the translator ended up sitting by helpless as apparently Karen knew Dutch / German better than the translator.  Yes it was a shock for me too.

Karen was also trying to learn Spanish as well, but she was still trying and learning and was still trying to work the bugs out like rolling the RRRR's and such. 

Karen was also trying to look into learning Portuguese some time down the road.  Karen didn't really know anyone that spoke Portuguese at the time around 1979.

92. How was Karen able to hold notes so long while singing?

Karen had actually learned to breathe in through her nose while singing out of her mouth at times.  Karen never trained herself to do it or such, it just kind of happened without Karen realizing what she had done.

93. What were Karen's measurements?

It varied a bit.  From 34 - 24 - 38 to 42 - 36 - 46 and such.  Big shoulders, smaller waist, larger hips.  The most I saw Karen weigh was in April / May 1979 at 136 pounds. 

When I first met Karen on September 6, 1978 she weighed 94 pounds.  Most of the time I knew Karen from September 1978 to June 1979, she weighed 100 pounds or over. 

And Karen would try and focus on her weight number while I would try and get her to focus on how she was feeling and what she was doing instead of worrying about some silly number.

94. Why did Karen move out from behind the drums?

From Karen to me in 1978 (within a couple days after Cubby O'Brien had visited so around October 1978).  Karen talked about moving out from behind the drums starting in 1971 and this was what she told me about it.

Originally there was talk from the audiences during concerts and the talk was "Where is that voice coming from?" and "Who is that singing?".  So they brought in Jim Squeglia (j not g sound? and Karen had a difficult time pronouncing his last name) to fill in for the slow numbers (ballads) and Karen would go behind the drums for the fast numbers. 

This lasted from 1971 until 1973 when Cubby O'Brien, one of the original Mousketeers, was brought in.  After Cubby was brought in in 1973, Karen was brought out front and a drum duo (solo) with Cubby and Karen was added to the show. 

Karen had told me that she did love it behind the drums, but after thinking about it, Karen knew she needed to move out front as Karen had thought that if she had been out in the audience, she would have wanted to see who was singing as well.  Karen agreed with the audience on that one. 

But Karen didn't actually feel forced up front and she understood why it needed to be done so she agreed to try and move up front. 

But when she was first moved up front, Karen was so used to playing the drums that it was awkward for her not having her drum sticks in both hands and instead holding a microphone in one hand.  It took a bit of adjusting but she had a lot of support from Richard and the band during the transition.  Karen wasn't really sure if she could handle not playing drums and singing at the same time as she had always been used to being behind the kit while singing and being out front without a drum set was just awkward for her at first as she wasn't used to just singing. 

From what I remember, Karen did not mention to me about her mom saying anything against Karen being moved up front (later in another talk Karen did mention about her mom being upset that Hal Blaine was brought in during recording sessions originally until after Karen had told her mom all the records Hal had played on and that they had got Hal to come in inexpensively).  Karen had her drums and a drum company had also been sending Karen more drums too (as Richard used to tell the story about having to move furniture out of the house so that Karen could have more room in the house as her drum set got bigger and bigger).  But Karen didn't mention to me if her mom objected or not to Karen being moved up front as a singer.  Karen mentioned Jim Squeglia (which she had a hard time with his last name pronounced skwejlia) and Cubby but nothing about anything from her mom.  This is another of those "I wish Karen was around to ask about this" but I am thinking after her mom didn't realize who Hal Blaine was that mom may have held her breath on this one and just let Karen and Richard do what they felt they needed to do.  But without Karen's input, this is only speculation on my part so don't quote me on this.  It is way out of character for either Karen or her mom to hold their breath and not say their opinion on something but strange things can and do happen sometimes.

And remember too that back then there weren't the big Jumbotron TVs and such like there are now.  It was the stage, the equipment, the band and the audience back then. 

But Karen also hadn't been hiding back there behind the drum kit, Karen really loved playing the drums but unfortunately back then you couldn't see a drummer (even with the clear crystal set) behind the drums and cymbals on stage. 

But then too, Karen always considered herself a baseball player that played drums and sang for a living.

95. Did Karen actually have trouble saying the name Bruce Forsyth?

Yes.  Brooth Forthyth I mean Bruce Forsyth was a tongue twister for Karen.  Karen had a slight overbite and a slight gap between her two front teeth and also a big tongue which would get twisted at times with the eth I mean s sound.  If you listen to certain songs, Richard had the same problem too at times for the same reason.

96. Did Karen have a nickname of Buck Snort?

Yes.  Actually when Karen would get laughing hard, she would have a snort sound come out of her nose.  After Karen heard herself snort then she would start laughing and giggling more and snorting even more until tears of joy would run down her face.  Karen loved to laugh and she also loved getting others to laugh too.

97. What about the lead sister stuff?

While growing up Karen always hated the term "little sister".  As Karen would say, "How would you like to be called little all the time?" 

People had big brothers and younger sisters or big sisters and younger brothers (not little or older). 

So it was during one of the Japanese tours (1974 I think) where a magazine writer got lead singer mixed up and it came out as "Lead Sister" in an article. 

Karen loved it and T-shirts were made up with Lead Sister on the front and Karen with the number 1/2 on the back like a baseball type shirt as Karen loved baseball (and the number 1/2 was used in baseball by the team mascot / "clown"). 

When doing her drum solo (duo?) with Cubby, Karen would sneak off backstage and change into her Lead Sister shirt for the drum section of the show. 

Before the drum part, Richard would do an altered lyric of "Piano Picker" and introduce his five foot four tornado of a sister, Karen.

I knew because back in November 1978 during an open house event, I introduced Karen to my "little sister" Robin and Karen gave it to me both barrels the next day.  In June 1981 Karen had rehashed what she felt were our top shared moments from September 1978 to June 1979 and the Sowing Wild Oats / Little Sister event in November 1978 was number 3 with my singing Close To You to her and our past lives talk in late September / early October 1978 coming in at number 2 and the Carpenter family get together in June 1979 was number 1 with our Keystone Kops event where Karen and me tried to sneak around and ended up waking up the whole neighborhood in November 1978 getting honorable mention.  Karen and me had some definitely interesting moments we shared together.  And coming in at number 3 was "Don't ever use the L word [little] around Karen". 
And then in November 1978 Karen had a real stern 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."

Lead sister was fine, but that other L word and you were taking your life in your hands.

98. Did Karen sunbathe naked?

Karen preferred the word nude, but yes, Karen did sunbathe in the nude as she did not like having tan lines. 

Karen also preferred loose clothing as she didn't like stuff rubbing up against her skin. 

Karen would also use a sun lamp at times as well. 

And tanning salons started around the 1970s and Karen would on occasion use a tanning salon in places like New York or Connecticut or London even, where there isn't as much sunlight.

99. Did Karen swear / cuss?

Yes she did quite a bit in private and a couple times in public too.  I remember Karen in late 1978 having a gallon pickle jar as a swear jar and she had it about half filled in a month.  If I remember correctly too, it was a habit she picked up from her dad.

100. You say Karen always lived by principles, do you know any of them?

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 "We don't make promises.  We say what we mean and we mean what we 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.”

"Practice what you preach; no one likes a hypocrite."

And of course "The Golden Rule", "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you."

"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.”

"I'm all natural with no artificial ingredients or preservatives.  Just little old me the way God intended me to be."  With others that weren't Christian,
"I'm all natural with no artificial ingredients or preservatives.  Just little old me the way nature intended me to be."

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."

"Don't eat the yellow snow" (Yes, there was a lot of Frank Zappa played at the Carpenter's household).

101. Did Karen actually have freckles?

Yes.  Karen had lots of freckles actually.  She usually wore a lot of makeup to cover them up.  You can kind of see her freckles on the "Ticket To Ride" album cover.

102. Did Karen shave her legs?

Actually no.  Karen usually used hot wax and didn't shave with a razor.  And to those that wanted to know, Karen didn't shave her pubes which is how I know her hair color was a light blonde with a slight reddish tint.  Karen hid her tattoo of a red rose that was in her hairline.  Yes, some things aren't needed to be known so I used white letters here to hide it.

103. Who was Karen's favorite drummer?

Buddy Rich, next Gene Krupa then John Henry "Bonzo" Bonham.  Karen loved hearing all three.  And of course Ringo Starr of The Beatles.  Karen, Hal Blaine and Ringo all had the same type of drum set at one time.  And of course Cubby O'Brien too as Cubby may not have been flashy like others but he was very steady like Ringo.

104. Who was Karen's favorite singer?

Karen had a bunch of favorite singers.  But her biggest thing was the ability to hold a note and / or harmonize.  Bing Crosby, Peter Paul and Mary, Les Paul and Mary Ford, The Andrew Sisters, Jim Reeves, Eddie Arnold, Elvis Presley, Patti Page, Ella Fitzgerald, LuLu, Matt Monro, Bobby Vinton, Tom Jones, Englebert Humperdinck, Bobby (not Robert) Goullet, Alvin of Alvin & The Chipmunks and many, many others.  But as far as Karen's own singing, what her own voice could do was her major influence for her own singing.  Karen didn't try to imitate anyone else.

105. Who was Karen's favorite piano player?

Hands down her brother Richard as Richard knew all the songs that Karen loved to hear (especially the Christmas songs at Christmas time).  After Richard would be Victor Borge then Liberace I guess.  Karen was also very fond of the people that she had worked with over the years.  Karen also had the pleasure of meeting many different people over the years as well.

106. Was there actually a real coin toss before the Bruce Forsyth Show?


And another yes as Karen had fibbed about Richard having the flu during that show. 

A coin toss did actually happen however. 

In the second full week of December (beginning December 11) 1978, Jerry Weintraub showed up in New York State with Richard too.  Jerry had booked the Carpenters on "The Bruce Forsyth Show" for the Christmas Special "Bruce Forsyth's Big Night Out". 

Richard was in no shape to perform.  Richard was shaking so bad and he got a glass of water to take pills with and nearly the whole glass of water had shaken all over the floor before Richard took his pills. 

Richard left the room at one point.  Jerry, Karen and I were standing there and I can't remember if it was Jerry or Richard that tossed an (1971?) Eisenhower silver dollar into the air and it was called by Karen and if it was heads then Karen did the show without Richard and tails the show was cancelled. 

Before the toss I told Karen to say, "Heads I win.  Tails you lose."  Karen just said, "Heads.  I always call heads."  The coin fell off the wrist and Jerry picked it up off the floor and put it under his one hand and on his other wrist. 

Then Jerry said to Karen, "I'll make a deal with you.  I'll give you anything you want if you'll agree that this coin is heads and you do the show." 

Karen then asked if Jerry would agree to let Richard have whatever time Richard wanted off to go to a rehab and get his Quaalude addiction dealt with. 

Jerry said it was a deal and then Jerry pulled his hand away and the coin was on tails.   Karen did technically lose the coin toss as she had called heads.  But she got Jerry to agree to let Richard have time off for rehab, so Karen won overall.

Anyway, Karen took off for the week and did the show but also, on December 12, Karen and Richard met in Topeka Kansas and Richard did the pre-admission to Meninger's clinic and then Richard went back to California and Karen flew back to London to finish taping the Bruce show on December 14. 

Karen and Jerry had asked me if I would be willing to go with Karen and all I needed was my birth certificate.  The problem was that both of my parents were working at the time and I wouldn't have been able to get my birth certificate before Karen would have had to have left for the show.  So I stayed behind. 

I did see Karen again on December 18 and she told me about what happened with the show and such on December 18th.  But my nickname is Ace and during the show Karen asked Bruce to work in saying my name, Ace, which Bruce did to try and help Karen relax a little more as Karen wasn't so much nervous about doing the show without Richard, but Karen was nervous because Richard had been in such bad shape before Karen left to do the show and Karen was hoping her brother was going to be all right.

107. Do gold records sound the same as regular records?

Shh, don't tell, but yeah Karen wondered about that too.   As Karen would say, "Curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought him back."

As I witnessed in 1979 with Karen, the hardest part is getting it out of the frame using a butter knife on the staples in the back and then trying not to get fingerprints all over it then after playing it putting it all back in the frame and lining it all up again so that hopefully no one notices.   (Note, we did not do a good job with the lining it back up part).

And after all that, Karen said (and she had a witness to it) that this record played backwards and had a guy's voice.  I remember that Karen and I just looked at each other funny after we played it as it sounded nothing like anything we knew that was ever released.  They don't sound 'tinny' or such as they aren't actually metal (at least in the one we tried).  I guess it depended on which one, but I guess the record companies used to send the records that they couldn't sell to the RIAA and the RIAA would use those for the awards.  The RIAA would add a coating or possible other things to the record itself then add the label and then put it in a frame.  Sometimes they were blanks; sometimes they were masters; many times they were inbetween pressings or pressings that may have had a defect.  I'm not sure if there ever was one awarded that was a copy of the actual record that the award was issued for.  But they weren't made of gold or platinum or such and were meant for decoration and as an award and were not meant to be played from what Karen and I found out back in I believe 1978.

As far as platinum records, Karen and me were nervous wrecks as it was with a gold 45, you're on your own with that one.

108. Did Karen die from anorexia nervosa?

First, the nervosa claim is a bit off.  Anorexia bulimia would be more accurate. 

But actually it was complications from treatments she received (Lennox Hill) and not from anorexia itself. 

Karen weighed 108 pounds since November 1982 until she passed away which would not qualify as being anorexic. 

The ONLY thing fatal on Karen's autopsy was her glucol (blood sugar) level being over 1100 which was on Karen's Toxicology Report but the coroner had filled out the autopsy report before the other reports had came back. 

Karen's blood sugar was sky high and as a result her heart just stopped beating.  Not a heart attack, but her heart just stopped beating because her glucol level was too high. 

Karen went into what is called a hyperosmolar coma which is what happens after someone has hyperglycemia (high blood sugar). 

Again try this page
karenlastdays.html .

109. Did Karen die from a heart attack?

Definitely no.  There were not any indications of Karen having a coronary or angina or blockages or a deformed heart even.  Karen's heart and aorta were both listed as being slightly small but normal. 

From the autopsy -
"The heart weighs 170 grams and is small but of normal shape and configuration. The epicardial surface is smooth. The myocardium is red-brown and firm and shows no focal ulcerations. The endocardial surface and valves are grossly normal. The coronary arteries reveal no arteriosclerosis and no congenital abnormalies. The aorta reveals minimal intimal thickening and plaque formation. The pulmonary arteries and great veins are grossly normal."

Karen actually had hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) with a level over 1100 which is fatal.  There was nothing at all to indicate Karen had a heart attack before she passed away. 

Again try this page
karenlastdays.html .

110. What happened to start Karen's solo album?

The actual start of Karen's solo album (non fiction version)

Karen had a mini stroke in late 1977 and one half of her face was paralyzed for a short while.  On occasion, Karen's one side of her face would freeze up (as an example, the left side of Karen's face during the Merry Christmas Darling segment in the Christmas Portrait special).  Richard was worried about his sister and was trying to get away from touring and more into TV shows and such which were closer to home.  Karen and Richard were both looking to try and get a break but things had been booked but only about a year in advance so they tried to lighten the load after Karen had a mini stroke and Richard had been shaking a bit here and there from his addiction to Quaaludes.

It started on September 4, 1978 in Las Vegas as after the show Richard had told Karen, "I quit" and Karen asked, "Do you mean it?" and Richard had said, "Yes.  I can't do this anymore."

So Karen snuck off and moved in with her step Cousin Wendy B in New York State on September 4, 1978.  I met Karen on September 6, 1978 (but I did not know her as Karen Carpenter at the time).

Around mid October 1978, Paul Williams showed up (and I found out she was Karen Carpenter) and Paul showed up to have Karen sign her and Richard's new recording contract with A&M Records.  Karen and Paul talked and Karen did not sign the contract at that time.  Karen did not tell Paul this, but there was a clause in that new contract about a 'new album' and with Richard 'quitting', how could there be a new album if Richard had quit?  Well, actually, Christmas Portrait was going to be released, but Karen hadn't thought about that.  Also, the single, "I Believe You" came out just after Paul and Karen met in mid October 1978 too.  Paul left and the contract was not signed by Karen on that day.

In the second full week of December (beginning December 11) 1978, Jerry Weintraub showed up in New York State with Richard too.  Jerry had booked the Carpenters on "The Bruce Forsyth Show" for the Christmas Special "Bruce Forsyth's Big Night Out".  Richard was in no shape to perform.  Richard was shaking so bad and he got a glass of water to take pills with and nearly the whole glass of water had shaken all over the floor before Richard took his pills.  Richard left the room at one point.  Jerry, Karen and I were standing there and I can't remember if it was Jerry or Richard that tossed an (1971?) Eisenhower silver dollar into the air and it was called by Karen and if it was heads then Karen did the show without Richard and tails the show was cancelled.  Before the toss I told Karen to say, "Heads I win.  Tails you lose."  Karen just said, "Heads.  I always call heads."  The coin fell off the wrist and Jerry picked it up off the floor and put it under his one hand and on his other wrist.  Then Jerry said to Karen, "I'll make a deal with you.  I'll give you anything you want if you'll agree that this coin is heads and you do the show."  Karen then asked if Jerry would agree to let Richard have whatever time Richard wanted off to go to a rehab and get his Quaalude addiction dealt with.  Jerry said it was a deal and then Jerry pulled his hand away and the coin was on tails.  Anyway, Karen took off for the week and did the show but also, on December 12, Karen and Richard met in Topeka Kansas and Richard did the pre-admission to Meninger's clinic and then Richard went back to California and Karen flew back to London to finish taping the Bruce show on December 14.  Karen and Jerry had asked me if I would be willing to go with Karen and all I needed was my birth certificate.  The problem was that both of my parents were working at the time and I wouldn't have been able to get my birth certificate before Karen would have had to have left for the show.  So I stayed behind.  I did see Karen again on December 18 and she told me about what happened with the show and such on December 18th.  But my nickname is Ace and during the show Karen asked Bruce to work in saying my name, Ace, which Bruce did to try and help Karen relax a little more as Karen wasn't so much nervous about doing the show without Richard, but Karen was nervous because Richard had been in such bad shape before Karen left to do the show and Karen was hoping her brother was going to be all right.

Richard entered Meninger's clinic in Topeka Kansas on January 10, 1979.  Karen was still primarily living with her step cousin Wendy in New York State.

As noted in Karen's diary in red pen (as Karen was using a two-sided teacher's pen with black and red ink, and the black side had run out, so Karen was not one to waste anything and used the red side in her diary), 'confrontation about album'.  Well, if you haven't noticed yet, there is not any discussion about a solo album as the idea for a solo album had not yet been thought of.  So 'confrontation about album'?  Well, it was over the phone (Karen in New York and Richard in Topeka) and it was about a discussion about that new recording contract.  Jerry Weintraub had called Richard about the new contract not being signed and Richard called Karen about it and Karen brought it up to Richard about that "new album" clause and Richard was a bit upset but understood and told Karen not to worry about that new album clause and to sign the contract.  This was on Wednesday January 24, 1979.  I am pretty sure that I saw Jerry again on January 26, 1979 and on that day Karen signed the new contract in front of Jerry Weintraub and myself.

Karen and I had a private joke about Jerry and we would sit there at times and just twiddle our thumbs in honor of how Jerry Weintraub kept complaining about being idle as a manager.  During February 1979, Jerry read that new contract and came up with an idea of asking Karen to do a solo album.

In the beginning around late March to early April 1979 there were 7 people that knew about Karen doing a solo album.  Those 7 people in order of knowing were Jerry Weintraub, Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss, Karen Carpenter, step cousin Wendy B------k, me, Richard Carpenter.  Agnes Carpenter found out that Karen and Richard had an argument which was how Agnes (mom) became number 8.  Then Eddie Kramer became number 9.

Karen and Richard were both wanting to take time off from the music biz but what good is a manager "twiddling his thumbs" with nothing to manage?  Weintraub came up with an idea for Karen doing a solo album and he presented the idea to Alpert and Moss (as the Carpenters were A & M's biggest sellers and A & M was looking for more product to sell and not 'time off').  Alpert and Moss were OK with it as it would possibly be more product and more money for A & M.  So Jerry Weintraub mentioned it to Karen and Karen said NO!!!

And cousin Wendy and then I got an earful.  Karen wanted time off and Karen was busy doing something not music related and Karen was living in New York State (not the city) with her cousin Wendy and working weekdays with a couple week long vacations while staying with her cousin and working on her arrhythmia and anorexia problems.  Karen was not wanting to go back to work before her 7 to 3 job ended on June 22, 1979.  Karen said NO!!! to Jerry, Jerry, and Herb.   Note also, Karen did not want her brother to actually 'quit' either and was hoping that Richard would do something instead.

Jerry, Jerry and Herb next approached Karen again and said they had talked with Richard and Richard and Karen had a disagreement and Karen said NO!!! yet again and why should Karen give up her time off and Karen asked Jerry, Jerry and Herb why didn't Richard do a solo album or greatest hits album or such and why did it have to be on Karen's shoulders?  Why did Karen have to sacrifice her time off especially since Karen was the one who sacrificed with the Bruce Forsyth show and such.

Karen was livid and fuming.  Mom found out that her son and daughter were having a disagreement and intervened.  Richard was out getting groceries one day and mom called Karen up at Karen's work and mom had a talk with Karen about what was going on.  I was in the room with Karen, so I heard this call.  Anyway, mom asked Karen to do this as a favor for her brother ("whatever it was" as mom put it) and that mom would make sure that any favor that Karen asked for in return would be granted from Richard.  Mom did not know that they wanted Karen to do a solo album.  Mom only knew that Karen and Richard had a disagreement.

Mom told Karen that Richard wanted time off as Richard had just started seeing Mary Rudolph and that was all it took for Karen to agree to do 'her' solo album.  Karen was tired of her brother meeting all these "gold diggers" and Mary was an adopted cousin (not blood relation) and not a gold digger.  Karen LOVED playing match maker.  So Karen jumped on board for her solo album and the primary favor Karen asked for was that she finish her job until June 22, 1979.

The finishing job favor was kept (there was a problem in mid May 1979 and the favor was kept as Richard intervened and Richard got to meet me, the reason why Karen was wanting to finish her job.  And Richard also kept me a secret as me was 14 years old at the time and Karen and I were spending time together but Karen and I had also agreed that we would wait till I got older as my age was a bit of a legal problem so Karen and I had a rule of no physical touching.  And imagine the mess if the press got a hold of Karen around a 14 year old and Richard with his adopted first cousin.  Yes, goody four shoes had some possible publicity problems at this time).  I was around Karen and Karen was in the local hospital on one day, but that was the only day she missed on her job and Karen finished working that job on June 22, 1979.

The other favors were between Karen and Richard (and the "we split the cost" favor was brought up between Karen and Richard a couple times and the end decision was between Karen and Richard themselves, but Richard was asked to pay half as it was only fair since Richard was the one that wanted time off to be with Mary, but Karen was almost to the point of "why don't you pay all of it Richard since you want the time off so bad?" but I am pretty sure Karen did stick with half as "that was fair" but Karen would write the check and Richard would put half of that amount in Karen's account [shhh].  According to an interview I saw a little while ago, Richard said that Karen had paid for the solo album and with that I will go with what Richard has said.  Karen paid the full cost.  With that, Karen did not tell me that she paid the full cost but I am pretty sure Richard's information is almost definitely more accurate than my information on this.  I do not ever remember Karen giving me a definite answer on this only bits and pieces here and there.  Looking back now [September 27, 2022] a couple of Karen's bits and pieces that she told me don't quite add up right on this.  Karen had told me the day before she passed away that she had kept 2 or 3 secrets from me and about 10 or more from Richard and I think this might have been one that Karen kept from me.  But it makes more sense to me if Karen did the album as a favor so that Richard would spend more time with Mary and time for rehab and such rather than "split the cost" or "pay for it all".  Favors aren't usually about money which was why what Karen told me back when always sounded a bit odd about the financial arrangements and such.  Plus at the time, Karen was trying to hide that she heard from her mom about Richard and Mary seeing each other and such too.  It makes more sense to me that Karen hadn't actually brought up money with her brother or her mom under the circumstances.  And after more thinking, when eternity happens and Karen and me are together again, eternity would seem like a long time if Karen and me didn't have stuff to talk about.  Now is definitely not an eternity and I don't really need to have an answer for everything now anyway.  It can wait.  How do you keep a person in suspense?  I'll tell you later).

Then they contacted Eddie Kramer...  (And I was there when Eddie Kramer came out to New York State and talked with Karen and 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 (and Eddie and Karen were both Pisces) and 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).  Eddie was the one who recommended Phil Ramone as a producer.

Another note here, Richard was the one that always wanted a music career.  Karen liked having a music career too.  When Richard said "I quit" in early September 1978 it caught Karen by surprise.  Karen did not want her brother giving up on his dream.  After agreeing to do the solo album, Karen was actually hoping the album would be bad enough that Richard wouldn't quit and would get back into music again after dealing with his addiction.  So when Richard said something like "It sounds like sh*t" in May 1980, that was actually what Karen wanted to hear from Richard.  Karen loved making music with her brother and all that they had accomplished together.  Walls full of gold records (and for those that wonder, yes, according to Karen, gold records were awards and not meant to be played question #107), three Grammys, Billboard Awards and all that.  Maybe if Richard heard what a disaster Karen's career might be without him, Richard might not want to quit?

Now, do you really think Karen was going to say all this to Phil and Itchie and Rod while trying to use them to make a 'sh*tty' album to try and get her brother to stay in music?

And at first Karen was almost devastated that her best songs "Rock with You", "He's Out of My Life" and "Off the Wall" had been given away but then Karen and her 3 signs.  Rod Temperton squealed behind the scenes to Karen and me during a phone call and told Karen that the real reason that Phil took those songs away was because Phil had lost a bet with Quincy Jones and as a result of that bet, Rod was told by Phil to give those songs to Michael Jackson.  But a little while after this happened Karen took it as a sign from God that God wanted Karen to do a "sh*tty" album so that hopefully Richard would feel that without him that Karen's career would be ruined so that Richard would get back into music and not quit.  After God's intervening hand or whatever you wish to call it, Karen figured this was God's way of trying to keep Richard in music.
  So yes, I try not to try and understand women's logic either as it is always such a long mess to think about from a man's perspective.  And it's a two way street there as women feel that most men are too direct and don't always explore other avenues and on and on and...  But originally Karen had thought of this as an opportunity to see what she could do without her brother.  After the giving away of the songs mess, Karen saw it as a sign from God that she needed to try and help keep her brother in music but it needed to be convincing that Karen was actually trying to make a great album and failing instead of trying to make a sh*tty album and succeeding.  Something like that.  Sorry, but it's that man / woman thing again.  As people learn in life, a man trying to express a woman's viewpoint is about as easy as a woman trying to express a man's viewpoint.  I'm trying.  But yeah, it's that other half thing as I tended to be more direct and Karen tended to ramble a bit and there doesn't seem to be a happy medium anywhere in all that so we always agreed to try and be ourselves as Karen wouldn't be herself without rambling and I wouldn't be myself without being direct.  But in the process I had learned to ramble a bit more while Karen had been learning to be more direct.  We tried.

OK, so, um, to get the story straight here, Karen was looking to leave her brother who had saved her life in a motorcycle accident in 1973, who she had won numerous awards (gold records, three Grammys, Billboard Awards, etc.) and someone who she trusted, for a guy who had trouble keeping a steady clientele because his client's names would get dragged through the tabloid mud to sell more records at the expense of their personal lives being ruined, had trouble keeping his stories straight and won one Grammy Award (actually four at the time but the story writers tend to miss that Phil had won four Grammys and Karen and Richard had won three).  Why doesn't this sound right?  Even worst, why do some people believe this hogwash (hogwarsh as Karen would say), poppycock (Richard), nonsense (me) and bullsh*t (nearly everyone else)?  OK, I get it.  First, try and get a bunch of 'experts' that never met or talked with someone and have those 'experts' put their thoughts and words in the other person's head and mouth since the other person isn't around anymore and can't speak on her own behalf (shh, I'm not trying to be an expert on this but don't mention that all people make mistakes in a process known as learning and that 'experts' don't make mistakes because they know it all so therefore experts are actually just figments of their own imaginations, double shh).  Try to minimize that these others never met this person too.  Try to get half stories and such to try and bolster this false image too.  Shh, um, leave out a bunch of stuff, like three Grammy Awards, so that hopefully the story sounds believable.  Just mention Billy Joel, but keep away from what happened to Billy in the tabloids and how after the Grammy, Billy's life went downhill and the tabloid mess with him and his ex-wives and wife beater all that, shh.  Stay superficial and don't dig too deep.  You don't want to wreck a good selling story.

111. Was Karen actually the one who shelved her solo album?

Yes.  It was actually Karen. 

Karen told me on June 12, 1981 about the meeting in LA and that at the last minute Karen asked Jerry Moss if she could shelve the album and Jerry said "yes" so Karen shelved it (Herb Alpert left the room during that meeting). 

Karen also told me at the meeting that Richard was there with them and that the others had been silent and then the others (Richard included) talked about the musical content and a lack of any 'hits'. 

Karen then told me that while they were talking that Karen started getting thoughts in her head about an interview she had done with Rolling Stone magazine on March 17, 1980 and that if Karen released the album it would be a probable publicity nightmare as Karen did not want any rumors being started that she would ever leave her brother as Karen was never going to ever leave her brother unless her brother passed away or was unable to perform music anymore. 

In addition the thoughts of a few of the songs' lyric content that might tarnish Karen's "girl next door" image and all that possible publicity mess which would be great for tabloid fodder but not good for Karen's or Richard's public images and such. 

Karen also thought about how she had always stood against that "women are just sex objects" media stuff and all these negative thoughts all at once came to Karen at the last minute. 

And Karen and her signs.  When Karen got all those negative thoughts, Karen figured there would be a huge publicity problem if the album was released.  Karen shelved it herself. 

As Karen and I called it, "A Can of Worms" as there was just so much that happened that was just a big mess.  It was rushed from May 1979 to May 1980 and was just a big mess on so many levels and best left in the can (or on the shelf in the can so to speak). 

Karen was not looking to go solo. 

The album was originally Jerry Weintraub's idea and Karen just kept getting pulled every which way by everyone else.  But it was pretty much everyone else's (except Richard) album (A Can of Worms) that was given a title of the person that had the least input on that album (Karen Carpenter). 

In the end, with Karen's name being attached, Karen didn't want that "Can of Worms" ever opened.  Just a huge mess which, yeah, after released in 1996, it has been a huge publicity mess ever since then. 

Please try to remember that KAREN rejected that album.  It is even from Phil in the liner notes that Karen was worried about the press trying to start rumors about Karen leaving her brother that Karen didn't want those rumors started.  And yes, REJECTED.  CANNED.  SHELVED.  BY KAREN. 

It was released as an album called Karen Carpenter that as even Rod Temperton said, "didn't ring true in spots" as it was more everyone else and about the only selling point was Karen's name and her voice.  The album was called Karen Carpenter but honestly Karen was a romantic at heart and the Carpenters albums showed that, but that solo album was honestly the least Karen Carpenter of anything Karen had ever done.  Karen was not looking to have women looked at as being sexy sleaze buckets that needed to be added to some slime ball's belt notches.  Karen was just not happy with that album as it was.  And Karen was a drummer that sang, so where was this big drum solo that Karen did for her album to say "This is Karen Carpenter"?

It was "a diamond in the rough" but the edges needed to be knocked off it first which was why Karen shelved it. 

And after Made In America, Karen did not ever want that album released as it was.  Maybe a couple tracks or such after being polished up, but not as the "Can of Worms" that the album really was. 

As has been shown since it was released, that album was a publicity nightmare!!!  Karen had it right.  It wasn't about lack of hits or such, but about the publicity associated with that mess as to why Karen, herself, shelved it.

112. Did Karen keep a diary?

Yes.  But while married to Thomas Burris, Karen didn't want Thomas possibly knowing certain things so Karen kind of didn't keep much of a diary while being married to Thomas.

113. Boxers or briefs?

Karen actually preferred going commando when she could get away with it.  High cut briefs mostly (Granny Drawers as she called them).  Bikini briefs otherwise.

114. Did Karen prefer a shower or a bath?

Definitely a bath.  Bubble bath preferably.  And Karen could be very resourceful too.  Karen knew how to create her own bubbles in the bathtub if bubbles weren't provided. 

But a problem was that if Karen had been exercising or performing and if she had got sweaty then she would prefer a shower as a bath has stagnant water and a shower helps wash away the sweat better. 

So it actually depended on her circumstances as to whether she would take a nice relaxing bath or a refreshing shower. 

But she definitely preferred to relax when she could get the chance.

115. Did Karen know how to ride a motorcycle?

Yes.  Karen safely riding a motorcycle is debatable.

116. Did Karen have "Perfect Pitch"?

No.  Karen had near perfect pitch but not perfect pitch.  To explain, this relates to breaking the lead crystal glass while singing.  If someone can sing the note and hold it so that the glass breaks then they have perfect pitch.  Near perfect pitch can get the glass to vibrate but not break.  The note is known as the high C note and many operas tried to end on this note (the saying, "It ain't over until the fat lady sings" came from this).  And the joke back in the day (for the older folks that might remember it) before that Johnstown Massacre stuff was "You don't reach the Hi-C by drinking Kool-Aid".  But in either 1978 or 1979, Karen brought in a couple lead crystal glasses and a tuning fork.  Both Karen and me could make the glass vibrate a little, but neither of us could hold the note to break the glass.

There is also another meaning of 'perfect pitch'.  What is mentioned above is for someone singing.  For someone listening, being able to distinguish between different notes on the scale by listening to a piano and being able to distinguish which note is being played by hearing that note would be 'perfect pitch' for someone listening.  If you can always distinguish all 88 notes (keys) from one another when played, then you would have 'perfect pitch'.  Someone with perfect pitch would know if any key on a piano was out of tune as well.  Definitely not Karen.  There were many notes that Karen knew, but not all of them.  Like almost everyone, Karen would have difficulties with distinguishing between both the bottom and the top notes of the piano.  But on the lower notes, most people don't know the difference between a dun and a dun, while on the upper notes, most people don't know the difference between a tink and a tink.  Try it sometime.

117. Did Karen actually have colitis?

Yes, Karen did actually have colitis.  The main reason why they did the intravenous feeding procedure at Lennox Hill was because Karen had colitis.  Karen did not make that up to avoid talking about anorexia.  Colitis was diagnosed at least a couple times but Karen was never treated for colitis that I am aware of from roughly September 1975 to February 1983.

118. Was Karen for the "Women's Liberation Movement"?

Definitely not.  Karen was against the Women's Liberation Movement and the Equal Rights Amendment. 

Karen felt that women should have a choice and not be forced into being exploited and such.  Karen felt that the Women's Liberation Movement and the Equal Rights Amendment both exploited women further and didn't actually help women at all.  Karen felt that women should be allowed to choose whether they wished to enter the workplace or be a stay at home mom or housewife if they so chose as well.  There was a lot of rhetoric and stuff hidden with the Women's Liberation Movement and that Equal Rights Amendment that certain men wanted hidden.  And yes according to Karen, men.

But Karen saw that the movement and the amendment both had intentions behind them of breaking up families and trying to create more "Latch Key Kids" that were unsupervised.  Karen saw all of that smokescreen as being nothing more than the powers that be trying to break up families and family structures.  And what better way to break up families than to force women into the workplace and away from their homes and their children.  As without parental supervision, children are easier to lead astray. 

Karen rarely bothered with politics and such, but in this case she made an exception.  Karen was against both the Women's Liberation Movement and the Equal Rights Amendment as she felt both exploited women and had intentions behind them of breaking up families and the family structure. 

But yes, the question begs to be asked that if they were so into equality and such then why weren't they trying to get men to get paid more so that women didn't have to enter the workplace and thusly women could take care of the children if they so desired?  As Karen noticed, none of that rhetoric helped housewives or stay at home moms or even stay at home dads.  None of that stuff helped support the preservation of any type of family structure at all.  And without a family structure, people are easier to manipulate and control. 

Yes, Karen was actually a very thoughtful person to talk with if someone got the chance.  Unfortunately, no one has that chance anymore.  But then too if someone writes that stuff down, maybe it can be shared with those that weren't able to get that chance.

119. Did Karen and Richard pick on each other?

Definitely.  Karen probably picked on Richard more than the other way around. 

They were brother and sister and were very close.  And being very close they could be a bit more honest with each other.  Like Karen calling Richard "Four eyes" and Richard shooting back with "Fatso" (as at the time Karen was 4 foot tall and 120 pounds). 

But it was just picking really and not meant to be mean between them.  Reinforcement of the old saying "nobody's perfect".  It was actually Richard and Karen's way of keeping each other from getting too arrogant.  Somebody that is arrogant can't handle something negative being said about themselves. 

Karen would pick on Richard and call him a "mama's boy" and Richard would comment back about Karen being a "tomboy" and stuff like that.  It wasn't meant to be mean but was meant to be honest that no one's perfect and we all have our flaws.  Too much positive and not enough negative makes someone seem like they are arrogant and better than everyone else.  Karen and Richard didn't want to be like that.

With all accomplishments are those other things that didn't work out quite as expected. 

But yes, Karen and Richard picked on each other at times.  Keeping your ego in check I guess would be a better way of putting it.  Humility.  Being humble.  As the saying used to go, "Don't get too big for your britches." 

But this is also related to what was discussed back in question #16 about self esteem issues.

120. Did Karen have a double chin?

Kind of.  When Karen weighed over 116 pounds, she would develop a slight double chin.  If over 116 pounds and Karen lowered her chin towards her neck, there would be a ridge that would show up below her chin, a double chin.

121. What was Karen's IQ score?

I do not remember Karen ever mentioning this to me, so another "I don't know".  I think 127 but not positive as if she had told me it was so long ago and one of those number things.

122. Could Karen drive stick shift?

Yes.  But Karen preferred automatics as if anyone has ever had to do it, driving a stick shift in high heels is a pain. 

Before Karen got her license her dad made sure that Karen had enough "grease monkey" in her that if something went wrong, Karen would at least know to look under the hood to find a doohickey or thingamajig or whatever and enough knowledge to cuss at the blankety blank doohickey or thingamajig or whatever for breaking down. 

Karen did actually have a working knowledge as to how cars worked and she did actually like crawling around in the grease (that tomboy thing) but with her singing career and such, she tried not to get caught climbing under cars (so yeah, sneaking around after hours hoping her dad or brother didn't catch her under there looking around).

123. Did Karen actually get into fights when she was younger?

I know Karen's public image is of someone that doesn't do such things but as Karen had told me back in 1978 and 1979... 

Karen did get into a few fights while she was growing up.  Karen also told me that she was a "dirty fighter" and that she would kick, bite, scratch, gouge, pull hair and whatever it took to win a fight.  But yes, Karen was a tomboy and she did get into a few fights when she was younger.

124. Was Karen a perfectionist?

Kind of.  Karen always believed that if you were going to do something to always do your best.  But the big problem is that if it is always 'the best' then there is not any room for improvement.  And what happens when you improve upon perfection?  Better than perfect?  Yes, trying to be better than perfect is probably a bit more accurate for Karen.

125. Did Karen prefer guys with or without a moustache and/or beard?

Definitely without.  Soup strainers tended to be ticklish for Karen and kissing a guy wasn't meant to be a laughing matter.  Karen preferred men that were clean shaven.  Karen also preferred guys with longer hair.  Karen liked to play with hair and run her fingers through it and such.  Most guys have short hair though so Karen tried to make do with what you got.

126. What nationality was Karen (and Richard)?

Good question there.  "American mutt" as she would say.  "Heinz 57 (all varieties)" as well.  Karen had a varied family history and I know a bit of it but there were a couple things that are still a little sketchy. 

As far as the Tatums (Mom's dad's side), I remember Karen mentioned it to me but I don't remember what she said now.  I am pretty sure Irish bit I also think Welsh and Scotch but not positive on that. 

As far as the Rudolphs aka Reuwers (Mom's mom's side), they were either Dutch or German (possibly both, not sure if it was Germany and/or Holland). 

As far as her dad's dad's side, the Carpenters were British (UK) and they lived in Surrey UK.  Her grandparents George and Nellie (Lynn) Carpenter were missionaries in China at one time which was also the same time as Harold (dad) was born. 

But George was British and Nellie's family was actually from Wellsville New York, so American there (Karen did say back when where they came from but not sure on anything now except that on the Lynn or Carpenter side there was some Native American from her great-great-great grandmother, Ruhamah Samoset, from the Nauset tribe.  Karen actually had a photograph of
Ruhamah Samoset in her family picture collection she used to keep in a white box). 

I also met Susan (Seal) Carpenter in June 1979 and Susan said that she was actually George's step mom and that George's actual mother was a lady named Elizabeth Ann Sherlock.  Not sure where that might lead... 

But yeah, Karen loved being a mutt, so to speak. 

So then yes, Karen found a gray sweat outfit that had a sweatshirt that said "Made In America" and she loved that outfit as America is an assortment of mutts and as such, Karen always felt that she fit right in.  The Made In America album title came from Richard seeing that outfit Karen loved.  I'm not sure if Karen ever told Richard the story behind why she loved that outfit though.

127. Could Karen dance?

Karen knew basic stuff as well as several popular dance steps, but as far as 'professionally'?  Karen took tap dancing lessons when she was really young so she knew about first position and that kind of stuff.  But really, Karen wasn't that much into dancing to know all the lingo and behind the scenes stuff.  Karen could ad-lib it pretty well and she was actually "light on her two left feet" but Karen was not ever really into having a dancing career, so she had general knowledge about it. 

Karen could dance but she enjoyed singing and playing drums much better.  With the right guy Karen had fun but for the most part, Karen was not looking to be a dancer.

128. Did Karen actually have past life regressive therapy done?

Yes.  I'm not sure if it was in 1977 or 1978, but Karen had past life regressive therapy done in San Diego. 

Probably the only real public reference is the claim of one of Karen's past lives being Buddha's wife and Rahula's mom, Yahtsodharai. 

Believe it or not that was actually one of several past lives that came up. 

In either late September or early October 1978, Karen sat down with me and discussed what came out of that therapy as Karen was kind of wondering if any of the ones that came up had anorexic paths or eating problems or such. 

So now I am going to list all the names. 

Note to people, many of these names should be easy to recognize, but as such, the names these women are known to have been associated with are very prominent men as well and I will list them too. 

But also a pre note as well about this.  In May 1979, a guy that was the assistant to the Archdeacon of Canterbury, Sir Nicholas Born, confirmed two of the matches, Enoch and Edna, and Jesus and Mary Magdala.  In mid May 1979, Karen and me talked with Rod Temperton over the phone and Rod verified that Karen and me were soul mates with a series of questions from Rod and a series of answers from Karen and me.  And in June 1979, Karen and me also met with His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and he confirmed the Buddha and Yahtsodharai past lives for both me and Karen respectively. 

So here we go with the list as well as the languages in the past lives that Karen had.  After the therapy, Karen actually had the past life memories in her current thoughts.  Karen didn't know Hebrew or Aramaic or Chinese or Arabic or Swahili or such, but Karen could repeat what was said from the memories and those that spoke the other languages could understand what Karen said even though Karen didn't know those languages.  Yeah, actually kind of creepy when you think about it which is why this was one of only a few things Karen did not discuss publicly. 

And honestly, voice of an angel?  After seeing the names here shortly, um, angel would be a step down for Karen...

Karen's lives.

Nothing.  Abel didn't have a wife.
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.
Isaiah's wife (?)
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.
Nandi kaBhebhe eLangeni (nan dee kah bay bay eh lan gee nee). Swahili.
Barbara Allen. English. American Civil War
Karen Anne Carpenter. English.

Which correspond with...

Abel (ay bell)
Enoch (ee noa ch) descendent of Seth (not Cain's son Enoch, but 7th removed from Adam Enoch)

Jacob (jay kub)
Moses (moa ziss) Egyptian.  Mosha (moa shuh) Hebrew

Samson (sam sun)
Solomon (sol oa mun)
Isaiah (I zai uh)
Siddhartha Gautama [Buddha] (sid hart ha gow tah mah)

Yahshua [Jesus] (yah shoo ah)
Abu al Qasim Muhammad bin Abdallah bin Abd al Mutalib bin Hashim (ahboo al kah seem moo hom id bin abdahlah bin abd al mootaleeb bin hahs heem)
Senzangakhona kaJama (sen zangak hoanah kah jah mah) [Shaka Zulu]
Nothing that I am aware of. American Civil War.
Adrian "Ace" Downing III [Me, Myself & I].

Note that the Isaiah and Abel references were not actually brought up by Karen during our talks about the past life stuff.  All of the other names did and the Abel is understandable as he was slain by his older brother Cain (Lucifer?) and did not have a wife or such.  And yes, there is a lot more there. 

Karen knew about all this stuff and the events and such.  After Karen remembered about some research her brother, Richard, had done for a report that Richard got an F on because as the teacher kind of said, "If he's not written in the Bible he doesn't exist."  Which Karen knew the names of the guy in this were for someone also known as Metatron.  And there was a Lord Metatron and a Lady Metatron, the Holy Scribe and his wife.  

Is this reincarnation stuff making any sense finally.  Exactly, move onto something else please.  wtmi (way too much information)!!!

129. What was the last song Karen Carpenter recorded?

Now.  Before Now was You're Enough.

130. Was Karen Shy?

Kind of.  It's always awkward when you first meet someone. 

But Karen wasn't really worried so much about if a person liked her or not, but Karen lived by her principles.  And a short while after getting to know Karen, Karen would start sharing her principles, and after that, yes, Karen had a lot of principles and a lot to talk about.  And with a lot of principles, yeah there just ain't that much time to get into it like with question #100.  On top of those principles, Karen also had a very strong personality and Karen would test to see how much of that personality someone else could handle before backing away or more likely, running away.

The other part was that Karen would get easily attached to someone too.  And with being easily attached and on the road a lot, Karen and her brother were always best friends.  And Karen would call her mom quite often as well. 

Karen always liked seeing people smiling and happy too, so she always loved jokes, practical jokes and just plain clowning around whenever possible.  Karen also was not really a people pleaser either.  That principles thing again. 

Karen was usually very approachable and down to earth.  More of a country bumpkin than a charm school queen or princess.  Karen did not like being put on a pedestal or such. 

And Karen was definitely never a damsel in distress (that tomboy stuff made it impossible for Karen to ever feel helpless or such).  Karen was actually not one to take things too seriously.  Karen did take her work seriously though.

131. How old was Karen when she passed away?

Karen was 32 years, 11 months and 2 days old.  Karen was 26 days shy of her 33rd birthday.

132. What about Karen and Elvis?

Unfortunately, Karen Carpenter and I talked a bit about this back in mid October 1978.  The unfortunately is that it was back in 1978 and quite a while ago so some details are still a bit sketchy here on my part.  First, the real sketchy part is that I am not sure if Karen may have met Elvis more than once as I don't really recall Karen saying to me if she had met Elvis more than once specifically.

And there is the Petula Clark story but also Karen said she was with Richard too which is why I think there was more than one encounter (I think that Karen and Petula was after a concert in Las Vegas, while I think there was a separate meeting with Richard [and a stuffed hound dog] around that may have been at another concert or possibly Graceland even which I feel would have been at another time outside the Petula encounter).  Over 40 years ago...

Other than that, I am sure of...

Elvis did sign a hound dog stuffed animal for Karen.  I know that during the signing, Karen was on the other side of the table and Karen saw Elvis lift his head up and look towards her and when Elvis did that, Karen held up her stuffed hound dog and Karen blurted out something like, "Can you sign this?" at which time when Karen held up the stuffed dog, someone bumped into Karen's arm and the stuffed hound dog went flying across the table and hit Elvis right square in the middle of his chest.  I also think that Karen said that Elvis said, "I might but only if you ask me again nicely." or something similar to that and slid the stuffed animal back across the table to Karen.  When Karen came around I believe Karen said she said something like, "Sorry about that earlier and thank you, I thought I had a better grip on him, would you please sign this for me?"  I believe Elvis said something like, "I saw what happened.  I liked hearing your version much better" and then he smiled (and Karen said I had the same high cheek bones and same dimples as Elvis but Elvis’s chin had a slight spike but mine didn’t) and then Elvis signed a yellow ribbon around the stuffed hound dog's neck shortly thereafter.

Part 2 here, I also know that Karen and Petula Clark did see Elvis together back stage (but I am not sure if this was the same time as the stuffed dog incident or another time before or after that incident.  Karen didn't really specify that to me at the time that I can remember).  Karen and Petula Clark saw Elvis back stage and there were several people at first and then it dwindled down to Elvis, Petula and Karen.  Karen was young and kind of naive at the time as well and Petula knew that about Karen (Karen didn't think of it that way at the time).  Karen was actually grateful to Petula afterwards as Petula left and kind of dragged Karen out with her (Karen did kind of want to stay at the time).  Petula was telling Elvis that she needed to get going and in the process dragged Karen out with her as I believe Elvis thought Karen would stay behind but didn't.  Karen and Petula did leave at the same time after that meeting with Elvis.

Part 3, Karen had met a couple (not just one) of the kids whom their mothers were claiming them to be Elvis's kids.  As Karen said, I looked more like Elvis than those kids did as I was native american with blond hair and pale baby blue eyes but with a monobrow (which Karen always wanted to shave off my monobrow / unibrow whatever they call it now).  Karen also never specified if she met the out of wedlock Elvis kids while meeting Elvis or if she met them while touring with her brother and the Carpenters.  I can't remember for sure if Karen said she did or did not meet Lisa Marie either.

Part 4 as far as Karen's feelings about part 2 afterwards, Karen heard some stuff later that made her glad and very thankful to Petula for pulling Karen out of there as if Elvis had asked at the time, yes Karen would have.  Later, after hearing rumors of how Elvis had treated his wife and such, Karen was glad that Petula had dragged Karen out with her.  Elvis and Karen were both raised as family first type people.  Karen never thought of herself as a groupie type person and was never that way (much thanks to Petula as had things turned out differently...)  Karen and Elvis did not talk with each other privately which was what I had a feeling Elvis was looking to have happen as it was very public about Elvis being about family and the Carpenters had a great family image as well.  Elvis's family image, however, has been tainted a bit over the years after the marriage breakup of Elvis and such, but Elvis and Karen were both raised as 'family comes first' after you 'TCB (Take Care of Business)' before first of course.

Part 5, Karen also told me that there were never any pictures taken at the meeting(s) of Karen with Elvis that Karen was ever aware of. 

Part 6, I can't remember for sure if Karen said she may have had someone make up a 'faked' picture later on though or not just for the fun of having something like that.  Karen told me that she knew a guy at LucasArts that was really good at picture editing and special effects and such.  Pictures are easier to show and carry around than stuffed animals, but not sure if Karen told me or not back then that she did something like having a picture altered.  Actual picture or not, Karen had met Elvis and Elvis had met Karen.

133. Was Karen looking to leave Richard and the Carpenters?

Actually, no.  Richard was actually the one who left and said he quit on or around September 4, 1978 and if Richard quit then... 

Richard was having difficulties with withdrawals and the DTs from his Quaalude addiction.  Richard just couldn't perform anymore without physically shaking at some point.  And it was a team, Karen and Richard and Richard and Karen, the Carpenters.  So people kind of have that backwards there, it wasn't Karen but it was Richard that was actually the one that actually left the Carpenters, not Karen.  Karen and the Christmas Portrait Special, Karen and the Bruce Forsyth Show, Karen didn't quit. 

Richard was having too many problems and although he was physically there at times, he just wasn't himself anymore. 

But think about it, after Richard leaving, was Karen supposed to quit too when she was pretty much all by herself anyway?  Did it get so bad that Karen couldn't stand herself as after all; let's face facts here; without Richard, it was just Karen there by herself. 

Karen was fine and knew what was going on but sheesh peeps.  Always trying to put your two cents in instead of asking questions like "did Richard actually say he quit on September 4, 1978? or was it September 3rd?".  Which...

134. Did Richard say he quit on September 3 or September 4, 1978?

Well, let's consult the "Carpenters - The Musical Legacy" book in the On the Road section shall we.  OK, up until September 4, 1978, Las Vegas.  Then one show on December 3, 1978.  So yup, September 4, 1978 was when Richard said, "I quit".  And if you get a chance while reading that book, ask yourself, "how did Richard and Karen find time to be controlled by their mom during all that went on?"

135. Did Karen ever have an imaginary friend?

Honestly, yes, and here is what Karen had to say about it too. 

I am very sure that Karen said her imaginary friend she had was named Lucy (about 99% sure as Emily doesn't sound right to me).  Karen told me that when she was younger there was always a house full and that Karen actually wasn't left alone when she was younger.  There was her mom and dad and Richard and her cousin Joanie that were always there.  But at times everyone would be busy so Karen invented her imaginary friend as Karen wasn't used to not having someone else to play with when others were busy.  It was just for a short while and Karen knew that Lucy was just imaginary and wasn't a real person or such. 

But even from a young age, Karen liked being a little different than everyone else.  Being different requires having an imagination too.  And of course even though imaginary, Lucy liked being different too. 

No big deal.  Try it yourself sometime.  Yes, really.  Karen and her imaginary friend, Lucy, never had problems with each other but I am fairly sure with the way some people act that they may find they can't live with themselves and would give up on the idea of an imaginary friend after a very short while.

136. Did you ever see Karen taking laxatives?

Yes, X-LAX those chocolate squares in shiny tin foil. 

I never saw Karen have, let alone take, any pills or powders or such, just those little chocolate squares (which were known as tablets). 

Um, yeah, um, well you see, that 90 tablets a day I am glad people are questioning that.  Karen told me that at the beginning of her therapy with Levenkron that Levenkron called her a liar and those that knew Karen, if you called her something, she wasn't going to be falsely accused.  So, exactly, 90 tablets a day?  90 chocolate squares in a day might be possible if someone vomits (pukes, whatever) but yeah, to sum that up, that statement about 90 a day was about Levenkron calling Karen a liar, so Karen lied to him.  90 tablets a day should be proof about that. 

Also, I need to say here that I never knew Karen to take laxative pills or powders (not even sure if they existed back then) but I did know Karen took X-LAX chocolate squares in the shiny tin foil.  I think certain others got stuff mixed up there.  Did Dulcolax even exist back then?  I don't remember it back then.  I seem to just remember the bottles of citrate of magnesium or the X-LAX chocolate squares.  I don't ever remember pills or powders back in the late 1970s or early 1980s.  Slim Fast (80s?) was kind of the first type of powder I remember hearing about.

137. Did you ever see Karen taking pills?

Another messy answer here. 

People telling stories always seems to make a mess as most stories have a hint of truth but usually a lot of untruth that doesn't sound quite right. 

Around mid May 1979 I didn't see it, but I was around to hear about it after Karen had taken 9 aspirins and had her stomach pumped.  Karen would take an occasional Aspirin or during her visitor she would take a Pamprin or Midol here or there.  But if you called Karen a liar, she wasn't going to be falsely accused by anyone. 

I do know that Karen used to take Tic Tacs and other breath mints (Karen gave me a Certs on January 3, 1979) and put them into pill bottles just to be different.  Back then all the 'rock stars' and such were always getting accused of taking pills all the time, so I know as a joke, Karen would have a pill bottle full of breath mints and joke around about how she was taking pills like all the other rock stars.  But as far as actually taking medication pills and such, nope. 

And a definite red flag as Karen would NOT EVER take something she did not know what it did or what it was used for.  And red flags as in Synthroid affects the thyroid around the voice box.  NO!!!  When I talked with Karen on February 3, 1983 she told me she did not even know what the stuff that Levenkron confiscated was (and to note, Karen was very specific that the pills in her purse incident was on the initial meeting with Levenkron and Itchie and nothing after that).  Karen did not know what Synthroid was so I know she never took it (and yes, it wasn't in her autopsy toxicology either, hint). 

I also saw that TV show and I saw a pill bottle come out on that TV show that did not have tape across the label, had the name "Karen Burris" (which Karen didn't have ID for a Karen Burris), 1 mg instead of .1 mg, a place name but not a prescribing doctor name, and a bit beyond suspicious there I feel.  And then 5 other bottles too (that don't get talked about). 

But this is a guy that wrote the fictional book "The Best Little Girl in the World" that did not have the official title of Dr., MD or PhD and yeah, this is a good reason as to why you shouldn't talk bad of others in public, but then again, why would someone talk publicly about a patient?  Isn't a patient's privacy and such supposed to be kept confidential?  But then too, this guy is a fiction author and not really a qualified doctor or such.  To be expected I guess. 

Stuff just isn't right there and Karen isn't around anymore to get clarification on this.  But then too, you have a guy there stating how he feels Karen is being honest with him while being told she is taking 90 laxatives a day.  Yeah right.  I see someone buying the Brooklyn Bridge on the horizon somewhere there.  Yes, messy here.

But to answer this after I sidetracked myself here, Karen and me could see each other's thoughts when we were close to each other (that soul mate stuff which was awesome and highly recommended if you can find him / her).  I couldn't lie to Karen without being caught, and Karen knew she couldn't lie to me without getting caught eventually either. 

Karen told me what actually happened and what Karen told me does not match anything that either Itchie or Levenkron has said about all that.  Karen told me that the actual argument between her and Itchie, Karen started the argument when Karen asked Itchie how Itchie knew about Karen and her family having a private meeting together with Levenkron, then Itchie changed the subject and brought up Karen using laxatives, then Karen asked Itchie about where did the pills come from on the initial meeting at Levenkron's when Karen's purse got dumped, and then Itchie didn't answer and brought up her credit card bill for lunches, then Karen told me she asked Itchie the "sixty four thousand dollar question" of were Itchie and Phil trying to get Karen fired from A&M Records (Karen had an image clause in her recording contract and if Karen's solo album had been released, there could have been possible problems and repercussions with Karen's public image and her recording contract), and of course Itchie didn't answer and then Itchie left. 

Karen told me on February 3, 1983 that she had talked with Itchie on February 2, 1983 to try and get Itchie to talk again, but Phil was on the other end and Itchie was pregnant, so Karen just dropped it. 

As far as what Karen told me, it checks out.  As far as what others have said, there's stuff messed up, missing and not right there. 

And if I had actually seen Karen taking pills and such, I would not hesitate to say so.  But in all honesty, I did see Karen joke around about it (with the breath mint stuff) but I had never seen Karen taking any pills outside an occasional aspirin, Midol or Pamprin.  I knew that Karen had her stomach pumped for 8 or 9 aspirins.  Karen had originally told me that the laxatives were for constipation and I told her, "Your eyes are brown; you're full of it.  My eyes are blue; I'm a quart low.  I probably ought to start eating corks to hold it in more."  About a week or two later I did see Karen eat too much X-LAX and get sick. 

Outside that, yeah, Karen would tell stories on occasion, and most of what I have heard from others about the pill stuff sounds like stories.  90 laxatives a day?  Really?  Stuff that could affect her voice box, really?  And yes, I feel that Karen probably did tell those stories about laxatives to Itchie and Levenkron so that when they got repeated by Itchie or Levenkron, people should think really?  Do you really and truly believe that a person was taking 90 laxatives a day?  (Well, I think Levenkron was actually the one to start that Synthroid story.  Got his fingerprints all over it there). 

As far as Karen's heart racing...  Karen told me that she had her tattoo of a red rose removed and had contracted hepatitis.  Karen said she had been given a shot for the hepatitis that made her heart race.  Karen didn't want people knowing she had hepatitis but she also didn't want to spread it either, so she avoided direct contact with others for a while before she passed away (no hugs or such).  It did show up (with whatever the shot was) in Karen's autopsy, but none of that other stuff (Synthroid or Ativan or such) showed up. 

And as far as the Ativan (Lorazepam), that was Richard's red jogging suit, not Karen's that they grabbed out of Richard's room on Newville Avenue.  Richard was admitted into Meninger's on January 10, 1979 and given Ativan to help with the DTs he was having from the withdrawals for Quaaludes.  And yeah, the date was 1/10/83 on the Ativan bottle and was the expiration date, sheesh. 

Quacks.  Stories.  Tabloid sensationalism.  What a mess.  Great question though.

138. Did Karen have arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat)?

Yes, she did.  Karen told me in 1978 that during her marching band physical, the doctor had noticed that Karen had arrhythmia but also if the doctor had marked it on her physical, it would have disqualified her from marching band.  This physical happened around 1964 I believe. 

Karen's arrhythmia was actually because Karen had been born premature (weighing 5 pounds at birth).  Karen was also diagnosed again officially in 1975 with arrhythmia as well. 

Before 1975, Karen had dieted and exercising was part of those diets.  After 1975, Karen's exercising was mainly for her irregular heartbeat and not really for dieting purposes.  Karen knew that exercising just toned up and put on muscle and was not a way to lose weight. 

And yes, back in 1978, Karen did not know that many big words, but she did know the word cardiovascular. 

From 1975 onwards, every time Karen went into a hospital they would hook her up to an EKG machine and every time they would ask Karen if she wanted a pacemaker installed.  I had seen Karen deal with this problem after Karen had gone in the hospital in May 1979 and they had her hooked up to an EKG machine and the machine never beat steady the whole time I was there.  Bleep, bloop, blip, and so on...  Not steady and I joked about it sounding like a messed up game of Pong. 

I also noticed how Karen had been used to being asked the pacemaker question as when the doctor asked Karen was very adamant that she did not wish to be kept alive by a machine.  That was that.  As Karen even said, "if God would have intended me to have a pacemaker, I would have been born with one already installed." 

Karen and I had also talked outside the hospital and one of Karen's principles was that she was "All natural, no artificial ingredients or preservatives, just little old me."  Karen was always for what was "God given". 

We also talked about possible side effects like maybe the microphones or electric equipment interfering and Karen didn't really think about that stuff and her decision was based on she was not going to be kept alive by a machine and if God wanted her heart to beat normal it would beat normal, but since Karen's heart did not beat normal, Karen figured that was how God wanted Karen to be or else God would fix it. 

But Karen's arrhythmia was always there whether dieting, exercising or not.  Whether the dieting or exercising may have possibly aggravated the arrhythmia at times is open for debate, but even without dieting or exercising or such, Karen's arrhythmia was always there as God wanted it to be I guess.

139. Did Karen and Richard ever argue?

A few times, yes, but not that often.  But when they did it was usually over some small technicality.  Karen was very stubborn like her mom and Richard was fairly laid back like his dad (but he did have a little of his mom and sister in him).  As far as directly, I never saw Karen and Richard argue.  I did see Karen argue a couple times with others.  Karen had learned to argue from her mom.  And in an argument, it didn't matter 'win or lose' so to speak as in an argument, Karen would make the other person promise stuff and through those promises, Karen would get what she wanted anyway regardless of who technically won or lost that argument.  And the other part was Karen was very stubborn and unless you agreed to her promises, she wasn't going to argue anymore with someone (and that silent treatment stuff). 

Karen and me never argued with each other, it was always either we agree or we disagree.  As an example here in June 1981, Karen said that she felt she hadn't been good company because she had been tired all week from dealing with her visitor (menstruation) and like I told her, "You're right, you haven't been good company, you've been great company and you weren't feeling too good but you still spent your time with me.  What more could a guy ask for?"  So how can you argue with that?  But between Karen and me it was that soul mate stuff and you just can't argue with your soul mate as both Karen and I found out.

And, yes, Karen learned to argue from her mom, so if an argument happened, her mom was the one who taught Karen how to argue and Agnes (mom) would always have the upper hand in that kind of situation.  Anyone else, and you're on your own.  The thing is though that Karen and her mom rarely argued either.  That mutual respect thing as both Karen and her mom had wicked tempers when provoked, but for the most part, Karen and her mom were usually calm and pleasant and chatty.  Sometime in either late March or early April 1979 Karen's mom called and I was there and oh boy Karen and her mom usually chatted each other's ears off about anything and everything together.  But Karen loved her privacy, so her mom knew not to get chattering with each other when others were around.

Anyone trying to say Karen was a pushover or such never knew Karen too well.  Karen was never a pushover and always stuck by her principles.  Karen was never wishy washy or such.  Karen was always very strong-willed and very determined.  In a word, stubborn (like her mom).  If Karen felt she needed to do something she did it, but if not, all the motivational stuff available still would not get Karen to do it if she felt she didn't need to do whatever and Karen would definitely not do something that was against her principles (proverbs [question #100]).  So like with question #16, Karen didn't have low self esteem issues either.  People with low self esteem compromise their principles.  Karen was not one to compromise her principles.

140. Did Karen get homesick?

Actually, even in her 30s, if Karen was away from her mom or dad for too long, Karen would start getting homesick.  Karen was a homebody and liked it most at home (home is where the heart is).  Karen enjoyed meeting new people and seeing places and such, but still, deep down she loved home the most. 

On the road and such she was the superstar, Karen Carpenter, but at home she was just Karen, herself.  Karen loved having privacy when she could get it.  Karen could always get privacy at home when she wanted it.  Karen had her personal stuff at home too (her stuffed animals and such which all her stuffed animals had different names like Packy the Elephant and such). 

But Karen would always call her mom and talk while on the road (unless her mom and dad were with them) not because Karen was forced to (because Karen wasn't forced actually), but because Karen would get very homesick when she was away from home (within three to four months at most). 

Richard would be there and such, but Karen would still miss her mom the most.  And truthfully, Karen always called her and referred to her as mom (not mother or such) with me.

141. Was Karen superstitious?

For the most part yes. 

Karen did have a lucky rabbit's foot.  Karen didn't really believe in Friday the 13th or that kind of stuff.  Karen did love hearing old wive's tales and such though.  Karen did have a lot of rules (principles) too that she lived by.  Bad things happen in threes.  A pinch of salt over the shoulder for good luck.  Knock on Wood.  The full Moon was debatable as most people that felt that the full moon was a sign would act a bit strange, but it probably wasn't related to anything dealing with the Moon itself.  But yeah, see a penny, pick it up, but if it's on tails, flip it over before you pick it up.  It's bad luck otherwise.  Careful with that mirror as seven years back luck is nothing compared to trying to look at yourself in a cracked mirror... 

Karen did believe in getting three signs from God before making an important decision.  The problem was that Karen got four signs before marrying Thomas Burris but didn't realize it until after she married him.  Things happen. 

In a family, I think we used to call them 'traditions' when things happened.  And some traditions can become superstitions under the right circumstances.

142. For Thanksgiving, what was Karen's favorite part of the turkey?

I am not sure on this when Karen was younger, but I know as Karen got older, her favorite was, of course, the drumsticks.  Probably most people figured this out before, but still worth asking.  As far as light meat or dark meat?  The dark meat is a little chewier and greasier than the light meat but I can't remember for sure on this one so will have to pass on this.   Karen wasn't really too picky (fussy) though.

143. Did Karen get motion sickness?

Yes, Karen would get motion sickness.  Sea sick pills and hope for the best.  As Karen got older it wasn't quite as bad but Karen would still get motion sickness on occasion if things got a little bumpy here and there.  Karen usually preferred an aisle seat to a window seat in a plane or bus.  Karen did have a driver's license and did drive on occasion.  When in the passenger seat and such, Karen usually either stared at the floor or tried talking to someone to get her mind off of it. 

But when the family first went out to California before moving there, Karen didn't go with them because of her motion sickness.

144. You say Karen was a tomboy, did Karen ever wish she was a man?

Nope, Karen never wished she was a man (male).  Karen loved being athletic and such and a tomboy but that was as far as it went.  Karen always enjoyed being a woman and herself as men tended to have all these problems that it seemed that only women, like herself, could fix.

145. Did Karen ever read that manuscript for Cherry Boone's book "Starving for Attention"?

Actually, no.  Karen said she got part way through and it made her sick to her stomach, so she stopped reading it. 

Karen told me that she was friends with Debby, Pat and Shirley Boone and kind of thought of Pat and Shirley as kind people but also Karen knew that kind people could also be something else when the curtain was closed so to speak. 

But what made Karen sick wasn't what was written about Pat, Shirley or Debby but was the fact that Cherry never took any blame, herself, for any of her problems with her anorexia.  Karen never felt that blaming everyone else for your problems was a plausible solution for anything let alone anorexia.  Karen stopped reading the manuscript and never finished it.

This talk between Karen and me was on February 3, 1983 over the phone during our long phone call. 

Karen had also mentioned that she had talked a little bit with Debby during the Grammy Awards show in January 1983 as well but didn't get specific with her talk with Debby, just that Karen had a chance to talk with Debby during that show. 

But also, that was family stuff between Cherry, Debby, Pat and Shirley and Karen felt it wasn't her business to get in between any of that stuff.  But if push had come to shove somehow, Karen would always still be friends with Pat, Shirley and Debby as they had always been friends with Karen. 

Karen and me also rehashed our talk about learning good and bad habits from others and about choices people make for themselves / ourselves.  Our old "just because others do it doesn't mean I have to do it too" talk that we had many times from September 1978 to June 1979 plus in June 1981 as well.  We all have our own choices to make on how we decide to live our lives just as others have their choices to make too.  The old consequences talk. 

Also, during our talk on February 3, Karen had told me about a couple incidents with her and Cherry (notably how a dare from Cherry for Karen taking ipecac had been what had got Karen out of the clinic and into the hospital in September 1982 and that Cherry made a bet and even though technically Karen didn't win that bet, because Karen had tried, Cherry made good on the bet as if Karen had won the bet). 

But as far as "Starving for Attention", that was a book written by Cherry Boone about Cherry Boone and not a book about Karen Carpenter.  Not sure how some others got Karen and Cherry mixed up with each other, but somehow it happened.  And yes, when it happens it results in stuff getting confusing and not sounding like it is about Karen anymore.

146. Did Karen ever have any gray hairs?

Yes, actually.  Not sure at what age they started but Karen did have a couple gray hairs when I met her in September 1978 and a few more as the years went on.  Karen also always wore a wig and also dyed her hair too so they didn't show.  But I remember Karen distinctly telling me that if I get a gray hair to not pull it out because you get even more if you pull them out.  The voice of experience.

147. Did Karen Carpenter actually meet Michael Jackson?

Actually, no.  In mid to late May 1979 after Rod Temperton had flown out to Los Angeles, Michael (with help from Rod Temperton) called up Karen to thank Karen for letting Michael use the songs (Rock with You and Off the Wall plus She's Out of My Life) for his album.  Karen and Michael did not see each other in person but Michael did call Karen around mid to late May 1979 to thank her for the songs that were originally planned for use on Karen's solo album but given to Michael instead.

148. Did Karen ever live next door to Casey Kasem?

Yes, actually Casey rented from Karen and lived next door to Karen at one time in her apartment complex.  I am not positive of the time period that Karen and Casey lived next door to each other, but I do remember that Karen talked with me about it in June 1981.

149. Where were you when you heard that Karen passed away?

I was actually at my high school and I had (for once) stayed at the school as I had got a call from Karen (as did the school secretary, Lois,  too) on the night before and Karen had told me that she planned on stopping by and picking me up later that day at the school (Friday, February 4, 1983). 

The news came on (either noon or noon thirty) and the secretary called me into the office and we watched the news on a TV set in the office and talked a short while before I left for class. 

Towards the end of the day (around two-ish to two thirty-ish) I was paged down to the office and when I got to the office, Richard was there with the secretary.  We talked together at least a half hour and during that talk Richard and me both shed some tears (Richard was kind of angry and I was pretty much numb as it was just all so unexpected and both Richard and me had lost our best friend).  But Richard and me have not seen or talked with each other since then. 

I tried to recreate that talk as best as possible on this page
karencarp.html near the bottom in the 1983 section of that page if interested.  And if not interested, that's fine too.  No biggie either way.

150. Did Karen actually leave her love to someone in her Will?

Actually, it was not put in her Will. 

But outside her Will, Karen had made up an unofficial Second Codicil that was legally covered in her Will she wrote in 1972, so that Second Codicil was not required to be filed publicly. 

In Karen's Will, Karen stipulated that her personal possessions were to be distributed by her family, so a Second Codicil was actually not required.  Note too, a codicil is another fancy word for an add-on or an addition.  But when Richard read Karen's Will in February 1983, Richard read the Will plus the First Codicil (which was filed with her Will) but also the unofficial Second Codicil as well which Karen had made up a Second Codicil, but it was not required as the original Will stipulated that her family would decide the distribution of her personal items. 

But on the unofficial Second Codicil, Karen listed her personal items and who she wished them to go to.  Things like certain stuffed animals and her record collection and other personal items as well were mentioned in the unofficial Second Codicil.  This was not required to be filed publicly and was not filed publicly as firstly, the Will covered that legally, but also, for privacy issues, it was probably best not to publicly file that unofficial Second Codicil anyway. 

But also, not sure if that Second Codicil could be considered legal anyway.  Personal possessions in Wills have always been tangible (physical) possessions as a precedent.  Someone's love I do not believe falls under the tangible category.  But one of the lines on the Second Codicil read something like (it's been 39 years now so hope you bear with me here) : To Adrian (Dowling / Darling?), I leave my (eternal / everlasting?) love : which was signed by me on February 4, 1983 and notarized by the secretary, Lois Crandell, on February 4, 1983. 

And Richard did read off the Second Codicil during the reading of Karen's Will in mid to late February 1983.  But as far as those that heard, the first name was Adrian and not the last name.  And 100%, John Adrian did not sign nor have notarized that Second Codicil. 

But also, is love something that can be legally left to someone else?  And if the Will was contested without a legal divorce agreement between Thomas and Karen?  What Second Codicil?  Thank you Sergeant Schultz ("I see nothing").  Things happen.  And after things happen, move along to other things that happen...

151. Do you know anything about the Carpenter's family dynamics?

I had heard many things through Karen and I had seen quite a few things myself.  I also had the chance to meet and talk with most of Harold's side of the family in June 1979 at a family get together.  But not really a tough question here but there are many factors in a 'dynamic' which does lead to a long discussion I imagine.  I am also going to try and stick to talking about what Karen said and what I knew about the family dynamic and try not to divert away to why this question was asked.  The reason why this question was asked was because several people noticed from the psychobabble being spread that none of that psychobabble had anything directly from Karen in it.  Very suspicious as you would think that therapists would actually talk to a client about things, but it is very apparent that they never did talk with Karen as it is very evident that Karen's words are missing from there.  Have to wait and see about that length stuff I guess, well, not much waiting, here we go...

First, the family dynamic was intellectual over emotional thinking.  Karen loved being the round peg in a square hole so Karen was more emotional thinking over intellectual thinking.  Karen could get thoughtful, but she preferred being emotional.  Karen loved to cuddle and her mom was not the cuddling type which Karen was more than fine with that as Karen wanted to spend her life cuddling with a husband or boyfriend even and not with her mom.  So that worked out well for both Karen and her mom.  Her mom was a great thinker and problem solver which was what Karen admired most about her mom.  Karen's dad was a worker and with a wife that was a thinker, it appeared to work out well between them.  And of course Richard was a thinker too and problem solver like his mom and also a worker like his dad.  Sorry, but unfortunately Karen and me didn't talk much about cousin Joanie as cousin Joanie got married and moved out of the house before Karen was a teenie bopper.  Karen had told me though that she had always thought of her cousin Joanie as a big sister while Karen was growing up.  I want to say that I think Karen said that Joanie was also more emotional than a thinker too, but I can't remember for sure on that, but I do remember the big sister part.

Joan was the eldest; Richard was the only boy in the middle; Karen was the youngest.  With that, Joanie was the eldest and was the one that Harold and Agnes learned to be parents with.  No one is born with instruction manuals, so always a learning experience.  Joan grew up and got married and started a family of her own.  Joan was also the first one that got into playing the piano but she had lost interest as she got older.  Richard was a boy but also the middle child.  As psychiatry and psychology notice, the middle child usually becomes the "lost child" as parents tend to focus on either the eldest child and the youngest child with the middle child not really having an identity I guess they call it.   And Karen being the youngest was the one that usually got a lot of attention as the elder children grew up and Karen was still 'growing up' after Joan and Richard had already grown up.  But yes, Richard was actually the middle aka lost child and would feel left out at times as he had an older sister and a younger sister that usually got more attention than he did while the family (Joan, Richard, Karen) were growing up.  And yes, Karen always extremely disliked the words 'little' (the L word) and 'baby'.

From the family meeting in June 1979 with the Carpenters, Lynns and several others present, they had talked very well of Harold's wife, Agnes, and how Agnes was like one of the Carpenter women.  They also talked of how Harold's mom passed away and that Harold was always very close to his mom and Harold and his mom always talked, but after Harold's mom, Nellie, passed away in 1927 from pleurisy, Harold became kind of quiet and not as talkative.  Also, Harold hadn't really dated while he was growing up so there was definite concern in the family if Harold would ever look for someone let alone find someone.  Harold also had a younger brother, Richard Lynn, and three younger sisters all from his dad, George, and his mom, Nellie.  Originally, the family (George and Nellie) were missionaries over in China and Harold, his brother and one sister (Esther) were born in China.  Then when Harold was about 11, his dad moved to the UK and shortly after, mom, Harold and his brother and sister moved to the UK with their dad.  George had two other sisters born in the UK.  And like said too, Nellie, mom, passed away in 1927 from pleurisy, which is a lung disease.  After Nellie passed away, George was with another woman, Wefta B[censored]k, and George was a widower and Wefta was a widow (Wefta's husband, Dmytro, had passed away) and so there was a step mom (which I met Wefta in June 1979 with Karen which of course Wefta was Karen's step grandma.  When I met Karen, she was staying with her step cousin Wendy B[censored]k).  As a comparison here, the Carpenter family was the kind of family that would swat flies whenever the need arose or even just for fun, while the B[censored]k family were the types that wouldn't hurt a fly if it landed and then pooped in their soup and then flipped them off and then begged to be swatted.  But George's weakness was red-heads and both Nellie and Wefta were red-heads.  Also, George was raised by his step mom, Susan (Seal) Carpenter and his dad Thomas Carpenter.  George's biological mother was Elizabeth Ann Sherlock and so the other Carpenters (young Thomas, Jack, Charlie, Joe and several sisters) were all half brothers and half sisters to George.  I saw great half uncle Jack Carpenter in June 1979 but also saw him again in June 1981 both times with his wife (Gladys?).  In 1979 (and later) Jack was the eldest Capenter male and as a tradition, the Carpenter women were asked to introduce their suitors to Jack for a special message from him (which although Jack had offered Thomas Burris to do it for free before Tom married Karen, Tom chickened out and went to a doctor's office instead).  George passed away in I believe 1942 before Richard or Karen were born.  But at this family get together were Susan (Seal) Carpenter, great half uncle Jack Carpenter, I believe Rose and Florence Carpenter, Gertrude Lynn, (Martha) Matilda Lynn (Stoddard widow), Wefta B[censored]k, several B[censored]ks, uncle Richard and his wife Mary Carpenter, Geraldine (and not sure about Esther, Guinevere had just passed away in Australia in 1978).  A couple Briggs and a few other cousins and such with different last names.  The Carpenter women all prided themselves on being sturdy women that always took care of their families and the households.  And the Carpenter women all prided themselves on having (as they called it), "Crisco, fat in the can".  It was a Carpenter trait to have large hips and a well-rounded bottom.

And to everyone's surprise, Harold dated Agnes and then they got married and started out with a GE (General Electric) clothes iron and a small place and a lot of love.  The Carpenters always liked Agnes and it was such a surprise that Harold had found someone.  And the Carpenter women saw that Agnes was a lot like them as far as being sturdy and such.  The Carpenter family was not one of those hold hugfest type families and were a very intellectual family that felt anyone could give someone a hug but a true caring person is the person that is always there through thick and thin and always tries to be helpful to others.  Agnes, like the Carpenter women, wasn't a very openly affectionate person, but there must have been some kind of magic there between her and Harold.  After Harold had been fairly withdrawn for quite a while, the Carpenter women looked at Agnes as some kind of miracle worker with Harold.  The Carpenter women all had nice things to say about Karen's mom, Agnes.

The Carpenter family were always very family oriented and always tried to be decent, upright and respectable people.  They always looked out for one another and if there was trouble, they would work together to get through it.  A very good family reputation that they protected.  If one of the family did wrong to someone else either inside or outside the family, the family would always support the one they felt was wronged and come down hard on the one(s) doing the wrongdoing.  The Carpenter family would always try to make amends to those they felt were wronged while also deterring people from treating others badly by making sure that people knew if someone behaved badly, they were going to pay for it from the family coming down hard on them.  Respect others and have respect for yourself as well.  And like said, they were very fond of Agnes as Agnes was much the same way too.

As far as being supportive, that was fairly obvious.  The family had purchased a piano for Richard and they were on a tight budget.  Karen wanted a set of drums, so on the tight budget, they got even tighter and picked up a set of drums for Karen too.  Karen and Richard Carpenter were of a lower middle class upbringing but like said, they worked together with each other.  After moving out to Downey, they became more middle class middle class financially.  Karen never felt neglected or such.  Karen was a bit of a tomboy like her mom.  Richard was a bit like his dad too.  There was never any sibling rivalry between Karen and Richard and Karen and Richard always got along very well with each other.  Yes, usually older brothers feel like younger sisters cramp their style and younger sisters feel like older brothers cramp their style too.  But Karen and Richard were a lot alike and liked many of the same things so they didn't feel like they cramped each other's style.  But also, yes, mom (Agnes) was always a bit concerned about that as what parent would want a bunch of 'inbred' children running around, so... truthfully, Karen and her mom were very close to each other as they had many secrets between themselves.  If made public, they wouldn't be secrets now would they?  But even though Karen would be on the road with her brother, Karen would get homesick at times for her mom and home (usually after about 3 to 4 months).

But also, anyone that ever thought that Karen ever wanted to be 'the favorite' never talked with Karen about that.  As Karen would say, "Favorites are favored because they put the round pegs in the round holes and the square pegs in the square holes and they are favored as they do like everyone else does.  Black sheep are the ones who put the square pegs in the round holes and the round pegs in the square holes and if they don't fit just use a bigger mallet. Black sheep are different and I like being different."  And also, "Favorites put their ducks in a row.  Black sheep like to let their ducks wander."  In Karen's own words to me on this, "I'd rather be yelled at than fussed over."  Karen loved being a very humble person which was why she would pick on her brother to get him to pick back at times.  The real Karen did not like being put on a pedestal or praised or such.  Humble people are very down to earth and don't like being seen as being above or below others, but as equals.  And with that is where you get to why Karen and Richard always got along so well together.  Karen and Richard always saw themselves as being equals to one another.  And that is why also there is usually so much missing from Karen when others try to push that anorexia profile stuff that has no input whatsoever from Karen and it is that obvious.  Anyone that actually knew Karen, personally, knows that the only thing in that anorexic profile that Karen matched was that anorexia is an eating disorder.  That was it.  The entire rest of that profile does not match Karen at all which is why people ask therapists and such if they could provide a family dynamic profile of Karen and the result is that they try and match that family profile to the anorexic profile and it sounds nothing like Karen or her family at all.  And the sad part is that the ones pushing that faulty profile just don't get it that they are not making any sense because that profile is great for the Cherry Boone "Starving for Attention" book, but falls completely apart when looking at the real life Karen Carpenter and her family and it is that obvious.  Karen never felt unloved by her family or she never would have kept going back to them.  Karen never competed with her brother.  Karen's family allowed Karen to make her own decisions.  And on and on there through that entire anorexic profile.  None of it matches.  And when they do that, it is very obvious that there is nothing there from Karen Carpenter to support that anorexic profile nonsense.  So to explain the family dynamic question problem here, I agree totally that after someone assembles the actual family dynamic of Karen and Richard Carpenter that the anorexic profile being pushed has absolutely nothing from Karen, herself, or her family to support that faulty anorexic profile.  I feel that is the real answer here.

152. Did Karen ever drop acid (LSD)?

No.  For Karen to take or try something, she needed to know what it did and what it was for.  As far as with acid (LSD), was it going to be a good trip or a bad trip?  With that question and the answer of "you don't know until after you try it" and without knowing before, nope.  Not happening.  As far as cocaine, it makes you paranoid and being paranoid doesn't sound like someone is having fun, so Karen said nope to cocaine as well.

153. Did Karen have a short lifeline on her palm?

Yes, she did actually.  Karen's lifeline on her palm went from the side down to about the top of her thumb (if you drew a line straight out) or about 1 to 1 ¼ inches from the side of her hand.  Part two.  Did Karen believe in palm reading?  Karen didn't really believe or disbelieve in palm reading.  Karen's take on that was that God would know the answer to that and unless God told her personally either way, Karen was open for suggestions from others either way.

154. Was Karen heartbroken that her solo album was not released in 1980?

Definitely not.  Karen was actually the one who had it shelved. 

Remembering back now I remember how Karen had told me that she had shelved it (Questions #57 & 111).  And Karen did tell me too that she did break down and cry after shelving it as she was worried that after the others (Rod, Lib, Rusty, Steggy, Grimey and Phil plus Peter Cetera and others) had put so much work into the album that Karen was worried that they might be upset at Karen for shelving the album.  So Karen did kind of make certain people think it was a record company decision and not just Karen's decision even though it was in reality Karen's decision to shelve it. 

And when Karen and me talked again in June 1981, we kind of came up with a type of advertising blurb I guess you could call it for Karen's solo album.  The blurb went something like, "Here it is finally, the album you've all been waiting for by Karen Carpenter that spawned such hits as 'Rock with You', 'She's Out of My Life' and 'Off the Wall' for Michael Jackson is now released.  Isn't it lovely as it has Karen Carpenter's name and picture on it and all this stuff that was leftover after the good stuff was given away to Michael Jackson.  I proudly present to you Karen's first solo album, 'A Can of Worms' with all this stuff that Phil Ramone felt wasn't good enough to give away to anyone else."  Karen and me agreed that that about summed up Karen's solo album. 

And as far as the songs being given away, Karen saw that as a sign (3 signs actually) from God that instead of doing a great album and having a solo career and such that God wanted Karen and Richard to keep making music together as Carpenters which was what Karen was hoping for anyway.  Then after that solo album mess got canned and shelved by Karen came Made In America.

155. Why did Karen want a divorce from her husband?

It is actually not a long story there but it is a personal story that the details need to stay between Karen and Thomas.  As people have figured out, yes, Thomas did several things that were pretty bad.  Karen also was no angel herself.  The big problem was that Karen and Thomas just did not get along well with each other after they got married. 

The biggest reason why was because neither Karen nor Thomas could be honest with each other without getting into an argument about it.  It just did not work out between them and they both had almost nothing but secrets that they kept from each other.  Karen and Thomas just couldn't share a life together was the real problem. 

There has been some talk about a couple problems, but the major problems were never made public and should not be made public I feel as it really should be one of those things that stay between Thomas and Karen.  I have revealed a lot on this page, but on this one, I need to back away from the specific details. 

I can say that no one has publicly mentioned what I knew from Karen to have happened between her and Thomas.  I can also say it wasn't because of "a bag of bones" or the vasectomy or any of that other stuff mentioned, but there was a major incident that happened in November 1980 between Karen and Thomas and Karen gave Thomas roughly a year to try and come clean and Thomas never did come clean about anything. 

And with Thomas not coming clean, Karen was definitely not going to come clean either.  So Karen had it out with Thomas as was noted upstairs at her dad's birthday party in November 1981 and the marriage was all over except for the paperwork after November 1981 (even though they had been keeping distance in private and public since around November 1980). 

As far as the divorce, Karen did have Thomas in a divorce and had it came down to having to argue in court, Thomas would have been in a bit of trouble (not jail type trouble though, but there would have been depositions and a witness and Tom knew his back would have been up against the wall if it went that far.  The bad thing Karen had a witness for.  The really bad thing was only witnessed between Karen and Thomas). 

Karen just wanted Thomas out of her life after what had happened and so Karen told Thomas that she would put in a few things for him if he agreed to a divorce without dragging it out and just get out of her life.  But, if Thomas wanted to play around or try his luck, so to speak, with what Karen had on him (that she was keeping secret) if Thomas wanted to try and get more or stretch it out too long, Karen would see to it that Thomas got nothing. 

So in February 1983, Thomas signed the divorce papers. 

But Thomas and Karen couldn't get along with each other so a divorce. 

And with the divorce Karen was looking to avoid a media circus with all that he said she said type stuff in the tabloids, so an order of suppression (gag order) was included with the divorce papers.  Thomas signed the suppression order and the divorce papers in February 1983.  Karen had also asked for the wedding ring back from Thomas as well as part of that divorce so Thomas threw the ring in Karen's casket in private and with the suppression order, Thomas was not at Karen's viewing or funeral as Thomas wasn't allowed to talk with the press about Karen. 

As far as 'the last straw' so to speak, Thomas would not be able to defend himself publicly about it so it would be very unfair to mention the details against someone that can't defend themselves.  So that is why I know what Karen told me had happened and it was really bad, but in all fairness too, that was between Karen and Thomas and not really my business to butt in there either, so I feel it best to leave it between Karen and Thomas where I feel it belongs anyway. 

But after all the lying and hiding and secrets and such between them, Karen and Thomas just could not trust each other anymore.  Stick that on the tabloid headlines, "Two people that don't trust each other get a divorce".  Yeah, not really an attention grabber for a headline there; is it?  Why do tabloids always try to make stuff up or twist it passed recognition whenever possible?

156. Did Karen have a secret tape of her solo album hidden on a shelf in her room?

Actually, no.  Karen had a secret hollowed out Bible and also a silver hard shell briefcase with a lock on it that she used for anything she wanted to keep hidden or secret from others.  Karen had people cleaning her room and dusting her shelves and such so keeping a tape on her shelf behind a Mickey Mouse or Lucy or whatever wouldn't remain hidden or secret for too long. 

Rod Temperton did used to make copies of stuff for Karen (like Michael Jackson's "Rock with You" and "Off the Wall") and Karen would usually keep it with her regular tapes and such (not hidden) in her car at the time. 

I know that Phil Ramone had the production tapes for Karen's solo album. 

It is more than likely that Karen may have had a copy of her solo album on a cassette tape at one time and with that it would have been kept in Karen's silver briefcase if hidden (not on a shelf or such) or with her other music stuff in the music room at the house or possibly in her car even.  Karen's briefcase had a lock on it (one of those cylinder locks like on bicycle locks). 

Karen did have a copy of the article that wasn't released from her March 17, 1980 interview with Rolling Stone magazine in her silver briefcase at one time (I saw it on June 12, 1981). 

But as far as that story in the New York Times from October 6, 1996 - Itchie was pregnant with her and Phil's first son and there were complications so Phil did not allow Itchie to travel which means that Itchie had not been around Karen for at least a couple months before Karen passed away.  That 'story' in the New York Times is just so messed up in so many ways

But no, Karen did not have a secret tape of her solo album sitting on a shelf in her room.  I don't think Karen had a tape player in her room, so why would she keep a cassette tape in there with nothing to play it on.  Yeah, just a messed up story there, that like all stories, just falls apart when you mention details that don't add up right.

157. Was Karen scatter brained?

To an extent, yes.  Karen's mind did tend to wander a bit into uncharted territory.  That vivid imagination stuff. 

But yes, Karen would tie a string around her finger to remind her about things; that forget me knot stuff. 

But while working and singing, Karen would be very focused on what she was doing and usually very intense.  Karen did love to daydream when she got the chance though.  But being scatter brained isn't a bad thing actually as Karen was able to focus on many different tasks and things at the same time.  Multitasking as it came to be known later.  And with singing, if you can focus on the lyrics and the tempo and the phrasing and intonations and such at the same time, it helps.

158. Was Karen into science fiction and that kind of stuff?

Great, thoughtful question here.  As far as I ever knew Karen was not really into science fiction.  Her favorite Star Trek episodes were when Captain Kirk fell in love with anyone (there were what, 19 of those episodes in the original series).  Karen was a hopeless romantic and most science fiction is not very romantic and has a lot of technical jargon.  Karen liked learning new things and using her imagination, but when stuff would get too technical, Karen would kind of zone out from it.  Karen liked keeping things simple whenever possible.  She did like science fiction to an extent like Star Wars and such, but Karen was a hopeless romantic and was always more interested in interactions between people more than the science aspect.  Most science fiction is not that emotional.  If I remember right, she actually liked the movie "Logan's Run" more than "Star Wars".

159. How did Karen feel about the space program?

Karen just hoped that we stayed ahead of the Russians and it gave both countries something better to do than trying to blow each other up.  Karen liked new things and space can be filled with new things.  Karen also believed in having an imagination and space is filled with a lot of imagination too.  But Karen was more into watching the stars and Moon and planets and such in the night sky and although it might be nice to visit, Karen was a home body at heart and on Earth she would get homesick after three to four months.  Let the others colonize Mars or such.

160. Was Karen afraid of heights?


161. Did Karen have claustrophobia?

Another I don't know.

162. Did Karen actually have problems going to the bathroom?

Yes, she did.  Many times the toilet would get plugged from Karen going to the bathroom.  And yes, this did lead to Karen using X-LAX and also Karen not wanting to eat as much solid food. 

Karen did also have her rules of not eating 4 hours before sleeping (restlessness) or performing (jitters / nervousness) as well. 

Karen's intestines were swollen and as a result Karen's poop would most times be extremely large and plug up the toilet.  Karen would also, at times, take a while going to the bathroom as being large, it was difficult for her.  So yes, for those wondering, having colitis was a large part of the reason for Karen developing anorexia and taking laxatives and such. 

Karen also had a difficult time with her visitor (menstruation) and when she lost too much weight, her visitor would stop as well.  And Karen noticed too that when she lost too much weight that the thought of "all little girls are attractive and straight as a board" would happen as well. 

No this doesn't sound like an overbearing mother or family problem to me either, but people are entitled to their opinions. 

But Karen would, at times, end up spending a half hour or more in the bathroom because of her colitis and at times having to plunge the toilet afterwards.  And during about 8 years of dealing with colitis (1975 to 1983) things happened.  OK, sh*t happens and with that, maybe being a "big sh*t" isn't all it's cracked up to be.  Karen had colitis and I drank a lot of milk so the janitor literally left a plunger with Karen and me for when the need arose.  Yes, Karen preferred being humble, but behind the scenes she was a "big sh*t" and after the experiences of being a big sh*t Karen definitely preferred being humble.  I agree from my own experiences that it is far better being humble than plugging up toilets being a big sh*t too.

163. Did Karen wet the bed when she was younger?

Actually, Karen did talk to me about this back when.  The problem is that the talk was back when forty plus years ago and I don't remember what she said about this now.  So another I don't know for sure here about Karen, herself.  I know that Karen and me thought that bed wetting wasn't really a sign of any kind of psychological problem and was probably more of a bladder control type problem but could vary by person.  And the best way to find out would be to ask the person involved but not jump to conclusions about 'everyone' as you never know until you ask.

An added on my own thoughts here...  Another larger problem is that wetting the bed does not appear to be a psychological or psychiatric problem.  Much like sleepwalking does not appear to be a psychological or psychiatric problem either.  Some do while others don't and neither sleepwalking nor wetting the bed are by choice or because of the actions of others or such.  There does not appear to be an actual pattern associated with sleepwalking or bed wetting outside some do and others don't.  In both sleepwalking and bed wetting, it appears to be temporary and just stops at some point whether someone is treated for it or not.  Talking in your sleep as well.  Like dreams, some things just happen in real life that can't be really explained that well other than they happened or didn't happen, whichever.

164. Did Karen snore?

Not that I am aware of.  Another I don't know for sure here.  Karen didn't snore around me if she did snore.  Karen and me did take some naps together here and there and during one nap I snored once but as far as Karen, I never heard her snore or such and no one else mentioned it to me either, but they did wake me up when I started snoring the one time as they didn't want Karen getting possibly woke up with my snoring.

165. During Karen's solo album, who was "Karen's Protector"?

When they started doing Karen's solo album and Karen and Rod met, Rod said he felt a presence that wasn't there physically watching over Karen.  In private, Karen and Rod talked about this and Karen told Rod that the presence Rod was probably sensing was for a guy Karen knew named Ace (me).  So when talking in private between themselves, Karen and Rod would refer to me as "Karen's Protector" between themselves. 

Of course Phil Ramone overheard them once and thought they were talking about him.  After all, Phil and Itchie wouldn't let Karen out of their sight so it must be Phil they were talking about as being "Karen's Protector".  But Phil was physically there and like Rod had said that he had felt a presence that wasn't physically there watching over Karen. 

At first Rod thought it might have been Richard or her mom or her dad but Rod also didn't feel like it was family either then Karen assured Rod that it was someone else that Karen met named Ace.  Then, like I said, Phil had overheard Karen and Rod talking about "Karen's Protector" and figured they were talking about Phil so Rod and Karen let Phil think what he felt like thinking. 

And like Rod said to me and Karen over the phone in mid May 1979, "Ace it was a good thing I didn't call you Mister Perfect because Phil would have thought we were talking about him too." 

But Karen and Rod had nicknames they would use between themselves when they talked about others just to be different but also at times so that others didn't know what or who Rod and Karen were talking about.  Phil's house was known as "The Compound".  Phil and Itchie were known as "The Gestapo".  As Karen and Rod felt they were prisoners, Karen's Nickname was "Number One" because she got p*ssed on and Rod's nickname was "Number Two" as he got sh*t on.  Phil's nickname was "A**hole" (the one who sh*t on others, Rod would substitute s for the asterisks * whereas Karen would leave the asterisks blank) and Itchie's nickname was "Snitchy" as anything you told Snitchy, Phil knew.  The band's nicknames were "Rusty" on guitars, "Lib" on drums, "Steggy" on bass and "Grimey" on keyboards.  After the incident with Paul Simon, Glenn Burger's nickname was "Spaz". 

It was known that Phil would try to increase record sales for his clients by having stuff appear in the tabloids.  Neither Karen nor Rod wanted their private stuff appearing in the tabloids and since A**hole and Snitchy were constantly around them, Rod and Karen used nicknames and such to hide things with when they talked together.  "Karen's Protector" was one of those nicknames. 

As far as I know, Rod and Karen didn't have nicknames for Richard, mom (Agnes), dad (Harold), Jerry Weintraub, Derek Green, Herb Alpert, Jerry Moss or A&R Studios.  As far as I know too, Rod and Karen didn't have nicknames that I am aware of for Paul Simon, Peter Cetera or any of the other artists that showed up either.

166. What would Karen have to say about all of this stuff since she passed away?

Truthfully, Karen passed away or else a lot of that stuff would have never been said or done by others especially when dealing with her anorexia issues publicly.  karenlastdays.html

Karen's mom, dad and brother and such are fine as is Ev Wallace and several others. 

The ones that need to worry are the ones that have been spreading false rumors and malicious gossip and such about Karen and her family.  Heaven would not be a very heavenly place if such things as spreading malicious gossip and false rumors and such about others were allowed to occur there.  Something to think about. 

The big problem is that the ones that really should be thinking about it appear to keep trying to blame everyone else which I don't think trying to blame everyone else is a very heavenly thing either.  More to think about.  THINKE (Take Heart In Not Knowing Everything). 

Yes, life would get pretty boring if everyone knew everything and there was nothing left to learn about.  Mistakes included.  THINKE again. 

How long is an eternity anyway?  After we pass away and before we were born there has been an eternity.  So after she passed away, Karen probably has a bit more to think about through eternity than the rest of us that are still here.

167. What was Karen's vocal range?

You'll need to look here http://www.richardandkarencarpenter.com as Richard is a whiz on that kind of stuff.  It is under the "Fans Ask" section on that site.  Great stuff there.  Highly recommended.  Many great insights.

168. Did Karen play bass guitar?

You'll need to look here http://www.richardandkarencarpenter.com as Richard is a whiz on that kind of stuff.  It is under the "Fans Ask" section on that site.  Great stuff there.  Highly recommended.  Many great insights.  And then on the "Offering / Ticket To Ride" album look for the songs "All of My Life" and "Eve".

169. How did you know that it was really Karen Carpenter that you knew and not someone else?

I found out actually in mid October 1978 when Paul Williams showed up. 

Paul Williams was very obvious and he always called her Karen and he had a recording contract with him. 

Before mid October 1978, her brother Richard had shown up and it didn't ring a bell with me.  Her cousin Patti Carpenter showed up and called her Karen (as Karen had tried to tell me her name was Wendy) and I took piano lessons before with Patti so I knew her last name was Carpenter, but it didn't ring a bell.  Cubby O'Brien had shown up and it didn't ring a bell either. 

But after that and to save space here, I met many, many people including relatives that all knew her as Karen Carpenter, the singer for the Carpenters. 
celebs.html .  The people are listed on the page and those from 1978 to 1979 including Karen, herself, were people I met while around Karen including Thomas Burris in June 1981. 

On top of that in late May 1979, Karen and I went to a local jewelry store and Karen pulled out her Visa card.  Yes, it was Karen. 

And for those that wonder, yes, when I have those that try and say that it wasn't Karen Carpenter and "she had you fooled" I know for a fact that those people did not read anything I wrote about my times with Karen and that they lie when they try and say they read this page
karencarp.html as that page includes the personal stories about my and Karen's meeting with the people on the "Celebrities" web page. 

And to poke fun at them, I also included stuff at the top of the page to pick on those that said they read the page when it is obvious they hadn't read that "Karen Carpenter" page. 

I even did an overview page here karentime.html which listed people and where to find the information about what happened when we met as a quick reference if they wished and they still never looked and never will. 

But yeah, I picked on them pretty bad on the top of the "Karen Carpenter" page starting around May / June 2020 when I started adding in the top part of that page.  Myself and many others still get a kick out of the top of that Karen Carpenter page and those that lie through their teeth trying to convince others that they read the page when it is very obvious that they have never read that page or they wouldn't be running their mouths and making fools of themselves.  Because like I tell them, "You know other people do actually read that page and know you never read it."  And they still don't get it and still try to convince others that they read the page even though it is obvious to those that read the page that the others never read that page or else they would have seen me picking on them.

170. Was Karen allergic to anything?

Not that I was ever aware of. 

I know Karen had been stung by a bee and she wasn't allergic to that. 

I don't remember Karen being allergic to pollen either.  I do remember Karen talking about hayfever but I don't actually remember Karen having hayfever. 

I'm pretty sure Karen wasn't allergic to anything that I was ever aware of.

171. Did Karen sing in the shower or while taking a bath?

Not totally sure on that, if she did, she sang quietly to herself.

172. Did Karen's husband have a son by a previous marriage?

Yes.  His name was Mike (Michael).  Mike was 18 when Karen and Tom were married. 

As far as the kind of relationship between Karen and Mike, "I don't know".  Karen didn't really mention that to me in any detail. 

I did see Mike one time from a distance in June 1981, but we never met or talked with each other. 

Tom met me on June 18, 1981.

173. Where did Karen and Tom live after they got married?

Karen and Tom lived in Newport Beach.  I don't know the house number or street (the people that own the house don't want a lot of tourists going by anyway so the address is kept confidential).

174. Whatever happened to Thomas Burris (the guy Karen married)?

Thomas is not allowed to talk publicly and as such, if you meet him privately, he can talk.  With that being said, like most people say, who cares?  So long as he isn't bothering others then leave him be.  Karen had already said worst to him than anyone else could say so best to leave it at that and...  Tom had signed the divorce papers.  And as Tom had signed the divorce papers (plus the suppression order that was with those papers) then Tom did Karen a favor and as a return favor, the rest of us should leave Tom be.  But why would anyone want to talk publicly when all that would happen is they would get yelled at by others that never knew Tom or Karen or have his words twisted like so many others have had done where what was said does not match what was printed as being said.  tom.html 

175. What would Karen like to be most remembered as?

Being different.  Being unique.

176. Did Karen wear fake fingernails?

At times, yes, Karen would wear fake nails.  Karen did actually take good care of her fingernails, but like with any active tomboy, nails break on occasion.  Karen would also wear fake eyelashes at times too.  Karen's actual eyelashes were pretty thin.  Karen's eyebrows and eyelashes were a blonde color so Karen would always color her eyebrows with mascara and almost always wore fake eyelashes.  Karen also used to pluck her eyebrows with tweezers. And of course emery boards on her fingernails.

177. Did Karen dye her hair?

Yes.  Karen's hair was actually about the same color as her brother, Richard's hair only a slightly more reddish tint to it (Like on the As Time Goes By cover). 

But I should probably rephrase this question too.  Karen told me that her mom was the one who first started dying Karen's hair back when Karen was about 8 or 9 years old.   Karen's mom had overheard a couple girls at a church in Connecticut picking on Karen and calling her "Evil Karen" as Karen had kind of reddish eyes and slightly reddish hair.  So Karen's mom used to sneak in hair dye and would secretly dye Karen's hair so that Karen wouldn't get picked on.  Karen actually liked the darker color as it framed her face better than her natural lighter strawberry blonde color. 

And as Karen got older, she had a couple gray hairs as well that she liked keeping covered up. 

Karen preferred Miss Clairol Auburn color for her hair. 

As Karen got older, she also wore wigs and kept them in place with loads of bobby pins. 

Kind of covered in questions #39 & #40.

178. What was Karen's favorite kind of birthday cake?

I believe it was yellow cake with whipped cream frosting.  Karen and me talked about this on my 14th birthday December 4, 1978.  Mine was German chocolate with puke (coconut pecan) frosting for a reference here.  I believe Richard's is white cake with whipped cream frosting. 

Karen loved chocolate and was fine with any cake actually, but if I remember correctly, she liked the yellow cake better because it reminded her of egg yolks and how you could dip almost anything in egg yolks for breakfast or something like that.  But then again, what if I am remembering this wrong and what if Karen didn't like egg yolks?  Karen?  And as cake and frosting contain a lot of sugar, brush (with Colgate) and floss your teeth afterwards to avoid getting a cavity.

179. How did Karen feel about her public image?

That was up to the promotion department and such and that was a public image which can never match a person's actual image.  So Karen took a lot of that stuff with a grain of salt actually.  That was publicity and such and not real life. 

Karen did mention this a few times in different interviews at different times. 

But with Karen it was "People are going to think what they want to think."  Karen understood that a public image is not real life.  Like movies don't really happen in real life.  Margaret Hamilton played the Wicked Witch of the West in the Wizard of Oz movie but in real life she was a very nice lady.  "People are entitled  to their opinions" as well. 

But yeah that image stuff would get a little awkward in public at times if Karen had a glass of wine or Richard had a beer or a cigar or such.  Karen understood that a public image wasn't real life.  And with that, many people appear to be confused about Karen. 

Karen was not one to do anything because it was popular or such.  Karen was not one to base her life on what others thought or decided or suggested either.  That profile of an anorexic is for someone that is extroverted and relies on others.  Karen was actually very introverted and very self reliant and was honestly an INFJ-A personality.  If everyone else jumped in the lake, Karen would rather be different and cannonball into the lake.  I never knew Karen to ever do anything to be liked or popular or to fit in with the crowd or to conform to a mold.  Karen was always one to break the mold and do what she felt she needed to do.  Karen loved challenges. 

And yes, I diverted here a bit because I felt the need to.  Karen actually enjoyed having that nice girl and girl next door public image that she had as that actually fit her better than other images available.  The problem was that people thought that a nice girl or a nice guy never drank alcohol or such and it was the word NEVER that bugged Karen about that image stuff. 

Karen loved being different and there really isn't a public image for someone being different.  So because there wasn't a 'different' public image available, Karen felt that the 'nice girl' and 'girl next door' were what she came close to since there wasn't a 'different' image available. 

Karen was that nice girl next door that liked being different.  But a public image can't be different. 
Karen was that nice girl next door that liked being different.  But a public image can't be different.  Rinse.  Lather.  Repeat.  Speaking of Pete and Repeat being out in a boat...

180. What is the difference between a schmock and an apron?

Yes, actually, Karen and me had a discussion about this.  If I remember correctly from Karen, a schmock has pockets whereas an apron does not have pockets (I'm hoping I don't have it backwards here after 40+ years). 

And why we had this discussion was because at the time I believe all the stores had aprons (no pockets) and Karen was looking to find a schmock (with pockets).  It was that german / pennsylvania dutch thing.  The women clerks at the stores had also been noticing that they were all aprons and not any schmocks. 

As always, women realize that men don't have a clue.  And with that, men realize that women are right about men not having a clue.

181. Did Karen have any kind of an accent?

Yes, Karen actually did have a slight pennsylvania dutch accent.  Karen would warsh (wash) her clothes.  Karen would also tawk (talk) to people too.  You know, "tawkin' to myself and feelin' old...".  Which also, in and not ing.  Readin', writin' and 'rithmetickin' (the three r's) and sleepin' too when you get the chance (or was it git, wait, you get chances but you git along, so, yup, get). 

Karen also had a slight what they call 'drawl' to her voice like her dad.  Karen's talking was usually a little slow and drawn out a little.

182. Did Karen sew and make her own clothes?

Yes, actually.  Karen would hem and mend her clothes at times too.  Karen would make her own ponchos (coats can get a bit bulky). 

Karen had an electric sewing machine but she also knew how to sew by hand with a needle and thread. 

Karen would also knit and crochet at times too to help keep her hands and her mind busy. 

And also needlepoint and cross stitch too with the hoops and such. 

Karen did know how to use a loom as well.  Back and forth, back and forth...

183. Did Karen enjoy gardening and such?

As Karen told me, "I have a brown thumb."  Karen and plants did not seem to get along too well.  Karen watered and talked to the plants and tried, but the plants just never seemed to cooperate with her.  Karen's mom did great with plants and had a green thumb, but Karen seemed to have a brown thumb when it came to plants and flowers and such.

184. Who introduced Karen and Thomas Burris?

Tony Scotti and Carole Curb.  I believe it was April 12, 1980 and it was in a four person booth at a restaurant that was more like a bar & grille than a formal restaurant.  But yes, I have heard many different stories myself on this as well.  Good question.

185. What about Karen's condominium?

Another good question here.  Karen's condo was on Avenue of the Stars and she first got it in 1975? / 1976. 

The story I got from Karen was that after the house on Lubec Street didn't work out so well and people had been saying the words "old maid" and "spinster" that Karen felt she needed a place of her own. 

Karen was a bit worried about asking her mom about it so she asked Ev Wallace if Ev would mention it to her mom.  That was the problem.  Apparently, Karen's mom had been one of the ones talking about Karen being a spinster and old maid and Karen's mom was wanting Karen to ask about getting a place of her own (without her brother), so when Ev mentioned it, Agnes (mom) was a bit upset about the fact that Karen didn't come to her mom first about it instead of trying to go through Ev. 

And then a big 'responsibility' talk happened from mom to Karen (which Karen's mom had apparently been waiting quite a while to have this talk with her daughter).  Well, kind of a talk but it also ended up being a lecture too about Karen needing to be more responsible and like mom had always told Karen, "if you have a problem come to me and we'll sit at the kitchen table and talk about it." 

But mom was not upset about Karen wanting a place of her own and moving out as mom was one of the ones behind the scenes with the "spinster" and "old maid" talk and such, but mom was upset about Karen talking with others instead of talking directly with mom about it.  Not everyone else needs to know your's and your family's business so to speak.  And if Karen was going to have a place of her own, then Karen needed to be more responsible. 

Agnes (mom) was hoping to have the pitter patter of little feet around the house and hoping to have grandkids some day.  You don't have grandkids with a spinster or an old maid sitting around the house with mom and dad or living with her brother.

186. Was Karen looking to be in a musical or movie before she passed away?

After the musical / play Evita came out, Karen appeared to be the most likely candidate to play Evita (Eva Perón) in the movie version.  Karen was looking forward to that probability but things turned out differently than expected. 

Karen and Eva were very similar people as Karen and Eva were both known to be caring women with kind hearts. 

Karen had also started to learn to speak spanish as well but she was having problems with rolling her rrrr's.  She was working on it though.

187. Why doesn't Richard talk more about Karen's solo album?

Richard wasn't actually involved much with Karen's solo album.  Outside a problem near the beginning and the meeting to shelve the album, the album was to be Karen without Richard, solo, so Richard stayed out of it as much as possible. 

Richard's involvement was pretty much Karen asking for Richard's approval or blessing or whatever, Richard giving that blessing as well as Richard giving Karen encouragement, Karen doing the album without Richard interfering, the problem toward the beginning of possible rumors leaking out that were squelched, and Richard attending the meeting where Karen shelved the album.  Richard has even added a couple comments about Karen saying a couple things to him while working on the album. 

But in all honesty, I feel that Richard has said all that he could say about it. 

I was actually the one around Karen while she worked on the album in the beginning and I know Richard wasn't really involved with the album.  Richard told Karen that maybe she could learn a few tricks from Phil (which the Carpenters already had used pet names like "darling" and "baby" and such in songs plus they had done sound altering with the Calling Occupants song and the last of the three was Phil tried to use the tabloids to bolster record sales which the tabloids don't want girl / guy next door articles so nothing new there) and Richard knew Karen loved a challenge so when Richard told Karen, "Your voice can't do disco", Karen took the challenge. 

After dealing with his Quaalude addiction from January to March 1979, Richard was wanting to take a break and readjust.  Karen had also been taking a break as well and living with her step cousin Wendy in New York State (not the city) since September 1978. 

Jerry Weintraub and A&M weren't wanting a longer break (although Christmas Portrait had been released), so it wasn't actually Karen but Jerry Weintraub that came up with an idea of Karen doing a solo album. 

And back on September 4, 1978 Richard had said "I quit" after a Vegas show because Richard had withdrawals ("the shakes") really bad. 

So lots of stories there, but in reality, Richard wasn't really involved with Karen's solo album.  Not even behind the scenes. 

Richard has hid one thing, but the thing he hid was something bad that Itchie had done.  Only Karen, Richard, Itchie, sir Nicholas Born (assistant to the Achdeacon of Canterbury) and me knew what that was (Itchie had tried to have a bad article published about Karen in a tabloid and the article had been rejected as it had a name and a picture of someone that was on the media blocked list, me, which was how the office of the Archdeacon of Canterbury got involved as well). 

Others that weren't even there keep trying to make insinuations and such that aren't true.  But I had talked with Karen before (September 6, 1978 to late April, 1979), during (April / May 1979 to June 22, 1979) and after (June 12 to June 20, 1981 and a phone call on February 3, 1983) and I know for certain from Karen, herself, that Richard was never against Karen doing a solo album as if Richard had been against it, Karen would have never let Jerry Weintraub talk her into doing it. 

Others and their making up false innuendoes.  If Richard had been against it, Karen would have told me and I know that Karen would not have done the album if Richard had ever been against it. 

After a private meeting with me, Karen and Richard in mid May 1979 I knew for a fact that Richard had never been against it and I had seen first hand Richard encouraging Karen to do the album which was how I know about the three things learned from Phil Ramone that I stated earlier. 

But to quote Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) here "Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." 

When doing a solo album, you want to do something that says "This is who I am and this is what I'm about" and Karen's solo album ended up being "This is the stuff that Phil Ramone felt wasn't good enough to give away to someone else." 

But how do you say that publicly without sounding rude?  Just shelve the can of worms and move on to something else.  That was what Karen decided to do, not Richard.

Richard has already kind of answered this anyway, but maybe seeing it from another perspective might help keep this question from getting asked again.  Well, not really asked again, but more a case of people not believing that Richard wasn't really involved much with Karen's solo album.  But then again, maybe not.  But from my side, Karen was hoping that Richard dealt with his Quaalude addiction so most of the solo album stuff that happened, Karen dropped in my lap, not Richard's.

188. Were Itchie and Frenda around Karen when Karen passed away?

I saw that at the end of that book too. 

There is a time sequence missing in that book from that stuff about Itchie and Frenda being around Karen.  Itchie had found out that she was pregnant with her and Phil's first son and there were complications so Phil absolutely forbid Itchie from travelling during the pregnancy.  For the last few months Karen was alive, Itchie was on the east coast and Karen and Frenda were on the west coast. 

So that stuff in someone's book had to have happened at least a couple months before Karen passed away (but most likely probably around July / August to possibly October 1982 or possibly 1981 even). 

Karen had called Frenda on the day before Karen passed away (February 3, 1983). 

As far as Itchie, Karen had called Itchie on February 2, 1983 but Karen had not seen Itchie in at least a couple months before Karen passed away. 

After Karen left Lennox Hill Hospital in October 1982, she stayed in New York City a short while and then returned to Downey in November 1982. 

During Karen's last few months, she stayed with her mom and dad or at her condo mostly and saw Richard on a couple occasions.

As far as Itchie and Frenda both being around Karen, that had to be before November 1981.  Itchie was around Karen in New York City in 1982 (Frenda was in California).  So the talk about Karen going back with Tom between Frenda and Itchie had to have been before Karen blew up at Tom during her father, Harold's, birthday party on November 8, 1981.  I agree with whoever had asked this back when that it didn't sound right for Karen, Itchie and Frenda to have been around each other at the same time in either 1982 or 1983.  It would have had to have taken place before November 1981 if Karen, Itchie and Frenda were around each other at the same time.  As far as myself on this, I didn't know whether Itchie, Karen and Frenda had ever been together at the same time outside of Karen's wedding day.

Also ties in with question #34 here.

189. What is the story on Karen's "snickers" sweater?

That sweater was given to Karen by John Adrian (not sure when).  The story from John is that he gave Karen the sweater and John had a nickname he used with Karen of Snickers which had to do with the candy bar.

This next part still has me scratching my head but Karen talked with me about John after she had picked up the single "I Believe You" in October 1978.  Karen had told me the story about what had happened between her and John and that John had broken up with Karen in 1977 and 3 months later John had married someone else and Karen had sent them a wedding gift of a crystal punch bowl set.  John's last name Adrian was the same as my first name Adrian.  What Karen also told me was that John had given Karen a sweater with the name Snickers on it and Karen gave me the impression that the nickname was because Karen giggled (snickered) a lot.  I remember it that way as at the time there was a cartoon show called Wacky Racers with a character named Dick Dastardly and his sidekick mutt, Muttley.  Muttley snickered a lot and when Karen mentioned snickers to me, I was like, "like Muttley (snicker)" and Karen was like, "yeah, you know me, I snicker a lot."  This is one of those rough parts where Karen isn't around anymore to ask about stuff to be certain. 

I just go by what I remember.  But yeah, Karen and John had broke up in 1977 and Karen had met a different Adrian (me) in September 1978.

190. Was Karen romantically involved with a 13 / 14 year old?

The key word is romantically, and the answer is yes.  And the reason why can be found in question #61 about 'soul mates'.

The Adrian (me) that Karen romantically referred to in her diaries starting in September 1978 were for a guy who was 13 years old at the time.  Romance is the mental attraction between two people with shared events and experiences and such.  This is also the Adrian (me) mentioned that Richard read off during the reading of Karen's Will in February 1983 (the Second Codicil that was not filed publicly). 
Sex is not a requirement of romance the last anyone knew.  And with that, yes, the romance was there but we both knew we had to wait until I got older.

And with that, yes, as has been said time and time again that Karen and I both had a rule of no physical touching between us.  And as has been said many times, "how can two people that have a rule of no physical touching have sex together?"  Yes, silly tabloid writers that can't keep their facts straight as always (well, after the one article around November 1978 and what followed afterwards, it was a short lived writing career for one named DV that seems to be behind all this twisting story stuff). 

But how that came about is very well documented on this page (
karencarp.html) that is loaded with the stories of the talks and events that happened between Karen and me (Adrian).  The juicy bits included.  You can tell the ones who read that page from the ones that haven't.  And yes, there are a bunch that try to mislead people as to what is actually written on that page as after someone reads that page, it becomes obvious why others did not want them reading that page (stuff starts making sense for a change and others' stories fall apart is why and in some cases others have some bad things they are trying to hide that they want to keep hidden). 

And for a quote from someone that saw Karen and me around each other, John Heib, "You two make Romeo and Juliet look like a children's book".  And yes, Romeo and Juliet was actually a romance for those that may remember even though Romeo and Juliet did not have sex together. 

And to quote Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) another time here "Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." 

And yes, Karen and Richard were very close and kept secrets together.  At this time in the Carpenters time line, Karen and her mom had figured out that Richard had been sneaking around to see Mary Rudolph and as Richard said in mid May 1979 after he saw Karen and me together, "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."  But yeah, at the time I was 14 when Richard said that and I looked 14 too at less than 5 foot tall and about 100 pounds soaking wet.  In about 2 years, after age 16 I was 6 foot tall and weighed 165 pounds and I didn't look like a kid anymore.  I filled out quite a bit in 2 years.

191. Did Karen believe in Ouija, Astrology and that kind of stuff?

Karen always tried to keep an open mind about things.  And as people know, Horoscopes and such aren't always accurate but can be fun to read. 

As far as what are called pseudosciences and such now, Karen would listen about it, but as everyone knows, a lot of times people have to try and twist stories around to get it to match.  That's not truth. 

Also, not one Ouija board has ever magically worked on its own without help. 

And the Magic 8 Ball would give three different answers (or more) to the same question. 

And what about that dealing from the bottom of the deck with Tarot cards. 

But Karen believed that something that was true would always be true and that it takes a lot of imagination to try and believe in magic or witchcraft or voodoo or such.  And Karen did believe in using your imagination. 

As far as mind reading and such, Karen did actually have His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama read her mind (and mine too) and she (we) felt he was accurate.  Karen and me had also seen each other's actual thoughts at times too but we didn't have that happen with others. 

The world does actually have some real magic intermingled with fake magicians.  In a desert, someone with a divining rod that can find water is a miracle whether science believes in miracles or not. 

As far as the Moon in the seventh house and Jupiter aligning with Mars, it gives something different to look at in the night sky, but as far as a hidden meaning or such, if someone other than God knew what that meaning was, it wouldn't be hidden now would it? 

But the world would be a boring place if there wasn't some kind of magic happening somewhere.
  Karen believed in if it was true it was always true and if it was proven false it was not true.  What Karen knows to be false or true, rests in spirit with Karen now.

192. Did Karen use a daily planner?

Yes, actually Karen did use a daily planner. 

Karen always had so much going on that she would write stuff down to hopefully remember better.  At times though, Karen would forget to look at her daily planner and would miss something here or there.  With that, Karen would tie a different color cross stitch thread around her ring finger to try and remind her of important things as an extra precaution.  But Karen had things going on in California, Connecticut, New York plus stuff with the Carpenters and all that and Karen would have all these different things to try and keep track of.  And like anyone else, sometimes Karen would forget to write stuff down because she got in a hurry or such. 

It was a good idea, but sometimes too much might happen all at once and you need to concentrate more on getting stuff done rather than worry about writing about it.

193. Who do you feel played the best Karen Carpenter?

This will be an odd answer for me because I feel it was actually a fictional character that came closest to playing the actual Karen Carpenter. 

Watch the TV show "Who's the Boss?" and watch for the character Mona (Angela's mom).  That is the closest I have ever seen to anyone actually portraying what Karen was like in real life (in a round about way as Mona is actually a fictional character but thanks to Tony Danza and a few suggestions, definitely loosely based on Karen Carpenter as the Mona character has mostly the same quirks about her that Karen had.  I am my own woman.  The funny wit.  The over dramatizing and facial expressions.  That ability to cut through nonsense but also be sincere.  The motherly advice.  And so on.  As a side note for those that saw that interview that Tony did about the show, what Tony said as far as his input on the character as well as the name choice for the character is accurate.  Actually, Tony did a wonderful tribute to Karen in his own way as I still feel that the Mona character has probably been the most accurate portrayal of "the real Karen" even though she is technically a fictional character and not actually real). 

Katherine Helmond is probably the actress that has portrayed the best Karen Carpenter so far in my opinion (without realizing it). 

Unfortunately, the writing and such for the shows and such about Karen has not been that good and as a result any of the shows that attempt to play a real life Karen have missed quite a bit. 

Cynthia Gibb is probably a distant second place here as like I am saying, the writing for The Karen Carpenter Story is a bit off.  Karen was a happy person (which Cynthia does portray) however, the writers should have tossed in a few jokes and such which was why Cynthia Gibb's portrayal was a bit flat unlike Katherine Helmond. 

In real life Karen was rarely a serious person and could be found many times clowning around and such.  You don't see that in the movies and documentaries and such about Karen unfortunately.  But for reference, you can see Karen through the Mona character in the sitcom, "Who's the Boss?" as a comparison.

194. What actress do you feel would portray a good Karen Carpenter?

Karen Allen.  Karen Allen has that warm personal side to her that Karen Carpenter had.  Karen Allen also has that down to earth feel about her as well. 

The tough part would be getting a writer to toss in a bunch of jokes and pranks and such to help make a Karen Carpenter performance actually be like Karen Carpenter for once. 

Karen Carpenter was usually very happy go lucky and very upbeat emotionally and clowning around and such.  But writers and producers want to try and sell a sad story which really wasn't Karen Carpenter in real life.

195. Did Karen consider herself a klutz?

Yes, she did.  Karen was more at home with baseball cleats than wearing high-heels. 

As far as the charm school balancing a book on her head, I think her record for that was about 3 minutes before the book fell off. 

Karen was a tomboy and not a beauty queen or princess.  Karen was about as dainty as a bull in a china shop. 

Karen tried, but she just wasn't charm school material.  In high-heels, Karen would start tripping over her two left feet. 

Karen preferred baseball cleats, sneakers (especially boating sneakers), flats or low heels.  Karen had a high arch in her feet and would walk with her weight on her heels and not her toes.  Several times Karen had the heel break off on her low heels.  For Karen, a set of high-heels might last a week before the heel broke off.  Karen walked heel to toe and with high-heels you have to walk on your toes or else the heel snaps. 

Karen also had narrow feet (A or B width). 

Karen always had a good sense of humor about it and being a klutz is definitely more funny than being a beauty queen or such.  Karen would rather be a klutz than a beauty queen any day. 

Karen was also most comfortable slouching and leaning her head forward when she sat down.  Karen enjoyed being down to earth and being a klutz with two left feet helps people stay down to earth quicker than someone that isn't a klutz (yes, pun intended here).

196. Did Karen daydream?

Yes.  Many times if it was quiet and Karen was just sitting there, you could see Karen just kind of drift off into her own little world.  She always enjoyed daydreaming when she got the chance.

197. Was Karen actually a sad person in real life? and Was Karen suffering from depression?

We all have our moments.  It would be a rare moment to catch Karen being sad or depressed or such.  Karen was normally happy and upbeat and clowning and joking around.  Karen was sad after the dog, Snoopy, passed away and Karen did have a difficult time dealing with someone passing away.  Karen had a tough time with losing anyone which is why she actually hoped she would pass away before her mom and dad or her brother or her cousin Joanie or any of the band or even Ev Wallace (Karen and me had this talk around January / February 1979 I believe).  But Karen felt she had lived a kind of fairy tale type of life and was normally very happy and upbeat and enjoyed all that life had to offer.  That is why most that knew Karen realize that those movies and documentaries about her which try and paint her to be some sad depressed person are way off and not accurate.  Karen was normally laughing and clowning and joking around most of the time and Karen was very child-like and very happy go lucky most of the time.  Karen was just not one that enjoyed being serious for too long.  Being serious was for grown ups and Karen enjoyed being child-like and looking at the world with all the wonder of a child's eyes discovering things for the first time.  Karen wasn't naive, but she did have a bit of innocence about her.

As far as the depression question there...  Ativan is a muscle relaxant and was prescribed to Richard on January 10, 1979 when Richard entered Meninger's Clinic (and as noted in the report, the pills expired on January 10, 1983 - that was not an issue date).  Richard had the DTs, the shakes, from his addiction to Quaaludes and for the DTs Richard had been prescribed Ativan when he entered Meninger's Clinic.  Ev Wallace was the one who got the red jogging suit back from the hospital after Karen passed away and Ev knew as well that it was Richard's red jogging suit and not Karen's that those pills were found in at the hospital.  But back in the 1970s and 1980s, Ativan was prescribed to those that had muscle spasms like the DTs or twitching or epilepsy or such and was not prescribed for depression.  Valium was usually the wonder drug prescribed for depression at the time.  Karen did not have depression and Karen never had a prescription for an SSRI (Prozac, 'happy pills', was introduced in 1987 / 1988) or Valium or Ativan or such that I was ever aware of (or anyone else either).  So yeah, that story about Karen being depressed and the Ativan pills is off on several different levels and definitely not true.  The Ativan was an expired prescription for Richard and not Karen's.  Karen had collapsed near Richard's walk-in closet on February 4, 1983 which is up the stairs to the left, whereas Karen's room was up the stairs to the right on Newville Avenue.  The red jogging suit was Richard's jogging suit and not Karen's as Karen normally wore pastel colored jogging suits with matching sneakers.  And as this page has shown, when others don't get the facts straight, more questions than answers happen.  But yes, the answer is that Ativan and Valium are not the same and Karen never had a prescription for either Ativan or Valium or an SSRI (the first widely distributed SSRI was Prozac around 1987 / 1988 aka 'happy pills').  Richard had a prescription for Ativan when he entered Meninger's Clinic on January 10, 1979 (that expires in four years aka 1/10/83) but Valium was never mentioned and as the autopsy was messed up, the Ativan was taken out of Richard's red jogging suit that one of the paramedics had grabbed out of Richard's closet.  Mistakes happen.  And with mistakes, you got it, more questions than answers happen when things don't add up or sound right.

198. Did Karen believe in God?

Yes, she did.  Karen thought of God as more of a person you could talk to and ask questions and stuff. 

And Karen knew God to give her answers to her questions back in the form of signs.  When Karen was going to marry Thomas Burris, Karen waited for three signs from God.  Karen got four signs instead but didn't realize it until afterwards.  Oops. 

Karen also figured that the one that God had set aside for her (her true love) was the guy that would get Karen back for all the practical jokes she had played on others which getting her back happened in 1979 (in front of Olivia and Dionne who witnessed Karen having a thick black racing stripe down the middle of her face which Karen was clueless about it at the time). 

Karen was not one to ask God for miracles or such though.  Karen also did not believe in that "if I do this then will you do something back for me" type stuff either.  Karen did not ever try to bargain with God about stuff as Karen knew that God had His plan, His Will, and Karen was fine with that.

Karen believed in forgiveness of others as nobody's perfect but Karen also did not believe in being forgiven for just saying someone's name or "rosary" or such.  Karen didn't feel that Heaven would be a very heavenly place with a bunch of spirits going around and doing bad things to others and then asking for forgiveness all the time.  It just doesn't sound right logically for a supposed peaceful place to be inhabited by a bunch that asked for forgiveness all the time.  If things were peaceful, then forgiveness for what?  The last I had heard was that Heaven was not filled with a bunch that said "Sorry.  Pardon me.  Excuse me.  Oops." and such throughout eternity.  I've never heard of the "Book of Sorry" or the "Book of Pardons" or the "Book of Excuses" or the "Book of Oopses" either.  But maybe those books are part of Lucifer's "Book of Nonsense"; who is to say?

In early May 1979, Karen had talked with the assistant to the Archdeacon of Canterbury and asked about the name Jesus and that Karen knew his name to actually be Yashua (not Jesus).  Sir Nicholas Born, the assistant (and a relative of Max Born and Olivia Newton-John), stated that he couldn't give an official answer to Karen on that but did say to Karen a question of if the church didn't use his actual name then is it actually blasphemy (against Yashua) if they don't use his actual name (Jesus) type of question back.  Karen also did share with the assistant her list of her past lives from her past regressive therapy session in San Diego in 1977 or 1978.  Karen did have the past life memory of Mary Magdala (not Magdalene).  The church was aware of the information Karen had about Mary Magdala and that Karen's information was accurate, but as far as officially, the church still had to maintain their story even though they had information that disproved that story they had to maintain.

Karen understood it to be God, then God's son (Holy Spirit) then His grandson Yashua (and Yashua's reincarnations as well as Mary Magdala's incarnations and Magdalene instead of Magdala as if she really was his wife then could be more problems, so Magdalene instead of Magdala as well like Jesus instead of Yashua and Moses instead of Mosha and so on).  But who is to know for sure until after someone passes away to know for sure.  Yeah, Karen was living so that being dead stuff doesn't apply to the living but something for her and others to think about in the mean time.

Karen's deepest secret that she kept the most secret was that she had asked God if He could give her a heart that beat steady (get rid of her arrhythmia).  God's answer seemed to be "no" on that one.

199. Why did Karen turn down "Rock with You" for her solo album?

Karen actually did not turn that song down.  There was more there than what was made public.  In mid May 1979 just before Rod Temperton left for LA to work with Michael Jackson, Rod told Karen and me what had actually happened there.  For what happened (including the making of the songs "Rock with You", "Off the Wall", "She's Out of My Life" and "Burn This Disco Out")...

The first producer thought of for Karen's solo album was a guy by the name of Eddie Kramer (Jimi Hendrix, Kiss, etc.)  Karen and Eddie met together in either late March or more likely early April 1979.  I was there at the meeting with Karen and Eddie and when I introduced myself to Eddie I remember using my Confusion greeting with Eddie, which went,
“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.” to which Eddie replied something like, "Your delivery is a little off and I don't really work with comedians." and we shook hands and then Eddie was sitting next to Karen and I sat on the other side of the desk.  Karen and Eddie talked quite a bit and Eddie mentioned that he was used to doing artists that wrote their own material and Eddie knew that Richard wrote but that Karen didn't write her own material.  Eddie and Karen were also both Pisces so Eddie said that they would be compatible working together but Eddie just felt that Karen would be better off  going with someone else that possibly had more experience working with someone that didn't write their own material.  Eddie also gave the same speech that he gave to all his clients which he called the raison d'etre (french) or the reason of being / purpose speech that he had given to Jimi Hendrix and had also inspired Kiss' song "Rock And Roll All Nite".  After thinking a little Eddie Kramer mentioned Phil Ramone and gave Karen one of Phil's business cards.  Eddie also warned Karen that Phil had a habit of asking his clients to spend time with him and that Phil would try to bolster sales for his clients by trying to get secret information from his clients to put in the tabloids.  Eddie warned Karen that if Karen contacted Phil to make sure that any skeletons in her closet or such were kept hidden from Phil.  This was in late March or early April 1979.

After the meeting with Eddie Kramer, Karen had a melody stuck in her head of "I wanna uh with you, uh, uh, uh, uh" that she would kind of sing and dance to here and there starting a couple days after Eddie's visit.

Karen did contact Phil Ramone and Phil had signed on Rod Temperton as a songwriter for Karen's sessions as well as control room operator and voice arranger and other stuff as the need arose.  Rod had worked on the project since it first started on May 1 or 2, 1979.  The sessions started on May 1 or 2, 1979 and demos were sifted through and such and Phil would not let Karen even attempt "She's Out of My Life" because as Phil put it, it was too much like a Carpenters song.  So other songs were worked on.  That first Thursday after the sessions started, Karen was either doing dishes or setting the table and Karen started doing her "I wanna uh with you, uh, uh, uh, uh" song and dance.  Then Rod said something like, "Hey, that's got kind of a beat to it; what brought all this on?"  And then Karen told Rod the story about Karen and me and how I was too young.  To which Rod replied, "Have you two ever thought of becoming jewish?" (as the legal age in Israel is 13).  Then Rod and Karen sat down at Phil's kitchen table and worked on the "Rock with You" song based on Karen's melody and the story Karen told Rod about me (which was where the close your eyes and such ideas came from).  As Rod told Karen, "I have a gift for gab".  So towards the end of the first week of sessions, Rod and Karen worked on coming up with a demo version of the song in the studio but each time, Rod would interrupt the recording so there was never actually a full demo done of the song with Karen but the song had been finished enough and the full lyrics had been written within a day or two of that Thursday.  Rod had laminated the original lyric sheet which was a sheet of holed notebook paper just in case he spilled his coffee again.  In the second or third week of May, Karen had the lyric sheet on her, and I had seen where the lyrics and the song had been nearly completed.  Just a couple slight touch ups later.  But I can't remember for sure now but I am pretty sure the original first word was "boy" instead of "girl" but with possible publicity concerns, Karen and Rod had also done "baby" and "darling" as the first word.  I do know the verses and the choruses had been completed.  The first time was "Share that beat of love" and the second time was to be "Snare shot that beat of love" but didn't quite come out like that on Michael's version.  But yeah, Karen and her drums, snare shot.  Michael understood too but that n looked like an h on the lyric sheet and Michael's solo album had been worked on for a couple years and the record company and Quincy Jones were anxious to get the record out so it was good enough and Michael's "Off the Wall" album was finished and put into production in the beginning of June 1979.  Rod had actually snuck Karen copies of the songs "Rock with You", "Off the Wall" and "She's Out of My Life" to Karen on cassette tape which Karen played loudly in her car while be boppin' down the road.

In mid May 1979, there was an incident that happened between me and a guy named Max.  Karen was going to be kind of unavailable for a couple weeks.  So Karen called up Phil's house and Rod answered.  Rod said that he was alone so we talked together, Rod on the one end and Karen and me on the other end.  Karen and me told Rod the situation and Rod asked Karen if she'd got a call from Phil yet.  Karen hadn't got a call so Rod filled me and Karen in that Phil had lost a bet with Quincy Jones about Phil winning the 1979 Grammy Award and part of that bet was that Phil owed Quincy Jones 3 songs for losing that bet (Phil had bet Quincy that Phil wouldn't get a Grammy Award in 1979 and Phil won the award).  Rod had "She's Out of My Life" and "Rock with You" but still needed a third song yet.  So, no, Karen didn't actually turn down the "Rock with You" song, but because of the problem with the Phil and Quincy bet, some sneaky stuff had been going on behind the scenes and Rod actually came clean with Karen and me about it during that mid May phone call.  Rod was alone as Phil and Itchie had gone to the store to get stuff for Rod and Rod's trip out to LA to work with Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones. 

But Rod still needed an idea for a third song.  Just before hanging up and after our talk, Rod started coming up with the "Off the Wall" song that Rod actually wrote on his plane ride out to LA to work with Quincy and Michael.  The Off the Wall song was written by Rod about Karen and an incident that happened at a pub (as Rod called it, I think Studio 54 but not sure) where Rod had been hitting on (flirting?) with Debbie Gibson (not the singer) and Karen had pulled a cue stick (which Rod thought was a baseball bat) and chased Roddy Woddy around the pub pretending to be an ex-girlfriend of Roddy Woddy as a prank.  But during the phone call, Rod had said off the wall a few times and Rod wrote the song about Karen personally and also about the pub incident as Karen was an off the wall kind of person.

While landing in LA, there was a building on fire that could be seen out of the plane window.  One of the passengers said it was a local disco and with that, Rod got an idea for a fourth song, "Burn This Disco Out".  "Burn This Disco Out" was never a consideration for Karen's solo album.

At some point in time before mid May 1979, Karen had met with an old friend named Tom Bahler.  I know Rod Temperton met Tom as well at some point in time.  But Tom had given Karen the song "She's Out of My Life" to Karen if Karen wished to use it at some point in time.  Tom and Karen and Richard had met before back when the Carpenters first started and the Bahlers sang but also ran a car dealership on the east coast.  The Carpenters had been asked to write a jingle for Bahler's automobile dealership and the new Ford Maverick and just after agreeing was when the Carpenters were signed to A&M Records in April 1969.  But at the time they met again in 1978 and / or 1979 Tom had recently broke up with his girlfriend, Rhoda or Rhonda, and Tom had written that song based on the breakup (so the song had nothing to do with Karen, personally).

At first, Karen was pretty shook up over losing "Rock with You" but after the other songs and Karen and her "three signs from God", Karen took the events as meaning that God didn't want Karen to have a solo career and that Karen and Richard would always be Carpenters together.  The problem was that the contract still required a solo album from Karen.  But in a smart move in the beginning, there was an 'out' clause as since Karen had been the one to put up the money, Karen could shelve the album without technically violating the contract.  The only three that could have shelved the album were Herb Alpert, Jerry Moss and Karen.  At the last minute, Karen asked if she could shelve it (I believe March 25?, 1980) and after Herb Alpert had left the room, Jerry Moss said "yes" and then Karen shelved the album.  Karen enjoyed working with other people and such, but it just wasn't the same for her without her brother.  And when you reread question #110 about what happened to start Karen's solo, it wasn't Karen's idea anyway and Karen was kind of roped into it by their manager Jerry Weintraub who wanted something to do besides twiddle his thumbs.
And a revisit here from question #154 with that advertising blurb Karen and me came up with for her solo album, "Here it is finally, the album you've all been waiting for by Karen Carpenter that spawned such hits as 'Rock with You', 'She's Out of My Life' and 'Off the Wall' for Michael Jackson is now released.  Isn't it lovely as it has Karen Carpenter's name and picture on it and all this stuff that was leftover after the good stuff was given away to Michael Jackson.  I proudly present to you Karen's first solo album, 'A Can of Worms' with all this stuff that Phil Ramone felt wasn't good enough to give away to anyone else."  Honestly, Richard didn't know much about what went on and Rod Temperton was not allowed to talk and neither Phil Ramone nor Quincy Jones were ever going to confess about what happened with those songs that were siphoned off.  If Karen had actually wanted that album released, it would have been released.  I know from my talks with Karen in June 1981 and also our phone call on February 3, 1983 that Karen absolutely did not want that album released and if you read questions #111 & #154, that was why.

200. And oops, one of my own questions here, who was/were the one(s) that started the "If you respect Karen then you need to post something bad about her brother and mother" stuff on posting places?

Good question.  I don't know.  I've asked, but no one will answer.  I know it is wrong to bully others and that to me is definitely bullying others.  And so I told them and then asked them, "I knew Karen and Karen had never said anything bad about her mother or her brother so why should I say something bad about her mother or her brother when Karen never did?" and they could ban me, but apparently they couldn't answer that question I had which is why I really don't want anything to do with those that badmouth Karen's family because of some faulty anorexic profile that never matched Karen or her family.

Trying to figure it out on my own, I am pretty sure it has some warped beginnings with those that worship the anorexia profile but don't really try to understand actual problems associated with someone who has a problem with not eating (anorexia, a lack of eating disorder, not just an eating disorder).

And after several bad incidents myself and seeing them gang attack myself as well as others, I don't associate with them as people have noticed.  I belong to groups and not gangs as people have also noticed.

201. What kind of deodorant did Karen use?

I remember it was a roll-on (that round plastic ball type) but I can't remember the name of it or if it was men's or women's. 

I also can't remember for sure if Karen may have used a spray at times for when exercising or such. 

Karen usually had a lot of quirks where under certain circumstances she would do things one way while under other circumstances she would do things another way.

Try not to quote me on this but I think Karen used Ban (men's) roll-on and Right Guard spray when I knew her from September 1978 to June 1979.  Not positive though but I am positive that Karen and me used to joke around that they didn't make a Left Guard.

202. What kind of toothpaste did Karen use?

I don't remember for sure.  I think it was Colgate because Crest had too much of a minty aftertaste but I might have that backwards too.

203. What kind of floss did Karen use for her teeth?

Karen used regular white dental floss.  Karen would not use any floss that had color to it (mint green or blue or such).

204. What kind of shampoo did Karen use?

I can't remember for sure on this either.  I know she used a separate conditioner as well.  I also know she used a brand that was gentle on dyed hair.  But again here, I don't remember.  It was also a brand that was for split ends, but still drawing a blank on it.

205. Did Karen have Asperger's Syndrome?

Karen had all of the quirks associated with Asperger's but she was never officially diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome.

206. What size hat did Karen wear?

I don't know.  I know Karen wore wigs and baseball caps, but I'm not sure on size.  Karen did have a small head and usually had her baseball cap on the first notch in the back.  Six and three quarters (6¾)?  I'm not sure if six and three quarters existed back then as a size so Karen probably had six and seven eighths (maybe both?).

207. Did Karen Carpenter ever appear in Playboy magazine?

Not in pictures, but because of a reader drummer poll, Karen's name did appear in Playboy magazine in the mid 1970s (1975?, 1976?).

Karen and I talked a little bit about it around March 1979 I think it was.  Ronald Reagan was in the running for being the Republican Presidential candidate so of course "Bedtime for Bonzo" and from that, like usual, our talk changed over to "Bonzo" Bonham.  Karen and me had talked about drummers several times since we met in September 1978 and Bonzo's name had come up a couple times before (there were 12 drummers names that came up for being able to do 'monotone' and Bonzo was one of them and later Alex Van Halen became number 13 plus Karen had mentioned Led Zeppelin a couple times as well) but I think it was around March 1979 when Karen mentioned the Playboy drummer poll stuff that had happened.  As far as the hallowed 12 (I can't remember them all for sure now but...) - Buddy Rich, Gene Krupa, Sandy Nelson, Earl Palmer, Buddy Miles, Ginger Baker, Mitch Mitchell, Keith Moon, John Henry 'Bonzo' Bonham, Mel Taylor, Roger Taylor and one more (I think it was Howie Johnson before his accident but I can't verify that for sure as I also remember Louie Bellson being mentioned but I am nearly positive that it was Howie Johnson because of the 'before his accident' reference).  But these were considered the fastest drummers at the time (up to 1978 - 1979)...

Playboy magazine had run a poll for drummers and Karen's name was one of the drummers listed in the poll.  Karen did not win the poll, but she had appeared on the poll directly above John "Bonzo" Bonham of Led Zeppelin.  Karen was surprised about that too as John had done a lot of complicated stuff with odd time signatures and such. 

But Karen had not heard anything directly from John Bonham about any of that stuff but she had heard indirectly that there was apparently stuff said in the magazine making it sound almost like there was a feud between Karen and Bonzo.  In private, Karen and Bonzo went in different circles as the Carpenters were a Vegas act while Led Zeppelin did stadiums and such.  Karen and Bonzo didn't really cross paths or such in real life. 

Karen didn't really agree with the poll and Karen had called the writer of the article up and had given him a statement, but the writer did not use that statement so anything in those Playboy articles saying that "Karen said", Karen didn't actually say that stuff.   But polls are based on opinions for what it's worth.

There was supposedly one of the comments that struck Karen as kind of funny with a phrase of "Can't cut the mustard" as that was an old saying from back when and after you think about it, cutting mustard?  Try it sometimes.  Grab a butter knife or such and squeeze some mustard on a plate and then try cutting that mustard.  Yeah, it's kind of a funny saying really.  It is intended to mean "not good enough" but not sure how anyone could be good enough to cut mustard that appears to be impossible to cut.

But as far as in the real world, Karen and Bonzo didn't really see each other or talk with each other so there was never a feud there or such between Karen and Bonzo that Karen was ever aware of. 

As far as with Karen, it was the Playboy writer and not Karen behind that stuff, but Karen couldn't really comment on Bonzo's behalf about what was actually said by Bonzo or not. 

Karen took that stuff with a grain of salt actually. 

But yes, Karen's name had appeared in Playboy magazine at one time but no pictures or photo shoot or such and the stuff written in any of the articles was not what Karen had actually said or such.

208. Did Karen have any pets?

Karen had two dogs (dawgs, that pennsylvania dutch accent thing) named Lady (German Shepard) and Mush (Albino Malamute / Samoyed). 

Many times Karen would leave Lady with Richard so that Richard had company too but Lady was still technically Karen's dog. 

But Karen and Mush were more the kind of footloose and fancy free types while Richard and Lady were a bit more laid back. 

When Karen was younger and in Connecticut, she dragged a neighbor's dog (Great Dane?) home with the leash and tags still on and tried to say it was a stray and if they could keep him.  It was a difficult task with Karen being young and hanging on the leash for dear life while almost being dragged down the street.  For some reason the family didn't think a dog that had tags, a collar and a leash was a stray and the neighbor's dog was returned.  A short while later the family got a Beagle named Snoopy.  Another while later Snoopy had got loose and was hit by a car but did survive but did pass away shortly after from complications from the car incident.  Yes, Karen was heartbroke afterwards and Karen told me that she always had a rough time dealing with others that passed away.

209. Do you know anything about Karen's "The money maker's in the basement" comment?

I am not sure when that comment was made, if that comment was first made after September 6, 1978 then I know where that comment came from. 

After Richard had said he quit after the Las Vegas show on September 4, 1978 Karen snuck off and started living with her step cousin Wendy in New York State (not the city).  After being there a little while Karen met a girl and Karen and this girl used to talk quite a bit together as this girl had some problems and Karen was always one to try and help people sort out their problems.  The girl's name I believe was Mary and she had a mother named Mary as well and two brothers, Tim and Brian.  The daughter Mary's father had been arrested not too long before for counterfeiting and the printing press that her father used was actually located in the basement of the house.  The money maker's in the basement.  (Yes, that also has been said by several prostitutes as well and Karen always loved stuff with a double meaning to it, but this had a triple meaning, her voice, counterfeiting and prostitution). 

But Mary talked several times with Karen about her situation and how her older brother, Tim, kept getting in trouble because other kids would pick on him because his dad was in prison.  Mary also told Karen about her younger brother, Brian, who was starting to get into trouble as well and how Brian had brain damage from an accident that happened at a parade where Brian had been hit in the head with a rifle butt during a parade. 

But if this was first said after September 1978 then the inspiration was from a guy that had a family and the guy's name was Bill (William).  Karen used to talk quite a bit with Bill's family and that was probably where her inspiration for that comment came from, not a prostitute.  But maybe it was a prostitute if she first said it before September 1978.  And yes, Karen always loved puns (play on words).  And yes, Karen had also met the family of a guy named Bill and that guy had been put in prison for counterfeiting.

And a continuation here on a private matter.  Karen had run off in September 1978 and started living with her step cousin Wendy in September 1978.  On December 1980, this small area in New York State had made the papers out in Downey California and as Karen had a long habit of being and hanging around 'troublemakers (black sheep)', the family wondered if Karen also knew these other individuals that made national headlines. 

Karen's answer was that she had seen them riding around the area in their Corvette but her step cousin Wendy had warned Karen and Karen had figured they were 'trouble'.  So Karen had not really met them but she had seen them a couple times from a distance. 

But Karen had left the area to live back with her family in June 1979 in Downey and yeah, a year and a half later the area makes national headlines after a couple locals had shot a pair of undercover police officers in a small town in New York State where Karen had stayed for about 9 months with her step cousin Wendy from September 1978 to June 1979.  Yes, Karen could sure liven up a place in a hurry. 

And also, yes, it was kind of a joke with her family to pick on Karen (and Karen would pick on herself too) for her tending to find and get into trouble.  And as Karen could tell you, getting in trouble can lead to some very interesting stories if others had the time to listen.  But she actually avoided trouble on that one for once.

210. Was Karen sad before she passed away?

Actually, no.  Karen had been a little down in the dumps here and there after what had happened since 1980, but Karen was honestly looking ahead to a brighter future before she passed away. 

Karen's dreams as a kid didn't work out as planned when she got older.  Karen had always wanted a big wedding and she got that but then found out it was with the wrong man. 

Karen had run across a giant smoke screen with mirrors that started around 1980.  All of Karen's illusions started falling apart and reality set in with her.  And after that, Karen started realizing that her reality far eclipsed those illusions that had appeared when she was younger.  Castles and mansions aren't better than a white house with a white picket fence.  Younger people can be more mature than older people.  It wasn't the events or such but the people that made the difference.  And with that realization, Karen hit bottom a couple times from June 1979 until the time she passed away. 

But before Karen passed away she was not sad but looking ahead to a brighter future that wasn't filled with smoke screens and mirrors.  Karen was looking forward to eloping with a guy, me (Adrian), that we had many wonderful memories we shared together and were looking forward to creating many more wonderful memories to share together.  There had been a tour date scheduled for late February 1983 but most of the touring had been set up for June 1983 and later.  Richard and Karen were looking to get in the studio some more and see about coming up with a new album to be released while they were on tour.  Of course tour rehearsals with the band and the band getting back together again.  Karen was also looking forward to getting her divorce from Thomas and getting her life back again, which Thomas had signed the divorce papers.  Karen had also had an idea of me writing her autobiography as there were many interesting stories and events that had happened that Karen had wanted to share with others as well as advice too. 

Karen was looking to try and start a family of her own, not to get away from her family, but to add on to the wonderful family she already had and become a larger part of her family with two point four kids - a son, a daughter and a point four midget that we kept in the basement like every other typical American family at the time.  Statistics don't lie you know.  And the white picket fence too around the town house in Bel Air.  Settling down and no more wild oat sowing or whatever other people did. 

So Karen had been doing a lot of soul searching before she passed away. 

Karen had also been staying steady at around 108 pounds since around mid November 1982 and her and her mom had came up with a plan where Karen only weighed herself once a week (Friday mornings) which had appeared to be keeping Karen's weight steady. 

Karen's downers weren't actually her solo album being shelved or her divorce as with Karen those were good things, not bad.  A bad thing was if that solo album had been released or if Thomas wouldn't sign the divorce papers. 

Karen had a problem she was hiding of having her tattoo removed and getting hepatitis from a dirty needle and the shot for the hepatitis would cause Karen's heart to race but she didn't want people to know she had hepatitis but she also didn't want to hug people either and take a chance of it spreading. 

So Karen had a couple problems before she passed away but Karen felt everything was finally getting better after realizing that you can't live a life filled with smoke screens and mirrors without it sooner or later come crashing down. 

The crash had happened and Karen was actually happier and looking forward to a more brighter future and was not really sad or depressed about it (and again, Valium was for depression, not Ativan.  You know Valium, as Ativan was just a muscle and nerve relaxant for those with twitching and the shakes and such).  We wouldn't be able to appreciate the good days, if we didn't have the bad days to look back on for comparison.  And those that make bad days seem better are always very special and caring people.  Anyone can hug or hold hands but only caring people are the ones that make others truly feel better (or worst to those that don't actually care about others). 

And Karen also figured she would be a shoe in for the Evita movie down the road after the play ran its course on Broadway and such. 

Karen was looking to a brighter future and not really sad or such about the past things that hadn't worked out so well for her.

211. Did Karen ever meet Billy Joel?

The answer to this I am fairly sure is yes. 

The reason why is that Karen and me had discussed baby names around March of 1979 and during that talk the name Christie Lee Brinkley came up during our Kristi Lynn talk (question #85).  The reason I am fairly sure is that it was kind of odd that Karen and me had mentioned her and then her name was mentioned again around June 1979 while Karen was doing her solo album.  And the reason why she was mentioned in June 1979 was because I believe Karen had met Billy Joel and I am not sure if Billy had just talked about Christie or if Christie may have actually been there as well. 

So I am fairly sure about Billy Joel, but not sure about Christie and unfortunately, Karen isn't around to ask on that one to be sure here. 

As far as the people that Karen and I met together (1978 to 1979 and Thomas Burris in 1981), try this page celebs.html

As far as stuff during Karen's solo album and people Karen met during that try this page karensolosongs.html

Karen had also mentioned meeting Margaret Hamilton and I believe she also mentioned President Nixon and Pat Nixon as well as the German Chancellor, Willy (Wilhelm?) Brandt.  Karen had also mentioned John Lennon and Paul McCartney and Paul's brother, Mike McGear.  Karen had also mentioned that her favorite Beatle was Ringo and that at one time, Karen and Ringo had the same drum sets (but Karen never said she met or didn't meet Ringo that I can remember.  It probably would have been one of her life highlights so I keep thinking that she never met Ringo but not a definitive answer there on my part, just an educated guess).  Karen had met Eve Plumb (Brady Bunch) back when and Karen and Eve kind of had the same vocabulary.  Karen also did mention that one of her favorite songs was "Different Drum" written by Michael Nesmith (of the Monkees).  Karen also mentioned (around 1978 or 1979) that she knew that one of the Monkees's moms had invented Liquid Paper.  As far as The Monkees, Karen mentioned her favorites were Michael and Micky (drummer) but I don't ever remember Karen mentioning whether she did or didn't meet any of The Monkees.  I know that the Carpenters and The Monkees travelled in different circles.  I also know that of the group, Karen wanted to meet Michael the most because of the song "Different Drum".  I wish I knew for sure if the Liquid Paper comment Karen made was from Michael, himself, or if Karen had read it in a magazine somehwere.  In addition to that is that Karen told me she had met Bobby (as all his friends call him Bobby not Robert) Goullet and Karen referred to Michael Nesmith only as Michael not Mike.  But speculation and second guessing is not the same as actually knowing for sure, so as far as Michael, I don't know.  I think the closest Karen may have got with Michael may have been a fan letter or such from Michael, but Karen isn't around anymore to check on that to be sure.  Karen had met a lot of people over the years.  Far too many to list I feel.

212. What about Karen and Bette Midler?  Was there ever a feud between them?

Yes, that was an awkward situation especially for Bette.  But no, there was never a feud or such between them.  Karen understood that Bette was just trying to distance herself from being seen as being a goody two shoes and such.  Karen got tired of that public image stuff as well at times.  Off screen there wasn't any bad feelings from Karen towards Bette.  Karen understood all too well that public image of being clean cut and such and Karen got tired of that image herself at times too so she understood. 

But it was the era where being nice was seen as being bad whereas being bad was supposed to be good.  As people have figured out recently, the media has had some screws loose for a long time now.

213. What exactly did Phil Ramone write in the credits for Karen's solo album?

Hint, you should probably buy the CD with the booklet and read the booklet.  But the CD has been out of print at times so for reference here...

TO COMPLETELY UNDERSTAND the love and adventure of Karen’s solo project, people should know that we made a conscious decision to experiment with music and styles that were not in the Carpenters’ albums.  We wanted their fans, as well as a new audience, to hear one of the greatest voices in a different surrounding.  We knew some things were trendy and that the intimate songs would express her love of all music.

IT WAS INCONCEIVABLE to those of us involved with the project that a rumor might spread regarding the end of the Carpenters.  That truly was beyond the realm of possibility; Karen loved Richard and the music they made together.  I’ve always related to Richard’s arrangements and composing with deep admiration and we remain friends.

THE LOVE OF BILLY JOEL’S BAND – Rod Temperton and the other players, who had the best time working with her – gave Karen Carpenter’s work in New York a sparkle that can be heard on this album.  Karen and the rest of us who worked on this project understood the decision to wait on the release.

AS YEARS PASSED, both Richard and I wondered when it might be released.  Together we stand proud as this was a piece of work that meant so much to Karen.  It was truly a labor of love.

I HAVE NOT REMIXED or done anything to the tapes.  These mixes, the material and style are the way Karen approved them.  The bonus track is unmixed and was one of several that might have been finished.

I MISS HER TERRIBLY – but I know she’s watching with a smile.


Note, it doesn't sound like Karen was looking to leave her brother to me either according to what Phil wrote for the liner notes for that album.  But yes, for reference.  This information checks out and is accurate.

214. Did Karen wear pantyhose?

Karen preferred not to wear pantyhose but she would need to on occasion.  She usually wore L'Eggs taupe pantyhose but she would try different brands, colors and styles at times.

215. Did Karen prefer a one piece swimsuit or a bikini?

Karen actually preferred skinny dipping if she could get away with it.  A nude beach as well.  But if not, it depended on the situation.  If swimming Karen would prefer a one piece suit.  If trying to get a tan, a bikini.  But again, if the option was available, nope, neither.

216. Did Karen prefer pants, dresses or skirts?

Again, depending on situation.  If it was windy, Karen would prefer pants as the wind wasn't likely to blow up her pants.  Karen actually preferred long skirts or dresses that  would be around 6 inches from the ground.  Dresses were also a bit more difficult to get in or out of than a skirt and blouse.  And as always, depending on the situation as at times, casual, at times, formal, and at times, who cares.  Karen didn't like stuff that rubbed up against her skin so she preferred loose clothing.  Karen's favorite was always trying to wear something that matched "The Emperor's New Clothes".  In later years, on lower stages and TV show stages Karen preferred a long dress, on raised stages Karen preferred pants as the audience couldn't look up her pants.

217. Did Karen know how to use chopsticks?

Yes.  Karen learned a lot from her family.  Her mom, dad, brother and her cousin Joanie as well.   Karen's dad grew up in China and her dad personally knew a bit about the customs and traditions and such.  Like Rod Temperton and her dad, Karen was always fascinated with learning about different cultures and different perspectives and ideas and such.

And as Karen was a very likable person, she had many friends she learned from as well.

218. What were Karen's first words?

The family wasn't positive on which, but it was either "Stop it" or "Bye bye".

The reason I remember Karen and me talking about this is because I told her my story back.  My parents had two beagle dogs that they kept out back named Emmie and Inky.  When I was growing up the dogs would start barking and my dad would yell out the window, "Shut the f*** up".  So publicly, I would tell people my first words were "Shut up" but since Karen and me talked in private Karen heard the whole "Shut the f*** up" story of my first words.  That talk was when I found out that Karen was not fond of (borderline hated) the f word.

A couple times Karen and  me told others that we made a great couple because our first words were "Stop it" and "Shut up".  The two key phrases to any lasting relationship.  Only after being in a lasting relationship do guys learn to stop it and women learn to shut up.  You know, "The look".  And all women have the "Don't do it" look and all men have the "Don't say it" look.  Stop it and shut up.  Karen and Ace.  Soul mates from the beginning apparently.

219. What was the name of Karen's steamer trunk?

Blackula.  I believe Karen also had a matching 23 piece set of luggage (I believe American Tourister, burgundy color?, tan?, baby blue?).

220. Was Richard really 'the favorite'?

Yes, actually, Richard was the favorite and here is the stories and information Karen told me about all of that...

It first started when Karen was younger and Karen's mom hated dirt.  Karen used to get dirty playing baseball and drag mud through the house at times.  So Karen's mom came up with an idea of Richard being 'the favorite' and hoping that if Karen wanted to be the favorite too that maybe Karen would stop getting dirty and dragging mud through the house.  It didn't work really.  Karen wasn't one to like being praised or pampered or babied or any of that so Karen didn't want to be 'the favorite' anyway.  Karen liked being humble not praised.  In Karen's words, "I'd rather be yelled at than fussed over".

Karen liked being 'the black sheep' and 'the underdog' not 'the favorite'.  It wasn't really Richard's choice either but Karen kind of stuck Richard with that favorite moniker.  For Karen's thoughts on this to me in 1978 (and later)...  "Favorites like keeping their ducks in a row.  I like letting my ducks wander."  "Favorites are the ones that put the round pegs in the round holes and the square pegs in the square holes and that is why they are favorites because they do like everyone else expects them to do.  I'm a black sheep and I like putting the round pegs in the square holes and the square pegs in the round holes and if they don't fit you just need to use a bigger mallet.  I like being different."

And with it not working, Karen's mom almost gave up on the idea.  But Karen noticed that Richard wasn't much for that 'favorite' moniker either but also Richard was the one, not Karen, that would have some self esteem issues here and there.  But Karen would actually pick on Richard about Richard being 'the favorite' and with being the favorite and such, a "mama's boy".  Karen was actually like her mom and Richard was actually like his dad.  It was actually Karen's idea to keep the 'favorite' stuff going as both mom and Karen had noticed that Richard had kind of been around the house and didn't get out that much (but hey, there was this great piano that Richard loved playing that couldn't really leave the house too well).  So Karen asked her mom to lavish praises on Richard and such and call him 'the favorite' while behind the scenes, Karen had Richard convinced that if people saw his mom doing that kind of stuff that people would start calling Richard a "mama's boy".  Yes, soap opera stuff with all that "stuff going on behind the scenes" type mentality.  And speaking of behind the scenes, behind the scenes Karen and her mom always shared a saying between themselves of "Behind every successful man is a strong woman."  In Richard's case there were two strong women, Karen and mom.  But what guy wants to be seen as a "mama's boy"?  And Richard did start getting out of the house more (with a little behind the scenes urging from his sister here and there).  And honestly here, Karen was like her mom and Richard was like his dad, so mama's boy?  Mama's boys aren't like their dad just for a reference here.  Just like daddy's girls aren't like their moms.  But Karen and her mom were both tomboys and Richard and his dad were both the kind that loved to work and keep busy and then collapse in the EZ chair after the day was done.

And as Richard got older and with the fame and such, Richard did a lot of work but most of the praises went to Karen publicly.  So at times some self esteem issues for Richard.  Plus, Karen didn't want praise and attention and such (whether in public or private) but Richard would feel pretty left out at times and like 'chopped liver' and such.  Karen didn't want to get a "big head".  Karen didn't really have an ego or an alter ego either.  But as far as publicity, Karen was 'the favorite' and Richard was looked at as 'chopped liver' and "Karen's brother" and that kind of stuff.  Remember too that back in the 60's and 70's women were still looked at as subservant to men (and they still are actually thanks to the women's movement that Karen wasn't too fond of, question #118). 

In reality, behind the scenes, Richard and Karen always saw themselves as equals but they did each have their own strengths and weaknesses.  Karen and Richard always tried to work with each of their strengths together and leave those weakness things in another room.  Equals.  With the women's rights movement (which Karen didn't support) and all that in the 1970s, Karen got more attention than Richard publicly.

But there was a lot more behind the scenes stuff with that favorite stuff.  And like said, anyone that ever thinks that Karen wanted to be 'the favorite' never really knew Karen that well.  Karen loved being the 'black sheep' and 'the underdog (not that helpless Polly Pureheart chick)'.  Karen and her mom always had way more secrets between themselves than Karen and Richard had between themselves.  But, shh, if you tell, it's not a secret now is it.

221. Did Karen ever blame herself for Richard's Quaalude addiction?

Yes, but to understand why, keep reading here...

Karen's blaming herself had nothing to do with her family or such but had to do with an incident in January 1973.  As far as the incident...

In January 1973, Karen and Richard and their dad and cousin Mark Rudolph were riding motorcycles together.  They had been staying on the public path and had come upon a private path (unpoliced, no rules) and Karen and her search for adventure and no rules and such.  So Karen took off on her own down the private path where there were no rules.  Richard had noticed a couple other riders up ahead (that Karen hadn't noticed) and so Richard cut around and got himself between the other riders and Karen.  If it hadn't been for Richard's quick thinking, Karen would have definitely been seriously injured but most likely killed as Karen and the other riders were both going full speed and heading straight for each other.  Richard got in front of the other riders and ditched his bike and the other riders and Karen didn't collide.  Richard saved the day.  However, there was an accident and in the process Richard had a broken leg, a sprained wrist and a broken wrist (a cast on his leg and a cast on each of his wrists after being in the hospital).  So anyone that ever led others to think that Richard was always selfish and such, shame on you, but (butt?) everyone is entitled to their opinions (and any backlash that may arise if those opinions are a bit off).  In January 1973 Richard risked his career and his life (I probably wrote that backwards, but eh) to help keep his sister safe after Karen had been reckless (a well known Karen Carpenter trait).  Richard and Karen always cared very deeply about each other and always tried to look after each other.  Karen used to carry a picture of Richard sitting in the yellow chair with his casts after Richard had got out of the hospital from the motorcycle accident in January 1973.  Karen was always proud to whip out that picture and say how brave and caring her brother was and how Richard had saved her life.

After the accident, Richard had been given some pain pills (Karen didn't know about her mom giving Richard Quaaludes, sleeping pills, before then).  So as Richard started taking more pills, Karen had always figured it was her fault that her brother had got addicted to taking pills.  No one except Karen ever blamed Karen for Richard's pill problem, but it was understandable how Karen felt that way.  Karen had been reckless.  But also too, that was Karen and Richard wouldn't want Karen to be any other way than herself.  And remember too, chicks dig scars and brave men who risk their lives and save their sister and such.  And yes, for Karen to consider a friend of hers to be "good enough" for her brother was one of Karen's highest compliments she could give to a fellow girl / woman.

Which this then leads into question #106 which happened in December 1978 over 5 years after the accident which led to how I knew about information for that question and this question too.

Richard nor mom ever blamed Karen for Richard's addiction that I was ever aware of.  I did know though that Karen had blamed herself and she had even told me that she blamed herself even though Karen had told me that her family had never blamed her for Richard's addiction.

Head scratching requires a bit of thought, whereas I feel butt scratching requires a bit of nonsense (bullsh*t).  So finally a butt scratch on this one after thinking about why would self called experts on Karen not want people knowing about Richard and the motorcycle accident in January 1973 where Richard could have possibly ended his life and career (maybe that is the right order) to help out his sister?  Surely if they were the experts they claim to be they would have known about this from Karen, correct?  But then thinking about some of these self proclaimed 'experts', they seem to think that they knew more about Karen than Karen knew about herself which leads to some more serious butt scratching from what I've been seeing, hearing and reading from these kinds of people.

222. What was Karen's favorite men's cologne to smell?

As Pete Rose was "Charlie Hustle", there was always something about an Aqua Velva man (after shave).  I remember Karen did not like Hi Karate at all.  Karen preferred light scents that weren't too overwhelming and nothing really musky.  At the time, I didn't wear cologne or after shave and Karen said I smelled like Cap'N Crunch cereal (but I actually ate Kellogg's Raisin Bran cereal at the time and I drank almost nothing but milk).

223. Did Karen have an inny or an outty belly button?


224. Do you know who Karen's favorite actor and acress were?

In 1978 and 1979 it was John Wayne "the Duke" and Katharine Hepburn.  It probably changed over the years though.  But from 1978 to 1979 Karen was tired of the movie industry trying to change the men's image into some wishy washy wimp and trying to turn women into hood ornaments.  John Wayne was never wishy washy and Katharine Hepburn was never a hood ornament for some flashy car.

225. What diets did Karen try?

That is actually discussed by Richard in the "Carpenters - The Musical Legacy" book written by Mike Cidoni Lennox and Chris May with additional information provided by Richard Carpenter.  It is discussed a little bit in chapter 8.  Karen had tried the Stillman Diet when she was younger.  In the mid 70s Karen tried a personal trainer and that didn't go too well either.  Outside that, Karen kind of did her own thing and didn't really go back to other people's diets, programs or such.

226. How tall was Karen?

5 feet 4 inches tall.

227. About how much does a British stone weigh?

About 14 US pounds.

228. Did Karen ever say she had stage fright?

Actually no.  Karen told me she never had stage fright.  Karen would, however, get nervous that something might go wrong while on stage but she had never been afraid to go on stage.  Karen also told me that someone had mentioned to her that when they got nervous going on stage, they would picture people in the audience in their underwear.  Unfortunately, I can't remember for sure now if Karen said she actually did that or not.  But Karen wouldn't get stage fright but she would get nervous about stuff possibly going wrong (like tripping over her heels, having her dress get caught on something, dropping the microphone, equipment failure, etc.).

229. Could Karen make herself burp?

Yes.  Karen had not figured out how to sing while burping though.  She could talk while burping at times but not sing.  She had tried.  And if at first you don't succeed, try, try again...

230. Why did the Carpenters move out to California in 1963?

Karen and me had this talk back in the fall of 1978 after a new kid, Jay, had moved into the area where Karen was staying with her step cousin Wendy.  With Jay moving in, Karen told me about her experiences moving to a new area back in 1963.

It was mostly Harold's (dad's) idea.  The printing business in New Haven was starting to slow down while there were many opportunities that were opening up out west.  Harold (dad), Agnes (mom) and Richard had gone out to California on a trip before (Karen had stayed in New Haven as Karen would get motion sickness really bad).  It was mostly because Harold was facing a possibility of a possible lay off at his job down the road in New Haven (the boss' relatives were getting to the age of needing jobs as was Richard too) whereas there were all these opportunities out in California available to someone, like Harold, that had experience in the printing business.  But also, the winters in New Haven were a bit harsh and both Harold and Agnes weren't "spring chickens" anymore.  As far as the music business stuff, New Haven was close to New York City and Carnegie Hall and Madison Square Garden and Julliard and Yale and such, but Downey was close to the Hollywood Bowl and the movie industry.  Richard was 16 and Karen was 13 at the time they moved.  But according to Karen, the move didn't really have anything to do with the music business or such and was about her dad finding a better job with better pay and the better weather.  Of course the Beach Boys were out west and they were close to Hollywood, but it was more kind of an afterthought with Richard and that her parents were just looking to make a better living with better weather and more money and more opportunities available.  In New Haven Karen said they grew up lower middle class but in Downey they had become more middle class middle class and weren't struggling as much with bills and such like they had back in New Haven.  So after a lot of thinking the family moved in June 1963.

During the move they made a trip out of it and saw the sights on the way.  Mount Rushmore, the world's largest ball of yarn, the Grand Canyon and other places and things as well along the way.  During the trip too Karen had told me that she had seen a couple restrooms where the dumpster out back seemed like a safer alternative.  The wonderful joys of travel.  Karen would deal with her motion sickness by looking at the floor and not looking out the window and talking with her brother here and there to try and keep her mind off of it.  And of course the radio in the car played during the trip as well.

After getting out there and starting school, it was a bit more awkward for both Karen and Richard as Connecticut started schooling when they were younger so both Karen and Richard were a year younger than their fellow students in their classes.  Karen told me that she got her first visitor (menstruation) when she was thirteen but she didn't get bosoms until she was about fifteen / sixteen and so it was a new area but also with the age difference it was a little more awkward transitioning to the new area for Karen.  Karen saw herself as a 'late blooomer' in school.  The other kids in her class were older and getting into dating and that kind of stuff and Karen did kind of feel out of place at times.  But after moving to the area, one of the local ballplayers had came up with the baseball nickname of 'Pudge' for Karen (Karen was about four foot tall and about 120 pounds when they first moved out to Downey) and after that was when Karen started giving everyone and everything she could a nickname.  All great baseball players had nicknames and after moving out to Downey, Karen got her baseball nickname of Pudge (which results in question #71).  Babe, Catfish, Gabby, Lefty, Dizzy, Scooter, "The Iron Horse", "Murderer's Row", "The Gashouse Gang" and of course, Pudge.  The teenage years are always a bit awkward anyway.

Karen was the kind that would take a while making friends but once she made a friend they usually stayed friends.  Karen liked adventure and moving is an adventure so she was all right with moving but she was also the kind that had a hard time dealing with being away from friends.  Karen also said that when they first moved into Downey that like most areas, everyone has their cliques or groups with "no outsiders".  Even back in New Haven, Karen always took a while to get to know someone before being friends with them.  When they moved out to Downey, Karen and Richard became best friends with each other.  After a short while, Karen had also started playing baseball with several of the local guys.  Karen got to know a few of the guys on the baseball team and at school (Junior High and High School) Karen got to meet a lot of the other girls in school because Karen knew the baseball players and girls would ask Karen to try and fix them up with [whatever player].  So in Junior High and High School, Karen learned to play 'matchmaker' and got to know quite a few people.  It did take a bit for Karen to adjust but in California you can play baseball year 'round.  Karen loved that aspect.  But it was a trade off as Karen wasn't too happy about not having snow on Christmas.  But Karen tried to keep busy playing baseball to keep her mind off of the fact that there wasn't snow in California for Christmas.  After moving out to California, Karen was always coming home covered in dirt and mud, year 'round.  Then came question #220.

231. Was Karen ever into witchcraft?

Nope.  Not at all.  Karen enjoyed nature and all of that but a lot of that stuff was pretty far-fetched.  Magic potions seemed to have less magic than what a Bic lighter possessed so she was never really interested in witchcraft or Wicken or that kind of stuff.

232. What did Karen feel was the saddest / worst day in her life?

The day her dog, Snoopy, passed away.

A word about Karen and sadness now as well.  Karen said she bawled her eyes out when Snoopy passed away and she was sad for a while after he passed away.  Karen would actually withdraw from people when she was sad but outside Snoopy, she rarely got sad for any length of time.

If Karen had extreme emotion, then she would cry because she didn't know how to deal with it.  Extreme anger, extreme happiness (tears of joy), extreme laughing, extreme anything emotional and Karen would start crying.  Karen told me when she broke up her marriage with Thomas Burris (November 1981) at her dad's birthday party, she cried because she was so upset at Thomas that she wanted to kill him.  Karen told me she cried after she shelved her solo album because she was extremely worried that the people that had helped out and worked hard on the album might be upset at Karen for not releasing that album.  That was kind of the reason why Karen let Phil Ramone and others think that it was the record company's decision when it was actually Karen's decision.  But Karen was extemely worried that people would be upset at her for shelving that album, so she cried not because she was sad but because she was extremely nervous about the possibility of others possibly being upset at her for not releasing the album.

Karen would have to be extremely sad to cry or extremely happy to cry or extremely angry to cry because she didn't know what to do with extreme emotions so she would cry.

For sadness, Karen would get quiet and withdraw most times.  Karen was rarely quiet or withdrawn.  Karen was usually clowning around and such with others.  Karen was also an INFJ-A type person and she would need down time or quiet time once in a while to recharge her batteries so to speak.  And yes, Karen was definitely one that would cry at funerals and weddings.  Karen told me that she was actually happy at her wedding, but she didn't cry so she wasn't extremely happy about it, just happy, question #19.

233. What did Karen feel was the happiest day in her life?

Karen said she didn't remember it, but the day she was born she felt was the happiest day of her life.  Nothing else would have been possible if it hadn't been for the day she was born.

Karen had a positive outlook on life actually.  Karen mostly looked back on good memories.  She had a ton of good memories to look back on like her and Richard winning their first Grammy and Christmases and birthdays and family reunions and on and on.  Which wouldn't have been possible if she hadn't been born.  So being born she felt was always going to be her best day. 

As noted too in question #6 above, Karen never felt bad about breaking up with someone.  Karen actually stayed friends with her ex-boyfriends.  A relationship is between two people and if one person can't get along with the other or they are going in different directions or such, then best to move on rather than have both people become miserable.

234. What did Karen feel was the funniest day in her life?

Karen was young and living in Connecticut.  I think it was a Great Dane and was nearly dragging Karen down the street with Karen holding on for dear life at times while saying the dog followed her home.  The dog also had a collar, tags and a chain so for some odd reason no one thought the dog was a stray and returned the dog to the neighbor's.  Richard definitely tells this story better than I do. 

Sad part was that at about the same age, I had dragged (but I wasn't dragged as the dog was smaller and not walking) a Bassett hound from the neighbor's that had tags, collar and a chain too and no one believed me that it was a stray either. 

Yeah, Karen and me were a lot alike.  We both had hard times telling people fibs as fibs would usually backfire on us for some odd reason.

235. Did Karen and Itchie have an argument in May / June / July / August 1982?

According to Karen, yes.  It was sometime in May, June, July or August 1982 while Karen was attending Levenkron's clinic (I am fairly sure May or June but not positive on that).

As far as the big blow out in 1982, Karen told it a little differently than what I saw from Itchie.  Anyone that really knew Karen knew that you didn't try to start an argument with Karen unless you were her mom.  The best Richard could do in an argument with Karen was a draw (tie).  Karen had a very explosive temper like her mom.  Karen was always offensive and never defensive in an argument.  Also, if someone else started an argument with Karen, Karen would ALWAYS ask for promise(s) from the one who started the argument to keep that argument from ever happening again.  If the promise(s) weren't made, Karen would be silent and not argue nor talk at all with the other person until her promise(s) were agreed to or the other person apologized AND agreed to the promise(s).  That is why that story I saw from Itchie doesn't sound right to those that knew Karen, myself included.

As far as myself though...  Karen had told me on February 3, 1983 that Karen, herself, was the one who started that argument with Itchie.  Karen had told me that she had asked Itchie about how Itchie had heard about her private family meeting with Levenkron and Itchie came back about Itchie finding laxatives around the apartment (without answering Karen's question) then Karen mentioned the pill incident at the initial meeting at Levenkron's (Itchie never spoke up about what had actually happened at that meeting with Karen, Itchie and Levenkron.  Karen had told me what had happened at that January 1982 meeting and with that I feel I need to keep it to myself here as it may be too late now for Itchie to confess [she did have her chances though], but Levenkron still has a chance to confess or not, his choice still) and then Itchie changed the subject to her credit card bill.  After the change of subject again Karen dropped the "64 thousand dollar question" to Itchie of "Were you and Phil trying to get me fired from A&M by trying to get me to violate the image clause in my recording contract?"  Itchie couldn't answer that question either and then Itchie picked up her things and left.

Karen actually called Itchie on February 2, 1983 to give Itchie a chance to answer that question again, but Phil was there on the other end plus Itchie was pregnant so Karen didn't ask.

236. Did Karen whisper when she sang?

Kind of, yes.  Because of the range of Karen's voice, if she tried to sing too loudly, it would cause distortion and the speakers would vibrate and possibly squeak or squelch.  So Karen had taught herself to sing quietly and close to the microphone to avoid possible distortion and speaker echo and vibration and possible reverberation too. 

I had a similar problem as well and I used to be a scorkeeper and announcer at a local Little League ballpark.  In my case it was only an 8 watt speaker and I believe a 3 or 5 watt system, but when I would talk into the mike, my voice could literally be heard over a mile away in a busy grocery store parking lot and although over a mile away, it sounded like I was in the parking lot.  People of the area knew when I announced for some reason.  But the range of my voice carried very well over a sound system.  I was just using my talking voice but over a microphone, that voice would carry and at times, that squeak, squelch and possible echo distortion.  And once that echo distortion started, yup, shut the system down and hope for the best because the echo would overpower the system and cause people to cover their ears from the sound that would just get louder and louder as it echoed and repeated itself.  And if not careful, it could overload and blow out the speaker.

Karen and I tried singing together several times without a microphone in private and at times I would joke with Karen and say "You sing just like Marcel Marceau".  Marcel Marceau was a mime and as people know, mimes don't talk or sing.  But with the range of Karen's voice, the speakers would vibrate and become distorted if she sang in a loud voice, so Karen would sing quietly aka whisper into the microphone which added an extra dimension to her singing as with her whispering instead of singing out loud, it sounded much more intimate and "up close" like she was whispering in your ear instead of singing to a large audience like most singers.

But yes, I guess you could say that Karen was the "Song Whisperer".

237. Did Karen ever wear eyeglasses?

Actually, no.  Around March or April 1979 Karen had started realizing that she was having difficulty seeing things that were close up.  Karen got a set of reading glasses that she would use on occasion if reading something up close.  But it was only for seeing things up close and was never a prescription or such.  Karen would also wear sunglasses on occasion as well.  But the reading glasses were primarily for reading things and not really for seeing with.  Karen's brother Richard had worn glasses though and they were prescription.  Not sure if Richard was near or far sighted.  I know Karen had become very slightly far sighted and would use reading glasses on occasion (after about March 1979, but not before then that I ever knew about.  She could have, but I don't remember Karen using reading glasses before March 1979 around me).

238. What was Karen's favorite book to read?

I knew Karen back in 1978 and 1979 and at that time, her favorite book was actually "Don Quixote".  I know in a couple years that her favorite book changed to "The Best Little Girl in the World", but that book hadn't been released when I met Karen.

239. Who was Karen's favorite Beatle?

Ringo.  Karen and Nicky Chinn saw John Lennon around 1971 in a restaurant and both Karen and Richard met with Paul McCartney while Paul was working on his brother's (Mike McGear) solo album I believe in 1974.  I don't remember Karen ever saying anything about meeting Ringo or George so I don't think she met either one of them.  Hal Blaine also had a set of drums made up by Ludwig (called the Octoplus) and both Karen and Ringo had a set of those drums as well.  Richard's favorite Beatle was Paul.

240. What was Karen's ring size?

Karen's ring size around late May 1979 was 7½ women's and my ring size was 7½ men's. 

Karen had set up a family get together for the beginning of June with her dad's side of the family.  Karen's (step) great grandmother Susan (Seal) Carpenter was over 100 years old and had always wanted Karen to find the right guy and settle down and get married.  So Karen and I made up a story that we had eloped before the family get together and with that, yes, at the end of May 1979, Karen and I had found an engagement ring that came with a set of wedding bands. 

The woman's size on the rings was already 7½ but the man's size for the wedding band was 9½.  We didn't have the man's ring resized (as actually I would later grow into a 9½) so we used scotch tape and some paper as a spacer on the inside of the man's ring.  But Karen's ring size was a woman's size 7½ in late May 1979. 

The ring set we found was a very unique, one of a kind, engagement ring.  A ¾ karat (.75 carat?) diamond that was a one of a kind piece.  This was the first diamond cut by a gem cutter that would later be famous because of the ring we found.  The ring had a certificate of authenticity as well.  I believe the gem cutter's name was Bartholdi and he had cut the diamond a certain way as any diamond over a certain size has a flaw.  With a special setting that he designed, the diamond would actually magnify the light through the defect causing a super brilliant shine when seen.  As I had said with a growl in my voice after seeing that ring, "Sparkles... Sparkles... Sparkles".  Later, many other gem cutters learned the secret of enhancing the flaw to make a brighter light, but this was the first diamond ever actually cut that way (and like said, a certificate of authenticity to go with it).

And at the family get together I think on June 1, 1979, Karen and me announced to everyone that we had eloped before the party.  It went off really well until after the party and Karen and me met with great half uncle Jack Carpenter (about 300 pounds without a neck so to speak).  It was a tradition of the oldest Carpenter male to give a speech to the suitors of the Carpenter women.  Jack gave me that speech (as well as a few other men Karen had dated over the years).  The speech went 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."  But great uncle Jack had asked for "the papers" and of course, there weren't any so I messed up and I squealed.  But then too as great gramma Susan said, "I may be blind, but I can still find your bottom Jack".  But the men were allowed to be men in the Carpenter family so long as the Carpenter women didn't object.

241. What were Karen's favorite hobbies?

Karen's favorite was "shooting the breeze".  Karen loved to just sit and talk with people.  Every one is different and talking with others is how you find this out.

Karen loved playing baseball and pitching especially.

Karen loved being outdoors.  The fresh air and frolicking and all that.  Wide open spaces.  Cartwheels.  Hand stands.  The works.  Pup tents not that mobile home stuff.  Back to basics.  She also loved her TV shows too so as long as someone taped those for her when she got back, Karen would be fine with getting away from it all for a little while anyway (a weekend possibly).  Camping, sitting by the campfire singing songs and roasting marshmallows (that she would feed to me and others) and shootin' the breeze.  Yeah, she could last about a weekend before missing her "creature comforts" of a room with a TV and air conditioning and all that.  After a couple days, the bugs can find someone else to eat.

Karen loved needlepoint and crocheting and knitting and cross stitch.  Karen loved to sew and "shoot the breeze" while she was sewing.

And yup, Karen loved to cook too.  As Karen called them, "my concoctions".  Karen liked to experiment here and there.  Karen always loved being different.

Karen liked watching TV but she also had started getting into reading books again.  There are some things that just can't be done on TV shows and such.

Karen loved jokes and practical jokes and pranks.  Karen wasn't much for being too serious as that tends to make people (including Karen) grouchy and cranky.  Karen liked being child-like but mature enough not to be childish.

Karen always tried to keep busy doing something.  Mostly work but when not working she had many hobbies too, to help fill in the time.

242. Did Karen know how to yodel?

Yes, Karen knew how to yodel perfectly.  You can hear a sample of Karen kind of yodeling on "Prime Time Love" from the "Voice of the Heart" album.  But yes Karen could yodel lady, yodel lady, yodel lady, yodel lady, yodel lady, yodel lady who - with the best of them (and probably even better than best).

243. Is it true that Karen's mom couldn't say "I love you" to Karen?  (Note, this answer will contain adult content and adult language and as the Carpenters were Adult Contemporary artists it had to happen sooner or later I guess)...

Yes, it is true but if you'll notice they never asked the big question, "Why?" as in "Why couldn't Agnes do such a thing?"

As far as another yes, yes, Ev Wallace used to give Karen a hug and a kiss on the cheek and an "I love you" to Karen whenever Karen left as Karen's mom couldn't do such a thing.  And again, "Why couldn't Agnes do such a thing?"

As far as why...  It used to be known as 'The Generation Gap' where the meaning of things for one generation might be changed and different for the next generation.  That is the case here.  Karen and me had a discussion about this after Ev Wallace had stopped by in January 1979.  To explain (next paragraph)...

As far as Ev Wallace and Agnes Carpenter, they were the same generation but both were raised differently.  Agnes was raised with the word love to mean 'making love' whereas Ev was raised with the word love to mean 'caring'.  Even though Ev and Agnes were about the same age,  they were raised differently.  Even though the same age, there was also a Generation Gap between them.  Beware of ANYONE that tries to tell people that all people think alike or are the same.  The 'old school' (Agnes) thinking was that love was associated with sex as caring already had the word caring associated with it so why double that.  But really would you rather just have sex or make love.  Be honest.  The 'new school' (Ev) thinking added the meaning of caring to the word love.  Old school, love is associated with sex; new school, love is associated with caring.  Yes, think about this here.  Does someone having sex with someone mean that they care about that someone?  The answer to that question is actually no.  The truth about what happened was that "the powers that be" wanted to take caring out of having sex.  So the word love was changed to mean caring and the sex connotation was dropped.  Yes, having sex with someone without caring was the reason behind the change in the word love's meaning.  So yes, actually the 'new school' way of thinking is a bit messed up.  The old school way of thinking was that saying "I love you" was a key phrase for "I want to have sex with you" which is a far cry from the 'new school' thought of "I care about you".  But what is wrong with just saying "I care about you" instead of "I love you"?  Nothing, and actually it makes more sense to say you care about someone.  What about the phrase "making love"?  Precisely.  The powers that be didn't want 'the peasants' making love anymore.  During the 'old school' days, you almost never heard the word sex, but almost always heard the word love.  The 'new school' days it is almost always the word sex instead of love.  Which leads to...

In the old days, parents cared about their kids and loved their spouses.  Nobody seems to care anymore in the new days.  Think about it.  The word meaning change was deliberate and intentional.  Back when in the old days, "I love you" meant you wished to have sex with someone and care about them and make love with them.  Do you see how the blurring of the meaning of the word love took caring out of the equation of having sex with someone.  There is a huge difference in thinking between love meaning sex and love meaning caring.  The Generation Gap between Ev and Agnes and many others as well.  And yes, "it screwed things up".  Caring is the actual word that means caring.  Why did they change the meaning of the word love to include caring when caring was already a word by itself?  Yes, the difference is the sex connotation of the word love compared to the word caring.  Yes, in the old days people rarely heard the word sex; in the new days people hear the word sex all of the time.  Divorce rates went through the roof and caring went out the window taking the word love with it.  Caring means caring.  Love means love.  Sex means sex.  Who were the "powers that be"?  The Christian churches?  You mean...  Yes, it was intentional.  "Love thy neighbor" could be a bit awkward.  But with the church trying "Jesus Saves" and "Jesus cares about me" and "God Cares", they had more of a following with "Jesus Loves Me" and "A Loving God" and love, love, love that the church just started using the word love a lot more as it appeared to attract more people to the church.  But some still kept with the old school love meaning too.  Yeah, a bit of confusion with the word love even to this day.

So to finish answering this about WHY Agnes would not say she loved her daughter...  I see a bit missing on this as you would think that a therapist would wish to ask that question that just begs to be asked here of "Why won't you say you love your daughter?"  Yes, a very revealing question there isn't it.  And if you notice, it never got asked or if it did they must be very embarrassed by the answer that Agnes (mom) would have given for that question.  And the answer as Karen had told me was that her mom loved her dad with all her heart but she cared about her daughter and her son but did not love them as she loved only her husband, her one true 'love', the man she married.  And yes, another one, but why don't they mention that mom never said she loved her son either.  Karen mentioned that to me that her mom never said she loved her son or her daughter but mom did care very much about both of them and they both knew it and that mom loved dad with all her heart.  Mom went to work at the local aerospace place to help pay for the piano and drums for her kids.  Mom cared.  Mom and Richard were the ones telling Karen she needed to go get help for her eating problems.  And the ones that were supposed to be helping just created more problems (which brings up this next paragraph)...

But yes, it was the therapists and not Karen that created that mess and Karen was the one that got stuck cleaning up a mess on top of her having anorexia and colitis and arrhythmia and...  And well, Karen told me about the time that her and her brother were in a therapy session with their mom and the therapist asked Richard to say he loved his sister and asked Karen to say she loved her brother.  And they did.  This was what set up a long talk between Karen and her mom after that session.  But during the session of course, mom couldn't say she loved her daughter or her son (surprise).  But after the session and when they got home...  Karen said when they got home her mom just went outside and grabbed a shovel, a couple garbage bags and a bucket and started digging in the garden out back.  Karen went out and asked her mom what she was doing and her mom told her that she was digging a hole for Richard.  Mom told Karen that mom didn't blame Karen and that men are like that and that she was sorry that Richard had done that to her (Karen).  And Karen asked her mom, "Did what?" and her mom just said, "You know" and then Karen told me for the next two to three hours Karen had a talk with her mom about how the meaning of the word love had changed and meant caring now as well and was not just about sex.  Yeah, Karen had to have a talk about sex with her mom.  Talk about awkward.  Karen also said that if it hadn't been for her talking with her mom and assuring her mom that her and Richard had never had sex together that her mom would have beat Richard over the head with the shovel and buried him in the back yard on that day after that therapy session.  But yeah, that therapy was really helpful to the therapist's pocketbooks but Karen only had extra problems and never got any actual help from therapists.  Karen told me, but I don't think that others ever really knew half of that mess that therapists put Karen through with Generation Gap nonsense and such.  You would think that a person trying to get therapy would have less problems and not more.  But I understood why Karen wasn't too fond of that therapy stuff.  It wasn't 'nuts' or 'cuckoo' or any of that kind of stigma or whatever attached to therapy and such, it was just that Karen got tired of having to deal with all the added nonsense from a bunch of apparently over educated and under common sensed crack pots that were creating more problems and not helping Karen at all with her anorexia problem.  As Karen called it, "The Looney Bin" and she was right.  But Karen told me that they never asked her questions and always assumed stuff and her therapy was always just a huge mess.  I still see the mess there to this day.

And with that 243A. Is it true that Karen's mom never hugged Karen?

No. Actually Karen's mom, after the February 1978 session, gave Karen an "I'm probably never going to see you again" hug which Karen said she would have rather not hugged her mom than get that hug from her.  But that is another 'twisted tale' like question #243.  Karen told me about that February 1978 session and the ones that talk about that from the other side, not Karen's side, don't have anything from Karen about that as many have noticed.  What actually happened was Karen was in her therapy session and the therapist brought Karen's mom in the room and then said to her mom, "Hug your daughter" without explaining why or anything, just "hug your daughter".  Then the big mistake of "if you don't hug your daughter then you don't care about your daughter" and Karen just ripped right into the therapist and dropped the 'f bomb' on that therapist right in front of her mom while yelling and crying at that therapist stuff like, "How f***ing dare you try and tell my mom she doesn't care about me because of some f***ing hug?  Who the f*** do you f***ing think you are talking to my mom like that?  My mom has always been there when I needed her and who the f*** do you think you are saying sh*t like that to my mom you mutherf***ing son of a b*tch.  You a**hole.  You mutherf***ing a**hole...  F*** you, just f*** you all to Hell you overpaid worthless piece of sh*t..."  (not exact words here but hopefully you get the point.  Karen told me she dropped the f bomb on him but she also told me that she was so p*ssed off that she didn't remember what she actually said to the therapist other than the f bomb came out).  According to Karen, Karen was not the least bit sad that her mom didn't hug her.  At least without hugging they couldn't accuse Karen and her mom of being lesbians too on top of all that other nonsense.  It was just a mess there which was why Karen didn't talk about her therapy publicly.  There was never anything nice to say about therapy other than Karen learned that therapy sucked and wasn't working.  See also questions #10, 11, [sic] 54!!! [end sic] & 67. 

And the truth is that Karen was never ever sad that her mom didn't hug her, but Karen was p*ssed off and dropped the f bomb on the one that started that hugging nonsense back in February 1978.

As far as myself after over 40 years of the nonsense and seeing others not own up to mistakes (question #Next to next to next to last), I can honestly say they were a**holes and they will continue to be a**holes in my book until I can see some actual honesty and long overdue changes from them.  That faulty profile stuff that doesn't match is just crazy.  Karen was an INFJ-A personality and it is impossible for someone with an INFJ-A personality to fit that anorexic profile.  That profile is for an extrovert and it is impossible for an introvert (like Karen and many others) to fit that anorexic profile.  Introverts are internal and do not rely on the opinions of others (an extrovert) like that faulty profile requires.

I also feel this should be noted as well here.  Hal Blaine mentioned that when he was first brought in to play drums on the Carpenters records it was Karen's mom, Agnes, that was against it and not Karen or Richard.  In the studio Richard was the one that backed up the decision to use Hal with their mom.  Karen told me (around late 1978) that after Richard's talk in 1970 Karen talked with her mom about it and told her mom the records that Hal had played on and that Hal had a lot of experience in the studio then Karen told me her mom said, "How did you and Richard get him so cheap?"  But Agnes (mom) was for both of her kids and not just one.  Karen told me that her mom wasn't mean to her and that Karen and her mom were good friends actually.  As far as the 'favorite' stuff, question #220.

244. Did Karen's family control Karen?

Another long one I imagine here...

When I first met Karen on September 6, 1978 she had told me that at the ripe old age of 28 that she had run away from home.  The truth was that she had actually just picked up and took off without telling her family (mom, dad, Richard) where she had gone.  But why?  Actually it wasn't because of being controlled but it was because Karen needed to get away and try something different and Karen did NOT want anyone to try and talk her out of it.  In February 1978 there had been the big problem at the LA mental health clinic and with Richard saying "I quit" on September 4, 1978 after the Vegas show, Karen was looking to try something different and get away from LA and show biz for a little while at least.  So she moved in with her step cousin Wendy B in a small area in New York State and tried a 9 to 5 type job (actually 7 am to 3 pm roughly with weekends off) as she felt the need to keep busy with something even though taking a break to try and sort her thoughts out.  She also used an alias as well as a wig and such.  But Karen knew that if she told her mom, dad or Richard where she was going, they would have bugged her to stay in Downey with them and they would let her have any freedom she wanted.  But Karen felt like she was having more of a mid life crisis thing going on, so she felt the need to get away and do something completely different to see if she really was happy being the singing half of the Carpenters or maybe her destiny might lie elsewhere.  How do you know unless you try something different?  So Karen got away and tried something different.

As far as 'control'...  As far as with Richard, Karen and Richard always worked together as equals and there isn't really a control factor in equality.  Equals are equal and not really superior or inferior to each other.  Equals work together with their strengths and try to minimize their weaknesses.  That was Karen and her brother, Richard.  As far as Karen and her mom and dad (the folks), growing up, Karen had always had a habit of trying to make friends with the troublemakers, so to speak.  But the thing is that Karen wouldn't have her family bail her out or such and pretty much took care of herself.  If others picked on her brother, Karen would intervene as Richard wasn't one to stand up for himself.  If someone picked on her brother, Karen would go after the one that picked on her brother and tell them to "knock it off or else I'll beat the living daylights out of you".  So the family would worry about Karen possibly getting in over her head picking fights and such.  Karen was very stubborn and head strong like her mom.  And yes, both Karen and her mom were a lot alike.  Richard and his dad were fairly laid back and they were a lot alike as well.

But as far as with Karen while I was around Karen (September 6, 1978 to June 22, 1979) I noticed how if someone seemed to be trying to control Karen, Karen would use her family as a way to avoid being direct with someone that might be trying to control her.  "An easy out" as it used to be called.  When I was around Karen from September 6, 1978 to June 22, 1979 I never saw her mom or dad (her mom did call once though) and I remember only seeing Richard like 4 times during that time.  Karen would get homesick and fly home during her work breaks and such and Karen and her mom always talked over the phone together but it wasn't forced or such.  Karen would get very homesick and hearing her mom's voice would help somewhat.  Karen had always been surrounded by family when she was growing up and after she had grown up, she still was surrounded by her brother and family.  Even though touring and such, Karen would get homesick after about 3 to 4 months on the road.  Karen was just so used to being a home body and she had never really stayed over at a friend's house or such while she was growing up.  Karen wasn't controlled, but she really wasn't used to being on her own even though touring and on the road and such.  Karen was a home body and liked being home.  Karen wasn't actually suffocated or such, she had just always had her family looking out for her and being there with her and for her.  And if Karen wanted to have a family on her own, then Karen figured she needed to get herself some space from her immediate family which was why she 'ran away from home' so to speak at the age of 28.  But I saw that Karen was never really forced to be home by anyone, Karen was just a home body and she was just so used to her routines with her mom, dad and brother.  And with routines, what different?  Was Karen ever going to find a husband that had the same routines as her family?  Of course not, as everyone is raised differently.

But to try and finish here, when around Karen I had noticed that Karen would use her family as an excuse to avoid being confrontational with someone she felt was controlling.  Stuff like, "My family won't let me do that"  and "My family wants me to come home" and such even though it was Karen there and not her family.  It was a convenient crutch for Karen.  Karen's family would give her advice and such, but as far as actually controlling Karen, Karen wouldn't let anyone control her, just like her mom.  Karen was just like her mom.

There was a big blow out between me and a guy named Max around mid May 1979 and after that blow out I understood about Karen.  Max had actually been trying to control Karen.  Max had filled Karen's head with a bunch of stuff and Karen had fallen for it for quite a while.  But then it got to be too much and Karen started saying that her family wanted her to come home.  Note, Karen's family hadn't been wanting Karen to come home and had thought Karen was doing better where she was.  But Max was threatening Karen that Max was going to have her fired from her job and all kinds of stuff to try and keep Karen under his control.  Karen was NOT used to someone controlling her as she felt lost with all the nonsense Max had been pulling.  If Karen's family had actually been controlling towards Karen, Karen would have had ideas on how to deal with controlling people through having experience with it.  From what happened, Karen did not have experience dealing with controlling people before 1978 or 1979.  So as I saw things happening, I stepped in and intervened.  Things came to a head and Max ended up literally and figuratively having his back up against the wall.  The boss noticed as well and stepped in as well.  Max's bluff got called out and the boss stepped in also.  Karen had actually called her family before the blow out and had told her family that things weren't going so well and that she would be coming home (she wasn't being forced to come home).  After the blow out, Richard came out to get his sister but after the blow out, Karen wanted to stay where she was again.  So all kinds of stories from Karen.  And that was how I learned about Karen and 'control'.  When someone was trying to control Karen, Karen would make up stories to try and cover things up.  Her family this and her family that when it had really been Max and not her family.  Max was a big guy (around 6'7" and about 300+ pounds) and the boss was about 6 foot tall and maybe 160 - 170 pounds and me the little pipsqueak at about 4'9" tall and about 100 pounds soaking wet.  The pipsqueak slammed Max up against the wall and put a huge dent in the wall and then Max had heard later how the pipsqueak's dad had cleaned the boss's clock before when they were younger.  Max didn't want to mess with either the boss or the pipsqueak again so the control nonsense stopped.  Richard flew out and Karen explained (with more stories of course and not that much honesty) to Richard that she wanted to stay there and not go back home.  But Karen's family ALWAYS supported Karen but also ALWAYS let her make her decisions and her successes or her mistakes as well.

But Karen and me had a talk about 'control' before (Somewhere between March and April) that Max stuff had happened in mid May 1979.  I had mentioned to Karen about knowing when someone was trying to use someone that the one trying to use the other person would try to isolate the one being used from others.  Max had been trying to isolate Karen for a while.  And Karen and me both agreed that the biggest signs of someone using or controlling others was the lack of honesty and that the one being used would feel lonely around the one doing the using.  As Karen and me also agreed, "It's no fun feeling lonely when you're around someone."  Karen told me that she had never felt lonely around her family.  Around Max and several others, yes, but around her family, no.

But what I learned was that Karen would tell people that her family didn't want her doing whatever to avoid being confrontational with someone that was actually acting controlling towards her.  So when someone says that Karen said her family was controlling her it raises my suspicion about the person saying that Karen said her family was controlling.  I knew Karen to use her family as an excuse to say no to someone being controlling without being directly confrontational with the controlling person.  A form of defensiveness they call blame shifting now; I guess.  And after mid May 1979 if something happened I would joke with Karen and say, "Well, what did your family do now?" as the joke between us was that Karen's family wasn't even around and not really involved with anything let alone controlling anyone or anything.  So like with Thomas Burris being controlling, "What did your family do now?" as even though Karen and Thomas were there but Karen's family wasn't there on June 18, 1981, it must have been Karen's family's fault just like with Max.  But I have only ever known controlling people to be sneaky and very manipulative.  Sneaky and manipulative does not sound like Richard or Agnes or Harold Carpenter.  As far as being sneaky and manipulative, yup, Max, Thomas Burris, and can you guess some more here (you can toss in some book writers and movie writers here too if interested)?  But also note, a child should not be in control of an adult under ANY circumstances.  So yeah, when living in Connecticut, Harold and Agnes should have had control over Karen and Richard.  As Karen and Richard got older, they got their own places (Lubec Street and Avenue of the Stars).  So yes, the real problem seems to be a bunch of warped fiction writers and others that will apparently believe about anything told without questioning it.  Harold and Agnes lived on Newville Avenue, Richard lived on Lubec Street (1973+) and Karen lived on Avenue of the Stars (1975? / 1976+) and Karen and Thomas lived at Newport Beach (1980) and at one time Karen also lived in an apartment in her apartment complex next to Casey Kasem (?) and they had their own places.  So the question begs to be asked as if Karen and Richard lived on their own, then how in the blue blazes was Agnes able to control them when they lived on their own?  That's a real (your brains are in your head not your) butt scratcher there ain't it?

245. Did Karen know karate?

Karen had told me that she knew a little bit about judo but I can't remember for sure now if she took lessons or not.  I think she learned a couple moves from one of the security guards but unfortunately Karen isn't around anymore to ask to be sure on this if she took lessons or not.  As far as karate, I am pretty sure not, but as far as judo I am just drawing a blank on that now so I will have to stick with "I don't know for sure on that one".  I am fairly sure not, but not positive.  This is one of several where Richard would know about this more than me.

246. Did Karen prefer baseball or softball?

Karen and me talked about this in March / April 1979 and her answer was baseball because the ball is smaller and a lot easier to handle.

As far as sports, Karen liked all sports as it keeps you physically and mentally active.  She did not consider golf or bowling or such 'sports' as Karen considered a sport a direct competition between people.  Now if you were allowed to block bowlers or golfers somehow from taking a shot then it would be a sport.  But Karen considered bowling and golf and such as activities and not really a sport.  A sport for Karen needed to be confrontational.  Offense and defense.  There's no offense or defense in golf or bowling (keggling) or such but they can still be fun to play and still help keep you busy and active.   Hoping I remembered Karen's perspective properly with this.

247. Did Karen have body dysmorphia?

First, body dysmorphia is a term where someone feels their body is the opposite of what others see and the weight scales show.  Someone that is obviously overweight seeing themselves as slim or someone slim seeing themselves as being obese (overweight, a beached whale).  In September 1978 when I first met Karen she weighed 94 pounds.  In October 1978 Karen weighed herself and she weighed 104 pounds and called herself "a beached whale" not because of her body, but because of the 104 pounds instead of 94 pounds.

With that, at times Karen would have body dysmorphia but at other times not.  Around me, Karen seemed more worried about the weight number itself than her actual body shape or size.  When Karen had got up to about 136 pounds she didn't seem to weigh herself much or that often.  It seemed like when Karen weighed around 100 pounds or less that she would focus more on the weight number than her actual body shape or size. 

So a rough call here as at times I did see Karen have body dysmorphia, but also when I noticed that about Karen it seemed to be more about the weight number itself than about actual body appearance.  At other times I would see Karen not really weigh herself and not really have an opinion about her weight.  And Karen saw herself as a beached whale at 104 pounds, but she really did not appear much different at 104 pounds than she did at 94 pounds.  But without a number, Karen didn't seem too concerned about her body shape or size.  Sometimes Karen would have body dysmorphia while other times not.  It kind of came and went depending more on her weight number than on any mirror image of herself or such.  If at 104 pounds and not having weighed herself much, she wouldn't think much about her body size or shape and such.  But if she had been weighing herself a bit and she had that weight number, she would think of herself as too fat even though she would not consider herself too fat while at 136 pounds.  So that is why I feel it kind of came and went.  Not sure what may or may not have been triggering it outside a possible thought process situation as it seemed like the weight number itself didn't seem to matter as much as how she was feeling about herself at the time.  But when feeling emotional about her weight, she would weigh herself more but if not worrying about her weight, she just wouldn't care about the weight number.  I had been doing a thing where I would change the subject if she kept talking about her weight number a lot.  After a little while, Karen wouldn't really bring the number up much.  But then somehow, Karen would start getting fixated with talking about the weight number and again I would try and get her to focus more on how she was feeling or other stuff besides "some silly number" (as I would tell her).  I never really knew for sure what her trigger actually was for that weight number fixation, just that it would come and go at different times.

The rough part is, as usual, Karen is not around to verify things anymore.  My possible thoughts are that the weight number problem may have possibly been triggered by Karen's difficulty at times going to the bathroom with her colitis (enlarged / swollen intestines).  At the time, I didn't really keep track of when Karen did or didn't take a dump so to speak.  But like said in the previous paragraph, it didn't seem to be triggered by the weight number itself.  And with that, hopefully I got the information as accurate as possible so maybe others can possibly figure it out too.  I did get her to change the subject, but I never thought to ask her why she would get on that subject of worrying about her weight number.  So I'll never really know for sure here just that I know I didn't ask her so I know she never answered.  My fault as I really should have asked.

248. How many gold records did the Carpenters receive?

That is an almost impossible question to answer as the Carpenters were worldwide and received many awards in many different countries.  There is a listing in the back of "Carpenters - The Musical Legacy" book of the confirmed silver, gold and platinum awards from the US, UK, Japan, Canada, Australia, The Netherlands, Denmark, South Africa, Hong Kong but there are more being added every year so a definite number is not really officially available.  As far as platinum record awards, around 38.  As far as gold records, 4 video gold and I counted 74 gold records (but there are more likely more than that as there are some listed as platinum but do not have a gold or silver award listed with them and a record would need to go silver [UK] before gold and gold before platinum, however, some records sell so fast that they bypass silver and gold and go straight to platinum upon issue).  Great question and the answer I feel is "a lot and it just keeps growing more all the time" as the Carpenters catalog just keeps on selling over the years and many more years to come yet (and digital media sales being added in as well).

249. What was Karen's favorite type of movie to watch?

Aha, a trick question here.  When going to a theater or just sitting in front of the TV, Karen's favorite type of movie was romance.  And the 'trick' is?  Well, you need to watch those kind of movies with a boyfriend or such.  And with Karen, she would be too busy smooching and such and would have to ask someone else what the movie was about afterwards.  Romance movies and shows were Karen's favorites.  She wouldn't actually watch them though if she could help it.

250. You stated Karen had a list, do you know what Karen said she was looking for in a guy?

I kind of remember but it was a long list and with it being a long list I might forget a couple things (so this is probably close but probably not exact here).  But Karen was looking for...

...A guy with a good sense of humor.
...A guy who was financially self sufficient (at least a millionaire).
...A guy who was Charismatic.  A guy that had a commanding presence.
...A guy who was about 3 to 5 years older.
...A guy who did not get angry easily.
...A guy who liked practical jokes.
...A guy who was about six feet tall, blond hair and blue eyes.
...A guy with broad shoulders.
...A guy with a nice firm butt.
...A guy without facial hair (no mustache / no beard).
...A guy that had street smarts.  A guy with common sense.
...A guy that played baseball.  A guy who was athletic.
...A guy that was handsome.
...A guy that was interesting and had a lot to talk about.
...A guy that wasn't a spoiled sport.  A guy that didn't throw tantrums.
...A guy with dimples.
...A guy with wavy hair about shoulder length in the back.
...A guy that was a handyman.
...A guy that knew how to make gizmos and gadgets work or could at least figure them out.
...A guy with a medium build, muscular but not overly muscular or wimpy looking.
...A guy with a deep, calm, soothing voice.
...A guy with 'some' body hair but not overly hairy.
...A guy that didn't drive like a maniac.
...Don Quixote (a guy with a good imagination and his own hopes and dreams and such).
...A guy that wasn't embarrassing (brash or abrasive).
...A guy she could trust.
...A family man.  A guy who wanted kids and a family.
...A guy that was good with kids.
...A guy who wouldn't cheat or accuse her of cheating.
...A guy that was protective but not controlling.
...A knight in shining armor.
...A guy that didn't put words in her mouth or tell her what she could or couldn't do.  Not bossy or overbearing.
...A guy that liked being different.
...A guy that she heard bells, harps and / or violins with.
...A guy that wasn't too fussy.
...A guy that was romantic.
...A guy that was good with animals as animals are a good judge of character.
...A guy that loved to cuddle by a fireplace.
...A guy that wasn't arrogant or snooty.  A guy that was down to earth and humble.
...Mister Right, not Mister Right Hook.
...A guy that was mature but still child-like not childish.  A guy with an open mind and open heart.
...Not being put on a pedestal or in an ivory tower or such.  Karen could take care of herself and her husband should do the same.
...A guy that wouldn't chicken out.
...A guy that wasn't a slob or lazy.
...A guy that kept his promises.
...A guy with a nice smile.
...A guy that would leave the toilet seat down but also clean up after himself.
...A guy that liked eating at home.
...A guy that didn't have a wandering eye.

251. Was Karen "the jealous type"?

Yes.  Definitely.  Karen would get extremely jealous of her men when she was seeing them.  No wandering eyes and watch who you talk to and such or you'd hear about it from Karen.

252. Three-ring circus of friends?  Can you elaborate on that?

Question #12 continued...

On February 3, 1983 near the end of our long phone call Karen had given me permission to "blab" as she called it.  With that permission, yes, I can elaborate on Karen's three-ring circus of friends (with examples).

To be in Karen's inner circle of friends, Karen would tell a person a secret and if that person kept the secret, they stayed in Karen's inner circle.  If they told that secret or 'blabbed' (blabbermouthed?) then they would be moved to Karen's outer circle of friends and no more secrets, no exceptions.  Most people were in Karen's middle circle without secrets being involved.  Karen believed in forgiveness and did not believe in hating anyone.  So Karen felt she had only friends and not enemies in her three-ring circus of life.  At the center of the circle was a word called trust.  And with that word, trust, those that knew Karen (or anyone else really as this is pretty universal amongst all people) knew that Karen would not tell an actual personal secret to someone she did not trust (her outer circle).  Most of Karen's boyfriends (question #6) were in her middle circle as well.  But for examples here...

Mom (Agnes Carpenter) was in Karen's inner circle.  Karen and her mom had a lot of secrets that they kept between themselves.  Karen's mom was where Karen got the idea of the three-ring circus of friends idea from.  When on tours with her son and daughter, mom had noticed that at times it would be like a circus around Karen and Richard.  So Karen had a "three-ring circus of friends".

Dad (Harold Carpenter) - not positive but fairly sure inner circle.  The reason why is because I am not sure if Karen and her dad ever actually shared a secret between themselves or not.  I am nearly positive inner circle but there is an outside chance he may have been in the middle circle as Karen never mentioned if her and her dad ever shared a secret between themselves.  So I am 99.9% sure that dad was in Karen's inner circle but it is just that Karen never mentioned if she shared secrets with her dad like she mentioned about her mom, brother, cousin Joanie and others.

Cousin Joanie was in Karen's inner circle.  While growing up, Karen and Joanie shared a few secrets together.  Karen always felt of Joanie as being a big sister to Karen when Karen was growing up.

Richard (brother) was definitely in Karen's inner circle but actually just behind their mom in the secrets department.  Believe it or not, Karen had more secrets she shared between her and her mom than she did with her brother.  The blow out noticed around the Werner Wolfen incident in January / February 1983 was actually about Karen telling her brother not to mention her health problems to others or Richard would be put in Karen's outer circle too.  Luckily, Richard hadn't really revealed a secret there or else, as Karen was always very strict with if she asked a person to keep a secret and they didn't keep that secret, NO MORE SECRETS and outer circle.  No exceptions.  Richard was still in Karen's inner circle when Karen passed away.  Karen did say that she had kept about ten secrets from Richard before she passed away which all but a couple (the real reason Karen broke up with Thomas Burris, the full Levenkron stuff about the pills incident that actually happened when Karen first checked into the clinic with Levenkron and Itchie there in January 1982, which I am still withholding those from everyone, not just Richard as it is THAT BAD) have been revealed on this page.

Werner Wolfen was I believe middle circle like Ev Wallace below.  Lawyers are supposed to keep things confidential anyway.

Mush (Karen's albino malamute / samoyed) was Karen's ringleader in her innermost inner circle.  Karen could tell Mush anything and Karen never worried about Mush telling anyone else.  Mush always knew everything about Karen and always kept it private.

Mark and Mary Rudolph were in Karen's inner circle.  Not sure about any actual secrets there (which is a good thing) but I know Karen always trusted Mark and Mary.

Evelyn (Ev) Wallace was in Karen's middle circle.  Karen and Ev didn't really share secrets together and it would have been awkward with Ev doing the Carpenters newsletter and such if Karen had Ev in her inner circle, so Karen tried to keep Ev in the middle circle.

John Bettis was in Karen's middle circle as far as I ever knew.  Feeling like the career got in the way of romance and such wasn't ever a secret or such.  But like all, it was always between Karen and whoever (myself included) and Karen was always the one who knew if there was a secret between her and someone else or not.  If Karen asked John to keep a secret and he kept it, then he was in her inner circle but I do remember that Karen hadn't really shared secrets with John but they would talk each other's ears off at times.

Olivia Newton-John was actually in Karen's middle circle until around March 1979 when Karen and Olivia shared a secret and Karen moved Olivia into her inner circle.  The secret was that Karen had guessed who a famous actor was that had tried to get Olivia but Olivia wasn't got by this famous Hollywood bad boy (page 57 in Olivia's "Don't Stop Believin'" autobiography).  I know that Olivia was still in Karen's inner circle when Karen passed away.

Dionne Warwick is an interesting one.  After an incident in 1979, Karen did trust Dionne but also Karen did not want to take a chance of having to move Dionne to the outer circle if there had been another mishap (which Karen being unfoundedly [is unfoundedly an actual word?] jealous was what had started the mishap and it wasn't anything Dionne had or hadn't done).  Dionne never told of the mishap nor did me nor Olivia.  So Karen had Dionne as probably the only one that was technically in Karen's inner circle, but Karen kept trying to keep Dionne in her middle circle as a precaution.  So Dionne was technically the only one that was between Karen's inner circle and middle circle of friends.  A very special person as both Karen and Dionne were 'old souls' and they both had a lot of wisdom to share with each other.  Karen was probably more worried that she might blab than Dionne blabbing (blabbermouthing?  Hey, where are the grammar police when you need them?) was the reason for Karen trying to keep Dionne in the middle circle.  There was a secret (or two or more?) there though between Karen and Dionne.

Rod Temperton was I believe the only one that Karen had moved from her inner circle to her outer circle then to her middle circle.  During the beginning of the solo album, Karen and Rod had many secrets that they kept between themselves.  But then Rod had been keeping a secret from Karen and with that, Karen wasn't sure if she could trust Rod anymore so she moved him to her outer circle.  In mid May 1979 over the phone, Rod had confessed the secret to Karen that Phil had asked Rod to keep secret.  With that, Rod and Karen still had their secrets that they kept together but to keep from a possible mess as Rod was caught between a rock and a hard place between Karen and Phil, Karen moved Rod to her middle circle after Rod had confessed the secret he was keeping as to why Phil gave away the songs.  The secret was that Phil Ramone had lost a bet with Quincy Jones about the 1979 Grammy Awards and because of that bet, Phil owed Quincy three songs.  That was the reason behind all the double talk from Phil about "He's Out of My Life", "Rock with You" and "Off the Wall".

Max Baer Jr. is an interesting one as well as both Karen and Max had secrets that they did keep between themselves.  Most of the secrets between them were to help protect Max but a couple to protect Karen.  So it started becoming a game of "if you rat on me, I rat on you" between Karen and Max.  With that, Max stayed in Karen's middle circle (with her other boyfriends) even though they did have secrets there but Max and Karen really didn't want to rat out each other.  And since you can't trust a rat, no more secrets but middle circle instead of outer circle since the rats didn't wish to blab on each other.  Yes, there were a couple loopholes built into Karen's three-ring circus of friends.

Karen's boyfriends (question #6) - I believe all but two of Karen's boyfriends were in Karen's middle circle and those two would be Thomas Burris in Karen's outer circle and Adrian (not John Adrian but me) in Karen's inner circle.  John Adrian was in Karen's middle circle as were the rest as far as I ever knew.  But like with everyone, if Karen told a secret and it was kept, inner circle.  But with boyfriends, middle circle (as far as I ever knew) because Karen would be seeing if there would be a lasting relationship there, and without a commitment for a lasting relationship, middle circle, as after Karen and her boyfriends sorted stuff out, Karen's boyfriends would kind of bail out as Karen was a very strong personality to deal with and a tomboy and not a princess or a trophy wife in the least.  If you are still having problems understanding this, Karen was a lot like her mom and was very stubborn and headstrong and could be very difficult to deal with.  Most people would feel safer dealing with World War III than ever trying to deal with Karen or her mom when they felt the need to 'vent'.

Frenda Franklin (Leffler) was in Karen's inner circle until around March 1979.  Karen had been staying with her step cousin Wendy in New York State (not the city) since September 1978 and Karen had told Frenda about Karen having anorexia but had asked Frenda to keep quiet about it.  When Karen went back home in March 1979 Karen noticed that a few people in Karen's middle circle had heard about Karen having anorexia and it pointed to Frenda being 'the leak'.  After March 1979, Karen had moved Frenda out to her outer circle of friends and Karen did not tell Frenda any of her secrets after March 1979.  Yes, I know Frenda was chosen as Karen's Maid of Honor at her wedding, but I'll get to that with the Thomas Burris discussion here shortly.  There was a different reason than what others knew about for why Frenda and not someone else as the Maid of Honor.  From my knowledge saying Itchie and Frenda were best friends with each other would be accurate.  Also from my knowledge saying that Itchie and Karen or Frenda and Karen being best friends would not be accurate as both Itchie and Frenda were in Karen's outer circle and best friends weren't ever in Karen's outer circle but were in Karen's inner circle.  And a head's up here but I know from Karen that Karen had never talked with Frenda about doing a solo album and also that Karen had always hidden from Frenda, Itchie and Phil (and several others) that Karen knew her brother was seeing Mary Rudolph (secretly since about late March / early April 1979).  Frenda heard about that stuff from Itchie and others after Karen had passed away and not from Karen and it shows in the stuff that Frenda said later on.  Had "the Town Crier" actually known from Karen about the solo album and Richard seeing Mary, then everyone else would have known too before Karen passed away.  Like I stated, Frenda was in Karen's outer circle starting in March 1979 and Karen did not tell secrets to those in her outer circle and the solo album and her brother seeing Mary were secrets that Karen kept from Frenda before Karen passed.  And also I guess Frenda didn't realize that for Karen to 'go solo' with Phil and Itchie Ramone, Karen would have needed to dump her manager, Jerry Weintraub, and Jerry's assistant, Ed Leffler, Frenda's husband, to actually go solo and leave her brother.  I never met Frenda, but I can see that she didn't appear to be the brightest penny in the barrel.  Karen never disliked Frenda as a person or a friend but Karen could trust Frenda on some things but Karen couldn't trust the Town Crier to keep her big blabbermouth shut so no secrets was all.  Being 'the Town Crier' if Karen ever had anything she wanted everyone to know about whether true or not, Karen would tell it to Frenda and Frenda would tell it to everyone else.

Melba Franklin (Frenda's mom) was in Karen's inner circle.  Yes, that was a bit awkward and several times Karen tried to sneak around Frenda to talk to her mom, but Frenda would show up so Karen would kind of clam up after Frenda showed up.  And after problems with Frenda, Karen kind of moved Melba to her middle circle as Karen couldn't seem to talk with Melba without Frenda being there.

Thomas Burris was always in Karen's outer circle.  From day one where Thomas had said that he had never heard of the Carpenters, Karen always felt that Thomas wasn't being honest so he was always in Karen's outer circle.  For why Karen married Thomas, question #19 and for why Karen wanted to divorce Thomas, question #155.  But Karen and Thomas were supposed to be engaged for a year but Thomas started pressuring Karen to move the wedding up so Karen did.  Originally, Karen was actually planning on having Olivia be her Matron of Honor (if Olivia had accepted and Olivia would have been Karen's Matron not Maid of Honor) but with Thomas being so pushy and such, Karen decided to pick Frenda instead.  Yes, Karen trusted her husband about as much as she trusted her Maid (not Matron) of Honor.  Thomas was never honest with Karen and Karen likewise.  Yes, the marriage was a mess and it was both Karen and Thomas that couldn't be honest with each other.  On I believe June 18, 1981 Karen gave her step cousin Wendy permission to tell Thomas a couple of Karen's secrets and on June 18, 1981 Thomas found out that Karen had been about as honest with Thomas as Thomas had been honest with Karen.  But Wendy had only told Thomas a couple secrets and with that short talk, Thomas realized that he really didn't know squat about his wife like he thought he did.  The mirrors and smoke screens shattered for both Karen and Thomas on June 18, 1981.  But yes, Karen had always had Thomas in her outer circle so when someone tries to say that Thomas knew Karen's secrets, I know that didn't come from Thomas as I know from personal experience on June 18, 1981 that Thomas knew better than to say he knew Karen's secrets.  After being married, Karen was hoping that Thomas might have become more honest and open with her, but it was actually the opposite and Thomas became even more secretive and so did Karen become more secretive with Thomas.  It was just a mess on many different levels.  Also, while they were dating, Thomas seemed to know about a couple of Karen's secrets that Karen had never told him (like how she felt that the guy she should marry was the guy who got her back for all the pranks she pulled on others - with that, Karen had told me that at a restaurant, Thomas had pulled the 'dribble wine glass' trick on her but it had wrecked her new pants suit whereas before then I had pulled the pencil line down the middle of her face trick with Olivia and Dionne there but the pencil mark wiped off without wrecking anything and I had got her back in 1979 so to speak before Thomas' prank in 1980).  Karen figured it was probably Frenda that had supplied info to Thomas back when Karen and Thomas were dating.  Karen hadn't figured that out though before she married Thomas.  I actually hadn't been told before I pulled the pencil mark trick but I found out from Karen personally afterwards that she had always prayed to God that her 'true love' would be the guy that got her back for all her practical jokes she had played on others.  I had been that guy originally but stuff happens.  Thomas preferred to be called Thomas as he felt it was more distinctive, so usually Karen called him Tom, but if Karen was upset at him, she would call him Tommy.

Mike Burris, Tom's son, as far as I knew was in Karen's middle circle.  Mike probably witnessed a couple things between his dad and Karen, but I know Karen didn't really confide anything secret with Mike.  In June 1981, Karen referred to Mike with me as "spoiled brat" as a reference here.  Mike was 18 years old when Karen and his dad got married.  And even though a spoiled brat, so to speak, Mike was more of a friend to Karen than his dad was.  Karen said that Mike wasn't a totally bad kid, but his dad got him anything he ever wanted and never said "no" to him.  As Karen saw it, it wasn't Mike's fault that he was a spoiled brat and didn't know the meaning of the word no.

Phil Ramone was always in Karen's outer circle as Karen never trusted Phil.  Karen always tried to hide any secrets from Phil.  Phil never knew any of Karen's secrets as Karen was always worried and was warned about Phil trashing his clients in the tabloids in order to increase record sales using 'free publicity'.  Phil had Karen's solo album tapes and Karen had worried that Phil might sneak off and release them behind her back without her permission.  With that, Karen felt she had no choice but to have to be around Phil or Itchie to make sure that her solo album didn't get released without Karen's permission.  That was a mess like Karen's marriage was a mess.  As Karen and I called it, "A Can of Worms".

Karen Ichiuji (Karen Kamon on the "Flashdance" credits, Itchie Ramone) was also always in Karen's outer circle.  Saying Itchie and Frenda were best friends with each other is probably accurate.  Best friends are not people that are in someone's outer circle so saying they were best friends with Karen is not accurate.  Like Phil, Karen never trusted Itchie and after several other incidents, Itchie was probably the farthest one out on Karen's outer circle.  And for some odd reason, Itchie never told Frenda Franklin that if Karen had actually 'gone solo' so to speak then Karen would have had to have got rid of Jerry Weintraub and Frenda's husband, Ed Leffler, as her managers in order to go solo and sign with Phil Ramone as her producer.  Yes, Itchie was that special kind of friend where as they say "with friends like that, who needs enemies?"  Well, maybe Itchie was tied for farthest out with this next guy (but maybe not)...

Steven Levenkron was definitely in Karen's outer circle.  Karen told me that of the people she had met that Steven was the most manipulative even more so than Thomas Burris.  Karen said that he was nothing like his book and often wondered if someone else wrote that book (maybe his wife Abby?) or such.  Karen told me several incidents that happened including what happened on her initial meeting for Levenkron's Clinic between her, Itchie and Levenkron (all three together in the same room when Karen's purse was dumped and Itchie knew better but never said a word and backed up Levenkron and his deception as Itchie knew the pills weren't Karen's pills and that Karen never took Synthroid, but...).  From what I heard from Karen about what happened between her, Levenkron and Itchie and from what I saw that was made public by Itchie and Levenkron, something very wrong there.  From what I know and from what I have heard and seen, Karen was right about these two.  Thomas Burris was probably more of a friend to Karen than either Itchie or Levenkron ever were.  These two were THAT BAD.

As far as Karen's therapists she had for her anorexia, definitely outer circle.  She never trusted any of them.  Oops, I take that back.  Karen did trust one but he wasn't an anorexia specialist, so to speak.  His name was Mark and he was just a psychiatrist and not a specialist.  I am also not sure if she ever talked to Mark about her anorexia or not.  I am fairly sure she did, but that is to be confidential and Mark was always one to keep his patient stuff confidential between him and his client.

What about the guys in the band and such... as far as I ever knew, Karen was very close with the guys in the band but to avoid possible problems I believe they were all in Karen's middle circle of friends.  The band was always like a family and with the way they saw the press behave, the family stuck together and let Karen and Richard do the talking rather than face flak by the press too like Karen and Richard got.  They were free to talk but didn't after seeing how they treated Karen and Richard.  Would you talk after seeing others being called "the toothsome twosome" and such?  The press were (and in most cases are still) not too fond of honest and decent people and the band as well as Karen and Richard were honest and decent people.

Maria Galeazza was in Karen's middle circle.

Sandy Holland was in Karen's middle circle as far as I ever knew.  After the mess with Maria before, I think Karen kept the hairdresser in her middle circle but maybe they did share a secret and whether they did or didn't was always between Karen and who Karen shared the secret with.

Herb Alpert (Karen told me that Herb had asked her to call him uncle Herbie at one time because Herb always felt like A&M was a family) I am fairly sure was in Karen's middle circle of friends.  They could have possibly shared a secret though, but probably not and best left between them if they did.

Jerry Moss was the businessman at A&M and was in Karen's middle circle as well.  Businessmen aren't known for being warm and affectionate but Jerry realized that with the numbers that Karen and Richard brought in that Herb had made a great decision and Jerry had almost made a mistake back in the beginning.

Sherwin Bash was probably in the middle circle of friends.

Ed Leffler was probably in the middle circle of friends.

Jerry Weintraub was in the middle circle of friends.  Yeah, business people don't usually make inner circle as that would probably mess up the business end of things.

As far as I knew, Paul Williams was in Karen's middle circle.

I am pretty sure John Denver was in Karen's middle circle as well.

I am also fairly sure that Burt Bacharach was in Karen's middle circle, but like with everyone, if Karen shared a secret and the secret wasn't blabbed, the inner circle.  And Karen was the only one who knew for sure if someone was in her inner circle or not.  Karen had given me inside information however on certain people.  As far as Burt, no inside information, so either middle or inner circle and most likely middle as Karen didn't see Burt that often.  Kind of like with Petula Clark later.

Frank Bonito was inner circle as Karen trusted him.  Karen did tell me that her and Frank used to walk home together from school.

Carol Landino was inner circle at one time but it wasn't anything Carol did or didn't do but it was because Karen and Carol lost contact for a while that they didn't share secrets after they got older.

Debbie (Vaiusa) Cuticello was definitely inner circle.  But like with Frank and Carol, after the family moved out to LA and such, they had lost contact with each other.  Had Thomas been more trustworthy, Olivia or Debbie would have been Karen's Matron of Honor (not Maid).  Karen trusted Debbie so definite inner circle there.  And because Karen felt Debbie was trustworthy, she tried to keep Thomas, Itchie and Frenda away from Debbie as best as possible.  Karen could never trust Frenda or Itchie unlike Debbie, Debbie's family (Vaiusa), Carol Landino or Frank.  Karen definitely didn't want me around Frenda or Itchie either if it could be helped.  Unfortunately during the 100K meeting, Itchie, Phil and me seeing each other couldn't be helped.  Karen never trusted Frenda or Itchie or Thomas so Karen was never honest around them as they were never honest with Karen.

Carole Curb was probably in Karen's middle circle.  She was the sister of Mike Curb, an ex-boyfriend.  If there was a secret there between Carole and Karen then maybe inner circle but it seemed like with Karen's boyfriends and that Carole was a boyfriend's sister, Carole was most likely in Karen's middle circle.

Cherry Boone (O'Neill) was in Karen's middle circle.  See question #145.  Karen didn't really know Cherry that well.  Cherry didn't really know Karen that well either.

Pat, Shirley and Debby Boone were in Karen's middle circle too.  At one time Karen kind of considered Shirley as almost a second mom to her.  Karen always loved the way Debby sang "You Light Up My Life" and the fact that Debby sang it about God.  Karen was so proud of Debby winning a Grammy Award for that and felt Debby earned and was very deserving of that award.  Karen made a special point to stand next to Debby during the promo for the 25th Annual Grammy Awards show in January 1983.

Petula Clark was in Karen's middle circle.  Karen liked Petula and was always grateful that Petula had dragged Karen out of the meeting with Elvis but Karen's and Petula's schedules really didn't leave much time between them for get togethers and such.  Karen had always admired Petula's singing career and Petula being her own person.

Dorothy Hamill I believe was in Karen's middle circle too.  But I could be wrong as well.  Like I say, if Karen shared a secret with someone and they kept that secret, then they were in Karen's inner circle.  That was always up to Karen who Karen let in the inner circle and who wasn't.

Kristy McNichol I believe was also in Karen's middle circle as well.

John Davidson
I believe was also in Karen's middle circle as well.

Ella Fitzgerald
I believe was also in Karen's middle circle as well.

Suzanne Somers
I believe was also in Karen's middle circle as well.

Yes, I believe most were in Karen's middle circle of friends which would be a very long list here.

And finally, Adrian 'Ace' Downing, III (the other Adrian), Me Myself & I, was in Karen's inner circle as well.  As far as what secrets I knew, you're kidding right?  If not kidding, it would be a long list here and take up a lot of space.  My personal secret with Karen was question #128 about her past lives originally.  But then the secrets grew after that in September, October 1978 and onwards to probably around a hundred or so.  Others knew about me, but what do you say when someone (me) can't be mentioned publicly and can't talk publicly?  Maybe someday, hey, what about now...

And after finals comes graduation for most and there was another category that Karen called "the unmentionables" so I never knew for sure if Karen ever had anyone in this category.  And the reason why "the unmentionables" was if someone had done or tried to do something really bad to Karen or those close to Karen, they didn't exist and since they didn't exist they couldn't be mentioned.  After Karen saw how her mom hated dirt, Karen never wanted to hate anyone or anything.  If it didn't exist, nothing to hate so no hatred.  That simple (a Karen Carpenter trait).  Karen's rule would be if she ever ran across someone in this category that she would walk right away and not acknowledge they existed.  The closest one I knew about to this category was Thomas Burris if Thomas had tried to block the divorce or other such stuff, Thomas might have been put on this list.  But Thomas had signed the divorce papers and he had not really tried to block it or stretch it out or such so he did not make it to the unmentionables.  And with this I feel the need to list Karen's most trusted (inner circle) in order, which the top three were Mush, her mom and Richard in that order.  With Thomas signing the divorce papers, the three least trusted (outer circle) by Karen in order were Itchie Ramone, Steven Levenkron and Thomas Burris.  Karen always felt that Itchie Ramone was trying to ruin her career to try and force Karen to have to work with Phil Ramone.  Karen had caught Itchie backstabbing her a couple times (a nasty tabloid article that was rejected, several incidents that happened at the Levenkron Clinic [the initial meeting, Karen's supposed private family meeting that Itchie knew about, the argument where Itchie moved out but didn't answer Karen's 3 questions to name a few of several] and of course Phil Ramone holding onto Karen's solo album tapes even though Karen had paid for the production and such, and...).  As far as Steven Levenkron, Karen said he was just plain evil and couldn't be trusted to be honest about anything and was even more manipulative than Thomas (which was quite a feat that Steven accomplished there and from what Karen told me, yup, he accomplished it).  And as far as Steven's phone calls after Karen left the clinic, Karen didn't want Steven to stop wasting money on useless long distance phone calls so Karen never asked Steven to stop calling her and Karen was kind of hoping Steven would stay on the line long enough and call often enough to bankrupt himself eventually.  The same for Thomas Burris as being evil like Levnkron but Thomas got brownie points at the last minute by signing the divorce papers was all as otherwise Thomas would have topped the list had he tried to stretch it out or tried to get as much as he could get out of her.  But yes, Karen had only had friends in her three-ring circus of life that anyone ever knew of.  Enemies did not exist.

253. Was Karen hiding something by always joking and clowning around?

Yes.  Karen was actually hiding the fact that beneath her child-like antics of always joking and clowning around that deep down, Karen was too mature and too thoughtful for most people to handle.  The guy writing this page has the same problem.  When someone behaves too mature, people tend to avoid people that are too serious as it usually leads to arguments and lectures and such which aren't any fun.  So to take the edge off of being serious, being child-like with joking and clowning around to hide the massive amount of maturity that most people can not handle.  Karen honestly did not have any sadness and was always grateful for the wonderful experiences (both good and bad) that she had throughout the years.  But through those wonderful experiences, Karen had become an "old soul" and had wisdom beyond her years when being serious.  To hide the "old soul" Karen (and me) would behave child-like to hide that massive amount of knowledge, experience, intelligence and wisdom that would scare people away.  To explain here, Karen had become a household name in a short period of time but also Karen had accomplished many things to become that household name, through experience and wisdom.  On my end, at the age of eight years old I had dealt with having met the Archdeacon of Canterbury after an incident that started the "Merry Xmas" and "Keep Christ In Christmas" movements and at age ten I had met a former baseball star, Jimmy "Cool Papa" Bell, who was a major league baseball talent scout and at age 12 I had given a guy ideas that led to the guy getting the job of president of the National Transportation Safety Board (around February 1978) which aren't normal experiences for people at any age either.  Karen and me had both matured at a very early age unlike many who never mature at all.  So to hide the massive amount of maturity, exactly, child-like joking, pranking and clowning around to keep from being too serious and scaring people away.

Yes, having the lack of a sense of humor is a serious personal problem.  Too serious.  Do you have a problem with that?  Just typing out loud to myself.  I feel you should try it sometime.  Why should I have all the fun?  Seriously.  Nah.  Just a thought though.

254. What type of wine did Karen prefer?

Karen's favorite alcohol was Dom Perignon Champagne as the bubbles tickled her nose.  "Recent vintage, not that old stuff".

As far as wines, it depended on what Karen had to eat before.  A dry chablis preferable if I remember correctly.  Karen was pretty flexible on most stuff and not too picky usually.  If out at a restaurant, Karen would usually ask the waitor to recommend dry or sweet or even duet or such.  Afterwards, let Karen sniff the cork and you could pick her up off the floor later.  Karen did not really drink alcohol that often so she didn't really have a tolerance to it.  But champagne or wine as beer was too gassy and bitter while 'the hard stuff' Karen just didn't have the tolerance for.  They didn't have wine coolers back then.  Karen would have probably enjoyed wine coolers more than a bottle of wine and could have sniffed the cap instead of the cork.

255. Did Karen ever have cancer?

The answer is no, Karen never had cancer.  When Karen started losing weight around 1975 there was speculation by some that Karen had developed cancer.  With that, Karen had made a public statement that she had developed colitis which was actually true.  The cancer speculation and such was just that, speculation, and was never true.

256. Did Karen ever have tonsilitis?

Actually, no.  Karen never had tonsilitis that she was ever aware of.  Karen still had her tonsils and her adenoids when she passed away (even though I don't remember seeing them mentioned on her autopsy).  Karen had laryngitis a couple times, but only a couple (knock on wood).  And yes, "Knock on wood, sure tastes good, knock on glass, kiss my what?, OK, kiss me I'm Irish or something like that."

257. Why did Karen close her eyes while singing?

According to Karen, she would key off on certain sounds in a song while singing.  A cymbal, the oboe, the snare drum, bass drum, etc.  Karen would close her eyes so that she could concentrate more on the sounds around her instead of what she was seeing.  Less distractions by closing her eyes.  But Karen would listen for certain sound cues in the music and by closing her eyes she was able to concentrate more on what she was hearing without being distracted by what she might be seeing.  Others did / do it as well, but the spotlight was usually more on Karen than others.  And yes, a spotlight can be blinding at times, but Karen told me that her closing her eyes while singing was so that she could hear the band and her voice better and not because of any lighting problem or such.  Also, Karen assured me that she was just listening more clearly to the sounds of what was around her and not daydreaming or reaching back for inspiration or such.  Karen said her singing was based more on how her voice sounded and the notes and intonations and such and not based on any personal experiences or such.  So Karen wasn't closing her eyes to draw on personal events or such but to make it easier to concentrate on the sounds without a visual distraction possibly getting in the way, but also, trying to remember a life experience or such while singing would distract Karen from what she needed to be singing which were the words and the notes and the phrasings thereof (plus the drums as well).  For Karen, timing was very important and certain sounds on certain beats and listening for those cues would help Karen stay more on track with the song and with the band on stage (and in the studio as well).  Karen was the one who taught herself how to sing and part of her learning was realizing when and on what to concentrate on while singing.  But try it for yourself and see if you notice what Karen noticed.  First, sing with your eyes wide open.  Next, sing again with your eyes closed and see if you notice a difference in what you hear.  Then the third part realize that if you start trying to daydream about someone or such while your eyes are closed, you'll forget the lyrics (words) and drift off and away from the song.  Thanks for asking and yes, this was one of Karen's secrets about singing.

258. Was Karen ever baptised?

According to Karen she was baptised when she was young before she could really remember it in Connecticut.  Karen was not for the 'born again' movement and such and so she only ever had the one baptism.  I also think I remember Karen saying that she really didn't attend church much as she got older so I think Karen said she never had communion (not 100% positive but fairly sure).  But Karen was not really a religious person but also not really anti religious either.  Like about everyone, some stuff seems all right but some other stuff just doesn't seem to work out too well.  So pick and choose.  And as far as choice, Karen didn't feel that the choice of being baptised or not was a deciding factor in if a person entered Heaven or not after passing away.

259. Did Karen ever talk about Neil Sedaka to you?

Yes, in either late October or early November 1978.  Karen told me that they had toured with Neil Sedaka and then they fired him.  Then they fired their manager Sherwin Bash just after Neil.  Karen then mentioned that she ended up in the hospital for over a month (and mentioned her arrhythmia [and pacemaker] and colitis again).  Then Karen mentioned what happened between her and Terry Ellis (question #6) and that Terry had filled in as manager in the transition between Sherwin and Jerry Weintraub (January 1, 1976).  The tail end of 1975 was a bit messy for Karen especially and Richard too.  But also Karen mentioned that Sherwin was more the traditional manager with stage shows and touring and such whereas Jerry Weintraub had TV experience which both Karen and Richard felt that TV was a much better option and reached a larger audience than touring ever could.  Karen was all for dropping Sherwin and bringing in Jerry Weintraub.

But Karen had mentioned the incident where Neil had announced people (Tom Jones, Engelbert Humperdinck) in the audience against stage protocol.  No biggie there, but Karen was just livid and fuming even over three years later about the fact that Neil had broken keys on Richard's piano.  That was it with Karen with Neil.  Karen believed in forgiveness of others but how can you forgive evil?  Yes, regardless of anything else Karen wanted to literally fire Neil with a flame thrower, blow torch or throw him in an active volcano or such after the keys on Richard's piano were broken by Neil.  And don't let the door hit ya where the good lord split ya on the way out.

260. Was Thomas Burris given a million dollars?

Truthfully no.

Karen had called Thomas up and said to Thomas over the phone, "I'll give you a million if you sign the divorce."  Karen also did not stipulate a million what.  Then in what Karen described as the nicest thing Thomas had done since they were married, Thomas went in and signed the divorce papers and then he called and told Karen that he signed the divorce papers and that he knew the million was not a valid offer but he signed the papers anyway.  With the divorce papers was also a suppression order to keep Thomas from talking publicly about Karen and Karen would not talk publicly about Thomas either.  The papers were signed by Thomas but Karen had not signed the divorce papers.  The divorce could not be enforced but the suppression order could be enforced.  The divorce would have given Thomas more than what Karen's Will gave Thomas.  Thomas never contested the Will and he got the house in Newport Beach and its contents but not a million thank yous, molecules of air, duck feathers or whatever.  No, Thomas never got a million dollars from Karen or her family or the lawyer.  Thomas got what the Will stipulated, the house in Newport Beach and its contents, no more, no less.

261. What about Mr. Guder?

Note, the information I am posting on this one doesn't come from Karen but from others.  Mr. Guder was a song written by Richard and John Bettis about their boss at Disneyland, Mr. Victor Guder (Vic).  It is a type of protest song about corporate life.  The song was written by Richard and John about their former boss after Richard and John were supposedly fired after playing songs that weren't on the play list.  So first question is how did Mr. Guder feel about this song?  This info comes from others as I have not talked with Victor about this.  But according to others, Victor is a quiet and humble guy and was all right with the song as it was a type of protest song but was not mean spirited so he took it in stride.  Victor likes having his privacy though so he doesn't want to be public from what I've heard from other(s).  I guess Victor prefers jazz type music so the folk type protest music style isn't his favorite type of music, but I guess he felt the song was not mean spirited or such and done in good taste so I guess he was fine with it so long as he wasn't required to be public about it.  Also, I guess he told at least one someone that he actually hadn't fired Richard or John but that he had hired Richard and John as seasonal or temporary workers for either 90 or 100 days and after the 90 / 100 days were over, Victor had to let Richard and John go.  I guess Victor also told this person that the contract that Richard and John signed had a clause about playing songs from a play list and also had a clause about playing requests.  I guess according to Victor, the contract didn't actually stipulate that the requests had to be from the play list which was a gray area and that Victor let Richard and John go after the alotted time (100 days or whatever) and not really because of playing songs that weren't on the play list.  As far as my source(s), I drank (plead?) a fifth and forgot; a hiccup; stuff happens.

262. Did Karen want to call off her wedding?

According to Karen to me on June 12, 1981, Karen almost called off her wedding about two to three weeks before the wedding.

Also, according to Karen, Thomas had been telling Karen that he was a widower and about three weeks before her wedding, Karen met Tom's ex-wife at Croger's Market.  Imagine the surprise Karen had meeting Tom's dead wife at a grocery store and she had appeared to be much better now.  Yes, Karen was furious and she confronted Tom about it and nearly called off the wedding at that point about two to three weeks before the wedding.  The problem was that the invitations had already been sent out and some people had already started showing up for the wedding.  After raising the roof on Tom, Karen had decided to go through with the wedding anyway despite the dishonesty.  Karen was never talked into it by her mom or anyone else.  Karen made the decision to go through with the wedding on her own according to Karen.  Tom had lied about his having a divorce but this was also the same Tom that claimed he had never heard of the Carpenters before when he and Karen first met (on a double date with Tony Scotti and Carole Curb).  There was never a "You made your bed now you lie in it" from Karen's mom about this (this was actually one of several dramatizations in "The Karen Carpenter Story" movie and did not actually happen).  I didn't ask so I'm not sure if Karen's mom even knew about this incident before the marriage.  But the almost calling off the wedding had nothing to do with the vasectomy.  As far as the vasectomy issue, I had met Karen's great half uncle Jack Carpenter back on June 1, 1979 and I had got the 'suitor talk' from Jack on that day (and Karen had warned me about 'the talk' beforehand and my response to Jack had been something like, "If I ever do something like that with your niece I hope you use a dull rusty butter knife and make it as painful as possible"), but as far as Tom and Karen and the vasectomy issue...

As far as the vasectomy issue, Karen said that incident happened on the day of her wedding.  Tom had talked with Itchie Ramone and with that talk, Itchie had picked up the house phone and called Karen and Karen answered on the day of Karen's wedding.  Itchie then handed the phone over to Tom and over the phone on the wedding day, Tom told Karen that he had a vasectomy.  At first Karen didn't think much of it and thought that Tom was just joking around about it so it didn't really sink in.  Then a little later, Karen almost called off the wedding again after it did sink in but then her mom gave the "People magazine" speech and although Karen said her mom's speech wasn't that good as Karen was expecting her mom to talk about promises, commitments and such but only talked about the magazine people being there.  But Karen's mom rarely gave speeches so Karen kept thinking that she was getting signs of change instead of signs that things were messed up.  Marriage is supposed to be a big change, and Karen's mom giving a speech was yet another sign of change that happened that day or yet another mess depending how you look at it.  Karen saw it as a change on that day.  So Karen went through with the marriage.  And as Karen told me on June 12, 1981
"Tom changed all right.  Before we got married, Tom would ask permission before doing anything.  After we got married Tom tried to run everything."  Tom told Karen that he had a vasectomy without using the free offer he got from Karen's great half uncle Jack Carpenter (Jack was the eldest male Carpenter at the time and he would give a lecture to the Carpenter women suitors that if the suitor was dishonorable with his daughter / granddaughter / niece, etc. that he would cut their balls [nuts?] off with a knife.  Jack was a very big guy and weighed over 300 pounds and had a very deep voice and also did not have a neck so to speak.  Jack was also a funny man if you did get to meet him and he enjoyed a good joke.  Jack was actually a kind of big cuddly teddy bear under his rough and gruff exterior).  Tom had chickened out of the free offer and had a doctor do it instead.  And for those wondering, according to Karen, Karen's mom was looking ahead to having grandkids from her daughter and wasn't worried the least if it might affect Karen's singing voice or Richard's career or such.  A son-in-law without grandkids?  "Get a divorce from that freeloader" was what Karen told me her mom had said about that when Karen and I talked in June 1981.   And with a divorce...

In California law at the time and probably still, a marriage can be annulled within I believe 60 days but after that 60 days you had to wait a year unless you could prove (through police reports) that someone's life was in danger.  So Karen had to wait at least a year and so on her dad's birthday in November 1981 Karen confronted Thomas and started the divorce paperwork.  14 months or one year plus 60 days roughly.  Then in 1982 Karen went to Levenkron's Clinic and in February 1983 Tom had signed the divorce papers (including the suppression order).  Karen visited me (and her step cousin Wendy) in mid June 1981 while also attending her cousin Patti Carpenter's graduation ceremony in mid June 1981.  Karen's great half uncle Jack Carpenter with his wife (Gladys?) was there at the ceremony as well and Jack assured Karen and me that if we still wished to get married after her and Tom got divorced that he still gave us his blessings (which he had given back in June 1979 as well).  In mid June 1981 Karen had stayed again with her cousin Wendy, and Tom and his son Mike stayed with cousin Wendy as well.  Yes, Karen and Tom's marriage was just a big mess.  And of course this ties in with question #19 (why did she marry Thomas) and question #155 (why did Karen want a divorce).

And I guess something else here for the record.  Back in 1979 a guy named Max had falsely accused Karen and me of having sex together.  Karen's return in June 1981 wasn't just for her cousin Patti's graduation.  Karen had told me that Tom had accused her of cheating on him and Karen was not one to be falsely accused (except that only one incident back in 1979 because of that age problem between us).  It was definitely a wild week in the middle of June 1981.  During the graduation ceremony, Karen and me sat with several other couples near the top row of the stadium while Tom and his son and her step cousin Wendy sat about 20 or so rows down near the bottom of the stadium.  Tom knew that Karen and me were sitting together too but kept his distance.  But Tom also knew that Karen was not one to be falsely accused of something and he had accused her, so...  So to answer a question,
I drank (plead?) two fifths and forgot; two hiccups; stuff happens that can't be explained while under the alcafluence of inkohol (speaking of which, probably time for a new printer cartridge after all this).

263. Did Karen mention anything to you about having her heart race?

Yes, actually during our phone call on February 3, 1983 Karen did mention the incident about her heart racing.  Karen had told me that she had put her ring on the sink while doing dishes and the ring had fallen into the sink and down the drain.  Earlier that day, Karen had found out that she had contracted hepatitis from having her tattoo removed and Karen had got a shot for the hepatitis.  After the ring went down the drain, Karen crawled under the sink and pulled apart the drain and found the ring in the trap.  While under the sink, Karen's heart had started beating really fast and Karen got a little worried.  Then Karen said her cleaning lady came in, Florine, and Karen was still under the sink when Florine arrived.  But Karen said that she didn't want Florine knowing she had hepatitis but she also didn't want Florine to hug her either and possibly catch hepatitis.  So Karen told Florine about her heart racing hoping that Florine would keep her distance but hadn't told Florine why.  Karen also said that she was kind of a little bit out of it after the hepatitis shot but she was with it enough to remember what happened with her ring and her housekeeper, Florine.  But Karen hadn't told people (especially her family) she had a tattoo let alone that she had it removed (question #7).  But whatever day that happened was the day in 1983 that Karen found out that she had hepatitis so Karen mentioned the incident to me in case someone brought it up after we got back together on February 4 (which didn't happen).  Karen also assured me that her heart racing had happened because of the hepatitis shot and that Karen didn't have any heart problems or such outside whatever was behind her arrhythmia.  Karen had also assured me that she didn't want people knowing she had got a tattoo let alone had it removed.  But then also later in the phone call, Karen had given me permission to blab about stuff if the need arose and Karen wasn't around to answer on her own behalf.  So here we are...

264. Could Karen whistle?

Actually, Richard could whistle really well, Karen not so well.  Karen could do the loud pinky whistle with her pinkies in the corner of her mouth really loud and really well, but Karen couldn't really get the hang of whistling a tune.  Her mouth just didn't want to cooperate.

265. Did Karen ever meet Mama Cass Elliott?

I believe it was around 1968 (somewhere between 1967 and 1969) and the band Spectrum had borrowed equipment to play at an audition at a local LA club.  The equipment had "The Mamas & Papas" stenciled on it but Spectrum tried to hide it and cover it up.  Unfortunately during the audition, members of The Mamas & The Papas showed up at the audition and Mama Cass was not too happy about seeing the band's equipment there.  Karen and Mama Cass did meet each other but there wasn't much talking between them under the circumstances.  Mama Cass was not a happy camper at the time of their meeting.

266. Who leaked Karen's solo album outtakes?

I wasn't around and I haven't heard anything definite from others on this.  I know the three that would have had access to those outtakes would have been either Rod Temperton (Rod used to make copies of stuff on cassette tape for Karen back when Karen was doing her solo album), Phil Ramone (had the original studio tapes) or Richard Carpenter.  From what I've also heard is that it was done through the Carpenters fan club mailing, which that would point most likely to Richard at least being involved somehow (access to fan club info).   I wasn't around at the time or involved and the last direct contact I had with anyone was Rod, Phil and Itchie in early June 1979, Karen's phone call on February 3, 1983 and Richard in person on February 4, 1983.

The story about the 'leaked' outtakes has never changed though.  The original leak was through the fan club sending out a cassette tape of the outtakes to members in 1996.  Then in 2000 someone leaked the leaked outtakes over the internet to others in digital format.

267. Why did Karen choose Levenkron's Clinic?

This question actually pretty much comes from someone that knew Karen really well.  To explain...

Why wouldn't Karen check into an inpatient facility?  And Monday through Friday for a 40 minutes to an hour session once each weekday?  And yes, when stuff doesn't sound right, as this page is trying to demonstrate, ask questions like Richard did.  So...

This is information I got from Karen during our long phone call on the day before she passed away (February 3, 1983).

Karen had thought of all the guys out there and outside of me, Adrian, Karen could only think of one other possible alternative.  As Karen told me during our phone call, "I was looking to sow my wild oats" which was a reference to a talk that I had with Karen after an open house event back in November 1978.  The morning after the open house event, I had a talk with Karen that went like this...
  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." (This was in reference to me and Karen and our 'heart to heart' talk after Paul Williams had shown up in mid October 1978 and Karen had asked if my mom had ever met Elvis which my mom never had an opinion about Elvis so my mom had never met Elvis).  And Karen 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 Karen 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."  And Karen was like, "I think you'll survive."  This was also the talk where Karen made blankety blank sure that I didn't ever use the term "little sister" ever again either (she didn't cuss though but she did throw a paperback book at me three times).  On February 3, 1983 over the phone, Karen told me that this was her third best memory she had of us from September 1978 to June 1979.

So to answer a question, Karen loved "The Best Little Girl in the World" book and Karen wanted to get to know Levenkron better.  Levenkron also had a clinic that he ran, so money too.  A doctor in the family?  Karen had a crush on the image that Levenkron had.  But as Karen told me,
"I was looking to sow my wild oats".  Itchie Ramone was the one who set it up and talked Levenkron into accepting Karen.  Levenkron even realized that his program for anorexia was not geared towards Karen and that the program probably wouldn't help her.  Karen told me too that the program was mostly motivational with advertising type slogans (like "You win.  I gain" and such) and Karen was not really someone to take to that kind of advertising blurb type fluff / stuff.  But maybe there was something else that Karen and Levenkron might be able to figure out through private sessions.  Well, Karen met Levenkron and they talked and Karen found out right from their initial meeting that Steven Levenkron was nothing like his image would suggest.  So, early on, Karen's image of Levenkron being this super guy was shattered right on day one.  He also wasn't technically a doctor either as Karen later found out as Levenkron couldn't actually treat anyone.  But Karen kept trying to get with Levenkron and as a result, Steven (Levenkron had started allowing Karen to call him Steven) brought in his wife, Abby, as Karen kept making sexual advances with Levenkron and Levenkron was married.  So Karen got to meet Steven's wife.  Leave it to Karen to create a big mess.  But Karen had told me that she was down to just one guy after meeting Levenkron, and that guy was definitely not Steven.  Also, Karen told me that Steven was even more of a manipulator than Thomas Burris was, so Karen stuck things out with the program as she had signed the commitment papers, but like Karen and Levenkron both realized, the program was not going to help Karen with her anorexia directly.

It did help in another way though; it got Karen to realize that if she didn't want to sit through more sessions of hogwash, poppycock, nonsense and bullsh*t about eating disorders, then Karen needed to straighten herself out.  After Karen left the program and went home with her mom, Karen and her mom came up with an idea of Karen only weighing herself once a week (Friday mornings) and that had actually appeared to be helping as from November 1982 until Karen passed away in February 1983, Karen's weight had stayed fairly steady at 108 pounds.  There was another part (besides the once a week) that other people have commented on working, the "don't look in a mirror" rule which Karen hadn't mentioned that one to me, only the weigh yourself once a week rule.  And after going through that and having her image shattered of Steven, Karen felt ready to settle down and not worry about that wild oats sowing stuff.  The Levenkron stuff was in 1982, and Karen realized too that she needed to divorce Tom as well.  Karen realized that even though 15 years younger (and oops, shh, Max was Karen's eldest, Tom was second eldest, and I was youngest, but maturity seemed to be backwards as the elder ones tended to be more immature, while Tony Danza and me seemed more mature than Max or Tom or even Steven hypothetically [hey that rhymes, even Steven], go figure.  The older ones behaved more childish while the younger ones were more child-like.  Big difference).  So as far as anorexia, yup, didn't help.  As far as getting Karen to try and get her act together so she didn't have to deal with all the psychobabble hogwash, poppycock, nonsense and bullsh*t again, it worked.  And after meeting Steven and seeing what he was really like (cold, calculating, unemotional, married, etc.) and Karen's other boyfriend experiences (question #6), Karen was done with that wild oat sowing stuff as well.  After hitting bottom, Karen was finally looking up and seeing the light and a brighter future.  The smoke screens and mirrors about age and maturity had run their course.  The smoke cleared and the mirrors shattered and behind it was the lesson Karen learned of that it is the life experiences and not really age that create maturity.  Well, that and in June 1981 Karen ran a credit check on me (just for fun) and at age 16, my credit rating was 726 (which neither Karen nor Richard had a credit rating at age 16) but also, Tom Burris' credit rating was 136 and his son's rating was 500 (at age 18, so combined 636) so that helped too in my defense.  So Karen's two minuses (money and age) for Adrian (me) weren't actually minuses but weren't really pluses either.  Exactly, I listen but I try not to actually understand woman talk.  As far as my side of this, Karen was unique and her and I had a lot of unique experiences together (especially with that soul mate stuff, question #61).  I wasn't dealing with mirrors or smoke screens or such that I was aware of outside of our first month and a half when Karen kept her identity hidden from me (September 6 to mid October 1978).  We both had two strikes as I was younger and I wasn't wealthy while Karen was wealthy and a celebrity, but we each never had a third strike with each other.  Really, most guys are busy doing things and don't really have much time for that complicated thinking type stuff.

But to answer the question about Levenkron and the clinic, it was to try and sow her wild oats actually and not really about Karen's anorexia.  If Levenkron hadn't wrote the book, "The Best Little Girl in the World", Karen would have never went to his clinic.  That is probably why it didn't really make sense if thought about and questioned as far as the treatment plan went.  Who gets treated one hour a weekday and plans to be cured in six months to a year?  Hopefully it makes more sense now to those who thought to ask.  As far as Karen choosing Levenkron because she felt Levenkron was some kind of anorexia guru or such, nope.  It was a crush on a guy that wrote a book Karen loved and that doctor stuff which Levenkron was cold, calculating and manipulative towards Karen and not warm, caring and compassionate like his book suggested and he also wasn't a doctor and when smoke screens clear and mirrors come crashing down; reality sets in.  What is real, reality of course.  After the illusions struck out (Tom and Steven), reality still remained (that one last guy that never got three strikes).  Baseball is a tomboy and a guy thing so I am able to understand this part.  Dating is a girl thing though and if it wasn't for the baseball reference of three strikes and you're out, guys wouldn't have a clue about that stuff.

268. Why didn't their father, Harold, talk more?

Good question that even Karen, herself, asked.

If you watch the full 1983 Good Morning America show, Harold does talk during the second half of the show (part 2).  Also, during the 1978 A Christmas Portrait special, Harold talked a short piece but not that much.  Karen had told me though that during the 1978 special her dad, Harold, had actually cracked everyone up (including Gene Kelly) with his impersonation of Winston Churchill, but that was off screen in between takes.  But as even Karen tried to understand, why didn't her dad talk that much?

So in June 1979, Karen organized a family get together with her dad's side of the family, the Carpenters, Lynns, B[censored]ks and such.  I typed earlier (#151) about what the family had to say about Harold and Agnes and such.  But Karen had wondered for a long time if her dad not talking much might have had something to do with him being born over in China.  So in June 1979 during the family get together, Karen asked different family members about her dad not talking and they answered pretty much the same (her great grandmother Susan (Seal) Carpenter, her aunt Martha [Matilda] Lynn, her step grandmother Wefta B[censored]k as well).

They each said basically the same thing that it wasn't that Harold was born over in China.  What they did say was that her dad, Harold, was very close to his mom, Nellie (Lynn) Carpenter, and her dad and grandma Nellie used to talk together and were very close.  Then in 1927, Nellie developed pleurisy (a lung disease) and passed away in 1927.  After his mom passed away, Harold did not talk much anymore.  And like I mentioned in #151, when Harold and Agnes met, it was a whirlwind romance and they got married.

And a short sidetrack here, as I think I just figured something else out but unfortunately Karen isn't around anymore to confirm this.  But Karen's (and Richard's too and cousin Joanie as well) mom and dad met and like said, it was a whirlwind romance.  With Karen and me, mostly because of my being underaged (legal problems), it wasn't a whirlwind romance, but it was very intense over that first 9 months.  It just kept building and building between us, but no whirlwind but possibly a tornado wind being that intense in comparison.  Karen and me knew people married over 50 years that had never had that much 'magic' between them.  With Karen and Thomas, it was a whirlwind (maybe a toilet flush whirlwind?), and I think that was another part of why she married Thomas even though her and most people around her knew Karen was head over heels for someone else (me, Adrian).  But Karen's mom and dad had a whirlwind romance and their relationship was great between them and they never strayed or stuff like that.   Karen's and Tom's toilet flush whirlwind kind of fell apart about 3 months after they got married.  But after the sidetrack here...

Karen's dad wasn't being controlled or such.  Harold just wasn't really a talker was all.  No one ever forced him to be quiet or forced him to talk either.  Harold was really close to his mom and his family noted that after his mom passed away in 1927, Harold just didn't really seem like talking much.  Karen, herself, originally thought it might be because he was born over in China and maybe a language type thing, but the Carpenter family and the Lynn family assured Karen that Harold was more talkative with his mom so it wasn't a born in China language type thing but something inside Harold that he never talked about (unless with Agnes) after his mom passed away.

And actually, according to Karen, her mom didn't really talk that much either.  But Karen and her mom (after Karen had grown up in her twenties) would talk each other's ears off at times about family and neighborhood gossip and such.  Like Karen told me about her wedding that her mom made the 'People magazine' speech but her mom rarely made speeches.  And a change is when someone that rarely makes speeches makes a speech.

And another sidetrack here, but Karen's mom had a green thumb and Karen had a brown thumb.  Does anyone have any kind of statistics for green thumbs and whirlwind romances?  Karen had a brown thumb and a whirlwind romance that didn't work out while her mom had a green thumb and a whirlwind romance that did work out.

With that thought, there did not appear to be any deception between Harold and Agnes with their whirlwind romance and marriage.  In contrast, there does appear to be a bit of deception on both sides with Karen and Tom's whirlwind romance and marriage.  My guess / intuition would be the deception or lack thereof stuff involving that word trust and not that green / brown thumb stuff.  But you never know until someone asks.  Thanks again for asking and giving me (and others) something more to THINKE (Take Heart In Not Knowing Everything) about.

But for my own reference here, neither Harold, Agnes, Richard or Karen Carpenter were ever forced to be quiet or such by each other or even outside influences.  There was some stuff though that did have possible legal consequences and some stuff that was just plain awkward to deal with privately let alone publicly.  But the biggest problem of all has been that without Karen to answer on her own behalf,  some stuff is just a mess to try and discuss let alone find an answer to.  The only one that knew everything about Karen was Karen herself.  And since Karen is not around anymore to confirm or deny (yes, only a know-it-all puts words or thoughts in other people's mouths or heads without confirming from that other person if those words or thoughts are accurate or not).

269. Did Karen ever shave herself (pubes)?

Yes, a very personal question and feel free to skip this if you wish.  If not...

Karen had a tattoo done when she was young (mid to late teens) of a red rose and it was done below her pubic hairline.  According to Karen, the only time her pubes were shaved (just in the tattoo area, was all) was when the tattoo was done (late 1960s) and when it was removed (1983).  Otherwise, to answer this question, no, Karen did not shave her pubes.  Karen did not want others knowing she had a tattoo there.  But yes, this is where the answer to question #40 comes from.

270. Did Karen know any dirty jokes?

Yes, Karen knew quite a few dirty jokes over the years.  To explain...

At one time her favorite but then moved to her second favorite was a joke I had heard from Bruce Moorhess that I told Gene Simmons (Kiss) in 1979 of "Why does a woman have two holes close together?" which of course, "So when she gets drunk you can carry her home like a six pack."  Yeah, imagine that coming out of the mouth of a 14 year old with dorky glasses.

In mid June 1981, Karen and someone who became a friend of hers and mine, Alan Austin, swapped dirty jokes back and forth as Alan was really into dirty jokes.  Alan told Karen the one of "How do you make a woman scream during sex?" which of course, "Wipe your dick on the curtains." which became Karen's favorite dirty joke in 1981.

Alan and Karen swapped dirty jokes back and forth in mid 1981 and they even numbered them and when someone would pass by Karen or Alan would go, "They look like a number 16" or "Definitely a number 7" and such in reference to the dirty jokes they numbered.  Yes, shared moments and memories.  They ended up swapping about 30 or so dirty jokes over 3 days.

Karen's cousin Patti's graduation was on either June 19 or 20, 1981 and Karen and Alan were there and me too at the local stadium.  Karen's husband, Tom, and his son, Mike, were 20 or so rows below us.  Before the ceremony, Tom had his son Mike stand up and point to us while Tom yelled out, "Hey look; it's Karen Carpenter." and at the time, the people around us didn't know it was actually Karen Carpenter and just knew her as Karen or Honey.  So Karen and I looked all around to see where Karen was and a large mob of about 200 to 300 people started coming our way.  Then in one of Karen's favorite moments, Alan recognized it was Karen and said,
"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 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 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.  But dirty jokes like, "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" and "I prefer 77 as you get 8 (ate) more than a 69." stuff like that.  But to note also, Karen and me didn't really share dirty jokes together as it just would have been awkward between us under the circumstances.

Yes, Karen knew dirty jokes too and the meanings behind them.  She wasn't "squeaky clean" like her image suggested.

271. Did Karen have any personality quirks?

Everybody has something about them that makes them different.  Karen tried to have lots of quirks actually (see question #100 about principles / proverbs).  Karen's biggest quirk was "I am not going to be falsely accused of anything".  Once you understand this quirk, you understand Karen.  The real Karen.

For examples, if someone accused Karen of taking pills, exactly, Karen would try to make people believe she was taking pills by putting breath mints in a pill bottle.  (Note, in mid May 1979 Karen had accidentally grabbed the wrong bottle and ended up having her stomach pumped for 8 or 9 aspirin).  If her boyfriend or husband tried to accuse her of cheating on them, exactly, her husband would be sitting about 20 or so rows below while Karen sat up higher in the stadium next to another guy. 
If someone was accusing Karen of being crazy, exactly, crazy people try to commit suicide according to Karen's thoughts on that.  (For a reference here, Richard is correct that Karen never tried to commit suicide around her family, so Karen's family never accused Karen of being crazy according to Karen and her family.  On my behalf, I know a guy named Max accused Karen of being crazy in May 1979 and what a mess that was [overdosing on aspirin?, playing in traffic?]).  If someone accused Karen of being a liar, she might tell them that she took 90 laxative tablets a day.  And a thought here, but if Karen and others thought she was anorexic, yikes, a big can of worms there (but key word, 'falsely' as Karen did have eating problems but didn't / doesn't actually fit the anorexic profile being used).  And so on and so forth as the cookie bounces and the ball crumbles...

Those closest to Karen knew that you didn't accuse Karen of stuff but you learned to say "you're acting like...".  You didn't say "Karen is a liar" unless you wanted Karen to lie to you.  If you said, "Karen, you're acting like a liar" then Karen would be fine. 

With Karen, if something happened, just ask and Karen would talk about it.  If Karen did something, she would admit it and explain why.  However, Karen was always very adamant about she was not going to be falsely accused or blamed for anything that she did not do.  And if accused of something she didn't do, she was going to do it and not be falsely blamed or accused of it.  The ONLY exception to this was an incident in 1979 where a guy named Max accused Karen of having sex with a guy that was 14 years old at the time.  Karen was honestly willing to go to jail over fulfilling the accusation, however, the guy was not going to let that jail possibility happen so it didn't.  Then Karen got married to a guy and that guy, Tom, accused Karen of cheating on him.  Kind of backwards here but in 1981, could two exceptional stones be cleared by one bird?  Was no stone left unturned?  No exceptions (shouldn't this be changed to a period instead of a question mark?). / ?  Stay tuned for more questions to be answered on the Karen Carpenter Question & Answer page...

If Karen trusted someone, she would be honest, but if not... like nearly every person that has ever lived at one time or another.

Those closest to Karen knew this little quirk of Karen's very well (inner circle).  Those that weren't actually that close didn't have a clue (outer circle and middle circle).  But people that can be trusted don't go around falsely accusing people of stuff.  People that can't be trusted are the ones that go around falsely accusing people of stuff.  A very elaborate system that Karen used of judging people's character which has a very complicated reasoning to it that does make sense logically.  Trust (inner circle) or lack thereof (outer circle).  People behave differently around different people.  Karen loved being different.  Interactions.  Environment.  Preferences.  Personal space.  Interpersonal space.  Outerpersonal space.  Understanding.  Questioning?  Thoughts (actual thoughts, not just what others may or may not allow)?  You don't understand someone by making them into something they are not (smoke screens and mirrors).  You understand someone by knowing who they are and how they behave towards you and others around you.  Quirks.  Personality.  Personally.  Which, yes, this ties in with question #252.

Yes, the only one that knew everything about Karen was Karen, herself.  Karen isn't around anymore to verify or deny what has been said or written.  With that, we're all on our own with that. 

And also true, the only one that knows all about yourself is you.  Although there are three people that know all there is to know about Me, Myself and I.  Well, actually four, if you consider your conscience (depending on who you really are or maybe you aren't and are just a figment of your own imagination.  Are you sure?  Then why are you asking?  Are you talking to yourself again?  If you can't trust yourself, who can you trust?).

272. Does it get messy talking about Karen's life publicly?

Yes, even for Karen, herself, when she took the chance.  But everyone always has their own opinions anyway, regardless of what someone may actually say or do.

273. Does it get messy talking about Karen's life privately?

Yes, but not as messy as when you talk publicly.  Why do people keep some things to themselves privately rather than be public?  Well,
everyone always has their own opinions anyway, regardless of what someone may actually say or doNot everyone is included privately.

274. Were there two different takes for the "Make Believe It's Your First Time" song?

Yes, there were two different takes used for that song. 

The take for Voice of the Heart was done in October 1980 at A&M Studios in Los Angeles while the take for Karen's solo album, Karen Carpenter, was done before June 1979 at A&R Studios in New York City.  The take for Voice of the Heart was an outtake from the Made In America Carpenters album and was recorded separately from the take used for her solo album.

275. Who was the guy that filled in for Richard during the Bruce Forsyth Show?

Answered before in question #24.  But to answer again, it was Peter Knight.

When Karen returned and we talked again on Monday, December 18, 1978, Karen told me that they had got a hold of Peter Knight and that Peter was in the area (London) and available to do the show.  Karen had also told me that Peter had worked with Karen and Richard and the band on the Christmas Portrait album so he was actually involved with recording some of the Christmas music that the Carpenters played on that show.

The piano player for the Carpenters on the "Bruce Forsyth's Big Night Out" Christmas special was Peter Knight.  And like Richard, he wasn't just "the piano player".

276. Do you know if Karen ever tried to commit suicide?

This question came about because people saw a couple different documentaries and the actress playing Karen had a scene where she took a handful of pills in what some thought was an attempted suicide.  These were made up dramatizations and not real events.  Karen did not actually have a pill problem like that.  Karen was also never diagnosed with depression either while she was alive.  The laxatives that Karen took were X-LAX chocolate squares and not pills.  That's how messed up this is and then some.  There was also an incident where Frenda's mom, Melba, accused Karen of taking pills so Karen pulled out a prescription pill bottle full of breath mints and swallowed a bunch of breath mints right in front of Melba.  For some strange reason, Karen didn't overdose on breath mints or need to call an ambulance or need to have her stomach pumped either.  But yes, Certs and TicTacs can look like pills to most people if they come out of an orange prescription pill bottle.

For someone to seriously think about committing suicide, the thought that comes through is the suicidal person feels useless and / or worthless.  Karen never felt that she was ever useless or worthless.  Also feel free to visit question #54 again.

The answer to Karen ever trying to commit suicide is a definite no on my end.  Karen did have a couple problems though in May 1979.

First, a sidetrack here.  In either late September or early October 1978, I mentioned to Karen that someone had said they had seen her put her finger down her throat to make herself puke and some were talking about it and I overheard them talking but I didn't say anything.  Karen 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 after this if I said "I like..." Karen and me would say "Tomboys and mud pies" at the same time together.  Also, after this, Karen and me had an inside joke and we would talk about "butter knives" instead of being or acting crazy or such.

The problems...

Karen and me had both got a visit from the assistant to the Archdeacon of Canterbury (Bernard Pawley) at the time, sir Nicholas Born (a relative of Max Born who held Albert Einstein's final papers until sir Nicholas passed away in December 2009).  During this visit sir Nicholas had brought with him an article about Karen and me that had been rejected by a tabloid as well as a copy of the suppression order that had been issued on me in 1973.  Karen did not understand what a suppression order was and kept thinking that the very bad article written by a Karen Ichiuji (Iuchanji?) was going to be published.  With the article was also a strip of pictures that Karen had used as a bookmark that had mysteriously disappeared out of her book while Karen had been working on her solo album.  That mystery solved of 'where did those pictures go?.  The next and probably worst part was that someone (I believe Max across the hall) had accused Karen of being 'crazy' at this time as well.  And those that knew Karen, if you accused Karen of something, she wasn't going to be falsely accused.  So for a short while, Karen acted 'crazy' around me.  And with acting crazy "I'll go get the butter knives"...

Since 'crazy' people, according to Karen, try to commit suicide, well, actually, Karen didn't try very hard actually.  It started off on I know it was a Monday I believe May 14, 1979 when Karen had accidentally swallowed 8 or 9 aspirins and had her stomach pumped at the local hospital.  Karen had a pill bottle of breath mints that she kept around if someone tried to accuse her of taking pills (like all the other 'rock stars' at the time) with Tic Tacs and Certs and such to look like pills.  In the morning, Karen had grabbed the aspirin bottle (Karen's step cousin, Wendy, that Karen was living with, bought aspirin in bulk and so she used a prescription pill bottle since the bulk bottle was a bit large) and thought it was her breath mint bottle so Karen wasn't at her work that day, after being in the hospital and having her stomach pumped.  Karen wanted Max (or whoever) to think she had tried to overdose, but on aspirin?  Shh, Karen left that part out of her story to Max (or whoever).  Then Karen starts running towards traffic but stops on the curb before actually going into traffic after she realized I had pulled my hand away.  And of course 'crazy talk' as well.  The aspirin instead of breath mints was actually an accident that started it all off.  Karen was just trying to get someone else to believe she was 'crazy' because they had accused her of being crazy.  And Karen was not going to be falsely accused.  Karen was not actually suicidal but she wanted someone else, Max I believe, to think she was.  Yes, a big mess as usual when Karen got 'those thoughts' about "I'm not going to be falsely accused of anything".  That Wednesday me and her boss had it out with Max and Friday Richard showed up and explained to Karen what an 'order of suppression' meant and that the bad article wasn't going to be published and possibly ruin her music career.

But truthfully, I can attest that Karen tried to make someone believe she was 'crazy' but Karen never actually was depressed to ever actually try to commit suicide.  I never knew Karen to be depressed actually.  She had talked about being depressed at Levenkron's Clinic around May to September 1982, but I wasn't around Karen at that time.  As Karen told me, it was a dark, evil place in her mind where nothing survived but she got out of there before September 1982 and out of that clinic as well.  Stuff not going right was a challenge for Karen and Karen was not one to ever give up on a challenge.  Giving up is depression and that was never Karen to ever give up unless something was useless or futile.  Keep flapping your arms, maybe you can fly like a bird.  But yeah, if you do that in public, people think you're cuckoo.  The answer is that Karen was never a quitter so suicide was never an option for her.  So as far as depression?  Not everything always goes as planned, life is a challenge and Karen loved challenges and was never bummed out by such things.  Karen was not one to get depressed.  The Ativan pills were Richard's not Karen's from Richard's red jogging suit.  Ativan is for DTs, seizures and such (which Richard was admitted to Meninger's on 1/10/79 and that pill bottle had 1/10/83 as an expire date on it, and Richard had the DTs, "shakes", from his Quaalude addiction at the time so he was prescribed Ativan for his DTs on 1/10/79 with an expiry date of 1/10/83 on Richard's bottle).  Valium, not Ativan, was the wonder drug for depression at the time (later replaced by Prozac in the late 80s).  Karen was never given a prescription for depression medication that anyone was ever aware of as Karen was actually never diagnosed with depression that anyone was ever aware of.  Whether aware or not, Karen didn't ever take depression pills.  Good question again.  And another good question that Karen and her mom answered in November 1982 of how do you get someone that isn't a quitter to quit being anorexic?  The idea that appeared to work was only letting Karen weigh herself once a week (on Friday mornings).  From November 1982 until Karen passed away, Karen's weight had remained steady at around 108 pounds thanks to that idea of only weighing herself once a week.  OK, go back to question #1 if you need of what happened that led up to Karen passing away (That "Karen's Last Days" page link there).  Also see question #197 & possibly #210 as well.

277. How do I contact Richard Carpenter?

With the growing problem of others trying to blame him and his mom for Karen's early passing, this has become a bit more difficult over recent years.  Even I have been alarmed by some of the nasty comments directed towards Richard and his family.  Another big problem is people trying to 'get rich' selling his autograph to others on auction sites.  But my biggest concern with this is security reasons from those that wrongfully hold a grudge against a guy as Karen told me in I believe late 1978 or early 1979 (and I met Richard four different times under unusual circumstances so I know Karen's statement to be true),
"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."

First, Richard Carpenter does NOT, repeat NOT, have a YouTube account.  Special thanks to Chris May for bringing this to my attention many moons ago.

There is an Instagram account under "richardcarpenterofficial".

There is a site maintained by UMe (the publisher that bought out A&M Records) at http://www.carpentersofficial.com .  There is a link to be added to a mailing list there about Carpenters releases and such.  The site is not run by Richard though.

Another site, http://www.richardandkarencarpenter.com which was set up by Richard a while back with others and I am not sure if Richard has access to the site at present (password problem?) but worth a look in my opinion.  I have seen that site updated around 2020 / 2021 but like said, I'm not sure if Richard has direct access to that site now or not.

But again, with the problems noted in the first paragraph here, contact with Richard is a bit restricted now.

If I do obtain a definite, proper, official address or such to write to, I can always update this page.  But under the circumstances with the hateful stuff I've seen directed towards Richard and his family...  I do know that Richard greatly appreciates hearing wonderful stories from his fans and such, but I also feel that Richard and his family's privacy and safety should be maintained as well.

278. Does anyone know the story behind the lyrics of the song "Rock with You"?

This question actually comes from a Michael Jackson fan.

Yes, I know actually, but there were only three people that knew the story about how that song came about - Rod Temperton, Karen Carpenter, and the guy who the song was originally written about.

For the history...  The original producer thought of for Karen Carpenter's solo album was actually a gentleman by the name of Eddie Kramer who had worked with Jimi Hendrix but was at the time working with a band called Kiss.  During the meeting between Eddie and Karen and the guy who the "Rock with You" song was written about, Eddie gave Karen the "raison d'etre" aka reason of being or "what's your life's purpose" speech to Karen which Eddie had previously given to Jimi Hendrix and the speech was also the same speech that inspired Kiss' "Rock and Roll All Nite" anthem type song.  Within a day or two after this meeting Karen had a melody of "I wanna uh with you, uh, uh, uh, uh" stuck in her head.  This was around late March / early April 1979.  Karen started her solo album with Phil Ramone around early May 1979.  In the first week of May (I believe a Thursday but Karen isn't around to verify this with me anymore) Karen told me she was either (I can't remember for sure here) clearing the table or doing dishes in the kitchen with Rod Temperton at the kitchen table.  Karen started doing her "I wanna uh with you" song and dance (Karen would kind of do a herky jerky type motion with her arms while singing it)
and Karen kind of explained the situation between Karen and me to Rod, 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 at the time, 14.  I believe that Karen told me that Rod said something like, "Have you two ever thought about becoming Jewish?" because the legal age in Israel is 13.  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."  So Rod wrote most of the song based on ideas from Karen plus the melody she had stuck in her head.

As far as the song lyrics...  The first word of the song originally was 'boy' but of course changed to 'girl' when Michael did the song.  Outside of that, the lyrics and most of the song was complete by the first week of May 1979.  With the exception of the girl / boy switch, and the part where it was originally "snare shot" which looks a lot like "share shot" when it was written by Rod on the piece of laminated notebook paper (in case Rod spilled his coffee again), those I believe were the only changes and such from the original written for Karen.  Also, Karen and Rod had thought about changing the word 'boy' to 'baby' or 'darling' as a lyrical precaution for the tabloid type writers that like to stir up controversy.  The song is actually a ballad written over the top of a rock beat background.

And as far as the meanings behind the lyrics, Rod wrote the song about Karen and me and Karen was 29 and I was 14 at the time.  So the first set of verses was based on the fact that Karen and me wanted to be together but because of the age problem and possible consequences with Karen, Karen and me knew we needed to wait for anything physical to happen.  So the first set of verses is about wanting and imagining to be in love but not able to have the physical part.  For the second set of verses, Karen and me had won a dance contest together in late April 1979.  Rod took that dance contest stuff plus from the first set of verses we weren't able to be physically together (except in our thoughts) to make the second set of verses.  But after taking our time together and waiting until after the problem went away (me being underaged) or even if the problem didn't go away, Karen and me felt we would always be together forever.  Being together forever was the focus of the second part of the song (plus the dancing stuff based on Karen and me winning a dance contest together).

As far as the bridge, the "And when the groove is dead and gone, yeah, you know that love survives, so we can rock forever", that part.  Karen explained that to me in I believe the second week of May 1979.  It came from Rod asking Karen the question of if it were between her music career and love, which would she choose.  As the lyric indicates, Karen chose love.  Rod used 'groove' as a metaphor for Karen's music career.  Rod also knew that Karen had a short lifeline on her palm as well, but the lyric Karen assured me was because when Rod asked Karen, Karen chose love over her music career as her answer.  As far as between Karen and me, my choice was that Karen loved her music career too so why couldn't we just wait a little bit as the love would always be there and Karen could have both.

But on the lyric content and meaning, the first part of the song was about a couple wanting to be together but not able to be physically together at the time which leads into the second part about the couple being able to be together forever instead of focusing on the here and now.  Actually, Rod wrote a very deep meaning lyrical song with this one and credit for that belongs solely to Rod and his "gift of gab" as he called it.

But yes, like what Karen and I had discussed back in mid October 1978 after our heart to heart talk with each other where Karen mentioned what happened with Paul Yorrick of Peter Paul and Mary and I mentioned Jerry Lee Lewis and neither Karen nor me ever wanted Karen to go through something like that in her career.  So Karen and me had a rule at that time of no physical touching (not even a handshake or hug) until I got older which we kept that rule, but also, Rod, Karen and me kept the origins of this song secret as well.  In foresight now, tabloids will still write what they wish to write to sell papers to gossipping masses, but the truth, like love, will still survive.

And yes, the song "Rock with You" was written about Karen and 'that other Adrian' (not John Adrian as John was married in 1978 three months after he and Karen broke up in 1977).  The lyrics to the song are based on ideas from Karen, and Karen's and Adrian's (my) feelings towards each other.  We weren't able to have now, but we felt we would always have forever together. 

Later in mid May 1979, Rod asked Karen and me a series of questions over the phone and then after Karen and me both answered the questions, Rod was the first one who told Karen and me that we were "soul mates".  Rod was a wonderful person that always enjoyed learning about people's cultures and beliefs. 

During the "soul mate" aka "Off the Wall" call was also the time when Rod came clean and told Karen and me that the real reason that Phil didn't want Karen recording "She's Out of My Life", "Rock with You" and written on the day that we talked, "Off the Wall" was because Phil Ramone and Quincy Jones had made a bet and because Phil had lost that bet, Phil owed Quincy three songs which ended up being "Rock with You", "She's Out of My Life", "Off the Wall" and "Burn This Disco Out" or question #199.

And another note I feel I need to make on all of this.  Phil did hide the bet and such from Karen which was why all the stories (rhetoric?) over the years about that stuff.  As far as Karen was concerned, her solo album started out being a powerhouse with musical content and such which was what the record company was hoping for.  When the songs were given away to Michael, that powerhouse became a wimper.  With the wimper, Karen figured it was the sign she was hoping for as Karen loved working with her brother and all they had done together and accomplished over the years.  Karen didn't want a solo career actually and giving away those great songs was what kind of ended other people's ideas about Karen having a solo career.  If only Phil had been honest and not sneaky about it, Karen probably would have told Phil and everyone else why she let Phil give away those songs.  But because Phil was sneaky, Karen was sneaky too.  Let Phil's conscience bother him a bit.  Phil didn't ever know in his lifetime that he had ended a career that Karen never actually wanted.  If Karen had actually wanted a solo career, she would have fired Phil and hired someone else and would not have let Phil give away those songs.  As it was, Michael had a brilliant solo career kickstarted for himself out of the ashes of a solo career that Karen never wanted.  The Jacksons, after Michael released his 1979 powerhouse solo album, fell apart.  While Karen and Richard, the Carpenters, stayed together.  Can you guess whether it was family or superstardom that mattered more to Karen?  Yes, Karen did happily pick love over her career (but don't let Phil or Itchie or others know that, shhh).

279. Do you know how much money Karen Carpenter had when she passed away?

Because Karen was worried that Thomas would make a fast withdrawal from her account before the divorce, Karen had pulled most of the money out of her account before she passed away and hid it in a shoe box in her closet.  The money was found by mom (Agnes) later that day.

I would actually like to reveal that amount as Karen had told me roughly how much was there, but under the circumstances I feel that number should remain private.

I would like to also state that the amount was not even close enough to a million dollars to give Thomas a million dollars (question #260).  Thomas knew that when he signed the divorce papers and the suppression order that was part of those papers in February 1983.  Why did Tom sign the divorce papers then?  Because Tom knew the marriage was over and if he stretched the divorce out too long, Karen would make sure that Thomas would get nothing.  As it ended up, Karen's Will (First Codicil) gave Thomas less than the divorce would have given him, but it was still something (the house in Newport Beach and its contents but no alimony).

It wasn't all Thomas though although Thomas had got a bit of money while they were married to try and keep the 10 kt. engagement ring and the Rolls Royces and such which Karen just let them get repossessed around October / November 1980.  But where did the money go?  Well, for starters, a half million for her solo album, Karen had also bought and was renting several properties, investments, the wedding, Karen had also spent money on a family get together in early June 1979, Levenkron's Clinic & the hotel room, the broken driveshaft on the boat, health insurance premiums, union dues, pension plan and several other expenses along the way so it wasn't all Thomas.  And there wasn't that much left over in Karen's account but enough to not want people to get blamed for taking anything (which wouldn't have been that much but enough for possible concern).  The money was found on the day Karen passed away and outside Richard and a couple others, that amount should probably remain private.  It was six figures but not seven.  I feel I can reveal that much without intruding too much on Karen and her family's privacy.  I can also definitely say that Karen's family was not after Karen's money or such, but as far as Karen would have been concerned, the less Tom got, the better.  After Karen passed away, I think the only person on the planet, that knew Karen but didn't shed a tear, was Tom (I can not vouch for Phil, Itchie or Levenkron either, but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt on this.  I probably shouldn't though).

So yes, as question #65 stated earlier, when Karen (or anyone else actually) passed away, she was and still is priceless.

No foul play involved as the only One that made out better from Karen passing away was God.

280. Why did Karen and Richard call the group Carpenters? and Where did they get such a dumb name like Carpenters from?

Believe it or not, Karen got asked this question several times by fans back in the day.  Several different fans had asked over the years, "Where did you get such a dumb name like the Carpenters?"  Which Karen would reply, "Because mine and Richard's last name is actually Carpenter.  Richard and Karen Carpenter.  Carpenters."

The name of the group didn't originate from anything religious or such.  It wasn't "Jesus was a carpenter so let's call ourselves carpenters" or such.  So this question being asked is kind of understandable when you think about that many people were Christian and had wondered if maybe the group name had some kind of religious undertone / meaning behind it.  And with all the layered harmonies and such, "a church choir"?  "A Heavenly choir" maybe?  Possibly?

But yes, Karen and Richard's family name (last name) was actually Carpenter.  Carpenters.  That was how the name came about.

281. What was Karen's favorite flavor of Life Savers candy?

Wint-O-Green as it reminded Karen of winter and Christmas time.

282. What do people mean by "the statues video"?

"The statues video" was the original video that was done for the "Touch Me When We're Dancing" song.  The video contains a sphinx type, a horse, a partially dressed (or partially nude if you prefer) unarmed woman and an undressed male statue in it.

MTV had just started and was still in its infancy and they originally showed this video when the song was first released in the US.  Within a day or two MTV had received complaints about the video and they stopped playing the video on MTV but it technically was not banned, they just didn't play it.  The second video for the song with just the dancing couple and not the statues was then submitted and that was what was subsequently the video most people remember in the US for that song.  The original video with the statues got played in most of the rest of the world, but not in the US.  If I remember from Karen correctly when we talked in June 1981 that MTV had received 26 complaints from male viewers and 3 complaints from female viewers about the video.  According to Karen too, the video wasn't banned or such, they just wouldn't play the video after getting complaints, so hence, the second video with the dancing couple minus the statues was substituted since they wouldn't play the "statues" video but they wouldn't publicly ban it either.

From Karen, but also from my own memories of this time, there was never any public mention of what happened or headlines of "Carpenters video gets banned from MTV" or such as it was a powderkeg issue and those in the media knew it.  So it was just quietly dealt with behind the scenes.  But many of the videos at this time had scantilly and barely dressed female models in them which were getting played despite minor complaints from those feeling that women were being exploited.  Double standards as it was fine for women to be exploited, but a naked male statue?  Apparently what is good for the gander, the goose needs to keep her mouth shut and just bare with it and accept her place.  Karen was hoping for a big public debate that never happened.
  But the reality was that it got swept under the rug.

Also, correct me if I'm wrong, I believe that Karen told me in June 1981 that she was the one that held the broom during the sweeping under the rug stuff.  If I remember correctly, Karen said she chickened out at the last minute and didn't want to take a chance of trashing her music career over an ethical / political issue so she chickened out at the last minute and just did another video.  After realizing, Karen figured out she was stuck between a rock and a hard place on this issue.  The tabloids and such were also in on exploiting women and such too.  It was a losing battle against nearly the entire industry (movies and music) Karen figured, so she just dropped it and moved on.  Karen felt the media would have trashed her image and her career if she would have tried to push the issue.  The rest of the industry wasn't about to change and still isn't.  Sell out your dignity at bargain basement prices or face the consequences.  And yes, they tried to get Karen to sell out too (especially Phil and Itchie Ramone) but she never sold out while she was alive (as yes, Karen was the one to shelve that solo album not Richard or the record company, but Karen shelved it #111,
which as Karen said to me on June 12, 1981, "Releasing that album would have been the biggest mistake of my career as my recording contract had an image clause in it and that album could have definitely jeopardized my contract with A&M 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.").

As far as Karen and my talk in June 1981 about this... 
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."].

The controversy that never was and the wholesome image that remained.  And those that tried to preach that "Nice guys / gals finish last" have Richard and Karen Carpenter to look up to as nice people that didn't finish last.  A wholesome image that appears frozen like a statue for eternity perhaps (hopefully?).

283. Did Karen have a DNR order on her?

First, a DNR order stands for 'Do Not Resuscitate' and is a medical term.

Second, DNR orders did not exist back when Karen was alive.  Karen did not have a DNR order.

On the other hand, Karen had told people that she did not wish to ever be kept alive by a machine.  Karen had stipulated that she did not wish to be kept alive with a life support machine.  This was not in writing, but Karen had told others as well as myself about her wishes to not be kept alive by a machine.

284. Did Karen try out for the part of Mattie Ross in the movie "True Grit"?

In 1968, Karen, Richard and bassist Bill Sissyoev (name gleaned from the book "Carpenters - The Untold Story") performed on "Your All American College" show.  The judges for that show were John Wayne and Zsa Zsa Gabor with Dennis James as the announcer.  Karen, Richard and Bill won the show (and I think a $3,500 prize) and it was the first time that Karen and Richard appeared on TV (television).  Afterwards John mentioned to Karen that he was working on a new movie and asked her if she would like to audition for the part of Mattie Ross in this new movie.  Karen did audition but was beat out by Kim Darby and according to Karen (around 1978 to me in private) it was because Kim had more experience with horses.  As Karen told me in 1978, "I'm a green horn when it comes to horses and a brown thumb when it comes to plants.  I think I got it backwards on those but it is what it is".  Karen had a cactus with her that she had brought from home and we had this talk together about the movie stuff just after her cactus passed away around October / November 1978.  Karen understood why she didn't get the part and never felt bad about not getting it.  Just one of those 'what if' kind of things.

But before the record contract with A&M, Karen almost became an actress instead of having a music career.  We, the listening audience, lucked out with Karen not getting that part.  But also too, the movie industry is big on weight and appearance so Karen not getting that part probably delayed the eating problems for about a half decade (1969 to 1974) which was probably better for Karen (and us, the listening audience) in the long run.

Also, imagine the excitement with the possibility of your daughter (mom and dad) and sister (Richard) possibly starting out her movie career in a film with John Wayne.  Karen told me that they were proud of her even though she didn't get the part.  Karen told me that her family was always supportive of the things she did and she also had a habit of bouncing from one thing to another as the need arose.  Karen never figured herself as being an actress as she couldn't balance a book on her head (her record I think was 3 minutes) or any of that stuff, but when opportunity knocks, Karen would always ask why they didn't use the doorbell.

As far as Richard, I've only ever known him to be happy about all that his sister and him had accomplished over the years.  If Karen had become an actress, Richard would have still tried to have a music career of his own with or without his sister (hopefully with).  As luck would have it though, Richard and Karen were able to share a music career together.  Really cool.  It was almost like there was always a destiny there with Richard and Karen working together somehow.  One door closed then another opened about a year later (April 1969 when Richard and Karen signed with A&M).  Music and movies are kind of related but they don't use the same doors.

But yes, Karen almost became an actress, but also, almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.  Oddly, luck happens with horseshoes and hand grenades too.

285. What instruments, besides drums, could Karen play?

Interesting question.  While growing up in Connecticut, Karen had tried the accordion and then the school band needed a flute player so she tried that too.  Then after moving to California, Karen first tried the glockenspiel then moved to the drums.  On their first album, Offering, Karen also played bass guitar on two tracks, "Eve" and "All of my Life".  When I knew Karen in 1978 she also could play the recorder (that little woodwind horn) and she tried playing a bugle (trumpet without the valves) as well (she just didn't have the chubby chipmunk cheeks for it).  Karen tried all kinds of different instruments over the years and she could play about anything given enough practice, but she loved the drums most.  After the drums, probably the kazoo and the slide whistle in that order (Spike Jones favorites).  Karen tried whistling with her lips but it would come out like she had been eating crackers and not a whistle sound to be heard.

And now for the bonus rounds...

Next to next to next to last. Do all people make mistakes?

Yes, all people make mistakes in a process known as learning.  No one has ever learned anything new without making a mistake or more to gain that knowledge.  The problem is that some people profess themselves to be experts.  Experts are people that don't make mistakes.  Therefore experts are just figments of their own imaginations.  The only expert on Karen Carpenter passed away on February 4, 1983.

Next to next to last. Where is that article that said "Karen was chubby"?

This is actually a very interesting question.  Rather than take my word for it, try and look at what happened with someone around this question.  Billboard magazine even stepped in on this one.  Then the story changed again.  The truth is that no one knows when, where, with whom, or even how this came about as the stories about this question just keep getting changed.  Was it an article?  Was it a passing comment?  (According to my research, I found out that this actually started from something mentioned in the movie "The Karen Carpenter Story" [1989] that upon further examination was found to have not actually happened which was why Billboard magazine stepped in and the dramatization disclaimer was supposed to be added at the beginning and...)  Like stated, the stories on this have changed a few times now but it is really not worth my time or effort to research on this any further.  Why?  It would be a bit ridiculous to think that something that insignificant as a single statement like that would cause someone to become mentally unhinged from it.  Think about that seriously.  Leave it to fiction and tabloid type writers to make up stories that fall apart when researched.  But the other thing is that those around the one that the controversy is based around tend to behave like a pack of rabid animals whenever anyone questions the validity of this guy.  There was actually a very long and involved answer here before and after I reviewed that answer, yup, not worth my time but others can do as they wish with this.  My research had shown that this never happened and was a dramatization in a movie and not an actual event or such.  There was actually an article in a magazine that had stated that the piano player for the Carpenters (Richard) was chubby, but there never was an article nor a comment made about Karen being chubby by any interviewer or in any article.  On top of that, Karen had never said anything about such a thing to me which is just the icing on the cake for this being fiction.  Karen had mentioned the famous designer that refused to work with her and a whole bunch of other stuff, but as far as anything about someone calling her chubby, nope.

Next to last. What is so wrong with the books and movies about Karen?

Goodbye To Love Crockumentary page http://www.theeaceman.com/goodbyetolovecrock.html .

The Karen Carpenter Story movie page http://www.theeaceman.com/karencarpstory.html .

The Carpenters - The Untold Story book page http://www.theeaceman.com/untoldstory94.html .

The Little Girl Blue book page http://www.theeaceman.com/littlegirlblue.html .

Rob Hoerburger's 1996 New York Times Article review http://www.theeaceman.com/robtimes.html

As far as those Autopsy shows and such, toss 'em as they never even scratch the surface of Karen's autopsy which was why I was asked to work on doing this page as a reference as to how much is missing from those shows karenlastdays.html .  Those that had scratched the surface of Karen's autopsy saw that there was a doctor, Doctor I. Edwards MD, and a nurse, Pam Tomlin RN and a fiction writer / coroner named Ronald N. Kornblum, M.D. Acting Chief Medical Examiner-Coroner which Ron probably had more acting than medical experience from what was written by Ron on Karen's autopsy for those that studied that autopsy.  It takes a special kind of person to do a proper autopsy that disproves their assumptions as far as cause of death while supporting Dr. Edwards and nurse Tomlin's observations.

Recommended are "Carpenters - The Untold Story" book, "Yesterday Once More" (1996) documentary, "Carpenters - The Musical Legacy" (2021) book, "The Carpenters : Up from Downey" (July 4, 1974) Rolling Stone magazine article, http://www.carpentersofficial.com web site and http://www.richardandkarencarpenter.com web site.  Also, the Carpenters newsletters that were sent to fans through the fan club mailing list (90 plus a couple special editions).  The information in these hold up fairly well as you learn more about Karen and life in general (but nothing is totally perfect). 

Not recommended are "Goodbye To Love" (2016) movie, "Little Girl Blue : The Life of Karen Carpenter" (2010) book, "Karen Carpenter's Second Life" (October 6, 1996) New York Times article, "Some Kind of Lonely Clown : The Music, Memory and Melancholy of Karen Carpenter" (2015) book, "Superstar - The Karen Carpenter Story" (1988) barbie doll movie, "The Karen Carpenter Story" (1989) movie or for a better answer, anything so far that tries to deal with Karen's anorexia is not accurate.  That also includes those shows that talk more about Karen's anorexia than her autopsy as well.  Karen never fit that anorexic profile and as a result, EVERY one of those books and movies that tailor to that anorexic profile are always WAY OFF and always lead to confusion about Karen and no actual answers which is why that stuff is not recommended by me.  Stuff being taken out of context is a big problem in all of these.  Also, there is stuff left out of these which is why after you run across the stuff that was left out, many of the stories told about Karen in these not recommended books and movies and such fall apart.  One of the major misses in these is Richard's motorcycle accident in January 1973.  Another one of the major misses is Richard saying "I quit" on September 4, 1978 after that Las Vegas show and Richard quitting.  And feel free to look at 'question # After thought' coming up shortly for some real doozies (all of the rumors that are just false rumors started with this stuff as well as the stuff that makes no sense when facts are presented like the major misses I just mentioned).  That anorexic profile fits Cherry Boone and her "Starving for Attention" book, but is actually the complete opposite of Karen Carpenter.  And when reading or watching something about Karen, when they try and make Karen sound like Cherry, it goes in the dumpster with the rest of its kind.  But if you are not one for wasting money like that, then by all means file that not recommended stuff in your fiction library between "Butt" and "Cheeks" for when the need may arise during a toilet paper shortage. 
The information in these fall apart fairly easily as you learn more about Karen and life in general (but nothing is totally imperfect either).  They also fall apart when you see the full interviews instead of the chopped up snippets that are misleading in these things (books and movies and such).  If you can tell the difference between someone saying something like 'according to Karen...' (which isn't in these books) and 'according to what I know and have heard about anorexia...' then by all means try and read and watch this stuff.  For most, however, better to avoid stuff that is subjective and speculative (not recommended) opposed to stuff that is objective (recommended).  For others that didn't avoid, yes that stuff gets messy and really illogical when the stuff that is missing from those books and movies gets found out (like Richard's motorcycle accident and Richard quitting and Richard's Quaalude addiction and the autopsy report on Karen is a bit off and on and on as you discover there is more that is missing than what is included in these biased books and documentaries that appear to be more about trying to prove an illogical theory about an anorexic profile or that Karen was a sad person than being about the actual Karen Carpenter.  Everyone has their moments but a sad moment with Karen was actually rare as Karen was usually clowning and joking around most of the time.  And everyone has a right to their opinion too, but when that opinion is based on having to leave out, mislead, manipulate, fabricate, deceive or outright lie or based from others that leave out, mislead, manipulate, fabricate, deceive or outright lie, what good is that opinion?  And yes, 'next to next to next to last' about mistakes).

Oops, and another thought here on this.  As far as Karen, the person, the closest I have seen to that is watching the fictional character Mona (Angela's mom) on the TV show "Who's the Boss?".  All of the documentaries and movies and such about Karen are just too short and you could try, but it would be just too short to give an accurate depiction of Karen the person in an hour or so.  But by watching Mona on the "Who's the Boss?" show, you can see what is missing about Karen in the documentaries and such.  That "old soul" and wisdom and such that Karen had that is very apparent in the TV show but usually lacking in the documentaries and such about Karen.  Sadly, many of the documentaries and such try to depict Karen as someone that was lost and confused and sad which was not Karen at all.  Karen always had her wits about her and was never a pushover or such and was usually clowning and joking around.  And like Karen, the Mona character is "different", her own person, like Karen was.

Last. What is "brainwashing"?

Brainwashing is the act of repeating stuff over and over again hoping that people believe what is being said is truth after seeing and hearing it so many times. 

Brainwashers also have a bad habit of bullying others into agreeing with them and also trying to project their thoughts as being the thoughts of others and that all others always agree with them.  Putting their words in other people's mouths so to speak.  A very dishonest practice. 

Those that brainwash do not want people asking questions especially the "why doesn't this sound right?" question.  Brainwashers try to get people to believe that they have all of the answers, but many times they don't and just assume and second guess and make stuff up and hope they don't get caught. 

The sure sign that I have found for a 'brainwashing site' about Karen Carpenter will be a post, sooner or later, stating how people need to not be "disrespectful of Karen" which is a code phrase from these brainwashers that they will hassle, harrass, badger and ban anyone that speaks nicely about Karen's brother or her family.  These posters and these sites are crazy and insane and are loaded with content that is disrespectful of Karen and her family.  Honesty is not their strong point as those that have been brainwashed can't have anything that goes against what they want to think and want others to think regardless of if it makes any sense or has any basis in reality.  Yes, a complete lack of any common sense.  Like who in their right mind would believe that someone else knows more about someone than that someone knows about themselves.  Yes, brainwashing always leads to insanity to those who fall for it.  Blind obedience.  Do what we tell you to do and think what we tell you to think or else.  Believe only what we tell you to believe and don't ask too many questions.  Not because you aren't allowed to ask questions, but because after a while you will start to realize that the answers that you will be given fall apart when facts are presented (like in the following 'After Thought' section).

So you have this profile of a sex slave abductor that is a loner that lives out in the middle of nowhere while in reality you have an actual sex slave abductor working as a bus driver living in downtown Cleveland.  Profiling (stereotyping) is probably the most ignorant idea I have ever witnessed. 

And with that you have Karen singing lead and background vocals and playing drums while Richard sings background vocals and plays the piano / keyboard (Wurlitzer?).  Definite working together there but apparently they were competing against each other according to a profile that makes no sense.  How can someone playing the drums be competing against her brother playing the piano? 

And from Karen, Richard was the favorite and Karen was the black sheep as favorites have their ducks in a row and black sheep like to let their ducks wander.  Favorites put the round pegs in the round holes and the square pegs in the square holes which is why they are favored.  Black sheep put the round pegs in the square holes and the square pegs in the round holes and if they don't fit you just need to use a bigger mallet.  Karen never wanted to be the favorite and loved being the black sheep.  As Karen would say, "I'd rather be yelled at than fussed over." 

Karen and Richard always worked together and since Richard was the 'favorite' then he was the one that would get asked to cover for the black sheep or else the black sheep would rat on the favorite to mom and dad and such.  Whoever stated that Karen wanted to be a 'favorite' falsity obviously never talked with Karen about that.  The favorite was Richard's job and the black sheep was Karen's job.  Favorites follow the rules and are like everyone else whereas the black sheep tend to bend rules passed the breaking point and are different.  But anyone that actually knew Karen knew that Karen loved being the black sheep that was a bit different than everyone else and was not the least bit interested in being a favorite. 

Karen always loved being the underdog.  People don't root for the favorite, they always root for the underdog (black sheep).  Karen was never interested in being 'the favorite'. 

As far as brainwashing goes, as Karen would say "Hogwarsh (hogwash)" or Richard "Poppycock" or me "Nonsense" or nearly everyone else "Bullsh*t".  Brainwashing.  A huge mountain of nonsense is still just nonsense.  It is what it is.

Also, I want this page to be as much about Karen as possible, not really about myself.  But I feel now (October 15, 2022) that I need to add something here that should help explain why I feel the way I do about a lot of the nonsense I see getting spread about anorexia and such.  With that, back when I first started my job working at a local grocery store in March 1987 and a little while after finishing my college days from 1983 to 1985, I had weighed around 130 pounds and 6 foot tall about two to three months after I started my grocery job.  I was just so busy and working so much and smoking cigarettes as well and I hadn't really realized that I hadn't been eating so I lost weight.  There wasn't any underlying issues other than my working (many times 60 or more hours a week) and not taking the time to eat anything.  That was it.  No hidden anything, I just didn't think to eat (and I was working in a grocery store that sells food).  Subconsciously I guess, because I had been working in a grocery store and smelling food all the time, I felt like I had eaten but I hadn't eaten as my weight dropped from 160 pounds to 130 pounds from not eating after about two to three months.  Does this ever get mentioned as a cause of anorexia?  Until I wrote this, I've never seen it anywhere myself of someone working in a grocery store and not eating.  It happened.  But again in 1990 and 1991 my girlfriend's youngest daughter, Marie, had been hit by a school bus and I was still working at the grocery store and going from work to the hospital and then back to work again.  I dropped down to 125 pounds around January 1991 from not having time to eat again.  Experts, schmexperts, ask, don't assume (try to make an ass out of you and me).  I, of Me Myself and I, know better than to ever trust 'know-it-alls' that feel they have all the answers without asking others to find out how accurate or inaccurate those answers may be.  And until someone asks someone else, information will always be missing.  I'm just filling in the blanks as best as I can which means leaving no stone unturned.  My gall stones included.  Yes, I have a lot of gall, don't I?  Eh, maybe it's others that have a lot of gall and maybe I'm just tired of Karen and her family being on the recieving end of that bile, who's to say?  You have an opinion too, cool, let's hear it...

After thought. Why doesn't this sound right?

Excellent question that can have many answers as that same question may get asked over and over while reading certain books or watching certain films and / or clips and especially in Karen's autopsy report.  Nobody's perfect, but when stuff starts sounding strange, not right, not making sense or very contradictory to itself then what?  Like this page has been doing, ask questions...  And as this page demonstrates, when people try and make up stuff, when people ask questions about it, that made up stuff starts falling apart. 

Questions like, "What did Karen weigh when she started her solo album?"  Over 120 pounds.  Question, "What did Karen weigh during her photo shoot for her solo album in February 1980?"  About 80 pounds.  See how the solo album helped Karen with her anorexia? 

And Richard was in rehab from January to March 1979 for his Quaalude addiction and Phil Ramone didn't start producing Karen's solo album until May 1979 so Richard was still in rehab apparently and Karen was sneaking around to do her solo album with Richard still being in rehab according to stories I've heard about it.  Richard was out of rehab in March 1979 and Karen and Phil didn't start the album until May 1979 so no, Richard wasn't in rehab when Karen started her solo album.   What sneaking around?  Richard knew.  But as part of the reason behind Karen doing a solo album was because Richard had quit, Richard tried not to be involved with Karen's solo album and except for a couple small events, Richard really didn't get involved with Karen's solo album and left the decisions and such up to Karen.  Question #187.

How could Karen leave her brother after her brother had already said "I quit" and he actually left on September 4, 1978?  If Richard quit the Carpenters on September 4, 1978 then there wasn't anything left there for Karen to leave.  Karen did a solo album because her brother was the one who left, not Karen.  It was Richard and Karen and Karen and Richard, the Carpenters.  Without Richard, no Carpenters.  Without Karen, no Carpenters.  Richard was the one who quit because his Quaalide addiction had got so bad that Richard would just start shaking violently at times and he just could not keep going on like that, so he quit.  So how could someone think that Karen was wanting to leave her brother and the Carpenters when her brother had already quit and left on September 4, 1978?  Sounds pretty bass ackwards to me.

Frenda and Itchie are seen as being best friends and being around Karen until the very end.  But in reality, Phil and Itchie had found out that Itchie was pregnant with their first son but doctors had told Itchie that Itchie needed to take it easy and no travelling or heavy exercise or such (I think I heard from Karen that they discovered it was a tubular pregnancy).  Itchie had not been around Karen for at least the last couple months as Itchie and Phil were in Pound Ridge NY on the east coast while Karen was in Downey CA from November 1982 until she passed in February 1983.  Phil and Itchie were unable to attend Karen's funeral as Itchie was still bedridden with her pregnancy on February 8, 1983.  Some author wants people to believe that Itchie, Frenda and Karen were "friends til the end" but in reality, Itchie and Karen weren't around each other for at least around the last 3 to 4 months Karen was alive.

And why didn't Rod Temperton do anything more with Phil Ramone after Karen's solo?

Why didn't Rod comment much publicly on Karen's solo album? 

What about the Off the Wall, She's Out of My Life and Rock with You songs?

How could their mother be controlling Karen and Richard while Karen and Richard were out on the road or in recording studios all the time and had managers and such to answer to?

Didn't their mom work too after they moved to Downey?  Yes, she did which is why I really scratch my head on how someone could think that their mom had all this time on her hands to be controlling over her kids when she didn't really have that much time available.  But also, Karen and Richard had managers and assistants and such as the need arose.  After Karen and Richard became millionaires in late 1970 to early 1971 then mom didn't have to be working and Ev Wallace (that mom worked with) was brought in and all that.  But according to Karen to me, their mom was worried about feeling useless and unneeded as she had a very strong work ethic and felt "Idle hands are the Devil's work".  But also try and think that it would be a bit awkward with kids telling their parents what to do instead of the other way around.  Karen wasn't much for "being normal" anyway, but still try and imagine how it would feel being an adult and having kids giving you orders on what you can and can't do.  Yeah, sounds pretty backwards and awkward to me too.  Kids telling their parents what they can and can't do just doesn't sound like a good idea to me (and didn't sound like a good idea to Karen either.  Not because of her mom or any of that, but because it sounds so bass ackwards and an idea like that needs a serious reality check.  About the only reason a child could be placed above their parents was if the parents [both] were unable to function physically or mentally on their own.  As anyone with any common sense realizes that trying to put children above their parents [that aren't mentally and / or physically incapable] is a recipe for disaster in any household.  Parents need to stay parents and if it is actually that messy psychologically [or whatever term used here] then the children [in their twenties and thirties?] need to move out on their own, not be above their parents.  And Richard and Karen had moved out on their own (but not because of anyone being overbearing, but because Richard and Karen were older, successful and mom was hoping for a bunch of grandkids which you don't get grandkids from kids that hang around their parents instead of finding someone to settle down with of their own choosing).  Mom and dad [the folks] on Newville Avenue; Richard on Lubec Street; Karen on Avenue of the Stars.  Trying to say that parents should be dependents and subservants of their children is just plain bass ackwards and is a complete f*** up logically).

Since Karen was a millionaire and of age, why didn't she just move out on her own?  She did actually in 1975? / 1976 and got a condominium on Avenue of the Stars.  She still loved home on Newville Avenue though with her old room and her mom and dad.  Richard was living on Lubec Street too, so he was out on his own as well.  Around 1973, Karen and Richard had got the house together on Lubec Street originally for their parents, but their parents liked it on Newville Avenue.  Karen and Richard trying to live together on Lubec Street hadn't worked out too well so Richard kind of took over Lubec Street and Karen moved back home for a short while until 1975? / 1976 when she got her condo, question #185.

Was Evelyn Wallace tone deaf?  Yes, she was.  Ev could hear people talking and such but she couldn't tell one voice from another (even male vs. female).  Most of the time when Harold, Agnes, Richard or Karen talked with Ev, they would try and do it in private away from others.  They would also try to make sure that Ev was looking at them so that Ev knew who said what.  If in a group or such, Ev could get lost trying to figure out who was talking without seeing their lips move.  Ev had 'imperfect pitch' aka tone deaf so to speak.  Ev could hear what was said but couldn't really differentiate who might be saying it.

And Karen weighed 78 pounds when she entered Levenkron's Clinic in January 1982.  Karen took a break in April 1982 and weighed about 89 pounds during the Beechwood 4-5789 video that was done in April 1982 after Karen had been around her mom, dad and brother for about two weeks.  Then in September 1982 Karen was admitted into Lennox Hill hospital weighing 77 pounds (82 pounds on the scales minus 5 pounds of clothing).  Levenkron's Clinic definitely helped Karen's anorexia as is evidenced by the weighings and such.  Didn't Karen get up to about 89 pounds around her family though?  Why am I being told to believe that Karen's anorexia problem was supposedly because of her family, but oddly, Karen seemed to gain weight around her family and then lose it around Levenkron and Itchie?  Butt scratch for me on this one.

I don't know how someone playing drums and singing is competing against her brother playing piano somehow, and no one has ever been able to figure out how yet.  People have been able to figure out how Cherry Boone lost singing the song "You Light Up My Life" to her sister Debby (as when Debby sang that song, she gave that song a heart and a soul) but have yet to understand why Cherry couldn't be happy that her sister had won a Grammy for the way she sang that song.  Karen was always proud of her brother's accomplishments and Richard was always proud of his sister's accomplishments too.  How many Lead Sisters are there anyway?  How many awards and gold records and such did both Karen and Richard have?  And yes, Karen and Richard had many shared experiences but I've never heard Richard ever get upset about his name not appearing in Playboy magazine while his sister got accolades for her drumming there.  Speaking of which, yeah a bunch of questions appeared somewhere about that Playboy Bonzo / Karen stuff that has been talked about since the 1970s.  What really happened anyway?  Believe it or not, Karen did actually mention something about it to me back in 1978 to 1979, but I can't remember what it was we talked about now.  But this Playboy / Bonzo stuff became question #207 later.

Was Karen like her dad?  Actually, no.  Karen was like her mom and Richard was like his dad.  Richard was the one that would be fairly laid back and such.  Karen had a very stubborn streak in her like her mom.  Richard and his dad were kind of awkward athletically whereas Karen and her mom were both very athletic.  Richard was not one to fight or get into arguments or such and was very laid back like his dad.  Karen and her mom were not ones you wanted to get into an argument with because either one of them would dare you to argue with them, they would ask the other person to agree to promises which regardless of how someone may think the argument turned out, after those promises were made, Karen and her mom would win the argument, hands down.  Karen and her mom were both ones that could be very confrontational with others, whereas like said, Richard and his dad were fairly laid back and very rarely confrontational.  And try to remember also that while growing up there was actually cousin Joanie, Richard and Karen and it wasn't just Karen and Richard.  There were three kids and not just two until Karen was about 11 or 12 years old when cousin Joanie got married and moved out of the house.  It wasn't really just Richard and Karen until they moved out to Downey.  Cousin Joanie was a bit older than Karen and Karen always thought of Joanie as being like a big sister to Karen while Karen was growing up.  But people kind of forget that while Richard was growing up, he kind of had an older and a younger sister and Richard wasn't really "the eldest kid" until Joanie had moved out.  And to find out how much of an influence Joanie may have had on Karen, people would have had to have talked with Karen about that or known Joanie and Richard and Karen and mom and dad ("the folks") too.  Yes, some things should remain private just because (when people make up stories, they usually miss some stuff that wouldn't be missing if some things weren't kept private like family secrets or not repeated very often like Richard's 1973 motorcycle accident and such)...

I heard a rumor about... is it true?

(1) A wild party involving Karen and a sex orgy ... false.
(2) Karen and her brother having sex ... false.
(3) Mary Rudolph not being adopted ... false.
(4) A tall lanky man in a suit running down the street after Karen passed away ... unconfirmed, could be true but if true it was not Richard or anyone else involved with the Carpenters running down the street.  The original version of this I heard was that there was a tall lanky man in a dark suit that was seen jumping from the second story balcony of the house and then running down the street but the problem I have with this is that the Newville house doesn't have a balcony that I am aware of but still unconfirmed.
(5) Richard was at the house when Karen passed away ... false, Richard was at Lubec Street and not at Newville Avenue until after Karen was being taken away in the ambulance.
(6) Richard, mom (Agnes), Alpert and Moss blocked the release of Karen's solo album ... technically a false true as they (except Agnes who had no say in it anyway) did block the release but only because of Karen's wishes read #7.  Karen was the one that actually wanted it blocked, so it was blocked by others after Karen had passed away based on Karen's wishes not based on their own wishes.
Richard, mom (Agnes), Alpert and Moss forced Karen to not release her solo album ... false.
(7) It was Karen's wishes to not have her solo album released ... true.
(8) Karen using ipecac syrup within days or on the day she passed away ... false.
(9) Karen taking pills before she passed away ... false.
(10) Karen having sex with any woman ... false.
(11) Richard making some secret deal (bribe, whatever) to get Thomas Burris to sign the suppression order ... false.
(12) Anyone claiming to know more about Karen than Karen knew about herself ... false.
(12A) Anyone claiming to know more about Richard and mom (Agnes) and dad (Harold) than they know about themselves ... false.
(12B) Anyone claiming to know more about me (or anyone else) than me or (them) know about myself / (themselves) ... always false and a sure sign of a tabloid type writer (fiction).
(12C) Anyone claiming to know more about an anorexic than an anorexic knows about themselves ... yet again, false.
(13) Karen being dragged around the house after she passed away before the ambulance showed up ... false.
(14) Thomas Burris knew Karen and her family's secrets ... false, Thomas has never said such a thing and he can talk in private.
(15) Karen was wishing to leave her brother and the Carpenters ... false, Richard was actually the one who left and quit the Carpenters on September 4, 1978.
(16) Karen weighed 84 pounds when she passed away ... false, Karen weighed 108 pounds when she passed away.
(17) Richard and mom (Agnes) have covered some things up ... another false true, as they have never covered anything up dealing with themselves and only covered a few things up to try and protect others (including Karen), not themselves, as some things had legal problems and weren't allowed to be publicly talked about and also some things were a bit messy and with the way the truth gets twisted by tabloid type writers, some things are better left unsaid and not talked about publicly (if you wish, you can find a few of them here on this page karencarp.html ).
(18) Karen sang the song "Superstar" about Alan Osmond ... false, The song Superstar was written by others (Bonnie Bramlett & Leon Russel) and the Carpenters recorded the song in 1971.  Karen did not meet Alan until around 1973.
(19) Karen's heart exploded ... false, according to the autopsy report, Karen's heart was small but normal and did not have any defects or explosions or such.
(20) Karen had a hidden cassette tape of her solo album in her room behind her Mickey Mouse and Lucy memorabilia ... false as Karen didn't have a cassette player in her room so why would she have a cassette tape in her room with nothing to play that tape on?  Karen always kept her secret or hidden stuff in her hollowed out Bible stash or her locked silver hardshell briefcase and not on a shelf in her room where her cleaning lady or others could find it.

And a note here about these rumors, why should I be ashamed of being banned from places that promote these kinds of rumors?  If you look at any of the places I have been banned from, you will see this kind of nonsense of spreading and promoting rumors and malicious gossip and such.  I would be ashamed of myself if I didn't get banned from such places.  From my own experiences with this, not only do they spread malicious gossip and rumors about Karen and her family, but if you don't join them and do the same, they start spreading malicious gossip and rumors about you too.  And an exception to note here as there is a site on Facebook, "The Carpenters: History & News" that I was blocked from but they also have appeared to have blocked the others that tend to spread the malicious gossip and rumors as well.

In my honest opinion, it takes a special kind of writer to ask the question of "Why would Agnes (mom) say such a thing as 'I didn't kill my daughter'?" and then have the writer proceed to accuse Agnes of killing her daughter.  Yo, psst, writer dude (possibly a step cousin of mine as my step great grandmother was Edith Grace [Williams] Bardo Schmidt who was widowed by John Bardo [great grandfather of mine] in I believe 1963 and then she married Robert L? Schmidt in the mid 1970s), really?  I can see why this writer would be so worried about people not believing him.  Again, really?  Seriously?  Just as I feel it takes a special kind of 'acting' coroner to list '
(A) EMETINE CARDIOTOXICITY DUE TO AS AS A CONSEQUENCE OF (B) ANOREXIA NERVOSA' while listing the heart and aorta as being normal and her having less than a normal dose of Emetine stored in her liver (not active or recent).  As the doctor that first brought that to my attention stated to me, "If you are going to say something is cardiotoxic you need to show some kind of evidence of physical harm or damage to the heart or aorta itself.  This makes absolutely no sense as the coroner should have at least listed some kind of physical damage or defect to the heart or aorta to support such a claim.  At least fake something like a partially collapsed ventricular wall or something.  Fibro Myalgia is caused by Cachexia not point four six milliliters of Emetine, which is less than a normal dose, stored in the liver."  And as the doctor I talked with is an actual doctor and not a quack, he wishes to remain anonymous and I wish to respect his wishes too under the circumstances.  Know-it-alls always need to attack those that are honest and know-it-alls always try to discredit honest people (and can't stand seeing the word honest or truth either, so... Honestly?  Truthfully?  Take that know-it-alls.  [Stick tongue out and make 'deer antlers' motion] na na ne boo boo.  Come on, show everyone your anger at honesty and truthfulness which is something that know-it-alls always lack.  Come on, gnash them teeth some more so people see your real self.  "How stupid can you get?" is supposed to be a rhetorical question not something that someone tries to find a definitive answer for.  Try to enjoy learning.  I do [hey, a marriage proposal - brains and learning - insert subliminal message here, brain for rent, inquire within.  Hey wait, commitment?  Run, know-it-alls, run!  It's a trap!]  Yes, having the lack of a sense of humor is a serious personal problem.  Too serious for my tatstes, and you?).

If Karen were alive, would she have any advice to give to others?  Yes, be yourself.

Speaking of which, yes, one of Karen's biggest pet peeves she had was someone trying to tell her what she could or could not do, say or think.  In a word, bullying.  That would set her off instantly and like her mom, off the broom handle she would go so that she could grab that broom and beat someone else over the head with it or more likely stick it in an orifice where the Sun don't shine.  Karen lived by a set of rules and principles but Karen was the one who developed those rules and principles; no one else.  Others trying to say that other people made Karen's decisions also did not know Karen.  Karen would get very feisty and defiant with those that tried to tell her what she could or could not do, say or think (especially Thomas Burris after a short while being married to him.  Oh boy, did those two ever argue.  And try not to let others fool you either, Karen started most of those arguments between her and Tom).  That included the Women's Liberation Movement (question #118) too.  Karen was not much for bullies as bullies are the ones that try and tell others what they can or can not do, say or think.  Karen's answer to bullies was a phrase, "Stand your ground."  Don't let others walk all over you but don't walk all over others either.  Boundaries.

And a parting thought here...  instead of trying to group everyone together why not let everyone be themselves, Karen Carpenter included.  From my talking with anorexics (Karen especially) I have found that there are probably as many varying causes of anorexia as there are anorexics.  Some have health problems and some have mental problems.  Some may have both.  No one knows until someone asks.  I have talked with a few that had colitis and also a few that had stomach ulcers and at least one that had tonsilitis and a few others that had food allergies and were afraid to eat.  I have also talked with some that had body image problems and others that did not.  There does not appear to be a one size fits all with anorexia.  There are many reasons why someone may stop eating and the only way to find out is to ask.  Ask questions.  And only through asking questions and waiting for a response from someone else can honest answers be obtained.  Trying to say all anorexics are exactly alike is about like saying all snowflakes are exactly alike.  The only thing universal between anorexics is having a low body weight at some point.  Anorexia is not a club to join, it is a problem and like with all problems there are always different causes and different solutions based on the causes of the problem.  And the only way to find the cause(s) is to ask questions.  Hey look, a question and answer page (see above [top of page] ^^^).

And for those that noticed, true, none of this personal stuff was ever written into the lyrics of any of the Carpenters music or such.  Karen's saddest day according to her, was when her dog, Snoopy, passed away.  Karen's dog, Snoopy, never played guitar that anyone was ever aware of.  With that being said (typed?), I agree with the thoughts of others of "can we get back to enjoying the wonderful music that the Carpenters made without all that other nonsense?"  Just asking for several friends.

As far as "sugar coating"?  From what I know and hopefully from what I've shared here some major hogwash, poppycock, nonsense and bullsh*t has been sugar coated to try and protect the guilty.  And to avoid dealing with a bad conscience, those guilty always try to blame others and avoid responsibility themselves.  From my experiences, those in Karen's inner circle have consciences and are not guilty but are left with a question of "Is there anything more I could have done to help Karen?" while those in Karen's outer circle apparently don't have consciences and therefore become guilty through no fault but their own and appear to be left with the question of "Is there anything I could do to help myself look better to others?" (question #252 gives details on the inner / middle / outer circle of friends info).
  And to avoid dealing with a bad conscience, those guilty always try to blame others and avoid responsibility themselves.  Rinse.  Lather.  Repeat.  That is the real "Karen Carpenter Cover Up" story without the 'sugar coating'.

As far as the anorexia numbers...  the official numbers are very low (like 36,000) while observation by those seeking help but not able to get help appear to number in the millions and most likely tens of millions in the United States alone.  But why?  Well, the anorexic profile being used is so messed up that only Cherry Boone appears to be actually anorexic according to the profile being used.  Information has needed to be twisted passed its breaking point to try and make Karen Carpenter appear to fit that profile, but in all honesty, like nearly every other anorexic except Cherry Boone, the anorexic profile is so messed up and out of touch with reality that only Cherry through her book "Starving for Attention" fit that profile (and most likely if the information in her book was taken away and reality put in place, Cherry probably wouldn't fit that profile either.  There is something wrong with someone trying to say that the only reason they have anorexia is not because of anything the anorexic is doing, but blaming everyone else for what the anorexic is doing even when no one else is around the anorexic.  Think about that).  That is why the numbers are so low publicly.  And because of the publicity surrounding Karen and anorexia, lies and half truths have been spread and told to try and convince people that Karen fit the anorexic profile despite the obvious that Karen and Cherry Boone were nearly exact opposites of each other.

And with that, others have tried to make Karen the 'poster child' for mental illness.  The problem with that is that it appears to me that Karen was pretty stable mentally as was her family and such.  It is others that appear to become mentally unhinged when people start making sense instead of just blindly agreeing with whatever someone says when the person saying stuff never met Karen or her family to know if the stuff they are saying is accurate or not.  Hint, accurate stuff doesn't fall apart when facts are presented or questioned.  A bigger hint, you don't have to bully people to accept something that is accurate and makes sense.  And sometimes, something may be accurate but may not seem to make sense aka "sh*t happens".  For the big picture, the truth will always be the truth.  And honestly (another word for truth), Karen Carpenter was, is and will always be the one that knew the most about Karen Carpenter.  I am just trying to add my "two bucks worth" for those that had wondered what that Adrian guy (first not last name) that Karen wrote romantically about in her diaries (and the Second Codicil of her Will that was not filed publicly) knew.  And with all the questions that pop up after stories are written, why not answer some questions rather than have 'just another story'?  Which another story just leads to 'more questions' again...

So how much do you really know about Karen?  And yes, it is impossible for someone to know more about someone else than the someone else knows about themselves.  That was why questions were invented.  To get to know someone better.  Try it sometime.

And yes, point blank. I feel that if those that never knew Karen would stop making up these nonsensical and sensationalistic stories all the time and others trying to blindly believe them that Karen wouldn't have had any of those problems that others that never knew her have made up for her.

Before concluding. I feel I need to comment here on dishonest mistakes.  Dishonest mistakes are things like "people can turn into frogs and vice versa" and "men can get pregnant" and "smoking eats away at the flesh in people's toes" and such.  I feel only a fool would believe such nonsense and only a charlatan would believe in spreading such nonsense.

For me, this page is not about being right or wrong but is about being honest and as accurate as possible about what I may or may not know about Karen.  And from my observations and experiences, those that are dishonest feel that they must always be right and can never be wrong.  Also from my personal experiences, all honest people can make mistakes from time to time but always try to be as accurate as possible, mistakes included.  Accurate mistakes?  Honest mistakes.  THINKE (Take Heart In Not Knowing Everything).

And a big thank you to the Carpenters' fans' communities for many wonderful ideas.

And to aid the reader, I need to add a revision part here:

If you read this page before September 27, 2022 you may wish to reread this page again.  Many rewrites and additions since this page began back in October / November 2021 (became kind of public in December 2021 with around 100 questions & answers).  Yes, I feel a web page is a better format than a printed book (or a forum, as a forum can get messy and confusing with cross talk and such between others on some stuff) for questions and answers because...

September 27, 2022 - added to #110 (payment information for Karen's solo album from a Richard interview), added to #244.

October 1, 2022 - clarified (Magdalene, Jesus, Moses) and added to #198.

October 2, 2022 - added #265.  Changed Louie Johnson to Howie Johnson #207.

October 3, 2022 - clarified and added Louie Bellson reference to #207.

October 6, 2022 - added #266.  Worked on adding to and clarifying the last paragraph I wrote in question #187.  Clarified and added the first paragraph to question #5.  Added next to last paragraph in #'After thought'.

October 7, 2022 - added second paragraph to #7.

October 8, 2022 - added a little extra clarification to the third paragraph of #252.  Removed (like Richard) from #253.  Added last paragraph to #262.

October 9, 2022 - added next to next to next to last paragraph (about Karen's mom) #94.  Added #267.

October 10, 2022 - clarified and added to #267.

October 11, 2022 - added the "women are complicated, men aren't" stuff to #267.

October 13, 2022 - added last 3 sentences to #190.  Added #268.  Removed the word a**hole from #268 as know-it-all a**hole I feel is a repetitively redundant phrase.

October 14, 2022 - added last paragraph to #24.

October 15, 2022 - added last paragraph to #'Last'.  Happy 76th birthday to thee Richard Carpenter.

October 16, 2022 - added question #269.

October 17, 2022 - corrected typo in #269.  Added #270.  Corrected faborite to favorite in #270.

October 20, 2022 - added last sentence to #34.  Added next to last paragraph in #188.

October 21, 2022 - Fixed typo Fenda -> Frenda #188.

October 22, 2022 - added #271, 272 and 273.  Added 'talking in your sleep' sentence to last paragraph of #163.

October 24, 2022 - added fourth paragraph to #271.

October 25, 2022 - Added #274.

October 27, 2022 - Added #275.

October 29, 2022 - added the Mark Bachman stuff to #252.  added #276.

October 30, 2022 - reparagraphed #91 and added more personal info to the second paragraph.  Added the second (middle) paragraph to #200.

November 1, 2022 - added #277 & 278.  Holy cow, I fixed a messed up link in 'Next to last' which is now correct at http://www.richardandkarencarpenter.com instead of that other junk that was there.  How could I have messed up that bad?  That is just reprehensible and several other choice bad words.  Yes, that was a "may the fleas of a thousand camels infest your armpits" type of mistake.  Fixed.  Added last 2 sentences in next to last paragraph in #Next to last.  Speaking of mistakes (next to next to next to last) this revision section is getting fairly long now.  Those that feel they know it all don't make mistakes so all is well here I feel.  A thank you goes out to those that were concerned.

November 2, 2022 - added last paragraph to #19.

November 3, 2022 - removed last paragraph to #19.

November 7, 2022 - added #279.  Added next to last paragraph in #11.

November 8, 2022 - Added third paragraph to #151.

November 9, 2022 - Added next to and next to next to last sentences in #178.

November 10, 2022 - Added first paragraph to #276.

November 12, 2022 - Added #280.  Added the next to last paragraph in #279.  Added the second paragraph to #276.

November 13, 2022 - Added last sentence in second paragraph to #207.  Added #281.

November 15, 2022 - Added the paragraph after the 20 rumors section in #After thought.

November 17, 2022 - Added the last sentence to
the paragraph after the 20 rumors section in #After thought.

November 18, 2022 - Added #282.  Removed the Bachman reference in #252. 
Added the last sentence to the paragraph after the 20 rumors section in #After thought.

November 19, 2022 - Added next to last sentence in the fourth paragraph of #278.  Added fourth paragraph to #282.

November 22, 2022 - Added all but first two sentences to the fourth paragraph and redid the last paragraph in #282.  Added #283.

November 23, 2022 - Added last paragraph to #47.

November 25, 2022 - Added the paragraph after the paragraph after the 20 rumors section in #After thought.  Added last paragraph to #253.

November 26, 2022 - Added #284 & 285.

November 27, 2022 - Deleted last three sentences in the last paragraph of #274.