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50th 50th Anniversary Celebration - West Coast*

In which city should the 50th Anniversary Celebration be based?

  • Downey

    Votes: 20 40.8%
  • Thousand Oaks

    Votes: 27 55.1%
  • Long Beach

    Votes: 3 6.1%
  • Other

    Votes: 1 2.0%

  • Total voters
    49

David A

Well-Known Member
A take away from the last part of the bus tour; Friday April 26th. As we left the Hollywood Bowl and got back into the continual LA area traffic jam, Carpenters tunes were playing on the PA of the bus much to our delight. Many people singing along to the upbeat songs; Top Of The World, Please Mr Postman, Sweet Sweet Smile. A selection of songs from Karen's solo album were also played. As we transitioned onto the 101 Fwy westbound towards Thousand Oaks and our hotel, it was announced that the next and last stop on our journey would be the Pierce Brothers Valley Oaks Cemetery at Westlake Village. Randy Schmidt ,who happened to be riding on my bus for the last two days, would broadcast intros to the various sites we were seeing and relate the historical significance of the Carpenters to the site. He did his squib about the details of Karen's death and how she was first buried at Forest Lawn Cypress and then relocated to Valley Oaks. As he closed out his bit, the song Now immediately came on the PA. I almost "lost it", I had to fight hard to keep my composure. The buses left the fwy and parked at Costco (why they couldn't go into the actual cemetery I do not know), we snaked around and entered the front of the memorial park and made the long trek to the back of the cemetery to the Carpenter Mausoleum. The general mood of the gathering was not somber, sad, or depressed. It's what I would call "quiet reflection". Each one grappling with the enormity of loss that occurred on Feb 4 1983.

Not surprising, there was a a vast array of flowers, cards, stuffed Mickey/Minnie Mouses adorning the front entrance to the structure. Fans quietly waited their turn to snap a photo and awkwardly peer into the windowed entrance to get a glimpse/photo of Karen's final resting place, the marble that bier her signature and the words "A Star On Earth, A Star In Heaven". There was also a line of fans directly in the back where there is a much smaller window. This was the end of the tour, all the site seeing was over and we knew where it would end. In our own way, we paid our private respects to our beloved Karen; the greatest female pop singer who has ever graced this planet...


It you please, a few photos;


The Carpenter Mausoleum located on a gentle hillside in the back of the memorial park.


Fans wait their turn to pay their respects to Karen Carpenter.


The beautiful view from the Carpenter Mausoleum towards the southwest.
Dang, my GF and I were on Randy's bus too, both days! We didn't meet and we were probably less than 10 feet away from each other. Dang. On day one we sat right in the middle, left (driver's) side of the coach. Day two, the same at first, then someone decided to site where we had been, and we ended up near the very back of the coach, driver's side again.
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
I’ve just remembered something really funny that I forgot to tell everyone about the day we were in Hollywood. After we visited the old A&M Studios and their star on the Walk of Fame, we had some downtime of around two hours before we were due to go back to the coaches waiting on La Brea.

The last time I’d visited Hollywood was 20 years earlier and I’d stayed at the Hollywood Roosevelt which is right across the street from their star, so I decided for old time’s sake I’d go back and revisit an old haunt. I stopped at the crossroads and waited...and waited. The lights took forever to change to green and out of nowhere this old guy, a complete stranger standing right next to me, started singing at the top of his voice “Any Day Now”...and carried on with the song, in exactly the same style Karen sang it, until the lights changed and we were able to cross.
 
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Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Honolulu City Lights
I forgot to mention, I thought the little gift left at each table place was a lovely touch. I didn’t take a photo but it resembles a giant commemorative coin inside a case, inside a black velvet pouch, engraved with the Carpenters 50th on one side and Karen and Richard on the other. I thought that was a really, really classy touch and I know others did as well. I attended the event on my own and when I was looking for somewhere to sit, I was told “you can sit wherever there’s still a black velvet pouch in front of you on the table”. In other words, people had found a seat and snapped up their unexpected gift, even if they were still mingling! I really, really loved that.

Then of course, there were these as well...I was so engrossed in the panel discussion that I wasn’t lucky enough to snap one of these up :laugh:

Wow those cupcakes are truly amazing!!! I would be holding up the line saying “I can’t decide” lol each one looks so impressive, lovely screen prints. Ok I made my decision, I’d have to take either her Solo album or Voice of the Heart cupcake.

Props to the bakery who created these edibles...great job!!!
 

Geographer

Well-Known Member
Hi, everyone. I can provide a bit of background information on the use of the Costco parking lot.

During the planning stages of the bus tours, the organizing committee anticipated that Pierce Bros. (not to mention the families of loved ones buried there) would not appreciate a couple of tour buses parking on the grounds of the cemetery.

We checked with a contact at Pierce Bros. and sure enough we were told to park elsewhere. Fortunately, Costco was willing to allow the 2 buses to park in their lot for a short time.

Admittedly it was a little inconvenient having to park next door, but doing so allowed us to keep on good terms with the folks managing the cemetery and more importantly it showed that we were trying to keep our visit dignified and respectful.

I hope this clarifies the reasons for parking at Costco. Feel free to private message me, if you have any further questions.
You made the exact right call! Having visited before, and knowing how I had to drive up the hill and do a U-turn to get back out of there, I wondered how the busses were going to be handled. It all worked out fine and the extra walking was actually welcomed after sitting in that traffic!
 

Carpe diem

Well-Known Member
^^Speaking of walking, did everyone like their walk through Hollywood? I actually did. Hollywood is full of the glitzy cheezyness of Vegas, but then again, I sensed the old-Hollywood history too. Some of the architecture down there is amazing. Being a Friday afternoon with perfect weather the place was packed with tourists (like us!). Right where the duo's star was on Hollywood Blvd were two guys in "Spider-Man" outfits working the same corner! And if you took a photo, they wanted payment on the spot. And they weren't happy with a dollar or two, they wanted higher denominations. My wife personally saw one of our entourage from Japan being fleeced by one of these guys for like $15! I avoided them like the plague. By the way, the duo's star looks beautiful thanks to the restoration efforts of some great fans.

 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Honolulu City Lights
Does anyone remember the video clip of Richard when their walk of fame star was presented? Not the one of Karen and Richard with Herb Alpert's star but there was a video (it might have been inside one of their documentaries?) that I saw it...maybe it was on Entertainment Tonight I don't remember but I could have sworn there was a short video clip of this, anyone remember? I'm trying to find a picture of Richard being presented with their star back then.
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
Does anyone remember the video clip of Richard when their walk of fame star was presented? Not the one of Karen and Richard with Herb Alpert's star but there was a video (it might have been inside one of their documentaries?) that I saw it...maybe it was on Entertainment Tonight I don't remember but I could have sworn there was a short video clip of this, anyone remember?
Are you talking about the clip where he’s being interviewed after the presentation and says “it’ll never be quite the same recording without Karen. That was quite an experience”?
 

Geographer

Well-Known Member
Does anyone remember the video clip of Richard when their walk of fame star was presented? Not the one of Karen and Richard with Herb Alpert's star but there was a video (it might have been inside one of their documentaries?) that I saw it...maybe it was on Entertainment Tonight I don't remember but I could have sworn there was a short video clip of this, anyone remember? I'm trying to find a picture of Richard being presented with their star back then.
I do. I was actually there (first time I got to meet Richard) and I have all the news reports on video. Great memory!
 

GDB2LV

Active Member
I don’t believe anyone has written about Karen Tongson and the Why Karen Carpenter Matters book.
Did she show up to talk about the book, or was there any interest? Thank you.
 

Carpe diem

Well-Known Member
^^Yes, she was there the first night at the meet and greet. She sold quite a few of her books there and signed them for the participants. She read us a few passages from the book and answered a few questions. I bought a copy and had her sign it (she was selling them for $12). I haven't had time as yet to read it. I was debating whether to buy one at first but it was pretty inexpensive and I believe in supporting people that put the duo into the best possible light. Lord knows, they had enough negative press during their heyday. I also like the title and that photo of Karen on the cover.
 

Carpe diem

Well-Known Member
While I'm thinking about it...Special thanks to Downey CA during our visit. They welcomed us with open arms! Mayor Rodriguez was there at three separate venues talking to fans at CTY & Only Just Begun apartments, the downtown mural, and at the Downey Theater before Michelle's performance. It was nice to be appreciated! Also, thanks to Superfan, Kathy Garcia, for pointing us in the right direction during our walking tour of Downey, and making sure the different venues were prepared to receive us. Great Job, one and all!!


Fans gather in front of the Close To You apartment building.


Furman Park, site of the Saturday talent show where Karen sang End Of The World with piano accompaniment from Richard.


Quite a bit different that when Karen & Richard attended, the sprawling campus of Downey High School has over 4,000 students (according to Wikipedia).
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
^^Here is an excerpt from that Article:
"...not even their fans look at the group as anything like the voice of a generation. During their recording career,
they became famous for making America feel good at a time when there was so much to feel bad about ...."


In my particular instance, I completely disagree with that line.

Here is another excerpt (I totally agree with):
"Today, the Carpenters’ legacy is open for a new round of rediscovery and deconstruction. "
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Another excerpt from the LATimes Article:
"One of the Carpenters’ greatest songs was an outlier, “Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft,” a seven-minute sci-fi opus that sent a playful message to aliens everywhere to come home to Earth. The whole convention, in a sense, had been making a call of its own, to fellow fans around the world and to Richard Carpenter himself, who, as Carpenters50th.com’s homepage took pains to point out, is not affiliated with the gathering. (He also declined an interview for this story.) "
 
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