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.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.