turns 25 in this year. HORIZON was
released this year with songs like Only Yesterday and Solitaire. During
the making of this album, Karen's health had become
a critical issue.
JUNE: They began a tour
in the US. Karen had fallen deeper into anorexia nervosa. Richard
made many comments on the choice of clothing his sister made. Which
by this time she was trying for more of an adult attire instead
of the "granny-look"
as her hair and makeup girl would later say. Richard felt
that her clothing revealed too much of her arms and back. During
their concerts, the audience showed their alarm at Karen's weight-loss
with gasps as she entered the stage. Richard states that
she had to have been aware of this, but never showed any reaction
to it or mentioned it.Karen's best friend from Connecticut,
Debbie Vaiuso, visited them during one of these concerts. This
is what she had to say about Karen's appearance, "Her skin
was literally hanging off of her bones."
In-between shows, she would rest on a sofa in her dressing room.
She was convinced this was enough to get her through the shows.
While onstage, she couldn't wait to get off again to go rest.
She reassured family and friends that she was "OK".
I have to say, while a person is wrapped up in the clutches of
anorexia, they don't realize the seriousness. Richard recalls "She
looked like hell."
SUMMER: Karen's health
had now degenerated into a critical issue. She was
down to around 80 pounds at this time! It was at this
time a mysterious illness.
Although it had been around for many years, no one had yet
knew about it. Her doctor confirmed she was too exhausted
to go on tours of Japan and Europe. While Richard went
to Tokyo and London to postpone the tours, Karen went into
the Cedars of Sinai Hospital. "They're just going
to make sure I put some weight on," Karen reassured
Gary Sims who visited her there....alarmed. Karen gained
weight to 104 pounds in her six weeks of recuperation.October
Karen and Richard each talked about her illness although
the actual words "anorexia
nervosa" were never mentioned.
February: Karen's thirst for knowledge of culinary
art, had led her to enroll in a cookery course, a subject
she loves. It appears their lone awaited three month vacation
has gone down the drain. Demands for bookings have been so
heavy, that vacation time has been replaced by concerts.
The following schedule is tentative, and subject to changes,
cancellations, and/or additions. I try to keep you notified
of any alterations, but at times is impossible when it occurs
between newsletters. June: Determined to lose weight.
Karen has melted down to a mere 93 pounds. Exhausted from
the demands or taping etc. she spent a short vacation with
friends in the Virgin Islands who forced her to relax and
rest by denying he the use or the telephone and trade publications.
She returned with a lovely tan. Meanwhile, back home Richard
spent some time enjoying his motorcycle. He and Karen thoughtfully
took time to plan a fantastic surprise party for Mom & Dads
40th wedding anniversary.
Q: Does Karen have a favorite recipe she likes to
prepare? A: She loves to cook, and here is one of her many
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 pt. whipping cream
1 tsp. vanilla
|1/4 cup cold water
2 drops almond flavoring
4 tbsp. butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 box vanilla wafers
2 cups peaches
1/2 tsp. salt
1 envelope plain gelatinPlace wafers in plastic bag, crush
with rolling pin, then spread on base of glass dish. Mix
butter, sour cream, sugar, salt and flavors, blend in blender.
Add egg and blend again. Mix gelatin with cold water, and
blend with other ingredients. Whip cream and add to peaches
and other ingredient. Pour into wafer crust and place in
refrigerator for several hours. The Nabisco vanilla wafers
are available in most markets.
October: Carpenters send sincere regrets to
their loyal fans in Japan for the cancellation or the Japanese
tour due to Karen's illness. She appreciates your sympathetic
understanding, and deep concern for her health. She is very
slowly improving, but has been prohibited by her physicians
from all physical and professional activities until the end
or October. Richard flew to Japan with Terry Ellis (Karen's
boyfriend) for a Press conference and business meeting with
the Japanese promoters. Find Richard made a public announcement
to the people or Japan.December: In response to the
overwhelming concern regarding Karen's health, I am happy
to confirm she has responded well to the rest and medication
prescribed by her doctors, and is steadily regaining weight,
(present reading 104 lbs.) The good wishes of so many loyal
fans. combined with our beautiful California weather, have
been the main contributory factors to her recuperation. Karen
has asked me to convey her heartfelt gratitude to you all
for the get-well cards, and numerous kind messages, which
have brought her so much pleasure and comfort. Contrary to
unfounded reports you may have read in various magazines,
please be assured there is no truth in the rumor that Karen
is a victim of cancer. Coupled with severe physical and mental
exhaustion, due to overwork, dieting and lack of rest, she
developed Colitis (i.e. inflammation of the colon.) Her collapse
was inevitable after the rigorous schedule of the past summer
months, and her willing spirit was eventually dominated by
mother nature who compelled her to take a well deserved rest.
Thank God she exudes her vivacious, happy personality once
again. We are indeed thankful that Richard has managed to
sustain sufficient stamina to withstand the extra pressures
derived from Karen's illness. It was with deep regret that
the European tour was canceled on doctor's advice, specially
having been honored to be selected to perform in the presence
of the Queen at the Royal Command Variety Performance in
London. Richard flew to London with John Bettis to apologize
to the fans and promoters for the cancellation, via the media
of television, radio and newspapers.
December 19 Richard & Karen staged
two shows at Disneyland. It was Trojan night, and the big
handsome men on the football team were being honored for
earning their way into New Year's Day Rose Bowl game. It
was a rare cold California night, and though our duo wore
denim outfits, they were freezing cold on the outdoor stage.
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