First, contact information : email : theeaceman64@gmail.com

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

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

Where : Severn Elementary School, Corning, NY

Who : Mrs. Harris

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

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

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When : September 1973 to June 1974

Where : Severn Elementary School, Corning, NY

Who : Julie Sage

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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When : September or October 1973

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

Who : Substitute teacher for Mrs. Harvin (?)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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When : April 8, 1974

Where : Shea Stadium, New York, New York

Who : Me and my sister Robin

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

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

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When : 1973 / 1974

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

Who : Shaddai (God Himself) & Son

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

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

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When : May 31, 1975

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

Who : Jimmy "Cool Papa" Bell

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

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

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

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

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

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When : April 1976

Where : Severn Elementary School, Corning, NY

Who : Mr. Davis

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

What came of this : Definitely not chicken eggs.

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When : April / May, 1976

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

Who : Julie Sage, Karen Stirpe

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

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

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When : May 1976

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

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

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

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

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When : June / July 1976

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

Who : Dr. Robert Wylie

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

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

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When : April / May 1977

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

Who : Julie Sage and me

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

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

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When : February 1978

Where : Corning Free Academy Auditorium Balcony, Corning, NY

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

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

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

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When : April / May 1978

Where : Corning Free Academy, Corning, NY

Who : Thee Ace Man

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

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

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When : June 1978

Where :  Corning Free Academy, Corning, NY

Who : Mr. "Spanky" Baker & Mary Frick

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

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

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When : September 1978 to late June, 1979

Where : Corning Free Academy Middle School, Corning, NY

Who : Miss Bihuniak (Karen Carpenter), Patti Carpenter, Richard Carpenter, Paul Williams, Max Baer Jr., Cubby O'Brien,
Rod Temperton (phone), John "Jack" Heib, Buddy Ebsen, Phil & 'Itchy' Ramone?, Sir Nicholas Boehr

I. Introduction

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

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

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

III. About Karen

About Karen, herself.  Actually Karen was a very down to earth person and enjoyed it when people did not think of her as a celebrity or pop star or such.  Karen liked being just a regular person.  When I first met Karen, she was my english teacher, Miss Bihuniak, and I did not know she was Karen Carpenter.  Some things happened and she "spilled the beans" to me after about a month and a half to two months.  In all honesty, Karen's 'celebrity' status or such was no big deal to me.  I never really thought of her as such because her and I had such great times together, I just enjoyed being around her, whoever she was.  And she had some great times around me as well.  We always enjoyed meeting lots of people and just talking about whatever without the others knowing that she was Karen Carpenter.  A lot of people just knew her as Karen, the sweetheart that seemed to care about everyone.  But Karen worried about being mobbed and such because Karen liked talking to people as being a person and not some big celebrity or such. 
And those that thought of her as a celebrity tried to make a big fuss about it, and Karen was not one to like being the center of attention.  Karen never felt 'attention starved' or such.  Karen also noticed that most people that thought of her as a big celebrity usually didn't say too much when around her but would be talking up a storm to other people that they knew her or met her.  Karen was always a very caring person and always tried to include as many people as possible.  When Karen was younger, Karen had reddish colored eyes and hair and some of the other kids would pick on her and call her "Evil Karen" and such.  Karen never forgot how it felt to feel excluded and picked on which is why she always tried to make everyone feel at home and included whenever possible.  Of course being on the road and touring did not leave much time for socializing and such.  Karen always tried to do the best she could in the time she had.  And, oh, what times we had...

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

I did not know who she was at first, but Miss Bihuniak was my homeroom as well as my last (8th) period english teacher in eighth grade.  I used to come in early to school every day because I always tried to do my homework in homeroom.  Miss Bihuniak would be there and I would come in and start doing my homework and she would sit there and drink her morning tea ([I believe chamomile] tea with lemon and honey because she said it helped soothe her throat from all of the talking that she did during the day).  I was usually the first kid in school (besides teachers) and I would usually go to my locker and grab my books that had homework and do that in homeroom.  Early on in the year, Miss Bihuniak asked why I didn't do my homework at home.  I just told her, "I like the challenge of trying to do all this stuff in a hurry instead of taking it home.  I only have a half hour or so in homeroom.  I have all night at home."  Or something like that.  She said something like, "That explains it.  I like challenges too.  Does it bother you if I talk while you work?"  And I was like, "No, not at all.  I can do both.  Is there anything special you are thinking about?"  And she was like, "I grew up out west and I am kind of new to the area.  I have some relatives here, but I still feel kind of lost at times.  Is it alright if I ask you questions and stuff?"  I was like "Sure, anytime, anything.  Feel free anytime."  This was like in the first week of school.  And at times we would talk about all kinds of stuff like music, poetry, books, food, school, ideas, whatever.  She asked me what music I liked and I said the Beatles and she was like "Me too when I was younger.".  My favorite was Paul, and I am pretty sure she said her favorite was Ringo.  I told her that my mother liked the Carpenters, my father liked the Beach Boys and played drums in a country band, and my younger sister liked the Osmonds, especially Donny.  She said her favorite color was burgundy (dark red) and black.  I told her my favorite color used to be silver and black because I liked the contrast, but I changed to clear as my favorite color now.  Stuff like that mostly.  She was just a very nice and down to earth person and at times she felt kind of out of place as it was a new area to her.  She also liked having someone that wasn't family to just talk to as well.  Families always seem to say the same things, the same way, and it is nice to get a different perspective sometimes. 
She also told me that at the ripe old age of 28 that she ran away from home and didn't tell her family where she was, but she knew her family would track her down eventually.  My teacher just said that things were not going well for her and that she just needed to get away and do something different.  Kind of a mid life crisis type thing.  It wasn't her family being mean or anything like that because they weren't mean or such, but she needed to find herself again and she knew she couldn't find herself in the same place with the same people doing the same things over and over again.  So she ran away from home and became a school teacher.  She also told me that she had to pull quite a few strings to get her job as a teacher at the last minute.

V. Karen's teaching voice

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


VI. Night lights and diaries

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

VII. The unexplained, past lives intro, Kristi Lynn, and baseball

We also talked about Ouija and horoscopes and that kind of stuff too.  Neither one of us really believed that stuff, but still it was something different to think and talk about.  She held her hand up and said, "See, my life line is really short and just barely makes it to my thumb.  It is what it is."  And I held my hand up and I was like, "My life line goes to about the bottom of my thumb.  It is what it is too."  She also mentioned that she was a Pisces and I was a Sagittarius, water and fire.  Like said, we didn't really believe in that stuff.  Either of us.  We rather liked to just look through all of the horoscopes for ideas regardless of the zodiac sign and all of that.  There is a lot of great advice there as far as relationships and such.  As far as Sagittarius and Pisces being fire and water, um, the zodiac guy never met Karen and me for sure.  As far as a Ouija board, I actually can't remember on that.  It was popular at the time, that is about all I remember about it.  I don't think either of us tried it, but I can't remember for sure.  Neither of us was into witchcraft or the dark arts and that kind of stuff.  The Magic 8 Ball stuff was funny because you could ask the same question three times in a row and get three different answers.  Definitely magic in that one for someone's bank account. 
Karen did talk about having regressive hypnotism done but she didn't talk about it much to people.  Apparently, she was called Edna in a past life and was Methuselah's mother.  She said it made her feel old which is why she didn't talk to people about it much.  I think she said she had a great grandmother named Edna too, but her great grandmother didn't have a boy named Methuselah.  Karen apparently spoke in Aramaic when she talked about Enoch, Edna, and Methuselah as well as Gainad too.  Karen said that Enoch was pronounced Ē nō ch (long e, long o, not a k but a ch sound as in chip as Karen said that one time).  Karen joked too and said that her last words as Edna were, "glub, glub, glub."  Karen also talked about Enoch's father Yared (yar ed) being the one to name Methuselah as that would have been the name for Enoch's brother, but Yared did not have another son.  Methuselah was the one who named his sister Eliza or Elizabeth (and after Enoch and Edna named Gainad, could you blame Methuselah for not wanting Enoch and Edna to give a child another corny type name?).  The bloodline was Yared, Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech (lam ech, ch as in chips), and Noah (No a and the a as in cat, so not no uh, but no a).  Also, apparently, Karen was known as Yaśodharā and had a son named Rahula that was the son of Buddha.  According to His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama, I was the 'Divine One' Buddha as His Holiness was only able to see me through Karen by having Karen, Yaśodharā, see me as having dirt on my face and then Karen using her thumb to wipe that dirt off.  It was a very short time, but in that short time, His Holiness was able to see inside me as I was directly blocked from His Holiness in 1979.  Karen also mentioned Muhammad and Khadijah.  Of course Karen and I talked about naming kids and of course Adrian IV for a boy and Karen Junior for a girl (but Karen asked what my sister's name was and I said Robin Lynn, and Karen said that was kind of ominous because her brother's name was Richard Lynn, and Karen thought that two Karens running around would get confusing so Karen Lynn was out.  And Karen was not going to name her daughter Junior.  During school that day I made it a point to stop by her classroom and poke my head inside the door and I would say, "Junior, Junior, Junior" and Karen would kind of smile and then look down at her steno pad.  Like I told Karen, "Junior is a nice tomboy name.  She'll like it."  And Karen said, "I'm not calling my daughter Junior."  We thought of Roberta Lynn, but we didn't really like Roberta as a name (Roberta had 2 things going for it - Burt Bacharach and starts with R).  Rhonda Lynn?  Rikki Lynn?  Rita Lynn?  Rachel Lynn?  Racquel Lynn?  We couldn't really think of a good girl's name that began with R.  Adriana, Adrienne, Claire, Clara, nope (yes, even girls don't sound good with variations of my name).  Olivia?  Dionne?  Ella?  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 1978 Christmas special.   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 more than three.  We were both surprised that smoke hadn't come out of Karen's ears that day so I checked her ears with a flashlight just to be sure.  No smoke or flames, and the flashlight didn't shine through to the other side so all was good.  Honestly, someone at the school had ear mites and we were asked to check each other's ears just in case.  I liked my stories better.), but then I asked the question, "If we could name the kids anything we wanted, what would we name them?"  After thinking for about ten seconds, I said Fuzz Nuts for a second boy and Karen said Gitchy Goo for a second girl in honor of naming Methuselah's brother Gainad for Fuzz Nuts (nad is spanish for testicle, nuts) and Karen loved to play 'Gitchy Goo' with babies because "babies are so cute when they giggle".  Yes, we were joking about the second names which was why it didn't take us long at all.  I called Karen "Yaz" for a little while after this and we talked about baseball a bit here and there.  She said she liked baseball better than softball because the ball was a lot easier to handle.  We both agreed that we would rather play baseball than watch it.  We could still watch it, but we weren't really much for sitting still too long.  We would both get kind of restless if we sat too long.  I know we were in 'Yankee territory' but Karen liked the California Angels and I liked the Oakland A's.

VIII. Past lives explained, getting close to you

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

Karen's lives.

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

Which correspond with...

Enoch (ee noa ch)
Solomon (sol oa mun)
Moses (moe ziss)
Siddhartha Gautama [Buddha] (Sid hart ha gow tah mah)
Ieshua [Jesus] (yehshuah)
Muhammad bin Abdullah (moo hom mid bin ab doo luh)
A black king with a nice butt, Shaka Zulu? Swahili.
Nothing that I am aware of? American Civil War.
Adrian Clair Downing III. English.

At the time, I did not know she was Karen Carpenter.  At the time, she was my eighth grade teacher, Miss Bihuniak.  Anyway, we would sing songs together here and there and this one day I sang "Close To You" to her with slightly altered lyrics.  I altered "All the girls in town" to "All the guys in town" and "blue eyes" to "brown eyes" and at the end Karen was like, "I noticed you looked at my eyes before singing."  And I was like, "Yeah, your eyes are kind of a reddish brown but that is kind of a mouthful so I just shortened it to brown."  And Karen was like, "That song means a lot to me, thank you for singing it to me."  And then Karen continued, "I was born with red eyes and platinum hair and people thought I was going to be an albino but my eyes got darker as I got older.  Some of the kids used to call me Evil Karen because my eyes were reddish color when I was younger.  As I got older my eye color got darker and I didn't get picked on as much."  And I was like, "When I was born I had slate gray eyes and platinum hair too and people thought I might be albino as well, but my eyes got a light blue color as I got older with a little bit of yellow here and there.  I didn't get picked on though."  And she was like, "Can you keep a secret?"  And I was like, "Sure, like I said in the beginning, feel free to talk about anything, anytime."  And Karen was like, "I was having problems with eating so a hypnotherapist tried regressive therapy on me to see what might be causing my problems."  And I was like, "Sounds interesting.  I can keep secrets.  Outside you, I really don't talk much to people anyway.  Just hi here and there and idle chit chat."   And Karen was like, "Do you promise not to tell?"  And I was like, "I know we play jokes on each other and such, but honest, I promise I won't tell anyone."  And then Karen was like, "I'll know if you tell anyone and you'll regret if you ever tell anyone about this, trust me.  But they did what they call past regressive hypnotherapy on me to see if something in my past may be causing me to keep trying to lose weight.  They looked at my past and then the hypnotherapist actually went back further by accident.  The weird part is that I actually remember what the hypnotherapist did and I still remember the stuff that came up.  There are a couple that I haven't been able to figure out, but the really weird part is that I remember the stuff as it was.  In the couple I haven't been able to figure out, I apparently was a girl between 13 and 16 years old and I was raped and killed by a Union soldier during the American Civil War.  The other seems to be about being a black woman and a black man speaking an african dialect of sorts with tongue clicks and such but I can't really make it out too well.  It's kind of fuzzy,"  And I was like, "That rape one must be tough to think about and is probably blocked somewhat.
  I actually see the black man and woman one with the warriors with shields and such looking like they are preparing for war, but like you said, it is a bit fuzzy and nothing really stands out except that we have nice butts as black people."  She was like, "I agree on the nice butts on that one.  I like butts too.  I actually got a name and the story checks out on the rape one.  Her name was [I think she said Barbara Allen, but not sure] and I found out where she was buried and I visited her grave and left flowers.  Her grave seemed very lonely and abandoned and I kind of got chills when I was there.  But it is tough to remember so I try not to think about that one if I can help it."  And I was like, "I can imagine."  And then she was like, "The rest is kind of weird.  I remember some details in other languages and definitely some names too.  Promise you won't tell or make fun of me?"  And I was like, "I might still pick on you about other stuff, but I promise I won't bring this stuff up with anyone else except you."  And she was like, "Fair enough.  I'll trust you.  Like I said, the hypnotherapist went back too far and I started talking in odd languages.  The hypnotherapist didn't speak the other languages, but he recognized the stuff I was talking about and a few names and such.  But anyway, after the therapy sessions, I remember the memories that I talked about to the hypnotherapist.  How religious are you Ace?"  I was like, "Well, honestly, they kicked me out of Sunday School at Church when I was 9 if that helps."  And she was like, "OK, well one of my memories is about Mary Magdala.  I know people say Magdalene, but Magdala.  Mary spoke hebrew so I don't really know what she actually said, but I can kind of figure it out.  Mary definitely wasn't a prostitute.  [And Richard Carpenter please try to ignore what is written here between the brackets and kind of grayed out, Karen figured you would know who this was and get mad at him for it, so Karen kept this secret as far as I know because in a way, Karen felt kind of flattered about being considered sexy enough to get the offer...  But then Karen told me that one of Richard's friends at college asked Karen if she would be interested in making some money.  All that Karen had to do was show up at a hotel room and have sex with a guy and Karen could keep the money.  Richard's friend gave Karen the hotel and room number but Karen couldn't go through with it.  Karen said, "For all I know, that guy could be still waiting there for me but I just don't have it in my heart to have sex with just anybody.  I could never be a prostitute."]  Mary had all of these different guys around her which I think were Jesus' apostles and it appears Jesus had a problem and approached Mary about it.  Jesus' problem was that he was a bit large for most women to handle.  I know what Jesus looked like naked.  Jesus was hung like a horse, so to speak.  I feel kind of naughty about remembering it.  I, Mary, called him Yeshua, not Jesus.  We both took our robes off and when he tried to get on top, I squeezed around his sides with my legs and I rolled him over on the ground and I got on top.  We held each other's hands and I did all the work.  He had green eyes and curly dirty blond hair.  Oops, I'm sorry, was that too much information for you?  Are you alright?"  And I was like, "I'm fine.  I forgot to tell you that I'm not a virgin either.  Do you remember when you froze up in class because I had those wild thoughts in my head?  Well, I just saw what you saw just now.  He's about 10 or so inches long and about an inch and a half to two inches around and circumcised too.  I think you or Mary or whatever made the right choice on that one.  That one might have hurt a bit otherwise.  I'll definitely keep my mouth shut on that one.  I know the Church would probably have you boiled in oil on that one if it became public so to speak."  And Karen continued, "Thanks.  It seems that the others thought of me as his mistress or whatever and seemed to be jealous or angry at me most of the time except his mom.  It seems like we spent a lot of time talking with one another and not just you know.  I'm not sure where Jesus came from because his name is Yeshua and there's no J sound in it.  Yeh shoo uh, no J.  Then I have this other one where I am speaking aramaic and I'm with a guy named Enoch, long e long o and ch as in chips, not E knock or whatever.  But I had a great grandmother named Edna, but she didn't speak aramaic, nor do I.  Me and Enoch had I think seven children with one of them named Methuselah and another Gainad [and she laughed] and the others (and she said one of the girls was either named Eliza or Elizabeth, but she named them all.  I just can't remember that part now).  I think Enoch's dad Iared (Yar ed) named him Methuselah.  I am apparently Methuselah's mom and I don't talk or think about it much because it makes me feel old.  I kind of joke around and say my last words were glub, glub, glub.  But it is kind of freaky me being Methuselah's mom a long time ago."  And I was like, "Well, I guess you're as old as you feel."  And then she was like, "I guess I was Moses' wife Soporo too.  I remember seeing us sitting around a bunch of sheep.  His name was Moses pronounced moe ziss and he didn't stutter, but he had a lisp.  My name started with a ts sound, not an s or z."  And I was like, "Mothith with a lithp (lisp), like thith."  And she was like, "You shouldn't make fun of people like that.  How would you feel if someone made fun of you."  And I was like, "Actually, I wasn't mocking, I was just kind of mimicking and besides I understand because as you can see, four eyes are better than two if you can't see too well."  And she was like, "Exactly.  You made your point.  There's a bunch more, and I think we got time, but I'll try and hurry it up a bit, so...   Apparently, I was also the Queen of Sheba, Mekada, and I had a son, Menelik (Men eh lick), from Solomon.  That one is a kind of hebrew dialect.  I seem to remember taking the Ark of the Covenant to Ethiopia or such in a caravan with me and my son.  I can see the area where the Ark was placed, so I would know where it is if I was there.  Then another one in chinese where I am Yaśodharā with a guy named Siddhartha Gautama.  We had a son named Rahula.  Apparently this guy is the one known as Buddha."  And I was like, "Sounds really interesting so far, there's more?"  And she is like, "Well, apparently I was the prophet Muhammad's first wife, Khadijah, and I was a wealthy business woman too before I met him.  Her last name was Koo way lid and I remember her last name because it sounds like kool aid.  We had seven kids I believe but one or two died young."  And I was like, "That's actually kind of cool.  Don't worry, I definitely won't tell.  I probably won't remember half this stuff anyway.  Any more?"  And she was like, "I think that's about it.  My eating problem seems to be from when I was growing up and I noticed that all the boys liked girls that were skinny, so I picked up some bad habits to try and be thinner.  But I have big bones so it is kind of tough for me to stay slim looking.  That and I felt awkward because I was a late bloomer.  I also feel awkward because I feel the need to stay skinny to attract the right guy when he comes along, but when I'm skinny I start feeling like guys are watching me more and I start feeling like some guy is just going to rape me someday.  It's a vicious cycle.  I've never been raped or such.  I just get these weird thoughts in my head at times about it.  I don't know why I get these weird thoughts, I just do."  And I was like, "You look great for being Methuselah's mom.  I know it's not funny, but it's true.  You would look great being anyone's mom really.  You definitely don't look old enough to be a grandma yet.  I probably ought to shut up before I put my foot in my mouth again.  Let's face it, we're both the types that show up on a blind date and next thing you know the date has to go to the bathroom and never returns.  A nice personality doesn't go too far nowadays.  We definitely aren't going to win any beauty pageants.  But then too, you don't need to please everyone, you just need to find that one special someone.  I think we're both special in our own ways."  And then she was like, "You almost did put your foot in your mouth, but nice save.  That beauty pageant comment is what saved you.  And please don't put your foot in your mouth again like you did before.  I know you were just trying to be funny, but that was disgusting.  Actually, would you sing Close To You as a duet with me?"

IX. The cactus

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

X. Dreams come true?

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

XI. Freckles

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

XII. Hidden but not for long

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

XIII. It's the thought that counts

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

XIV. I quit chorus. Why?

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

XV. Singing together. Dueting?

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

XVI. Dancing lessons

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

XVII. The pranksters and Little Sneak

Karen and I had an early history of being pranksters at the school.  We would each pull some prank on each other.  From rubber frogs, rubber snakes, plastic spiders, a rubber bat, a rubber chicken (not from me), mexican jumping beans, and even a rubber shark in her desk drawers to her putting silly string in my locker.  The rubber animals weren't really the problem as much as the sexually suggestive positions these rubber animals were placed in with each other.  Karen even nicknamed one of the frogs "Petey" and she would say, "Oh Petey, I had no idea."  And then Karen would start laughing.  Karen had a cousin named Peter who had a sister named Wendy but Peter also married a woman named Wendy as well.  So Karen had two cousins named Wendy with the same last names because Peter's sister was single and not married.  Karen was staying with Wendy the sister.  Karen would start laughing because Peter was a very normal business executive type but Petey the Frog was definitely something else.  Whoopee cushions.  Fake poop and fake puke. 
I would turn all of her books in her book rack upside down.  I would tape a 'kiss me' sign on her back and she would tape a 'kick me' sign on my back.  My original 'pet name' of sorts from Karen was 'little sneak'.  Anytime some prank got pulled, Karen would be going, "Where is that little sneak.  I'll get him back." and people would start laughing because they knew that I, Ace, was 'little sneak'.  But a little while after the silly string in my locker, the pranking stopped between us.  After the silly string incident, the other kids were starting to think of Karen and me as boyfriend and girlfriend.  Not something you want to hear about from a teacher and a student in a small area.  So we both decided to call a truce and end the practical jokes on each other before Karen may have got wrongfully accused of something which would be a serious problem and not a prank.  And it was probably the most weird experience in either of our lives, because for both of us, Karen and me, we actually had more fun being serious and helping ourselves as well as others solve problems than the fun we had from making jokes and pulling pranks and such.

XVIII. Not nuts, butter knives part 1

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

XIX. Still not nuts. Butter knives part 2

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

XX. Odd names. Adrian Clair? Maximilian Adalbert?

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

XXI. Cousin Patti

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

XXII. Being spoiled. Not for us

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

XXIII. Brother Richard visits

A little while later, during either english class or dismissal homeroom (end of school), my teacher got a call from the office about someone coming up to the room to see her.  Next thing that happened was a guy in a light brown / tan suit carrying flowers walking into the classroom.  Of course, "Miss Bihuniak has a boyfriend?" was said, but my teacher said to the class after he walked in, "This is my brother, Richard, who just came in from out of town."  My teacher had dark hair, and Richard had blond hair.  But during one of our talks before, my teacher had said she wears a wig at school and that her hair was a very light strawberry blonde color.  Actually she said, "Do you like my hair?" and then she took her wig off and said, "
If you like it, you can have it.  It's a wig.  See."  Her hair was almost pure blonde with just a slight red tint to it.  Anyway, my teacher told her brother that she would see him after school and she did.  My teacher and I talked the next day and she said how she had just taken off without telling others where she had gone because she just felt like she needed to get away.  Her family was not mean or anything to her, my teacher just had a lot of things to think about and needed a break from her family always putting their 'two cents in' and such.  It was just her brother that arrived and not her parents too.  Richard and her talked all night and my teacher was tired the next day, but glad that she and her brother had talked.  Her brother agreed to let her have her space and such and was just glad that his sister was alright and doing better.  There was family close by, so it wasn't like my teacher was all alone or such.  My teacher had already told me that she had a brother, so there were not any 'bells or whistles' going off about her having a brother named Richard in a light brown / tan suit (maybe a burgundy suit though, been a while).  Karen also talked about her and Richard growing up after I found out who she was, not at this time.  Karen was the extrovert and Richard was the introvert.  Their parents would always have to encourage Richard to get out and do things.  Karen was usually bouncing off the walls and full of energy.  Richard was the sensitive one while Karen usually cracked a lot of jokes.  While growing up, Karen always thought that they favored Richard, but after growing up Karen realized that Richard was the one that usually needed the encouragement and Karen pretty much could take care of herself.  Karen would be out playing baseball and such while Richard would be just sitting around inside the house.  And of course, "Richard is the businessman.  I am the diplomat."  Because they were cooped up on tour a lot, Karen and Richard had their routines and they would work together.  Sometimes it would be Karen's social skills and other times it would be Richard's knowledge.  Karen and Richard each had their strong points and weaknesses and they would try to work with each other's strengths in certain areas.  Richard had his things.  Karen had her things.  Karen had her voice and Richard worked the music and sounds around Karen's voice.  Richard and Karen always tried to compliment each other and work together as much as possible.  Karen and Richard were always very close and always tried to help each other out whenever possible.  Karen told me once, "Because Richard is the businessman, Richard tries to keep up a public image of being mean and ruthless even to his own family.  Richard feels the image helps him make better deals than if other people saw him as being caring and such.  I go along with it, but I know the real Richard has a heart of gold and it's tough for me sometimes to read stuff written about him because the Richard I know doesn't have a mean bone in his body."

XXIV. Cubby and the pajama party

I am also not sure if it was before or after 'open house', but I know it was after Paul Williams below.  I came into homeroom one time and a guy was sitting there next to Karen
, side by side behind her desk, and he looked a lot like a guy I knew named Bill Benson and had the same voice only Bill Benson stuttered and this guy didn't stutter.  And Karen said, "I would like you to meet someone."  And the guy spoke up and said, "Have you ever seen the Mousketeer Show on TV, well I'm Cubby."  And I think I said something like, "You're the guy before and I'm Annette."  And then I did a kind of curtsy.  And then I think Cubby said something like, "She was definitely a talented young lady."  I actually do not remember much of this conversation as far as the talking itself.  I do remember that Cubby was a very down to earth person and was very relaxed around Karen.  I also remember Karen was very relaxed around Cubby.  Karen and Cubby were just down to earth people.  Since the Carpenters were not touring, Cubby was kind of lost in limbo but seemed to be trying to keep as busy as he could while leaving things open just in case the Carpenters started touring or recording again.  Cubby played drums for the Carpenters.  In all honesty, this was the most relaxed I had ever seen Karen.  The atmosphere was very calm and it just felt like we were all just sitting around in a pajama party and just swapping stories and such.  I think most of the time I just listened and let them talk.  Karen was excited and glad to see Cubby and was just so relaxed at the same time but also seeming a little nervous too.  I was feeling relaxed and such too, but too relaxed and you feel like sleeping and during the talk between Karen and Cubby, I definitely got many urges to cuddle up with Karen, but we couldn't.  Cubby was just a wonderful person and very down to earth like Karen was.  And as always with Karen and me, I could see Karen getting the urge to cuddle, and I was getting that urge too.  But also, I could remember for a little while at the end before Cubby left that Karen got very nervous and was pacing back and forth.  The reason why she was like this for a little while was because she was in the awkward position of telling Cubby that the band didn't need him now so they were going to have to let him go for the time being and Karen was nervous about Cubby being upset about it.   And I think after hearing this from Karen that Cubby said, "I'm a little disappointed because you are like family to me, but I understand.  I have some other things to keep me busy, but I am going to miss touring with you.  It has been a lot of fun over the last few years and if you start touring again definitely give me a call.  I am definitely going to miss you guys, but I guess it can't be helped.  Richard put you on the spot didn't he?" or something like that and Karen kind of shook her head yes.  And then I think Cubby said something like, "It is bad timing with me just getting married again and all, but there really isn't a good timing for something like this anyway.  I am glad you told me now instead of beating around the bush.  I'll figure something out for now and I'm really going to miss you guys."  And Karen was like, "I'm really going to miss you too Carl."  And after Cubby left, Karen said to me something like, "I'm glad you were here because I was really nervous about how Cubby was going to take this and he seemed to take this better than I thought he would.  My brother Richard felt it would be better if Cubby heard it from me so I was the one that got the dirty job of telling Cubby about letting him go for now.  It is kind of my fault that we aren't touring anyway, but I am a bit more diplomatic than Richard and it was probably better if Cubby heard it from me.  Cubby and I were really close on tour and I almost lost it there, but I could feel you trying to hug me and it kept me from breaking down."  And then she just sat down on her desk in front of me and then leaned over and said, "Thank you."  And then she stood back up and went around and sat in her chair and put her feet up on her desk and just leaned back and relaxed in her chair with a wonderful smile on her face.  I just kind of scooched in my chair and put my right hand under my chin and leaned to the right and I looked right at Karen and just rewound my thoughts back to that pajama party feeling and I had this big smile on my face.  Karen was like, "My pajamas are red, just so you know."  And I was like, "They look great over on the beige carpet."  And she was like, "You cheater.  You're shagging me.  I thought you said no quickies."  And I was like, "Couldn't be helped, we only got about 5 to 10 minutes before the others show up.  Check again, we're on a nice soft persian rug, it shows off your freckles better."  And she was like, "Thanks.  I could actually use a quickie about now but don't let it get to be a habit and shag carpet makes me itch.  You think of everything.  Did you at least bring the champagne, glasses, and candles?"  I was like, "Of course, but I snuck the champagne in a grape juice bottle just in case someone saw.  They are over in the corner on the stand and I didn't light the candles.  You know how we like to move around.  Remember last time when we knocked the candles over and set the drapes on fire and the fire department showed up?  And listen, skyrockets in flight."  And she was like, "I thought I heard that in the background.  I love that song too, Starland Vocal Band, nice choice."  We never actually had 'our song' as we never got that far to have a song.  And then she put her hand over her mouth and started moaning and her legs on the desk tightened up.  I kind of put my arms together on the desktop chair and kind of arched my back a bit and looked over at her.  She then closed her eyes, leaned her head back, and lost it.  A little while later we both collapsed and relaxed.  She kind of cuddled up in her chair and I kind of put my head down on my arms on the desktop.  I think we both said, "Thanks, I needed that." at the same time.  And then I think I said, "We could both probably use a nap."  And she was like, "I think you're right."  I went over and flipped off the light switch and sat back down.  And of course people started coming into the room about five minutes after that, and we both tried to sit up straight, but we didn't do so well.  We tried anyway.

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

And then the 'open house' night.  I had pretty much warned my teacher about my parents and it was funny because my teacher had said, "I get to meet the folks tonight.  I'm actually pretty excited.  I know it isn't a date or anything, but still I'm like a nervous little school girl again and it feels great.  How do I look?  Are my bangs alright?"  And I was like, "Your hair is fine.  You always look great to me.  I really don't look much like my parents, maybe my mother a little bit, but you'll see."  And I know at the time that I knew she was Karen Carpenter, so I probably ought to move this down a little in the timeline here.  Also, because I knew is why I remember saying to her, "My mom is a big Carpenter's fan and she probably will recognize you."  And my teacher was like, "I'll be fine.  I know how to handle that stuff.  You'll see."  And so, the big night.  I come in and introduce my mom and dad and my sister.  And then she looks over to me and I look over with a kind of oops look on me and I am like, "This is my little sister, Robin.  Becky, Rebecca, is my cousin."  And she was like, "Oh, that explains it.  I have an older brother myself and I noticed Becky and Ace didn't look alike.  I'm so glad I got to meet Ace's sister finally.  I'm a little sister myself and I always hated being called little.  Can I get a hug from you?"  And my sister kind of smiled at my teacher and then gave her a big hug.  And then my father just kind of stands there, says "hello" and shakes hands.  And my mother goes, "You look kind of familiar, have we met before somewhere?"  And my teacher was like, "I kind of look like a lot of different people.  I'm sure if we'd met I would have remembered you."  And I looked over at my teacher with that kind of 'I told you so smile' and then my mom just said, "Yeah, you probably look like someone I saw on TV or something.  You do have that kind of face I guess."  And I just had this look of relief on my face and smiled at my teacher.  And of course from my mother, "My son isn't a problem, is he?  If he is, just let us know and we'll straighten him right out for you."  And my teacher kind of giggled a little bit and said, "Oh no, he's definitely not a problem.  He's actually very helpful.  If I need something, all I have to do is ask and he's right on it.  Anything at all.  He's a good kid."  And I nearly started giggling on that one when she said 'kid'.  So I kind of covered my mouth and then I dropped my hand down and said, "Well, we probably ought to go and see my sister's teacher now."  And Miss Bihuniak was like, "I wish you could stay longer and chat more but I know you should go.  Nice meeting you."  And we left and went to my sister's teacher.  Close call, but it all worked out.  She met the folks.  The next morning of course we talked.  My teacher was like, "I can see your mom, but you have your dad's eyes somewhat."  And I was like, "Yeah, my dad's nickname is Bud, and that was where Bubby came from.  My grandfather is big too.  I guess I'm the runt of the litter, but when I was younger people thought I would grow up to be big like my dad and grandfather, but I didn't."  And then I was like, "Yeah, I was a bit worried about when my mom kind of recognized you, but she didn't put it together and that was a relief.  You did wonderful on that one."  And my teacher was like, "See, I told you."  And then my teacher had a real stearn voice and nasty look on her face and said, "I don't ever want to hear you call her your little sister again.  I hated that name and I still do.  Understand?"  And then she picked up a paperback book off her desk and threw it at me.  I didn't even duck and just let it hit me in the chest and then I picked up the book and put it on her desk and said, "Understood."  And then she said, "Yeah, I saw that look on your face when I said kid and I meant it too.  Even if your sister acts up sometimes, can you blame her?  How would you feel being called little all the time?"  And then she picked the book back up and threw it at me again and hit me right between the eyes and said, "Bulls-eye" and threw her hands up in the air over her head; she was wearing a white sweater over a red dress.  And I picked the book back up and put the book back on her desk again.  And then I said, "Thanks, I hadn't thought about that."  And then she said, "If I ever hear you call her your little sister again, I am going to hurt more than your feelings, got it?"  And I said, "Noted."  And then she said, "I would definitely run out of stuff on my desk to throw at you if I ever find out you called her your little sister again, got it?"  And I was like, "I definitely got it, right between the eyes."  And then she started to giggle and she had that big old smile on her face again.  She made her point and she also knew that I knew that she was a tomboy and could definitely have thrown a lot harder than she did.  And really, she threw like a guy, not one of those girly throws with a limp wrist, but not really a hard throw either.  And then she asked, "How do you think your parents would feel if they found out you were flirting with an older woman?".  And I was like, "All you would have to do is just tell my mom you were Karen Carpenter and she would probably hogtie me to the bed and tell you to 'Have at it.'"  And then I continued, "I don't bring girls home and such, so they would probably be glad I was at least doing something.  Most of the time anymore, I just sit in my room by myself.  But if they found out you were actually Karen Carpenter, you could pretty much do what you wanted with me.  But really, my parents aren't the problem.  It's the area.  Small area and everyone talks.  The only way we could get away with it is if only once.  And honestly, only once is not an option between us and we both know it.  You could definitely not be a one night stand with me."  And of course, people start coming into the room for homeroom again, so the talk ended.  Open House was definitely after Paul Williams showing up, so chronologically it comes after what's next, but I can't really put it there due to 'story continuity' problems.

XXVI. Paul Williams visits

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

XXVII. Sexual innuendos and Bible verses

After 'the cat was out of the bag' so to speak, Karen and I talked a bit about it.  During the talk, we mainly talked about publicity and the papers and such which would have been a bad thing and we both knew it.  We also talked about 'sexual innuendos' and although flattering, could cause problems too if the wrong person overheard us and got the wrong idea.  Neither one of us wanted anyone, including ourselves, to get into trouble or have problems and such.  She also hoped that my finding out she was a celebrity wouldn't change things between us and it didn't as far as I knew.  We did have great feelings for one another and they were honest feelings, but the underage problem was a real problem especially in a small area of about 12,500 people that like to gossip.  We were both a lot alike.  Inquisitive and adventurous and that kind of stuff.  Physically, we always kept our distance, but we still couldn't quite hide that eye contact we had.  We could just look at each other and know what the other was thinking and feeling.  That magical feeling of truly knowing someone and them truly knowing you.  That kind of eye contact. 
And yes, that eye contact also included knowing when either of us was getting horny, in all honesty.  And honestly, every time either of us got horny, the other got horny too.  Actually, Karen referred to being horny as 'being frisky'.  Quite a few times, she would just say, "I think you probably ought to wait until after homeroom to go to your locker.  You'll see."  And sure enough, she was right.  A few times I also said, "You probably ought to sit down for a bit.  I think you are about to have a dizzy spell.  You'll see."  And sure enough.  It was just uncanny that we always seemed to get horny at the same time within a minute or two of each other.  Always.  I remember one time she was having a girl talk session with about 3 or 4 girls around her desk just after english class ended.  I was just walking around Karen's desk to head to my locker and Karen turned to me and said, "I was just curious, 10:08?"  and I said, "10:06, sorry, I started it that time.  12:22?"  And she said, "yup, 12:21.  I beat you that time.  Sorry about that.  I didn't break it did I?  You know, your concentration?  You look kind of lost."  And she just had this concerned look on her face and I did have this stunned look on my face.  And I was like, "Not yet that I am aware of, I'm still thinking straight.  Thanks for asking."  And we both kind of lost it and started laughing after trying to keep a straight face with each other with these 3 or 4 girls standing around her desk that had no clue what we were just talking about.  As I was walking out I think one of the girls said something like, "That's nice that you and Ace talk Bible verses together.  I think it's sweet."  And Karen said, "He's sweet alright.  Nice butt."  And one of the girls said, "Miss Bihuniak, you're being naughty" and Karen was like, "I call 'em as I see 'em" and the girls kind of giggled a bit.  And the good thing is that the girls just continued their girl talk afterwards without missing a beat like nothing had happened.  And then, another time, around Halloween, she just said this after being up all night on the night before (my fault), "I know you were up all last night and you kept me up all night too for the same reason.  But four times is a bit much.  This is great and all.  I really enjoy it each time.  But I think I should have a talk with your mother about putting some salt peter in your Wheaties in the morning."  And I just looked at her and said, "I don't know if it will help or not, but it might be worth a shot.  Do you want her number?"  And she was like, "No, I am actually kind of enjoying going through puberty again in a way.  It's kind of refreshing really.  But it's been quite a while for me.  I just hope I don't start getting pimples again."  And I was like, "I hope so too.  There's only one way to get rid of those and we would definitely get caught and get in trouble for that."  And then she put her thumb under her chin and her index finger to her mouth and just said, "I think you ought to sit down now."  And she just had that look in her eye.  And then I was like, "I think you're right."  And I just scooted around her desk and sat in my chair.  And then she stared over her desk at me and just said, "I know I started this one, but I have this strange urge to ask you to stand up and recite some poetry to the class one of these times."  And so I said, "You would, wouldn't you?"  And then I stood up and said, "Like this?  Hark, What light through yonder window breaks?"  And she just turned beet red and put her hand over her mouth and motioned her other hand for me to sit down.  So I sat down.  Then she fanned her face with her hand and said, "It sure got hot in here all of a sudden didn't it?  You really aren't modest or shy are you?"  And I was like, "Not particularly.  I don't really get embarassed either.  Hey, your voice got a little higher too on that one."  And she was like, "That's actually my normal voice.  You caught me off guard.  Well, I'm glad we got that straightened out.  You really do care about me don't you?"  And I was like, "Yes, I really do care about you a lot.  More than I even know.  This is not a puppy love or crush or or some elaborate scheme to get into your pants or dress or skirt or whatever you're wearing.  There's just something truly wonderful about you and I can't help but care about you.  That's all I know for sure.  That and I can't hurt you without hurting myself.  Honestly, it's not an act or whatever, I really can't."  We had the emotional contact and then some, but we both also knew that even just a simple touch on her shoulder, or our hands coming together and that emotion would have just taken over and we couldn't stop it in a physical sense.  We would have been all over each other all of the time.  We couldn't have helped it in a physical sense.  Everything else was there except the physical ecstasy, and honestly, we honestly felt each other without actually physically touching each other.  And of course, many times, we wouldn't even say a word and just look at each other.  We just knew.  We could sense everything, including if we were trying to hide something from each other.  We still had our secrets from each other, but some things were just better left unsaid was all, not really hiding.  We couldn't go beyond just talking, so talking about going beyond just started driving both of us crazy, so we tried to avoid that as much as possible.  Luckily, no one else really noticed us staring at each other like we did.  I think keeping my head down in english class helped a lot to keep others from noticing.  I did kind of mope around for a bit after finding out she was Karen Carpenter.  I didn't really know why I moped around either, I just remember that I did.  I think it was just because now I knew what this big secret was after all that time, and that 'thrill of discovery' of what this secret might be was gone.  We did become very close in a very short time and a lot of it was because we had a lot in common with our personalities.  We were a lot alike so it was like we knew each other really well and we became comfortable with each other in a very short time and we could literally talk about anything (so long as others that liked to gossip weren't around anyway).

XXVIII. Karen and I, heart to heart talk

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

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

The meeting with Paul Williams kind of summed it up like my teacher said it would. I definitely put all of the pieces together and my homeroom and english teacher definitely was the one and only Karen Carpenter.  I graduated high school in 1983 and my teacher's cousin, Patti, graduated from the same school in 1981. In 1981, I saw Patti again I believe in french class with Mrs. / Mme. Luce.  Patti told me how she had gone out to California the year before to see her cousin, Karen, get married to a guy she had only known for three months. Patti also told me that the family was kind of worried about Karen and her recent marriage to a guy that she hardly even knew. But the family wished for Karen to be happy.  Patti also said, "Karen asked me to talk to you about mud pies for some reason.  Do you care to explain?"  Of course I snuck away and didn't explain.  Patti also said, "Why don't you talk about her?  She still loves you you know." and I was like, "I know, but I'm still too young."  Patti was actually a bit more heavy set than Karen, but was more of a girly girl type than a tomboy.  I never saw Karen again after I graduated eighth grade in June 1979, and I did not see Patti again after she graduated in 1981.  The day Karen left, Karen said there would be a substitute and the substitute would finish the year out and that Karen, Miss Bihuniak, would not be returning.  The substitute finished teaching at the middle school for the last couple weeks. 
The substitute was nicknamed 'the blonde bimbo' or 'the air head' and was actually Karen with her normal voice and without all that extra stuff she wore as Miss Bihuniak.  So on my teacher's last day of classes, she announced to the class that she was leaving and not returning for the rest of the year.  When she made the announcement, a girl behind me said, "She's probably going to Bellevue."  And I was just upset, not because Karen was leaving (because Karen didn't actually leave), but I kind of turned around and said back to the girl in an angry voice, "Well, she's standing right there, why don't you just ask her instead of saying stuff behind people's backs?".  Of course the girl didn't ask and my teacher was kind of shaken up a little because I had a bit of anger in my voice and Karen was just worried that I might 'spill the beans'.  That dream was not Bellevue that I was aware of.  Karen told me that she had been going back and forth driving five hours to New York City for the last few weekends and that she was very exhausted again.  On the last day of school, she also said that she wasn't very good at goodbyes and actually hated goodbyes.  And I was like, "Me too, but I know you will always be in my thoughts, you are a hard person to forget.  You may not be there, but I feel that you will always be with me somehow.  I know I am going to mope around because I will miss you actually being here.  But I also know that when I think of you it will be like you are here with me and I will get over it.  We had a lot of great times together and I hope that you have many more."  And then I was like, "Yuck, I hate that mushy stuff which is why I hate goodbyes too.  But it is how I really feel and you know I wish you the best in all that you do wherever and whatever that may be.  And yeah, I had thought about stowing away in your suitcase, but you didn't bring it with you, so I can't."  And she was like, "It is actually out in the car and I know you would have tried to stow away, but I don't think you would fit.  I did get a lot of souvenirs while I was here.  I could barely get my suitcase shut and I had to sit on it to get it to latch.  I am really going to miss you too.  You are really something."  And I was like, "So are you.  You are really something too.  We should go now so you can get around and make sure you have everything before you leave.  I really can't hug you or such still because that desire is still too strong in both of us.  But I can blow you a kiss."  And then I blew her a kiss and then she caught it and blew it back to me and then I said "I love you more" and then I made a quick exit.  And then Karen said, "You little sneak."  And then Karen stood outside her door and yelled down the hall, "I love you more than more."  And Karen and I continued yelling back and forth on the stairs "I love you more" stuff and we were laughing back and forth until I got passed the outside door and left and Karen went back into her room to get the rest of her stuff before she left.  I also never told anyone else that our teacher, Miss Bihuniak, was actually Karen Carpenter.  Patti Carpenter already knew anyway.  Karen was actually my eighth grade english teacher that taught me about similes and metaphores and puns and such.  Next to my fourth grade teacher, Mark Bachman, who was my original 'nice guy' role model, Karen was probably the second most influential teacher I had.  Not because of her being a celebrity or such, but because of all the 'life lessons' that happened during this time.  Julie 'the Family Jewels' Sage was still my greatest influence though with my nickname and all that happened with my new nickname, Ace.  Julie was the person where I figured out the most valuable life lesson, "How would you feel if someone did to you what you just did to them?" after me and Julie talking about our parents and such and how, when we grew up, we did not want to be like our parents had been.

XXX. The warning. Following directions. Moving along.

I remember now on July 8, 2019, why there was an extra teacher now with Miss Bihuniak at the end of the year.  Miss Bihuniak did actually finish out the year with a monitor that did have specific instructions as far as what to do and why the monitor was there.  Honestly, everyone with a shred of decency close your eyes now and walk away.  Skip to the next paragraph.  Also, remember, people make mistakes.  If a person learns from their mistake, they are not afraid to admit what they did and what they learned.  If a person denies a mistake, it is almost certain that mistake will be repeated.  Myself included.  It would be a mistake for myself not to remember this incident.  From roughly 1979 to 2019, I did forget.  For most of you, honestly, skip over this paragraph.  One person, Maximilian Adalbert Baer Junior, made a HUGE mistake with me that led to my last words I remember saying to him being, "...don't you ever come within arms reach of me or Karen again or I'll kill you and you know it...And after remembering the rest of the stuff written in the rest of this paragraph, those words still hold true to me.  I said what I meant and I meant what I said in 1979 and it now still holds true today.  To date, I do not think that Max has ever owned up to his mistake.  I am pretty sure that Max has probably forgotten after 40 years and that is fine with me.  Another mistake to ANYONE reading this except Maximilian Adalbert Baer Junior would be to mention this incident to Max without Max mentioning it first.  I am hoping that Max forgot about this like I had for 40 years myself.  This memory has always been stored in pieces in my mind.  I had to break it up because of the deep emotion involved.  I am going to do my best here to pick up the pieces and put them back together again as best as I can.  After 40 years stuff is probably missing and some of the stuff may not have been stored accurately to begin with.  I am going to do my best though.  My mistake would be not remembering the last words I spoke to Max if I ever see him again and come within arms distance of him and the reasons behind those words.  The reader's mistake would be trying to use this information to judge others.  Unless you were personally involved in this incident which is myself, Maximilian Adalbert Baer Junior, John Heib, or Karen Carpenter, or the monitor, kindly keep your mouth shut and mind your own business.  The past can not be undone, only remembered.  Honestly, you have been warned if you proceed reading further and not skipping to the next paragraph and do not keep it to yourself about what you read here.  If it does not involve you personally, stay out of it or do not read any further and skip to the next paragraph.  If worst comes to worst, VERY strong sexual content and VERY strong language.  Final warning.  Last chance to turn away.  Too late now after this.  You can't say I didn't warn you.  For the rest, here is what actually happened that I can remember.  Karen was sitting at her desk and I was in my chair on the other side.  We were just talking across her desk like normal.  Mr. Baer comes charging in and then says "I warned you not to talk to him again and I meant it."  And then he picks Miss Bihuniak up and spreads her out on the desk and lifts her skirt up and pulls her panties down and starts to take his belt off and undo his pants and starts to mount her.  Then Mr. Baer says, "Come on.  Right now.  Right in front of him or I turn you in.  Let's see how much he loves you after we do it right in front of him.  You see boy, this is how you love a woman.  Come on over here and I'll show you how its done.  I'll even let you take over if you want.  Come on over here.  What you got ain't love boy.  I'll show you what love is boy.  This is love."  And while Mr. Baer is saying this, Karen is going, "No, please don't.  No.  No.  Get off of me.  No.  No.  Don't do this to me.  Please.  Get off of me.  Ace please help me."  And as I hear Karen and Max saying what they are saying, I started saying, "Leave her alone.  She said no.  Leave her alone.  Get off of her now.  I mean it.  I've had enough.  Get off of her now.  Enough."  And then I remember me being about 100 pounds soaking wet grabbing Mr. Baer while reaching over Miss Bihuniak's book rack and grabbing him by the shirt with my left arm and slamming his 220 plus pound self against the wall with a loud thud and you could literally hear stuff in all the rooms of the school falling over and glass breaking.  It literally shook the whole building.  I held him up against the wall with my left hand and my right hand with a fist raised and ready to finish him off and I said, "How many times do we have to say enough?  Enough!"  (note, it could have been 'stop it', 'no', or whatever, but I think I said 'enough').  And then I let him go and walked over to the chair and sat down again opposite Karen.  And then Mr. Baer put his belt back on and redid his pants and pointed over at Karen and said, "OK, you asked for it.  I told you don't ever say no to me."  And then he turns to me and says, "I'll be right back and don't you dare say a word about this or else I'll have her arrested and you won't see her ever again.  I was only trying to help you out boy."  And I said, "I don't need your kind of help, but don't you ever come within arms reach of me or Karen again or I'll kill you and you know it.  I'm underaged and she would get into trouble if I did what you were just doing.  Not me getting into trouble, her you dumb ass.  Is that what you really want?  Her getting into trouble.  Unlike you, I care about her you fucking dumb ass.  Don't you fucking get it yet?  I don't want to fuck her like you've been doing; I want to make love to her.  Champagne, candles, the whole nine yards.  Go do what you feel you gotta fucking do.  Go on, get the fuck out of my sight you chicken shit."  And Mr. Baer left the room and went down the hall and down the stairs. Karen was still laying there on her back on the desk with her legs dangling over the side.  I said to Karen, "I can't look at you right now because you do not want to see my eyes right now.  My eyes are pure anger.  All I can think of is killing him right now.  That is why I am looking away.  You definitely do not want to see them right now.  My eyes are pure evil.  Are you alright?"  And she said, "No.  This is why I have been trying to avoid you for the last few weeks.  He's gonna have me fired and I won't ever see you again.  I don't care about losing my job.  They have strict rules about teachers and students here.  I'm going to miss you."  And I was like, "How long has he been doing this?"  And she said, "Since the beginning of the year.  That's why he had you leave the room all those times.  Do you still love me?"  And I was like, "Of course I still love you, you didn't do anything wrong, how could I not love you?  But yes, I knew too because I saw the other kids looking through the window in the door while I was sitting outside all those times.  I knew you couldn't tell me, but like you know too, I don't get jealous.  And you know too, I was never after you for just sex.  I want the whole package.  Everything."  And she was like, "Thanks, me too; I want everything too.  I need to get up before Max returns.  What took you so long?"  And I was like, "I knew you two had some kind of agreement between you and I didn't want him to think it was because I was jealous or such.  For some strange reason it just clicked in my head that Max had broke whatever the agreement was and I could intervene now, so I did."  And she was like, "I'm glad you did.  I figured that you would need to run out and get some help but I guess you didn't need any.  Are you alright?"  And I'm like, "Not really.  When they get back I'll probably be going to jail after Max is dumb enough to come near me again.  I was actually a fighter as a kid before becoming an egghead or whatever I am now.  You losing your job and me going up the river, we're a lovely couple aren't we?  I know it was rough for you getting up just now but thanks for sitting down because Max would have probably tried to say I did that to you."  Because of this being 'unreadable' and other parts being 'readable' I need to mention a couple other things here.  Later, the principal, Mr. Heib, mentions an old 'rape kit' to Karen as a possibility and asked Karen in all seriousness if Karen wanted to call the police and report it.  Mr. Heib would definitely back her up on reporting it, but also stated that he would let Karen make the decision about it.  Mr. Heib said that he knew Karen had been raped and Mr. Heib was almost in tears because he knew she was in pain when he talked to her.  Karen explained that she didn't want to take a chance of having adverse publicity and such and that Karen felt that the problem had been dealt with anyway and that the cops would probably make a bigger mess than what was already there.  Also, Karen was wearing red panties on this day because when Mr. Heib came close to Karen's desk, Karen and I both kind of kicked her panties out of sight under her desk so that the principal didn't see them.  I think he saw them anyway, but he didn't mention anything about it.

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

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

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

And on July 15, 2019 the rest of this is coming through.  Before leaving on that night, Mr. Heib had Karen and me come to the office with him.  Mr. Heib showed us his letter to the Board of Education that he sent.  He also stated that I would be getting detention and that Mr. Heib was having Karen be the detention teacher for the next couple weeks.  That way, she would be leaving after Mr. Baer had left to avoid possible problems.  After the couple weeks, Mr. Baer would be put on the detention assignment.  Mr. Heib asked Karen if that would cause any problems and she was like, "I usually leave for New York City on Friday, but I can probably work around it.  Can I use the phone to make a long distance call?"  And Mr. Heib said, "So long as you pay for it.  You can use the phone in the other room.  Just dial 9 to get an outside line, then dial the number."  She was like, "OK, let me know how much and I'll write a check."  And then Karen and I went into the other room and Mr. Heib stayed in his room and used his phone there.  His secretary came in with us and showed Karen the phone and told her about the speakerphone as well (old-fashioned version of the speakerphone where you set the phone into a holder and flipped a switch to boost the volume).  Karen dialed out to New York to Phil Ramone's house.  I think the phone rang twice and then a guy picked up with a british type accent and said, "Hello.  Who is this?"  And Karen said, "Rod, is that you?  I know a different number showed up but this is Karen."  And the voice said, "I wondered who that was.  It's you?  Could you hold on for a minute, my tape recorder is low on batteries and I am trying to find the batteries."  Karen was like, "Did you try the drawer?"  And Rod was like, "Of course I tried the drawer, but somebody must have moved them."  A couple drawer sliding sounds, some silverware clanging, a couple door closings and then, "I found them in the other drawer.  Hold on.  Also, I had a feeling you would be calling and I have this odd feeling that I need to tape this because I think I can get an idea for a song.  OK, rolling."  And then Karen asked, "Are Phil and Itchy there?"  And Rod says, "Phil and Snitchy went out for a bit.  We're clear."  And Karen says to me in a low voice, "We call Phil's wife Snitchy when she isn't around, so she's not around."  And Karen goes, "actually if they are gone then the car is gone, I was going to ask you if you could swing by the airport and check flight numbers and times, I got a bit of a problem on Friday."  And Rod said, "Didn't you get Phil's message yet?  Phil called earlier to let you know that he is sending me to Los Angeles for two weeks or so and that you can take the next couple weeks off.  That's why I'm busy right now. I'm packing for LA.  Phil wants me to have at least three songs for this new client and I only have the one we have been working on and that other song from that Bahler guy.  His name kind of says it all, bahler.  Bail.  Trouble.  I can't figure out what you ever saw in him."  And Karen was like, "We were both lonely."  And Rod was like, "Desperate is more like it."  I just started giggling a little bit in the background and Rod said, "All right, out with it, what's so funny?"  And I spoke up, "Sorry, I couldn't help it.  When you two were arguing just now, you sounded like a married couple."  And Rod said, "Ha ha, very funny Ace." in a dead pan voice.  And then Rod continued, "Although actually, Karen and I have been cooped up together in the studio so much it almost feels like we are a married couple, isn't that right Sugar Muffin?"  And Karen said, "That's right My Sweet Potato Pie."  And we all kind of giggled a bit.  And then Rod said, "I know you didn't call me because you wanted to chit chat, what's the problem?"  And Karen said, "Actually, you know that boy I have been telling you about?"  And Rod said back, "OK, how much is the bail?  Did the papers get a hold of it yet?  Do you need hush money?  How much trouble are you in?  Do you need an abortion?  I got some money stashed away if you need it, just ask."  And Karen said, "Definitely not an abortion Rod, we've never even touched each other yet.  Not even a hug honestly.  Actually, you also know that teacher I told you I was having problems with?  Well, the boy bounced the teacher off the wall and I don't think the teacher will be bothering me again.  The boy's name is Ace.  He's my hero."  And Rod is like, "OK, how much bail money does this boy need?  If he helped you out, I would gladly help him out.  Anything just name it."  And then I spoke up and said, "Hi Rod, it's me, the boy, Ace, and I don't think Max will be bothering her any more.  I straightened his act up in a hurry.  He started some stuff, so I just reached over her desk and grabbed him with my left hand and slammed him up against the wall and then let him go and then I read him the riot act and told him to stay at least an arm's length away from Karen and me or I'd kill him.  I think he got the hint.  It's kind of too late for him though."  And Rod said, "That's just crazy.  Pure madness.  You must be a big kid."  And I was like, "I'm actually about 4 foot 9 inches tall and 100 pounds soaking wet, but he made me mad because he hurt Karen and I just let him have it.  He is definitely over 6 foot and 200 plus pounds, but after this, he is definitely afraid of me too.  I bounced him off the wall so hard I cracked the wall which is why I got detention and Karen was going to tell you that she is going to be the detention teacher and my babysitter for the next couple weeks so that Max leaves before she does just as a precaution."  And Rod was like, "Are you alright Karen?"  And Karen was like, "I'm great.  I was worried about losing my job because of Max, but I know I won't now because the principal stuck up for me too.  That and Ace coming to my rescue.  I think Ace's words hurt him more than any beating he could have got.  It's been quite a day today.  I'm really happy but I'm getting tired now too."  And I was like, "She's a little shaken up, but I think she's doing much better now."  And Rod was like, "I want to thank you Ace for helping out our little lady.  She is sounding much happier now than she has been in a long time.  I know she has been worrying for quite a while now."  And I was like, "How do you rate, Rod?  Last time I said little around Karen, she started throwing books at me."  And Karen was laughing in the background and then said, "It's true Rod.  I'll tell you about it sometime.  Also, you know that idea you were looking for?  Here, I'll hand the phone over to Ace and he can tell you."  And I spoke up and said, "Karen said you were looking for an idea for a theme for her new album.  I got to thinking and how does romantic versus physical love sound?"  And Rod said, "Actually, that sounds very interesting Ace.  I think that would work.  On one end the emotional attraction and on the other end the physical attraction and then having to make a choice between the two.  An excellent idea Ace.  I think we can make it work. Thanks."  And then Rod was like, "I'm definitely sensing something about you two.  Karen, you and I have talked, Ace you are Sagittarius and Karen you are Pisces.  Because Ace is the male, fire dominates you two.  There is a passion there that knows no bounds between you two.  This question I am going to ask you now is very important.  You two have not come together yet, have you?"  And Karen and I said, "No, we've never physically touched.  Ace is (I am) too young.  I (Karen) would get in trouble."  And Rod said, "That's actually good.  Someone is watching over you two.  Soul mates are joined in the spirit, if the flesh joins too, your spirits would long for eternity wishing to return to the flesh again.  So long as you two don't touch, you should be fine.  Remember what I just told you two."  And we were like, "Thanks for warning us Rod." in unison of course.  And then Rod continued, "With over 2 billion people on this planet, the odds are astronomical that soul mates would find each other in this day and age.  In other words, the chance of soul mates finding each other is zero.  Impossible.  Ace and Karen, could you hold your hands up and look by the thumb on each other's hands?"  And Karen and I were like, "OK, now what?" at the same time.  And then the secretary opened up the door and saw us two standing there with our hands up in the air standing around the phone on the table, then said, "I'm not even going to ask.  When you two are done with your séance with the phone, your paperwork is ready in the next room."  And then the secretary just shut the door.  And Rod said, "Is there someone else present with you two?  No matter.  Karen, I know your line by your thumb is short.  Is Ace's line long and down to his wrist?"  And Karen said, "Yes."  And then Rod asked, "Do you two ever argue?"  And I was like, "I got this one.  No.  We don't argue.  How can you argue with someone when she's always right?"  And Karen was like, "And if he knows what's good for him, he better admit that I'm right too."  And Rod said, "Good one.  I like it.  Hard to argue with that."  And then Rod asked, "Do you two sometimes know what the other is thinking without asking?"  And we both said, "Yes."  And then Rod asked, "Do you two always seem to make each other happy and feel like you are floating on air?"  And we both said, "Yes."  And then Rod said, "This one is really important.  I really need to know the truth from you two on this one.  Have you two ever dreamt about each other?"  And we both said in unison, "No."  And Rod said, "Are you sure about that?"  And both Karen and I said, "Positive."  And then Rod said, "Believe it or not, you would be surprised how many westerners mess up that question.  Either one or the other will say yes or no or they will both say yes.  This is very unusual.  Western culture almost has a stigma with literature and such which tends to fantasize about the person of your dreams and such, but truthfully, soul mates do not dream about each other.  I don't know why that is, it just is."  And then Karen and I said in unison, "We both feel that we are each other's dreams come true."  And Rod said, "I'll have to think about that.  You two are definitely soul mates.  I can tell by the way you two sound.  I can also tell by your voice Karen.  And your voice too Ace.  You two have a bond between you that can't be broken even by death.  So long as you two think of each other, even if the other isn't there, you will be happy."  And Karen and I were like, "Soul mates.  That's what we are." at the same time.  And Rod was like, "There's more that I need to tell you two.  After a person finds their soul mate, they do not return back to the Earth after they die.  Now you know why I told you about not touching each other.  There are dire consequences if you do touch each other in the flesh.  The reason why I asked you two to show your hands to each other is that Ace, you are going to be around a long time after Karen passes away.  She is your soul mate and you will miss her, but she will always be there to comfort you in your thoughts.  Now I know that all I have to do to cheer Karen up is just say Ace now.  That makes my job a lot easier."  And then Rod was like, "Speaking of my job Karen, I feel kind of bad about this, but Phil is looking to try and get Michael Jackson on board which is why he is wanting your song and asking me to sabotage your recording sessions.  Three songs, which I am starting to get an idea now for that third song.  I'll have to work on it on the flight to Los Angeles, but I think I got something now.  I'm starting to get a melody in my head which is usually how it starts.  But if Phil could take Michael away from Quincy Jones, that would be a big feather in Phil's cap.  Oh my.  Look at the time.  This call will probably cost you a small fortune Karen.  We can talk later.  Ace, it has been a pleasure to finally talk to you.  You are really an off the wall kind of guy and I like that."  And I was like, "It's been great talking to you too Rod.  It's great knowing that someone else likes making Karen happy too.  All you have to do is just say the magic word Ace and presto change-o, instant happiness.  Actually, on my end, just say the word Karen and I do the same thing."  And then Karen was like, "Good luck on your trip and I understand about the songs Rod.  I love those songs too.  It's not your fault.  Maybe after a couple weeks, we can try out that new song you got too.  Anyway, I better let you go before Phil and Snitchy get back."  And Rod was like, "Thanks for reminding me, I better put those batteries back in the drawer, you know how she gets."  And Karen was like, "Don't forget to wipe this number out of the phone Rod, this is actually my work number and if they called it, it would be the school answering."  Rod was like, "Already done.  We better go.  I think they may be coming up the drive now."  And we hung up.  Somewhere in there too, Rod mentioned fishing and "reeling you in" and I said something like, "She wouldn't need to reel me in, I'd probably just jump up on shore at her feet."  I think Karen said the call ended up costing her 25 dollars because we talked so long (at least 20 minutes), but she could write it off as a business expense on her tax deductions.  Then Karen called her cousins, that she is staying with, and they told her they got a call from Phil and Phil left a message to take the next two weeks off.  Karen just told them that she was alright and that she finally got some of her problems at school cleared up which is why she was running late.  She told her cousins that she was doing much better now and that she was also going to be staying later doing the detention classes and that she would talk more when she got there.  They understood.  Mr. Heib had called my parents saying that I was going to be getting home late because I got detention and of course they talked about cleaning clocks.  Then we all kind of left like above and Mr. Heib went back in and called his wife on their anniversary and all that.

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

And what about the aftermath of what happened above for those that were smart enough to skip ahead, and even for those that weren't so smart?  Well, I actually do not remember much after the big blow out and the events leading to it.  I also kind of remember the day after and my walking in and sitting towards the back of the class like Mr. Heib had asked.  When I came in, my teacher waved and said to the monitor something like, "That's the boy I was telling you about, Ace."  And then the monitor picked up the phone and Karen said something like, "He's not the one."  And Karen took the phone out of the monitor's hand and hung it up.  And the monitor said, "I know that, he seems like a really nice boy, but there is someone coming from across the hall."  And Karen said, "Oops, sorry."  And the monitor said, "Mr. Heib is on his way anyway."  Mr. Baer sent over a letter with a student named Brian.  I remember Karen ripping up the letter without reading it and throwing it in the trash.  And then Mr. Heib showed up shortly after and I do not remember much after that on the first day afterwards.  I do remember the monitor being there and Karen and I still talking a lot.  I do also remember that the monitor was actually a secretary too and not really a teacher.  The monitor also said that Mr. Heib would always smile when the secretary would read something that Karen and I said during our conversations.  Mr. Heib would usually ask the secretary to read it back three or four times then put it away in the special 'hidden' folder Mr. Heib had.  There were a few times when Karen and I got so excited talking to each other that the secretary (monitor) asked us to slow down because she couldn't keep up.  So a few times Karen and I talked in slow motion just as a joke because we would get so excited and the secretary would start laughing too and say, "Alright you two.  You crack me up.  Not that slow.  Just try to pause a little here and there so I can catch up."  And one time we were so excited, the secretary said, "I hope I'm not interupting you two but this is good stuff here.  I know Mr. Heib is going to want to hear it at least three or four times.  I like hearing it myself.  Keep it going.  Oops, just pretend like I'm not here."  After that first time, if we started going too fast, the monitor would just say, "Pretend like I'm not here."  And we would both say, "We do." and we would pause for a little bit until she stopped writing, and then continue on.  Honestly, most of the time, we forgot there was a monitor there.  Most of the excited talks were either about how we felt about each other or about Michael Jackson's Off the Wall album being finished on June 3rd and Karen was so excited about the songs she started, "Rock with You" and "Off the Wall" and because she was so excited, I was excited too.  It would go like this, Karen would say, "Michael Jackson finished his new album Off the Wall and my two songs are on it.  I like what he did with the songs.  Rock with You is definitely our song.  It's written about us.  It has this really awesome beat.  Rod snuck me a copy."  And I would be like, "That's great Honey.  Our song is on there and I know it will be a #1 some day.  It can't miss."  And she would be like, "I know it's great.  I got a call from Michael, himself, thanking me.  I love that song and I listen to the demo tape over and over again because it reminds me of you."  And we would just go back and forth and the secretary would be writing like crazy because we were talking so fast Karen, Ace, Karen, Ace, back and forth without a pause.  She broke several pencils trying to keep up, but luckily she had an electric pencil sharpener too.  I think the secretary went through at least a pencil and a steno pad every week.  I know Karen thanked me for putting Mr. Baer in his place, and I know she told me some stuff about the kind of impact my words had on Mr. Baer, but I can't really remember exactly what was said now.  I think she said that my words were worst than any beating he could have got.  I do remember that each time I went into Mr. Baer's science room that Mr. Baer was in his teacher's chair behind the desk and I sat in the chair closest to the door.  I also think that every time I came in, I slammed everything down on the desk and then I took my left hand and put my left elbow on the desk and made a fist and looked right at Mr. Baer with that get too close and I'm going to kill you look I had.  And honestly, he didn't get too close either and he rarely even looked at me except to see if I was seated or not.  Mr. Baer's voice was definitely much calmer the rest of the year and not as cocky as he had been before.  So I know I definitely had a positive impact on him.  Karen and I also talked too about what other kids were saying about what was going on and what most of the other kids thought about Karen, my teacher, having a monitor.  Most of the kids thought that Karen got in trouble for doing something with me instead of protection from Mr. Baer.  As far as our 'feeling' talks, Karen and I had started doing this back and forth.  I (or Karen) would say, "I love you."  And Karen (or I) would say, "I love you more."  And then I (or Karen) would say, "I love you more than more."  And then Karen (or I) would say, "I love you more than more with a cherry on top."  And then I (or Karen) would say, "I love you more than more with a cherry on top of pickled ice cream."  And then Karen (or I) would say, "I love you more than more with a cherry on top of pickled ice cream with a stork flying around".  And we would just keep going back and forth adding to the 'I love you more story'.  Sometimes we added some really romantic stuff, but many times we would throw in stuff like "used toilet paper" and such and we would start getting a really bad case of the giggles trying to outdo each other.  I remember saying one time, "I got you this time.  I love you more than biting into an apple and finding a worm.  Beat that."  And then Karen said, "I love you more than biting into an apple and finding half a worm.  I think you forgot that I used to date Steve Martin."  That's real love.  Karen and I got asked about advice for couples and we had this to say, "We are two people that want to be together.  That's our secret.  Everything else falls into place after that.  We want to be together all the time, but that isn't possible.  But when we are apart, we still feel like we are there with each other in our thoughts.  We like to make each other happier, and it may seem weird, but at times we thought we couldn't be happier, but we were somehow.  We still do our own things, but our most precious thing is our times together."

XXIV. Calm down. I mean it.

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

XXXV. Our morbid and off color sense of humor

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

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

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

And finally, Karen's solo album kind of wraps this up.  Yes, Karen and I talked a bit about her solo album off and on.  Most of the time before June 1979, Karen usually was feeling down in the dumps about her solo project and Karen and I usually made each other feel better.  The incident that stands out is this.  Karen came back on a Monday and we both said at the same time, "We definitely need to talk."  So later, after school, Karen and I talked.  I said, "It will probably be easier if I go first.  I don't know what happened, but over the weekend I was just sitting around and a strange image popped into my head.  You were sitting at a kitchen table with a guy in an orange striped shirt with shorts and sandals and curly dirty blond hair and an australian or british accent.  You two were laughing and telling stories together.  I'm not jealous as you know, but I am just wondering why this happened."  And Karen was like, "This is kind of what I was going to talk to you about too.  The guy at the table is Rod Temperton the guy who is writing my songs.  You saw me look over didn't you?  I saw (felt maybe) you on my right side and I kind of looked over to see you and then I continued talking to Rod and you disappeared.  That was you?"  I was like, "Kind of, I was still here in Corning, but somehow, I don't know really how to put it, but I didn't hear what you guys were saying, I just kind of showed up or whatever it was."  Karen was like, "Well I experienced it too, but like you, I don't know why either.  Nothing was going on or anything."  And I was like, "I know.  Not that way, but I almost thought I was losing it or something."  She was like, "Me too, that's why I wanted to talk to you.  I thought I was going nuts too.  It's just weird."  And I was like, "I'll say.  We both had it happen.  We're not nuts.  At least not yet anyway.  Oh well, stuff happens."  Another time, I asked Karen about "What is the red light in the white room for?"  And Karen said, "It depends on what side of the glass you are on.  On the other side, the red light is for when we are recording and means do not enter under any circumstances.  It turns green when we're done.  It's the opposite when you are inside the room.  Rod usually works the controls.  How did you know?"  And I was like, "Same as the other time, somehow I just popped in.  I still don't know why."  And Karen was like, "I thought I saw you there in the corner behind Rod.  There were a bunch of us inside the room laughing wasn't there?"  And I was like, "Yeah."  And Karen was like, "We had just started recording and all of a sudden I just let out this long, loud fart and we all just lost it."  Yet another time, Karen told me that her and Rod had come up with a couple songs, but they were not working out so well being recorded.  I said, "Chances are, they have another use for them on someone else's project that they have been stuck on."  Lo and behold, the songs are 'Rock with You' and 'Off the Wall' that were used on Michael Jackson's Off the Wall album.  Another note, Karen talked to me about the recording sessions and mentioned that they had already dropped a couple songs "because Phil Ramone thought that me singing 'Rock with You', which had sexual content, and 'Off the Wall' with its mental health undertones would have been like trying to sell the Hindenburg to the record company executives because of my girl next door image."  I kind of answered with, "Chances are because of the sexual content on 'Rock with You' and the 'crazy' mental health references on 'Off the Wall' that the record label, A&M, probably would have not let you release those songs anyway, so it was good they got released somehow."  Karen was like, "Thanks for the extra input.  I have been kind of mad because Phil keeps dragging his heels making me think that he just doesn't want me doing those songs for some reason.  I love those two songs.  I really want to do those songs, but it feels like they are trying to sabotage me.  It's breaking my heart.  I love those songs.  I want to do them.  But every time in the studio things get sidetracked for one reason or another."  Karen also said, "I know we used Afternoon Delight that one time, but really Rock with You is really our song, it was actually written about us.  It isn't out yet, but when it gets released you'll know."  I was like "Good choice, Rock with You it is.  We can't really be a couple until I get older, but having our own song is a great start.  I'll definitely look for it and get it when it comes out."  Honestly, I got the Rock with You single after it came out in November 1979 and I played it until you could see white stuff in the grooves from being played so much; Karen was long gone by then though.  Also, the "She's Out of My Life" song being written about Karen Carpenter?  The answer is no.  Bahler (or whoever) would have known Karen only briefly.  Karen was still teaching in Corning, NY during the week (unless maybe the week of spring break around March or April 1979).  I do not remember Karen talking about that song really.  It is possible she may have suggested a couple words or such.  I know 'cavalier' was one of our 8th grade spelling words that year.  I do remember Karen saying, "I've got more work done on Michael Jackson's new album than on my own so far.  Michael's album is almost done.  Mine just barely feels started."  Karen also said that her solo project was way behind because with teaching, she had not been able to devote much time in the studio.  Karen would drive on weekends to New York City and then drive back before school.  Over 5 hours driving each way.  Karen would usually drive to the airport and then fake it like she just came off the plane.  Rod and Karen used to joke around and call Phil's house 'the compound' and Phil and Snitchy were the gestapo.  "Make a break for it." was the big joke.  Karen said, "With those two songs going to Michael Jackson, I only have about 4 or 5 other songs being worked on.  Things are just not going well with the project.  Phil Ramone keeps trying to get me to move in with him, but I keep putting him off.  I am not sure how much longer I can keep putting him off."  So yes, it was definitely after June 3 before Karen left for New York City and became a substitute for herself because of the 'Michael Jackson' reference here.  Off the Wall was not finished until June 3rd.  It was either two or three weeks of a substitute teacher (I am pretty sure two but not positive).  I was like, "I know this project is really important to you.  You also know how I feel about you too.  If you can get it pushed back until after school lets out, I could actually go with you if you wanted."  And Karen was like, "Phil would allow just me there, even if you could go, I couldn't really take you with me for the recordings and such.  I would have to leave you alone in a hotel room most of the time by yourself.  It just wouldn't be worth it.  I really wish you could go though.  When the time comes, I know I am going to really miss you."  I was like, "I am going to miss you too terribly.  We have always been there for each other over the last 8 months, has it really been 8 months, wow, how time has flown.  It seems like only yesterday you were asking if I minded if you talked to me.  Anyway, I have a feeling after they finish the Michael Jackson project that your solo project will be next in line."

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

And a final side note here.  I vaguely remember this so I am pretty sure that this part is probably not very accurate yet, but I am working on it.  But anyway, I remember in June 1979 that Karen and I walked down Pine Street in Corning and used a pay phone in Woolworth's department store.  Before we left the school, Karen took off her 'clod hoppers' (shoes) and changed into sandals and just pulled her dress off and had shorts and a shirt underneath.  No nudity, but still a great show.  I think Karen's cousin, Wendy, worked at Woolworth's.  Karen had a roll of quarters and was really upset at Rod Temperton.  We went into Woolworth's and kind of worked our way back to the pay phone and then Karen put some quarters in and dialed out to Phil's house and got Rod on the phone.  Karen was like, "I know you like Rod, but you need to hear this." when we were walking down to the store.  When he answered the phone Rod was like, "Hello Karen".  Karen was like, "How could you?"  And Rod was like, "It just slipped out.  I know it was stupid of me.  They were talking about the album and it just slipped out about Darling being one of your students.  That elbow to the ribs you gave me still hurts.  I didn't mean anything by it, it just slipped out."  And Karen was like, "We both said nothing happened between me and Ace, but they told Richard."  And Rod spoke up and said, "I really messed up, didn't I?"  And Karen was like, "I'll say, they already told Richard and Richard told me that I have a couple days to clean out my desk and come back home where they can keep an eye on me.  They also put my solo project on indefinite hold and are talking about cancelling it."  And Karen was like, "Well, Ace, how do you feel about your buddy Rod now?"  And I was like, "Sorry to hear Rod, I know it was an accident and you didn't mean any harm.  I also know that Karen is really mad at you now and I am glad it is you and not me, but things happen Rod and I can't speak for Karen, but as far as from me, I can't be mad at you because I know you meant no harm."  And Rod said, "Thanks Ace.  Just in case, Phil got the school phone number off the phone bill and he called it up.  I don't know if he has linked it to Karen yet."  And Karen said, "You men are all alike and stick up for each other.  Didn't you hear me Ace, I will be leaving and I have to go back home.  I won't be seeing you ever again.  Richard will be coming to get me in two days.  I just got you back and now I got to let you go again.  I just can't take it anymore."  And Karen started breaking down in the store and crying and one of the lady stockers at Woolworth's handed her some tissues.  And I was like, "Sorry Rod, but I really have to go."  And Rod was like, "I understand.  Look after her and I'll see what I can do."  And we both hung up.  Karen and I were standing there and then I just started having tears run down my face too.  Karen and I just started heading towards the door to outside.  On the way, someone asked, "Are you two alright?"  And Karen and I just said, "Onions."  and we went out the door.  On the way to the door I picked up what Karen was thinking and I started speeding up to get in front of her.  I opened up the store door and Karen went out and I was right behind her but I sped up to get between her and the highway out in front of the store.  And just as Karen got out the door, she looked out to the highway and said, "Where's a Mack truck when you need one?  I am tired of losing you Ace, let's go play in traffic so we can be together forever.  I am tired of all this."  And I am keeping myself between Karen and the highway.  Then Karen just starts to run and goes to grab my hand and I pull my hand away and then she stops just on the curb.  I didn't actually touch her, but I was thinking of grabbing on to her shoulders before she went into the road, and somehow it happened.  Before Karen reached the curb I shouted out, "Oh God, please help me."  Afterwards, Karen was like, "I knew you loved me and I knew you wouldn't let me do it.  Thanks for holding me back."  And I was like, "Look where we are standing.  Honestly, I didn't touch you right now.  There was nothing there but somehow what I was thinking happened.  I thought of grabbing you by the shoulders, and somehow it happened."  And then I started breaking down and I was like, "Oh my God.  Oh my God.  I almost lost you just now."  And Karen was like, "I felt you grab me.  Oh my God, you're right.  You couldn't reach me from there.  Why did you pull your hand away?  Why?  Why?  Don't you want to be with me?"  And then I held my hands out to Karen and cried, "Don't you remember?  You die before me.  And then I have to wait to see you again.  I can't die yet."  And then I said, "No!  No!  I love you please don't do this.  Don't you remember what Rod said?   I can't touch you and you can't touch me or else we suffer throughout eternity wishing we could be back in the flesh again.  Could you come over here away from the road and by the building so we can talk?"  And she walked away from the road and came over beside me, and we leaned up against the side of the building, side by side.  Then Karen's cousin Wendy came out of the store and said, "Are you all right?  I saw what happened."  And we were both bawling our eyes out and I said, "Karen thought she dropped something in the road.  I almost lost her.  I think we're all right now, but we're both shaken up from all this.  Thanks."  And Karen pulled out her teacher's pen and said, "I thought I dropped this.  It's the only thing I have that Ace and I have touched and I just wasn't thinking.  I'm sorry Ace I put you through this."  And I was like, "So long as you're OK now and stay away from the road.  I'll be fine."  Wendy went back inside and then I said, "Look at us two bawling like a couple of babies.  I want to hug you so bad right now, but we can't.  Remember what Rod said about you having a short life line and you going first and that I will be around a long time after you go?  I nearly lost you right now and I feel really terrible, but remember, it isn't my time yet.  If I play in traffic with you, I'll still be around, but you won't.  And you know me, if a Mack truck hit me it would probably destroy the truck.  I know it hurts.  It hurts me too.  These aren't fake tears we're crying."  And she was like, "What are we going to do?  My brother is coming to take me home in two days and I won't see you ever again."  And I was like, "We still have the two days to be together.  And who knows, things change.  But would you rather spend these two days thinking the end is near and crying all of the time or enjoying what time we still have together?"  And she was like, "I know, but it just isn't fair.  It is like someone is playing some cruel joke on us all the time.  We finally meet the perfect person and we can't be together.  It just isn't fair."  And I was like, "Regardless if it's fair or not, I still love you and I know I always will."  And she was like, "I know what you're always thinking and you know what I'm always thinking, so I guess we need to pray for another miracle.  This is getting ridiculous."  And I was like, "Well, we got a steep hill to climb as always, only this one is literal and figurative at the same time."   And she was like, "How did you get to be so smart all of a sudden?"  And I was like, "Definitely got to be a great teacher.  And she just seems to be getting greater all the time, er, um, sorry, more great."  And she was like, "That's better."  And then I was like, "Actually, you're the mostest bestest greatest person ever."  And she was like, "I agree.  Some rules are made to be broken."  And I was like, "As always, you're always right.  You are my english teacher after all.  We probably ought to get going now.  I think our backs have been up against the wall long enough.  Hopefully things will change again for the better soon.  They did before."  We then walked up the hill and went home.  The next day after school Karen said to me, "Richard is coming tomorrow and I need you to just listen to what he says at first.  Don't interrupt him and let him speak.  I think we are going to be alright."  I was like, "OK, I'm willing to try anything at this point.  I hope it works."  And then Richard shows up after school on the next day and I am sitting in my chair and Karen is behind her desk in her chair.  And Richard enters the room and comes over to me from the door and leans towards me on my right side and starts talking with his left hand on the back and his right hand on the desktop of my chair.  Richard said, "Please hear me out on this.  I had a talk with Wendy and she told me all about what happened at the store.  Everything including how you, Ace, got Karen away from the road and calmed down.  Also, just so you know, the cops have my number in case anything more happens they can give me a call.  We don't want anything more happening do we?"  And Karen and I both shake our heads no.  And then Richard looks over to Karen and says, "If I get one more call about you, you will be out of here so fast your head will spin.  Got it?"  And Karen shakes her head yes and kind of smiles realizing what Richard just said.  And then Richard continues, "The last thing my sister needs is to have more problems than she already has.  My sister has had enough problems as it is and she doesn't need any more.  Her being accused of being with a younger student would definitely be a big problem.  From what I have heard from others, and Karen included, you are definitely not the problem.  Other people talking was a problem.  I remember when I came here before and I noticed you two look away from each other, I had a feeling.  A good feeling because I had noticed that she was feeling happier again.  I like seeing my sister happy.  From what I have heard from others around here, you and my sister tend to solve problems and not create them."  And then Richard reaches around and shakes my right hand and says, "I want to thank you for helping my sister feel better and be happier and saving her life.  She has been through a lot over the years.  I also know that my taking her away from here is not going to make her happy or feel better.  But I also need to make it perfectly clear that if you cause any problems for my sister, whatsoever, you will wish you hadn't.  You would never hear the end of it.  Is that clear?"  And I said, "Perfectly clear."  And then Richard looked over at Karen and Richard said, "I wasn't too hard on him just now, was I?"  And Karen said in a low voice, "You're fine."  And then Karen motioned Richard to look back at me and he did.  And then I looked over at Karen and she shook her head yes and then I said, "You're fine.  I have a younger sister myself and I know exactly what you mean.  I wouldn't want someone causing problems for my younger sister either.  And yes, I learned not to use the L word around your sister.  The last time I used that word about my younger sister; she hit me between the eyes with a book and said she would hurt more than my feelings if I ever said it again, and she meant it too."  And Richard kind of laughed and said, "You definitely know my sister alright and she must like you.  If I remember right, Karen, you threw a chair at me that one time."  And Karen was like, "Was that the time I broke the TV and I got grounded for a month?"  And Richard said, "If I remember right, you also aimed for my head."  And Karen said, "You ducked or else I would have hit your head instead of the TV so technically the broken TV was all your fault."  And Richard said, "How was that my fault that you tried to take my head off?"  And Karen said, "I still think it would be an improvement.  Ah, the good old days."And I was like, "Yeah, me and my sister fight a lot too.  The other day she shut and locked me out of my room, so I grabbed a ball point pen and started trying to poke a hole in the door to get back in.  Did I get it for that."  And Karen is like, "I met his dad.  His dad is big like Uncle Herbie.  Over 250 pounds.  Ace is kind of the runt of the litter.  His sister is really nice though.  I noticed you had a difficult time sitting not too long ago, did you learn anything?"  And I said, "I learned that bic pens are cheap and break easily on solid oak doors.  Next time I should use a hatchet or an axe."  And Karen laughed and Richard looked at me and then Karen and said, "Just checking to make sure.  You sound like someone else I know." And then Richard leaned his head back to keep from laughing and said, "I'm having a hard time figuring out who is corrupting who here."  And I was like, "Don't worry Richard, people that know me know that I was corrupted a long time before I met your sister."  or something like that.  And then I said, "Karen and I always enjoy making each other feel better.  We like making each other smile and feel happy.  We have done it so long now that all we really have to do is look at each other and we feel better."  And then Karen and I just looked at each other and we both started smiling.  And then Richard said, "That Mr. Hyde fellow talked my ear off.  He told me everything.  How much are you willing to offer me to keep my mouth shut about all this Karen?  This is going to cost you." And then Karen said with a devilish look on her face, "That's my Richard, always the businessman.  Let's make a deal.  Let's start putting our cards out on the table..."  And then the family dirty laundry gets aired in front of me and this page gets [censored] for a change because I feel it is Karen, Richard, and my business and needs to remain that way.  During part of this I think I remember Richard saying something like, "Mom always makes this big fuss over me all the time and it's awkward because I don't want people to think that I'm a mama's boy because I'm not.  Being a favorite has its drawbacks too you know but I put up with it."  And I think Karen said something like, "It's true.  It can be embarassing sometimes being the favorite which is why I prefer being the black sheep of the family.  I'd rather get yelled at than fussed over.  Richard was always the clean one and I was always the one getting yelled at for dragging mud through the house.  Mom likes him best.  He's mom's favorite."  And yes, I have some dirty laundry too.  And like Karen, I'd rather be yelled at than fussed over too.  The turning point was when Karen said, "Richard, hold that thought for a second, I have to talk to Ace."  And then Karen talked about what I was thinking at the time, and then Karen was like, "Ace, you are distracting me.  You need to go to the next one.  You can revisit that one later."  And then I was like, "OK, the one with the older couple and..."  And Karen was like, "Yes, that one."  And Karen and I looked at each other.  And then I said, "That's a bit risky.  They will probably hate you too for just saying that stuff."  And Karen said, "I know, I'm already the black sheep anyway but it would definitely lose Richard's favorite status."  And I was like, "It probably would work in a devilish kind of way, but would you really be willing to go through with it?  It could backfire you know."  And Karen and I gave each other devilish looks so I knew she would be willing to go through with it if necessary.  And Richard looked over and said, "I know that look.  Oh my God.  There's two Karens."  And Karen and I just looked at Richard and said in unison, "Other direction Richard" in our 'evil' sounding voices.  Richard was fairly cooperative after that and saying, "But I thought we agreed that we would never talk about that one to mom and dad."  And Karen said, "I'm desperate."  After Richard and Karen reached an agreement not to rat on each other, Karen said, "Does this mean I can stay Richard?"  And Richard said, "Of course, don't worry.  I will just tell them the truth that the school is short teachers and that they really need you as a teacher.  I'll also tell them that the boy reminds you of me when I was younger so there's nothing for them to worry about.  OK, I noticed you two are almost exactly alike, that would scare them, it scared me a little bit ago, so I'll stretch the truth a little bit on that one, but they always believe me because I'm their favorite as you know.  You two also have a rule that you don't touch each other and try to stay at least a foot away from each other so that people don't accuse you of anything.  I'll leave out that soul mate stuff.  They just wouldn't understand.  I don't understand it myself.  And also, if only half of the stories I heard about you two are true then I know I am leaving you in capable hands Karen and there shouldn't be any more problems.  Can you think of anything else?"  And Karen and I both said, "Yes.  Thank you Richard.  This means a lot to us."  And then Richard said, "Actually, I need to thank you.  Phil Ramone usually has something up his sleeve and Rod Temperton is one of his cronies.  How did you get Rod to spill his guts to Alpert and Moss like that.  No one has ever turned against Phil before.  I imagine Rod will pay for that one."  And Karen said, "Rod just let it slip out about Darling being one of my students.  I don't know why.  He just did."  And Richard was like, "Alpert and Moss were actually impressed and they liked the idea of the romantic and physical love theme to your album, but they are a bit reserved because of the underaged student issue and Phil Ramone's track record of getting extra free publicity through the tabloids.  And you know I don't want my sister's name dragged through the mud just to try and make an extra couple bucks."  And then I believe Richard said something like, "Ace has a gag order placed on him and so his name or picture can't be used in the tabloids anyway.  I don't know why or how because not even the Pope can get one of these.  Care to explain Ace?"  And I believe Karen said something like, "I have the guy's card here in my diary.  We can talk later Richard, but Ace isn't allowed to know why, but the guy told me and had me promise not to tell Ace.  It's nothing bad really.  Ace did nothing wrong."    And I believe but I am not totally sure that Karen also said to Richard, "This is big.  I guess I can give you a hint without telling him.  Remember that thesis that you wrote and did all that research and got an F because the teacher said, if he's not written in the Bible then he doesn't exist?  Well, Ace is apparently the one that you wrote about that doesn't exist."  And I believe Richard said, "Him?  Are you sure?"  And I believe Karen said quietly, "Yes.  Him."  And then Karen said, "I'm sorry about the other day Ace. I thought that story was being released and I really thought my life was over.  I'm sorry for dragging you through all of that.  As you can tell, Richard is the brains, I'm not."  And I was like, "I was really glad I was there with you.  I am also really happy that things turned out the way they did.  I would gladly do it all over again so long as you are all right.  And you definitely have brains too.  Remember when I shined that light in your ears and it didn't make it to the other side?"  And Karen gave me that 'not funny Ace' look.  Richard was definitely very upset that the article had even been written at all.  Sir Nicholas also gave Karen his business card, which Karen put in her diary, just in case Phil tried to give Karen any problems (extortion and blackmail were both mentioned as possible problems also) about the article not being published.  Richard also told me, off to the side, that he had never actually wished to take Karen 'back home' and that really Richard and Karen made that story up to keep people from knowing that Richard was there at the school to pick up the letters and Richard would take it from there.  Richard said, "You're a real lifesaver."  And I asked Karen, "Which are your favorite, Pepp-o-mint or wint-o-green lifesavers?"  And Karen said, "Wint-o-green because I love winter and Christmas time."  And then Richard continued, "You actually saved Karen's life twice now.  Once at the store and another by keeping this story out of the papers with that gag order of yours.  The article can't be published thanks to you Ace, so we can't get him for libel, but I'll figure something out.  I'm not going to let someone drag my sister's name through the mud."  And I was like, "If there's anything I can do to help.  Let me know.  I definitely don't want her name dragged through the mud either."  And Richard continued, "I know it means a lot to you two to stay together longer and I am pretty sure that I am not going to regret this like some other things in my past that I have done.  We all make mistakes, and I feel my biggest mistake right now would be making you come home with me Karen.  A definite mistake on my part because I know that look you gave me a little while ago and I know I probably wouldn't make it to the plane and they probably would never find my body.  Do you promise not to tell on me?"  And Karen said, "So long as I stay here until the school year ends, I promise not to tell."  And then Richard said, "I know what you're thinking about Phil and Itchy, but this is business.  In business it is always best to keep your friends close but your enemies closer so that you know what they are up to.  Promise me that you won't let Phil and Itchy know that you got this article."  And Karen shook her head yes and said, "I promise." And then Richard continued, "Also promise me that if you bring him home to meet the folks that you give me notice because I wouldn't miss the looks on their faces for the world.  This even outdoes when you dragged the neighbor's dog home and said he was a stray and asked if we could keep him."  And Karen looked at me and said, "It was kind of funny because I was dragging the dog behind me, a german shepard, and the dog was trying to run away and dragging me down the street."  And I was like, "You too?  I did the same thing when I was younger.  The dog was a bassett hound and still had his chain and tags and I was literally dragging him down the street as the dog wasn't walking by himself."  And Karen said, "If you want, we can get a dog, but we'll talk about it later."  And Richard said, "You two are funny.  And I guess you can cross out cult figure on your to do list Karen.  I do miss you, but I can tell that you belong here.  You look so happy again after I said you could stay just now.  You're my sister.  I couldn't take that happiness away from you."  And Richard and I shook hands again and Richard was like, "I know you'll take good care of my sister."  And I was like, "I will and thanks again."  And Richard was like, "Actually, Ace, Karen never threw a chair at me.  We just made that up."  And I was like, "I wouldn't really use a hatchet or an axe on my door or my sister either.  A chainsaw maybe.  And, like Karen, I am kind of the black sheep of the family too."  Then Richard kind of gave me a 'you almost blew it just now' look and then went around to the other side of the desk and hugged Karen with a big hug.  Richard said, "We have to look out for each other." to Karen and Karen said, "I know and thank you again.  This really does mean a lot to me."  And then Richard left by himself.  And then Richard came back around by the door again and said, "I forgot.  I need a ride.  Karen?"  And Karen said, "It will cost you.  [big smile] Actually, I have a couple bucks extra left over if you need it.  We can talk in the car."  I got up and left the room and Richard and Karen left together as well.  In all honesty, Richard was very caring towards his sister when out of the public eye.  The truth was that Richard wanted people to see him as a ruthless person that would trample over his own family to get what he wanted.  Richard felt this image was what he needed as Richard did not want to be thought of as a nice guy that could be taken advantage of or such in business dealings.  Truthfully, Richard and Karen both worked together to try and project Richard as being ruthless, but behind the scenes, Richard and Karen always worked together and always helped each other as best as they could.  Most of the time, Richard and Karen were all that they had.

XXXVIII. Karen's solo album part 2

The original concept for Karen's solo album was romantic versus physical love.  The romantic Darling and the physical Baby so to speak (Baby wasn't around when Rod and I talked about this concept in 1979).  The choice between romance and 'just getting it on'.  And the closing song was to be 'Rock with You' with the combination of romance and physical love.  Of course, that all fell apart in a hurry after Tom Burris came along around April or May 1980 and certain songs got siphoned off by Phil Ramone to try and get Michael Jackson as a client.  Karen's album started out great with Rod Temperton and myself providing a ton of ideas in 1979, but ended up just as great as Karen's marriage to Tom Burris
in 1980 and also as great as Phil Ramone's attempt to produce Michael Jackson.  As far as the songs for Karen's solo album themselves?  Well, 'Rock with You' was written when Karen talked to Rod about me, and Karen and I wishing to 'rock together'.  'Off the Wall' was written based on the "Off the Wall" conversation that happened between Karen, Rod and I on the day that I bounced the teacher, Max, off the wall literally which was the same day that Rod left for Los Angeles as well for two weeks.  'She's Out of My Life' was written by Tom Bahler with probably a couple touch ups to the lyrics by Karen.  These three were given to Michael Jackson and then shelved for Karen.  'Something's Missing' was written before Karen's solo album and not about Karen or me.  Karen's story behind her singing the song had everyone in the studio (including Jay Asher and Paul Jabara) saying "aw" way back when including a tear from Jay Asher apparently.  Something's Missing was originally recorded after Karen told the people in the studio about a conversation Karen and I had during our "heart to heart" talk.  And the story from Karen in the studio went, "I have a student in my class that is a real sweetheart and said when he misses me, he hugs his pillow, and I asked him if it helps and he said, no, it only helps remind him that something's missing and he can't have it until he gets older."  And the whole studio said, "Aw."  'Lovelines' was about both romance and physical and was probably done in 1979.  'If We Try' was definitely 1979 and was a Darling romance song.  'It's Really You' was probably 1979 as well and another Darling Romance.  'Midnight' was a reference to Karen using a night light at night.  'Truly You' was most likely one of the first songs done for the album before the physical versus romance idea came about even.  I also remember Karen saying, "I did a hard rock type song too called Keep My Lovelight Burning, which you might like, but probably not because the chorus is wimpy."  Another one that ended up being a joke 'at the office' was Karen invented a new word on her new song "Still in Love with You", buddaho.  Karen even said, "I have no idea what buddaho means.  It just kind of slipped out like that."  The joke around the office was that Karen set a precedent on her solo album of inventing a new word that has no meaning.  Karen told me that Rod had a friend of his call Karen up and pretend to be a person from Merriam Webster (the dictionary company) and asked Karen about the meaning of the word 'buddaho' for the new edition of the dictionary.  If Karen had done another solo album the word "mannahay" probably would have come out somehow.  But not to be.  The 'making love' type songs were inspired by events after the 'Cubby O'Brien' visit story.  The 'dancing' songs were inspired by the 'Karen turns ostrich' story above.  I believe "Make Believe It's Your First Time" was inspired by Karen and my 'past lives' story.  But listen to the songs for the 'romance' and / or the 'physical' love aspect in the lyrics.  'Making Love in the Afternoon' - Physical, see how that works?  Also, I believe Karen started recording her solo album before we had 'pet names' for each other.  Some of the Baby songs may have been about me as well.  I remember sometime when Karen said to me something like, "I called you Baby in a few songs because I didn't really have a pet name for you yet".  I have a feeling that the original recordings probably burned up somewhere after that fire in California or wherever that wiped out most of the recordings for several major labels.  Most of the demos and stuff were probably destroyed.  I have a strong feeling that Rod Temperton was the one that snuck out the outtakes and such.  Rod snuck out copies of 'Rock with You' and 'Off the Wall' to Karen from Michael Jackson's album back around April / May 1979 and Karen's own demos as well.  Karen told me that she didn't actually write songs herself, but she would usually tell stories that others might create songs from, or a story about her motivation for singing a song a certain way or a story about why she chose a certain song to sing.  Karen also said that Rod Temperton was the one that usually worked the 'control board' during her recording sessions.

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

Side 1

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

Side 2

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

The story within the group of stories from Karen's solo album. 
And yes, three of the stories (8, 10, 12) were siphoned off to Michael Jackson's Off the Wall album thus destroying Karen's album flow from the start and it just kept getting worst.  Although, honestly, losing #10 was not a major loss like #8 and #12 were.  #8 was the 'out of control' song and #12 was the 'combination of physical and romance' song and there really wasn't other songs to take their place 'in the story line'.  Rod Temperton was not much of a fan of Tom Bahler for some reason.  Rod would have most likely tried to take #10 out of the equation anyway.  But anyway, Karen and I were both hopeless romantics.  Champagne, candles, the whole nine yards.  Of course romance wins, but it is even more wonderful when physical and emotional (romance) love comes together.  Unfortunately, I was 14 at the time when I was around Karen from September 1978 to June 1979, with laws the way they are, the physical aspect was NOT a possibility without Karen having severe problems and getting into trouble with the law.  Just was not happening physically.  And those emotions were so strong that even at a foot apart, we could still physically feel each other even though not physically touching.  Also note, it could have been a 7 song per side album denoted with +.

XXXIX. Phil and Itchy and Itchy's dog visit the school

Also, I believe Phil Ramone stopped by as well.  I am pretty sure because I keep thinking that I shook Phil's hand and then tried to wipe my hand off for the next couple days because Phil put his hands through his hair and had so much Jheri Curl on his hands that it took quite a while to get the slime out.  I seem to remember me saying something to Phil like, "You're lucky.  The first time I saw Sir Nicholas; he was going to boil me in oil.  How did you get off so easily?  You do realize Sir Nicholas is the assistant to the Archdeacon of Canterbury and he is not a person to be messed around with.  He can literally have someone boiled in oil with just a stroke of his pen.  No questions asked."  Also, I seem to think that Phil was with 'Itchy' and she had a little toy poodle or such with her.  And the reason why is because I remember this gruff italian brooklynish voice saying something like, "Would you please call off the dogs on me?" in reference to me thinking that the Archdeacon of Canterbury I believe put a very nasty 'injunction' against Phil.  I also have a feeling that Phil thought, "Who does this Sir Nicholas guy think he is?" and I remember at the end of Karen and my conversation with Sir Nicholas, Assistant to the Archdeacon of Canterbury, about Phil Ramone that Sir Nicholas asked if we minded if Sir Nicholas had a little 'fun' with Mr. Ramone.  After Karen's songs had been given away while Karen was being charged for production costs as well as seeing the letter that Phil's girlfriend Karen "Itchy" Iuwhatever wrote about Karen that would have destroyed Karen's career with A & M Records and her teaching job, a little 'payback' would be nice.  I can't remember what the term is but it is only available to a very few individuals in the world, and the Archdeacon of Canterbury was one of them.  Sir Nicholas persuaded his boss, Bernard Pawley, Archdeacon of Canterbury, to invoke the 'nasty injunction' against Phil Ramone.  I remember it was done and I remember Karen talking to me about it as she was still going to Phil's house for her solo album stuff.  Karen was telling me, "It is like a ghetto there.  Phil, Rod, and Itchy are eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches by candlelight off paper plates and it is just too funny.  Selling things off to try and get gas money for the car.  Borrowing jugs of water from the neighbors because the water was shut off.  Having to pour water in the tank to flush the toilet.  Piles of garbage alongside the curb out in front of the house.  I try to act like I am concerned and such, but I feel vindicated in a way after what they tried to do to me.  It is really very hard for me not to laugh when I am there.  I am so enjoying this.  I am getting tired of them always asking for money though.  They haven't got a clue as to what happened, just that all of their accounts and such are froze up and no credit and such.  I know this is supposedly only temporary, but I actually hope it lasts longer than a month or year or whatever.  It is only temporary right?"  And all I could say was, "I don't know.  I'm just glad you're feeling better and smiling again.  I still love seeing you smile again."  Richard Carpenter could not have done this type of injunction, but Richard could have filed a separate injunction just against the use of Karen's name or such to block the solo album release as Karen's name belonged to the Carpenters' group (which would have probably been a suggestion from Alpert & Moss as Richard had a 'vested' interest with Karen while A & M did not).  The nasty 'injunction' or whatever it is actually called freezes all accounts plus any stock or bond trading as well as destroying a person's credit so that they can not borrow or use a credit card as well as real estate and almost anything else you can name involving money and property.  From what I am thinking about a Phil meeting, I am pretty sure that Mr. Cocky Ramone got what he deserved as I believe he described the 'nasty injunction' that only the Archdeacon would be able to carry out during Mr. Cocky's visit.  And if I remember right also, Mr. Ramone was cocky (arrogant) at times during his visit at the school.  If I remember also, Mr. Heib stopped by and asked Karen if Karen was alright and who Phil was and why Phil was so upset.  I think Karen said that Phil was working on her solo album and was always cranky anyway, but Phil had some money problems and was extra cranky.  Trust me, I do not hold sway over either the Archdeacon of Canterbury or his assistant, Sir Nicholas.  Sir Nicholas was definitely added to Karen and my friends list.  I believe Phil and Itchy were added to the "do not allow into the school" list.

XL. Sir Nicholas and hip waders

I also believe that Sir Nicholas also had a chat with Karen and myself while we were together at the school.  Of course the stuff about Phil Ramone.  But also, I believe Sir Nicholas told Karen about what Sir Nicholas knew about my secret.  But also, I believe Sir Nicholas told us both "not to copulate" or reproduce or however he phrased it.  Sir Nicholas just said something like, "If you two were to have a child, Methuselah may be born and then after that Lamech and then Noah and a big flood all over again.  It is very imperative that you two do not take a chance of having children just to be on the safe side." or something very similar in reference to Karen having the regressive hypnotism with Edna aka Methuselah's mother and of course my being the Keeper of the Book of Life aka Enoch aka Methuselah's father as well. 
I also remember Sir Nicholas joking and saying that he would be looking into a pair of hip wader pants just in case.

XLI. Buddy Ebsen visits

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

XLII. The rings

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

XLIII. Shrinks part 1

As far as how things went with the psychiatrists, psychologists and therapists...  Very, very poorly.  Honestly, Karen walked out several times because she got tired of them trying to put words in Karen's and her family's mouths.  It was bad and you can see it all over the place still.  Karen would say that her and Richard were never comeptitive and the shrinks would tell her that she was in denial about it.  Honest, brothers and sisters are usually complimentary, not competitive.  What, was Richard going to try and clean the house faster than Karen?  Was Karen going to try and outdo Richard playing the piano?  Brothers are usually competitive with other brothers and sisters competitive with other sisters.  It was REALLY, REALLY that bad and then some.  Karen said to me, "It seemed like every time something came out of my or my family's mouths, the psychiatrists, psychologists, and therapists would automatically try and turn it around to make it sound like we were saying the complete opposite of what we actually said.  It was that bad and we all walked out."  As far as Richard being the 'favorite' and Karen being the 'black sheep'.  True.  And in all honesty, many times since they believed Richard, Richard would honestly lie to keep Karen out of trouble if possible.  Karen would do the same for Richard too.  Brothers and sisters do that for one another and Karen and Richard were no exceptions.  Karen and Richard didn't really have goals or such, but they loved making music together.  Karen and Richard were seen as over achievers even though they didn't have goals that they were trying to achieve.  Yes, the shrinks dealing with the Carpenters were honestly that 'nuts / crazy'.  Like Karen and I agreed on, "Favorites put the round pegs in the round holes and the square pegs in the square holes.  Black sheep put the round pegs in the square holes and the square pegs in the round holes and if they don't fit right, you just need to use a bigger mallet.  Favorites are favored because they do what everyone else does.  Black sheep have more fun but tend to get in more trouble because they don't always do what everyone else does.  I like being a black sheep, is there something wrong with being honest?"  As far as the Carpenters being 'dysfunctional'...  N-O, NO.  Honestly, the shrinks were dysfunctional.  Y-E-S, YES.  How can you deal with those that keep trying to turn everything you say or do around to fit THEIR mold of what they feel is going on instead of accepting the truth?  What can you do or say when you are told everything you do or say is wrong or a lie?  Nothing.  And that has been a BIG problem with psychiatry, psychology, and therapy.  'Hidden meanings' where shrinks try to say that things exist when in reality, they do not.  Playing 'tricks' on people is dishonest.  How can you 'trick' someone into being honest when you are not being honest yourself?  Exactly.  BULLSHIT!!!  PSYCHOBABBLE!!! (twisting things around so bad that no matter what anyone says or does is seen as being wrong).  How can someone that is not being honest honestly help someone else?  They honestly can't.  And when you have a guilty conscience why not lie some more and try and blame others instead of taking blame yourself and learning from your own mistakes?  So anyway, shrinks, answer this - "How can someone become honest when all that a shrink does is call them a liar no matter what the other person says or does?"  YES, that is a BIG problem.  And in the end, Karen weighed 108 pounds in all honesty.  Others tried to lie and say Karen weighed 80 or 84 pounds when she died.  Honestly.  That is why anything by Tom Burris, Phil Ramone, Itchy Ramone, any of the shrinks and most authors that use these sources I discount as being untrue about Karen Carpenter.  I believe Richard Carpenter, Paul Williams, Carl "Cubby" O'Brien, Wendy Bihuniak, Peter and Wendy Bihuniak, and Patti Carpenter (I believe Hirtl is her married name, but not sure).  Rod Temperton was caught in the middle at times, so it was kind of hit and miss with him depending on what was asked about.  Most of all, I always believed Karen Carpenter and Karen Carpenter's diary because for some strange reason, Karen always seemed to know the most about herself despite the experts' opinions.  And as we know, "Experts never make mistakes.  All people make mistakes; myself included.  Therefore experts are just figments of their own imaginations."  And honestly, Karen could not take ipecac syrup or such on the day of or the day before she died.  Midol pills or such possibly (but not definitely) because she was expecting her 'visitor' (menstruation).  Possibly a box of chocolates maybe.  Not ipecac syrup.  And honestly, Karen called me the day before she died so I know she was expecting her 'visitor' (menstrual cycle).  I also know for sure that Karen was feeling fine on the day before she died.  Karen was very happy and not depressed or such nor feeling anything unusual physically or mentally besides her visitor (which always made her feel tired).  It was unexpected.  Karen's heart stopped.  Cardiac arrest.  It happens.  It may sound strange, but every time a person's heart stops beating for over 5 minutes, they died.  True story.  Karen's aura left her body and Karen's body died after her heart stopped beating.

XLIV. Shrinks Part 2

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

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 and never went back. That's the truth." 


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


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


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


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


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

And speaking of September 1978 to June 1979, Karen was a school teacher and staying with her cousin Wendy who taught Karen how to knit and crochet while they watched video taped soap operas on a beta max. Karen didn't have anyone hanging over her shoulder while she was a teacher including her parents or Richard. Karen started doing her solo album with Phil Ramone and Karen was constantly being watched over and not allowed to leave Phil, Rod Temperton, or Snitchy's sight while doing her solo album. Rod and Karen used to joke together and call Phil's house 'the compound' and Phil and Snitchy were the 'gestapo' and the big joke was "Let's make a break for it" between Karen and Rod. Honest, Karen told me that at Phil's house, Karen had constant supervision and couldn't leave the house without someone going with her. So when Itchy and Phil talk about how controlling the Carpenters were and such, I don't believe it. I know better. I heard the exact opposite out of Karen's mouth herself. And I was around Karen when she was teaching and I can definitely say that Karen's family was not controlling Karen. And as Rod warned Karen, "Anything you tell Snitchy, Phil knows." so honestly, I know Karen used to lie to Snitchy as Karen couldn't trust her. And hearing some of the stuff that Snitchy has said, I can understand why Karen lied to her too. When you lie to someone and they repeat that lie, you know who said it because no one else knows that lie but the one you tell that lie to. Karen Carpenter never trusted Karen 'Itchy/Snitchy' Ramone and it shows in the things that Snitchy has said.

And then, "I don't know what the big deal is that my mother doesn't hug me makes the front page. My mother doesn't hug my brother either but you never hear that mentioned." And honestly, I saw Karen and her brother hug each other both times that Richard visited Karen at the school. Once in 1978 and once in 1979. I can only imagine what the tabloids would have done if they had got pictures of that. And honestly, they just hugged. Very heart felt hugs, but hugs none the less. In all honesty, Karen's and Richard's mother, Agnes, was not someone that hugged people. Agnes was never a mean person unless you did something wrong, she just wasn't a hugger. 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?" And I said, "Lezzies, um, lesbians." And Karen was like, "Yeah, they would have probably put it all over the papers that me and my mom were lesbians. I'm so furious over this. How is trying to traumatize people helping them?" And I was like, "I'm going to duck now, but if you do turn lesbian can I watch?" And Karen gave me that evil look like I knew she would and said, "Not funny Adrian. Honestly, I like guy parts, not girl parts. I thought about it, and I could never be like that." And she smiled and then said, "Thanks, I just realized that how can I turn lesbian or whatever when I can't even bring myself to hug my own mother?" And I was like, "Yeah, you can't believe all that you read in the tabloids. But then again, some people will believe anything or else the tabloids wouldn't be selling. I mean honestly, your therapy sessions are supposed to be private. Like you said, this is bad, and you're right about that, I would be furious too." And she was like, "Richard's looking into it. There were definitely some breach of privacy issues broken. Thanks for being my sounding board. I've been so upset lately over this as you've probably noticed. Thanks for helping me feel better like always." And I was like, "My pleasure. It's always great seeing that awesome smile of yours. Thanks." And she was like, "Pardon me for asking, but have you ever thought about becoming a doctor when you get older? I think you would make a good doctor. You've always helped me out a lot." And I was like, "I've thought about it, Doctor Ace, but it's not like the old days when people became doctors to help people. Anymore, it's all about making money as you've been noticing and I'm not like that." 

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

XLV. Recalling about Karen's hair dresser

And Karen also told me about 'the hair dresser' incident.  Karen said she had found out that her hair dresser was having sex with her brother by accident.  Karen talked to her hair dresser, without letting her hair dresser know that Karen knew about her and her brother, and realized that her hair dresser didn't really know anything personal about her brother.  Karen got suspicious and checked around.  Karen found out that her hair dresser had a little history of trying to go after guys for their money.  As Karen said, "She's a gold digger".  Karen said that she honestly had hoped for her brother Richard to meet someone and fall in love and such but being on the road and such made it difficult to have a lasting relationship.  As Karen said, "Falling in love is getting to know someone and it was obvious that my hair dresser didn't have the first clue about anything personal with my brother except his bank account had seven figures."  Karen also told me that the hair dresser had told Karen that Richard was a big boy now and Karen should butt out of it and mind her own business.  Karen said if it hadn't been for the "butt out of it and mind your own business" comment, Karen would have probably just told her brother to wear a condom because there were already too many gold diggers in the world as it was and left it at that.  And I was like, "What if the condom broke?"  And Karen was like, "I hadn't thought of that" and Karen chuckled a little and said, "I've had that happen a couple times myself.  Good point there.  I was also so wrapped up in battling the two headed dragon lady that I forgot to ask Richard if he had feelings for her.  We can all make mistakes I guess.  Me and my mother came up with the nickname two headed dragon lady because I was babysitting a neighbor boy named Jason off and on at the time and we didn't want him knowing who we were talking about.  Jason was only about 5 years old at the time and you know how kids repeat things.  Jason had the prettiest deep blue eyes and him and I became pals.  You and Jason are about the same age but your eyes are a pale blue and his eyes are a deep blue.  Jason's mother had passed away and he was living with his grandparents around the corner so Jason and I talked about all kinds of stuff and we had a lot of fun together.  Jason was so full of energy and always seemed excited to see me every time.  I never quite knew what to say to him about losing his mother because my mother was still around, but I did what I could to try and help him feel better.  Jason was feeling kind of lonely and I was too so we both hit it off.  And of course Richard and I went back out on tour and I lost contact with Jason after that.  [I'm not positive but I think Karen said that Jason and his grandparents moved away from the cul de sac.]"  But anyway, Karen felt that her hair dresser's comments were a type of challenge, and Karen loves a challenge.  So Karen told mom about "the floozy" and both Karen and mom had a talk with Richard about it.  Richard stopped seeing the hair dresser because he knew it upset his sister and his mother.  Another truth, Richard made a wise choice and many years later met Mary Rudolph which Karen would have approved of and I believe Richard's mom did approve.  Richard has always been a caring and kind person and Mary Rudolph is a caring and kind person too.  Honestly, if you do actually care about someone, you don't usually care too much about their bank account numbers and you are more concerned about how they are feeling and their interests and such.  Honest too, read this page about Karen Carpenter, I should know, right?  Wrong?  Both?  Well?  Honestly, Karen was not a complex person.  People saying things that aren't true about Karen is what has made things complicated.  Karen simply tried to care about everyone and help others learn to care about themselves and others by setting a good example for others to follow, and we all make mistakes too including Karen.  How complicated is that?  OK, for those of you who don't care about yourself or others I guess you can't understand this, but I tried.  Karen tried too.  And honestly, Karen enjoyed listening to what others had to say and she was not one for putting words in other people's mouths.  Some follow her example and are a joy to talk to like Karen was.  And then there are others...

XLVI. Searching for answers about Karen

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


As far as those that have been led to believe that Karen made her solo album because she was wishing to leave Richard and go on her own... Honestly, Richard was the one behind Karen's solo album. Karen said this to me, "If it hadn't been for Richard suggesting that I do a solo album, I never would have done it. Richard and I have always worked well together and the thought never crossed my mind until Richard mentioned it. And because Richard mentioned it, I did it. I wouldn't have done it otherwise because I have always loved working with my brother and I still always wish to do so. That is why I dedicated the album to my brother Richard." More honestly, Karen never said she wished to leave Richard and go on her own. Others have said that. And others have said even worst and tried to mislead people into thinking things that are not true.


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


XLVII. In conclusion (September 1978 to June 1979)

What came of this : Well, I forgot about this stuff for quite a while, but it was actually stuff that helped fill in a bunch of blanks that happened over the years.  February 23, 1980, my family moved from 265 East Third Street in Corning to 8 Garden Street in South Corning.  I can't remember if Karen may have had our old address or not.  Also, at the time, I was getting asked not to say a word about my unique tooth to anyone.  And on top of that, I had a teacher that became a very close friend that had her secrets too.  I don't ever remember bringing up my tooth in any of our conversations, but I definitely didn't want either Karen or myself to be bombarded by a bunch of people.  So I talked a lot, but I still kept my secrets, just like Karen did.  Sharing is definitely a wonderful thing.


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When : April / May / June 1979

Where : Corning Free Academy, Corning NY

Who : Richard Carpenter, Sir Nicholas Boehr, Karen Carpenter

What happened :
In 1979, someone (Karen "Itchy" Iwhatever) tried to submit a story to the tabloids about how Karen Carpenter was a school teacher and was supposedly trying to have an affair with one of her students.  Me, the one of her students referred to, had a gag order in place.  There was no mention in the article about the fact that Karen and the student had never made physical contact or such and the story was VERY misleading.  The article was sent to the Archdeacon of Canterbury who turned it over to his assistant, Sir Nicholas Boehr.  Sir Nicholas told me that he saw Phil Ramone in person and explained to Phil that the student in question had a gag order on him and that the article and any other future articles dealing with said student "would be swimming with the fishes" or in other words, the articles could not be printed publicly.  Sir Nicholas said he had fun using the mafia reference not as a threat to Phil himself, but as a threat to Phil's having any more articles written, plus Ramone being an italian name and the Vatican being in Rome, Italy.  Sir Nicholas also commented to me that Phil reminded Sir Nicholas of a 'snake oil salesman' and Phil had so much oil on his hands that Sir Nicholas had to scrub his hands afterwards many times to get the 'slime' out.  Anyway, Sir Nicholas came to my school and met with Karen first and also met with me as well later on.  Karen was given a copy of the article as well as a copy of the 'gag order' on me.  Well, not actually 'given' but Sir Nicholas asked if I wanted the letters and I said, "No" so Sir Nicholas tossed them into the garbage can so that Karen could pull them out without either myself or Sir Nicholas getting into trouble.  Sir Nicholas just had a long talk with me about many things.  Karen was shocked when she read what was written in the article because it was very misleading and made her almost appear to be chasing after me.  And me being a 14 year old student...  That article would have definitely cost Karen her teaching job, and possibly ruined her music career if it had been published.  A & M had very strict guidelines as far as 'public image' of its artists.  Karen also did not know that the other letter was a 'gag order' of sorts.  Karen thought the article was going to be published until Richard came and explained the gag order to her.  When Karen's brother, Richard Carpenter, showed up, Richard was very concerned and then became very upset.  But also, Richard said, "I'm impressed.  This is a type of gag order.  The Pope can't even get one of these.  How do you rate?  Care to explain Ace?"  And then Karen was like, "Actually, Richard, the guy told me some things about Ace, but he had me promise that I would never tell Ace what was said."  And I believe but I am not totally sure that Karen also said to Richard, "This is big.  I guess I can give you a hint without telling him.  Remember that thesis that you wrote and did all that research and got an F because the teacher said, if he's not written in the Bible then he doesn't exist?  Well, Ace is apparently the one that you wrote about that doesn't exist."  And I believe Richard said, "Him?  Are you sure?"  And I believe Karen said quietly, "Yes.  Him."  And then Karen said, "I'm sorry about the other day Ace. I thought that story was being released and I really thought my life was over.  I'm sorry for dragging you through all of that.  As you can tell, Richard is the brains, I'm not."  And I was like, "I was really glad I was there with you.  I am also really happy that things turned out the way they did.  I would gladly do it all over again so long as you are all right.  And you definitely have brains too.  Remember when I shined that light in your ears and it didn't make it to the other side?"  And Karen gave me that 'not funny Ace' look.  Richard was definitely very upset that the article had even been written at all.  Sir Nicholas also gave Karen his business card, which Karen put in her diary, just in case Phil tried to give Karen any problems (extortion and blackmail were both mentioned as possible problems also) about the article not being published.  Richard also told me, off to the side, that he had never actually wished to take Karen 'back home' and that really Richard and Karen made that story up to keep people from knowing that Richard was there at the school to pick up the letters and Richard would take it from there.  Richard said, "You're a real lifesaver."  And I asked Karen, "Which are your favorite, Pepp-o-mint or wint-o-green lifesavers?"  And Karen said, "Wint-o-green because I love winter and Christmas time."  And then Richard continued, "You actually saved Karen's life twice now.  Once at the store and another by keeping this story out of the papers with that gag order of yours.  The article can't be published thanks to you Ace, so we can't get him for libel, but I'll figure something out.  I'm not going to let someone drag my sister's name through the mud."  And I was like, "If there's anything I can do to help.  Let me know.  I definitely don't want her name dragged through the mud either."  Honestly, Richard was all for Karen doing a solo album because Karen was always a very independent person and it would give her a little breathing room from her brother to try something different and maybe learn some new ideas from others.  Richard and Karen always liked to share ideas and such.  Trying to be accused of being a teacher chasing after a young boy was not an original part of "Karen's solo album" plan.  Alpert and Moss originally blocked the album after Rod Temperton accidentally said something about Darling being one of Karen's students during one of the sessions, then Richard got an injunction just to make sure Phil did not try to jump to another label (and I believe Alpert and Moss gave Richard the idea to get an injunction).  You see, even Karen realized, if the album got released and someone said that 'Darling' from her album was a 14 year old boy...  After Karen died, there was no one to ask anymore about Darling and Karen was no longer alive to worry about someone falsely accusing her of being with one of her boy students anymore.  It was just plain Phil's arrogant attitude and then after that the Archdeacon through his first assistant instated the 'ultimate injunction' against Phil Ramone and froze all of Phil's assets and removed Phil's credit as well.  Phil had nothing and could do nothing financially in his own name anymore after that.  I am not sure how long the 'ultimate injunction' lasted, but I am definitely sure it happened against Phil and I am definitely sure who instated it against Phil as well.  There were only a handful of individuals that were able to instate 'the ultimate injunction' against anyone.  It was definitely not Richard Carpenter or myself that instated 'the ultimate injunction' against Phil Ramone.  We couldn't.

What came of this : Stuff.  Karen finished out the school year.


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When : 1978 / 1979

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

Who : Thee Ace Man

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

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

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When : April / May 1979

Where : Corning Free Academy, Corning, NY

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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When : June 1979

Where : Dennison Park Babe Ruth Field, Corning, NY

Who : Lester Dann

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

What came of this : Nothing that I know of.


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When : June 1979

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

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

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

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

---------------------------------------------------------------

When : April / May 1980

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

Who : the Crowned Prince of Morocco

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

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

---------------------------------------------------------------

When : late August / early September 1980

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

Who : Doctor (Donald / Ronald?) Darling

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

---------------------------------------------------------------

When : October 2 / 4, 1980

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

Who : Julie Sage, Karen Stirpe

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

---------------------------------------------------------------

When : April 1981 / 1982 (either junior or sophomore year and 5 of the 6 days I missed at 4 years in high school)

Where : Elmira / Corning Regional Airport, Big Flats NY

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

What happened : The family (father, mother, sister, and me) took a family vacation to Florida the week before spring break in 1981 or 1982 (I'm not sure which year anymore, but it was the year where I got a two week spring break).  We flew People's Express down and back with stops in Newark NJ for connecting flights.  For me on the way down and back, nothing spectacular other than seeing Jamie Barkley down there at Disneyland.  I'm thinking now that it was 1982 (Junior Year) but still not positive.  After getting back, we were collecting the luggage off the belt and I sat there with the luggage in seats about where the middle of the airport is now.  After the flight cleared, another flight landed direct from St. Louis and the people at the counter looked excited and were saying "G. Gordon Liddy's on this flight.  Shhh."  Anyway, the St. Louis flight lands and people start coming through the airport.  Next thing I know G. Gordon Liddy walks around the corner and says, "It's you, isn't it?"  And I said, "Yes, me and my family were just in Florida for a week and just returned"  And then G continued, "I know, I noticed your aura disappeared about a week ago and then I saw it in Florida.  I saw your aura leave Florida and I jumped on a direct flight from St. Louis hoping to catch you and I noticed you had a layover in Newark and here you are.  I kept thinking your aura might be a bear or something wandering around out here because it always seemed to be within about a 100 mile radius of here.  Your aura is about a 50 mile radius and I easily tracked you all the way here from Florida.  Your aura is huge but it's always been comforting seeing it roaming around out here and then one day I looked out and it was gone but I saw it down in Florida for a week.  So I jumped on the direct flight from St. Louis and I was getting ready to go for my rental car and here you are.  Looks like  this is going to be a short trip.  Don't worry, I'll always know where you are.  I can see your aura even from the State of California.  Thanks."  And then G turned around and went to the ticket counter and exchanged his tickets for a later flight for the same flight that was leaving.  And then G got on the same St. Louis flight and left.

What came of this : A 50 mile radius aura must be some sight, but I can't see it so how should I know?  Things happen.

---------------------------------------------------------------

When : Mid June 1981

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

Who : Karen Carpenter

I. June 12, 1981? Karen and I reunited

And on August 16, 2019 I remember that Karen and I did meet again at Corning - Painted Post East High School in 1981.  It was a sunny day, so I am thinking it was the middle of June 1981 but not positive on that.  Karen came to the school and had me paged to the office at the school.  The secretary called up my room I was in and had me come to the office.  When I got to the office, Karen was standing by the reception desk and she was all decked out with a short black dress, black fishnet type stockings, heels, and a couple luau necklaces.  When I got there, Karen said, "Hi, I was the one who had you paged.  Do you remember me?" as I was going to the reception desk.  And I was like, "You look kind of familiar, but I don't really recognize you."  And she said, "It's me, Karen, remember, you and I spent most of 8th grade together?  I still have that ring you gave me."  And I was like, "Oh my God, it is you.  I remember.  But you're kind of dressed like a slut so you threw me off a bit."  And she was like, "Well, that was blunt.  I guess I should have seen that coming the way I'm dressed with the fishnet stockings and all.  I just flew in and I didn't have time to change out of my secretary clothes.  I got a job in the area now.  We can be together again."  And I was like, "You look so different dressed up but it is still you on the inside that counts, and as we both know, I like..." and Karen and I both said in unison together, "Tomboys and mud pies."  And we were both like, "It is you, how've you been?" at the same time to each other again.  And the receptionist / secretary said (Leslie, Les, Mishrell.  Married to Marvin's son, Ed, and Ed and Les used to rent the upstairs apartment from my parents at 265 East Third Street), "You can use [whatever] room if you two want some privacy.  Don't forget to close the curtains.  Don't worry, I'll keep a look out for you two.  And here, put on this sweater [a long white knitted sweater].  If you remember, it's your old sweater and you left it at the school when you left two years ago.  He's right.  You do kind of look trashy and I think the sweater will help cover it up."  As a side note here, both assistant principals at Corning Free Academy became assistant principals at Corning - Painted Post East High School, Marvin Mishrell and Roger Grigsby.  And so we went in the room and Karen said, "I told her that I was your fiancé from out of town and she believed me.  I hope you don't mind."  and I was like, "Like always, you make me smile.  That was a good one."  Karen was like, "Yeah, she also told me that you haven't been seeing anyone and the secretary was actually glad to hear that we were engaged.  I told her my ring was a Cubic Zirconia but looked real and she said it was still a beautiful ring and that you seem to be a really nice guy.  The secretary also said that she sent her boss out on an errand and that we had about a half hour before he got back.  Us secretaries need to stick together."  And then Karen asked, "I forgot, what were our pet names for each other again?"  And I was like, "Honey and Darling."  And she was like, "That's right.  I keep forgetting." And I was like, "That's OK.  I only remember because you used your Marlene Dietrich voice and Marlene called everyone Darling and honestly, I came up with Honey after I looked over at your honey dipper for your tea.  I almost called you Bear because your honey was in that bear jug."  And she laughed and said, "I remember that.  I forgot about the honey bear.  I kind of wondered how you came up with that so fast."  And I was like, "Yeah, it just kind of just slipped out like that."  And then I said, "That was really great that the secretary did that for us.  I saw Patti in my french class so it was a bit awkward.  I didn't really know what to say to her half the time.  She did talk though and told me about you getting married."  And Karen was like, "Yeah, I got married on August 31st?, 1980 to a guy named Tom Burris and he has a boy Patti's age.  [then some personal information that I would rather not repeat in public, not only because of privacy issues, but also because it is still a bit garbled and I don't want to take a chance of writing something again that may be a bit off and possibly wrong].  Then she talked about her husband, Tom, and said something like, "Tom kind of blind-sided me because at first he kind of looked like you without your glasses only he is about ten years older than me.  But then too, he was more of a beefcake and you are more of a hunk.  After seeing you again, I definitely see the difference between a beefcake and a hunk.  Beefcakes are great to look at, but then I got to know him better and realized that he was not the hunk I thought he was at first.  Tom is definitely not a diamond in the rough.  Do you like my ring?  Yeah, I bought it myself, so it is just what I wanted and this is the ring I wish you had been able to give to me.  I originally picked this ring out with you if you remember at (Bong's, Zale's, or Ray's Jewelers.  I think Bong's).  You made that growl sound in your throat when you saw that ring.  You were so cute.  I had to get it and I stuck it away in my hope chest hoping that some day...  Actually, I sent a limo to pick you up at your house, but you weren't there."  And I was like, "We moved on February 23rd, 1980 to a different house."  And she was like, "I kept hoping that you would show up at my wedding and be my knight in shining armor like always, but you weren't there.  Anyway, Tom Got a vasectomy because he was worried that if I got pregnant that it might wreck my voice and destroy my singing career.  I asked him several times to get it reversed and I would pay for it but he refused every time."  And I was like, "Well that was thoughtful of him."  And Karen was like, "Not funny Ace, Tom changed after we got married.  Before we got married, Tom always asked permission and such before doing something.  After we got married, Tom kept trying to run everything.  I kicked Tom out of the studio because Tom was trying to tell Richard how to record me."  And I was like, "I remember Richard that time and I remember Richard and I there and you sitting at your desk and telling Richard and I when it was alright for us to talk.  We knew better.  But Richard has been recording you for years and what does Tom know about a recording studio anyway?  Vasectomy, strike one.  Bossy, strike two."  And then Karen said, "I forgot about you meeting Richard.  You two were funny.  Richard doesn't usually make jokes around others, so I know he at least felt comfortable around you.  But Tom and I even fought on Christmas.  It was our first Christmas together so I wanted to spend it at our new home and Tom had made plans to see people and didn't tell me about it until the last minute.  I piled up all the presents in the back seat of the car, which is a small seat, and off we went with his son trying not to sit on presents the whole trip.  So we ended up spending Christmas on the road and I was not happy and I definitely let him know I definitely was not, as you call it, a happy camper."  And I was like, "I know how much you love Christmas and I'm surprised that you didn't shove the tree, angel and all, up where the sun don't shine and then turn the lights on.  Our family usually visits everyone on Christmas day, but with you, I would definitely let you decide and if you wanted to stay home, we would stay home.  No questions asked."  And then Karen said, "I just got an image of that tree thing you just said.  That's funny.  I wish I had thought of that.  I was definitely mad enough to do it at the time.  And as you say, pardon my french, but Tom is definitely a big enough asshole that the tree would fit with room to spare and we had a really big tree this year.  [And we both laughed].  But that wasn't the straw that broke the camel's back.  Tom and I visited [my friend] and then when I asked him to visit again he seemed to be making up excuses.  A few times of this and I got suspicious and called up [my friend] and asked her if something had happened while Tom was there."  Karen said that "[my friend] said that Tom had tried to talk her into having sex with him and she felt awkward because she didn't know what to do about it.  [my friend] was worried that I might be offended if she didn't want to have sex with him because she found him to be kind of repulsive.  Tom lied about why he and his ex wife split up.  And after I found out that he hit on [my friend] I am all done with Tom.  Three strikes.  You're out.  Tom and I are definitely having some problems lately and I guess it was to be expected.  We both kind of started out on the wrong foot and lied to each other.  I lied to him about the rings and about almost everything really.  I never trusted him for some reason...  I think that reason was because I already knew someone that I knew I could always trust.  That someone is you.  I remembered what you said too about promises."  And then we both said together, "I don't make promises, but I say what I mean and I mean what I say."  And then she said, "We were both vulnerable and lonely and we made all of these promises to each other and I think we've broken about every promise we ever made to each other.  It's a real mess.  If you remember Max, Max was a saint compared to Tom.  I really don't care about him any more and I just want him gone and out of my life."  And I was like, "Uh oh.  I messed up again, didn't I?  Sounds like things aren't working out so well in your marriage.  You know how I always wish you the best and to be happy, I'm sorry to hear that things aren't going so well, but maybe things can get better somehow."  And then I paused a little and then continued, "It still seems kind of weird that everyone is our 500th or whatever great grandkid."  She was like, "Yeah, I still remember what Nick said to us about not having children and possibly bringing about another Great Flood and all that.  I forgot to tell you that he did say I could call him Nick too instead of Sir Nicholas."  And we both said, "But only in private.  Jinx."  And then we both said together again, ""He sounds just like John Cleese.  Double jinx."  And we both laughed a little and then she said, "Oh and Rod and I made up at my wedding.  I realized that he was just caught between a rock and a hard place and it wasn't really his fault.  My solo album is actually tied up in limbo for who knows how long.  I still love the album because most of the songs were about us and it has been about all I have of us besides my pen and a couple of those kinky critters you left in my desk drawers.  I actually gave most of them away, but I did keep a few as souvenirs.  And yes, I still remember and put them in different positions here and there when others aren't around and I still laugh about it.  You had a pretty wild imagination as a kid."  And I was like, "Sorry I wasn't there to tonsilectomy the bride at your wedding.  Honestly, I have been trying to get you out of my system for the last couple years.  I haven't been doing so well as you can see.  I know I look terrible.  I did buy Michael Jackson's Rock with You single and I played it almost non stop for over a month after it came out and I pretty much wore the single out because the grooves are white now instead of black.  I wore the needle out too and I had to replace that as well.  I definitely hugged the stuffings out of my pillow for quite a while and then I just started forgetting about you for some reason.  I'm not sure why, but I did.  It wasn't until Patti was in my french class that I started remembering again.  I honestly don't remember half the things we did anymore, I just remember that we had some great times together."  And Karen was like, "Yeah, it hit me pretty hard too and a few times I just started crying and I didn't know why.  I just did.  And then I met Tom, but I never really forgot you, I just put you in the background.  You are still my strength when things go wrong and such.  I remember what others said about us being soul mates and honestly, even though I missed you being there, you still gave me strength when I needed it.  Like you, I was an emotional train wreck too.  We had always helped each other feel better for so long and you never realize how good you have it until it's gone."  And I was like, "Long and gone.  Hey you're a poet and didn't know it.  I didn't realize either.  I mean I did realize, but when I forgot about you for a little while, it kind of affected me a lot different than what I thought.  I honestly didn't think it was possible to forget about you back then, but it happened and there is still some stuff I know I have still forgot about yet.  When I just started getting too lonely, I thought of you and felt better even though you weren't here.  I also thought about everyone being our great whatever grandkids too."  And Karen was like, "Actually, that stuff still kind of freaks me out.  I try not to think about it too much.  We almost came close to possibly destroying the world and we didn't even know it.  It's just creepy."  And I was like, "Me too.  I mean I love you, but not enough to destroy the world over.  Finding that stuff out kind of ruined us getting together in the future when I get old enough.  I still love the thought of us spending forever together."  And then she was like, "Me too.  I still love you and miss you so much.  Us being together forever sounds great to me too.  And I got to thinking too that I think Nick was wrong because we've had other lives since then and even the Bible says there isn't going to be another Great Flood.  I think we'll be fine if we do get together.  Well I just came back into town for a little while for Patti's graduation and I thought I would stop by and say hi while I was here.  I'm staying with my cousin Wendy so the spinsters are back together again and we're having a blast and catching up on the soap operas and our knitting."  I was like, "Does she still have that room above the garage available for rent?"  And Karen was like, "You remembered.  Actually, Tom came with me and I rented the room above the garage for him and his son.  I told Tom I was getting a secretary job at the school so that I could sneak off and see you again."  And the reason why a bit fuzzy is because of what went on next, Karen said, "Well, we don't have much time left, do you want to keep wasting it talking or do you want to make out with me?"  And I took my glasses off and Karen wrapped her arms around me and I wrapped my arms around her and I tonsilectomied (stuck my tongue down her throat and rubbed it back and forth like a dog in heat) her for the next two minutes or so.  Karen was trying to push me away, but I let her have it.  After I let her get away, she slapped me.  I then gave her the 'you asked for it' look.  And then she saw my thoughts again and realized what I was upset about and she got a bit nervous.  She then said, "Sorry I slapped you but I didn't like what you did to me just now.  That was just horrible.  If it had been anyone else I would have been looking to break something over their head."  And I was like, "That's OK.  I deserved to be slapped or even worst and as you know what I did was intentional."  And she was like, "Yeah, I just realized why you did it too.  Here I am dressed like a slut as you called it and then asking you to make out with me and not wanting to talk.  I kind of asked for that.  I thought at first you did that because you didn't know what you were doing.  I think that my thinking you are just a kid kind of backfired on me again like before."  And I was like, "You got it.  And I gave it to you.  If you want to act like a slut, I can treat you like a slut.  Welcome back.  But actually that's wrong of me especially with you.  I took what you said the wrong way.  And I need to say something else, myself.  First, I think we are both sliding on thin ice right now.  You have two strikes against you and I have two and a half strikes against me with that tonsilectomy I gave you and thinking about you being a slut when you're not.  We are definitely starting out on the wrong foot.  I think it is because you are looking for someone to be a lover and I am looking for someone to share my time with.  We don't match.  You want a lover and I want a companion.  But I think we both need a lover that is a companion too.  We both want something, but I think we both need something even better."  And Karen was like, "I think you are on to something there and I agree."  And then I said, "Do you remember when we visited the Dalai Lamas and the Dalai Lama made you think there was dirt on my face?"  And Karen was like, "I think I remember that, but what's your point?"  And I was like, "If you remember what Rod said about soul mates and touching, well, we've touched each other.  In all honesty, I don't want to spend the rest of eternity with you wanting to wipe dirt off my face or giving tonsilectomies, do you?"  Karen was like, "Do you think we could start over?"  And I was like, "We can try."  And then Karen and I gave each other a long (five minutes or so) passionate kiss (liplock) as we held each other in our arms and embraced each other.  The smiles and cloud 11 were definitely back between us again.  Our eyes were even brighter (more engaging) than before too.  At the end of 8th grade, Karen and I had the world in our eyes.  Now, Karen and I started having the universe in our eyes.  Instead of sparks and flames, we were having nukes and supernovas.  Before, the secretary told Karen that she would knock lightly three times on the door about five minutes before her boss was to arrive.  The knocks came and Karen and I waited about a minute or so and then I proceeded to open the door and walk out with Karen just in front of me.  We were both definitely floating on cloud 11 or higher and so staggering out might have been a better word for it.  I leaned forward and gave Karen a kiss on her cheek and I said, "I love you forever Honey."  And she spun around and gave me a liplock (no tongue) and said, "I love you forever too Darling."  On the way out we both thanked the secretary and she said, "No, thank you, it was my pleasure.  It's about time his office got put to some good use for a change.  My father in law is about as romantic as a [I think she said 'wet sponge' but not sure now].  Good luck you two.  And Ace, just wait a couple minutes and go to your next class."  And I walked out with Karen and then we wrapped our arms around each other and embraced and kind of did a slow dance together while giving each other a liplock again and slowly spinning around.  And then Karen and I parted company and we blew each other kisses and caught them.  And I was like, "I still love that smile."  And she was like, "Me too as much as I love you."  And I was like, "I love you too."  And Karen went out the front door and I went to my class and got my books and then went to my next class.

II. That eye color saying thing. Air bubbles

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

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

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

IV. Hiding out

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

V. The aftermax recollection

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

VI. Made In America

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

VII. Karen and I and the 'couples hangout'

Karen and I were seen many times at the school after this.  I was age 16 and Karen was age 31 and I became known as "Karen's old man" at the school.  Honestly, despite the actual age difference, Karen and I looked only a year or two apart when we were together.  The secretary said that Karen could wait for me in the lobby any time.  I would see Karen and then Karen and I would usually start holding hands and then sit down in front of the trophy case.  I would 'assume the position' which was sitting and reclining against the wall.  My back against the wall and my butt about a foot or so away from the wall.  Karen and I would then cuddle up and hug together and hold hands and kiss and such.  Karen's ring stood out and a lot of times the upper classpeople (classmen, classwomen) would start coupling up and sitting around us.  Under the trophy case kind of became "couples hangout" at the school.  Originally it was just Karen and me.  By the end of the week there were probably around twelve couples gathered around the trophy case and all of us chatting together and talking about stuff much like back in the 8th grade days with Karen and me in Karen's classroom.  And the others would see the ring on Karen's finger and would ask, "Are you two engaged?" and we would answer, "Yes".  And of course, "Congratulations.  That's a beautiful ring."  And Karen would say, "It's a cubic zirconia.  It looks real but it isn't."  (Of course it was actually real, but at about three quarters of a karat, it would definitely draw the wrong attention to Karen and me).  One of the teachers was actually a gem enthusiast and asked to examine Karen's ring.  We were like "OK, but we have a confession to make first.  Yes, the ring is real.  Do you promise not to tell." because we knew the jig was up with him.  He pulled out his eye piece and said, "I know it's real and I also know that ring from a story a while ago in a magazine about [name] gem cutter and how he used the flaw to enhance the diamond.  That is a one of a kind piece.  I always wanted to see that ring and now I have.  Thanks.  I promise not to tell that it's real."  One time, it was just Karen and I sitting there, side by side, and talking and holding hands together (we usually locked our fingers together).  And then I said something like, "I love you so much." and then Karen said something like, "I know.  Me too." and then Karen just started crying.  I asked, "Are you alright?"  And she said, "I just realized that it's really you and you're really here again and I'm just so happy.  I can't help it.  I've missed you so much."  And I was like, "I know what you mean.  I have been missing you so much and now we're together and it just doesn't seem real.  We've never really been able to be together without some major obstacle causing problems.  Being able to just sit here and relax with you is just too wonderful to describe.  I love you too."  And we are still side by side and she is still crying.  Then a guy walks around the corner and sees her crying and yells out, "Hey you, take your hands off her.  Can't you see she's crying?"  I said, "I know she's crying, but if I take my hands away from her she'll cry even more?  She's not hurt or sad, she's actually happy."  And he said, "She sure don't sound happy to me.  I said take your hands off of her or else and I mean it."  And then Karen raises her hand up with the ring on her finger and the guy says, "Oh sorry, I didn't realize.  You two got engaged?"  And I was like, "Yes.  Come on over.  We don't bite."  And I put my hand up in the air and motioned for him to come over and he did.  And when he came over I shook his hand and said, "Thanks for being concerned about her.  I really appreciate it.  I would have probably done the same thing myself.  No need to be sorry.  Thank you."  And he said, "That's a big rock on her finger."  And I was like, "It's a cubic zirconia and not a real diamond, but it's still beautiful like her."  And he said, "I can't argue with that.  Thanks and congratulations to you two."  And Karen and I both said, "Thanks."  and then he left and I gave him the thumbs up and Karen just rolled her head over onto my chest and wrapped her arms around me and we both cuddled up and closed our eyes for a bit enjoying the moment.  Men tend to get upset when they don't know how to express their feelings.  Women tend to cry when they don't know how to express their feelings.  Karen was just beyond happy and it showed.  And then another time, Karen and I just cuddled up and went to sleep together in our usual spot.  The secretary came out later and woke us up after she finished work and before she left for the night (either 6 or 8 PM).  We probably would have been there all night if she hadn't woke us up.  Karen and I were still just that comfortable with each other.  We both also drooled in our sleep, a lot.  My shirt was usually kind of soaked in drool in spots by the end of the day.  I soaked my collar and my shoulder and Karen soaked my chest.  We were still definitely a lot alike.  Also, Karen used the 'count the days' method for knowing when her period (menstrual cycle) would happen and as her form of 'birth control'.  This time around her period was really difficult.  For the week Karen and I were around each other, Karen was having a rough time.  Karen would take some Midol pills and then cuddle up with me under the trophy case and usually fall asleep with me.  She would put her arms around my neck and then rest her head against my chest (because she said she liked listening to me breathe and listening to my heart beat) and she would usually be sound asleep within five to ten minutes of cuddling up with me.  On the last day, Karen was doing better again and tried to apologize for the rough week she had.  She also said, "What was the school name again?"  And I was like, "Corning Free Academy, but we also called it Corning Freak Asylum"  And Karen was like, "Back at CFA my visitor usually happened on the weekends so you didn't see me this way.  Maybe only a couple times."  And then she said, "Is there anything I can do to help make it up to you?"  And I said, "You already have.  You were feeling miserable and you still spent your time with me.  What more could I ask for?"  And she said, "But I wasn't good company."  And I was like, "Says who?  Oops, that's right, you just said so.  Sorry, you're right as usual.  You weren't good company; you were great company.  And yes, I still love seeing you smile again even if I have to sleep with you some more.  Is there something wrong with saying I slept with Karen Carpenter and she feels better now?  Don't answer that.  I just caught myself.  I promise not to tell on me if you promise not to tell on you."  And yes, she smiled.  And after she smiled, the old familiar words, "smart ass", just rolled out of her mouth.

VIII. June 18, 1981? Our last day together

On our last day together, Karen and I were under the trophy case as usual and through the front doors of the school came Karen's husband Tom.  Tom rushed right in and grabbed Karen by the arm and started dragging her out the door saying, "You're coming with me." among other things.  Karen then said, "Let me go.  I will go with you if you only let me talk to him first."  And Tom let go and Karen came over and just said to me, "I hope you remember what I said to you, I really meant it.  I'll be back soon."  And I was like, "You know I always mean what I say too.  I'll always love you."  And then Karen turned around and walked out with Tom.  There was also a couple couples sitting near us as the trophy case became the 'couples hangout' at the school.  I remember the one guy sitting next to me saying, "If you love her, you should fight for her.  Why would you let him just take her like that?"  And I was like, "You don't understand; that is her husband, but he did some bad things and she doesn't love him anymore and she can't forgive him for what he did."  And he was like, "I think I understand now.  That makes more sense.  Sometimes you have to go through some bad things before you can realize how good you can have it.  I feel bad for her.  That guy seems like a jerk.  She's such a sweetheart to everybody and she deserves better than that."  And I was like, "Yes, and we all can make mistakes, but a bigger mistake for me would have been to try and interfere between her and her husband.  That would anger him and cause her more problems than she already has.  So long as he did not physically hit her or such, I was not going to intervene.  Karen is a big girl and can take care of herself for the most part.  Karen has to wait a year before she can file for a divorce which would be in August this year at the earliest.  In the meantime, it is better if Karen and I have some patience and try not to make her situation any worst than it is.  That is also why Karen and I stayed out here in plain view so that people couldn't accuse us of stuff.  In all honesty, Karen and I were the ones that picked out the rings in 1979 that Karen and her husband Tom got married with in 1980.  Back then, Karen thought she would never be able to see me again."  I am not sure now if Tom brought her back to the school or not.  I keep thinking that Karen came back, but I am not sure as it has been 38 years now and counting.  For some reason I keep thinking that Karen came back and had tears in her eyes and said something like, "You didn't tell them did you?"  And I was like, "I finally told them you were in a bad marriage because I think they found that out now.  I also told them that you had to wait a year after getting married to get a divorce.  Everyone was kind of shocked because you have been so happy that they didn't think anything was wrong.  That's about it unless there was something else that you could think of."  And Karen had a look of relief and was like, "Thanks, I was hoping to tell them myself but I guess it couldn't be helped.  Tom brought me back and said I could stay here.  I just started crying in the car and saying that we are surrounded by a bunch of kids and just talking.  We can't do anything with a bunch of kids hanging around us and where am I going to go?  Why won't you let me stay with him?  It's been over between us and you know it and you know why.  But if you want, I can tell you why so that your son can hear it too and hear why his mom divorced you too.  Is that what you want from me now?  And so here I am.  And Tom said he would pick me up later."  And it seems like everyone was glad to see her back under the trophy case again after seeing her being dragged off earlier and finding out she was still legally married to a guy that she didn't love anymore.  It seemed like everyone was so supportive and giving Karen hugs and such.  And it seems like I remember Karen saying, "I love all of you so much and I feel so loved when I'm around you.  Thank you so much.  I am going to miss you guys after the school year is over."  And I think they said back something like, "We are going to miss you too.  Too bad you couldn't send smart ass instead.  We'd rather miss him than you."  And I think I said something like, "Gee, thanks guys, you really know how to make a guy feel loved."  And then everyone looked over at Karen and then Karen looked at me with a big smile on her face and finally said, "Smart ass" in her usual way.  So yes, it is definitely true that no one likes a smart ass except possibly Karen Carpenter; I should know.  And then everyone laughed and then we got back to some serious cuddling.  Tom stopped by later and came in and picked Karen up.  Tom came over and said something like, "When I got back, Wendy filled me in that you saved her life before.  Sorry about earlier.  I didn't know.  She never told me about it.  Thank you." and Tom and I shook hands.  And Karen and I kind of had a blank stare and then I was like, "Actually, Karen and I kind of forgot about that." or something like that.  And Tom's jaw just dropped and he was like, "How could you forget about something like that?"  And I think I pulled Tom closer and I kind of whispered, "People here don't know that she's Karen Carpenter and we worry more about people finding that out than whether or not I saved her life or whatever."  And then I think I spoke up and said something like, "Yeah, Karen and I have so many great stories to tell that we kind of forgot about that one.  But one time Karen thought she dropped her pen in the road and I grabbed her before she went in the road and almost got hit by a car.  It really wasn't that big of a deal.  It was just one of those things that happened and Karen's cousin Wendy came out and saw us crying together by the store because I almost lost her.  Sometimes you never realize what you have until after you almost lose it." or something like that.  And then I think Tom and Karen left the school after Karen said her goodbyes and such.  Earlier that day, Karen and I agreed that to avoid any complications in her divorce and to avoid any possible 'adultery' allegations or such against Karen by Tom, that Karen and I would not contact each other until her divorce was final.  We did that.

IX. The Couples Show

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

X. Conclusion (1981)

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

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When : February 4, 1983

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

Who : Miss Bihuniak (Karen Carpenter)

I. Remembering February 4, 1983

What happened : I did not hear about it that I remember.  I probably did hear about it, but I most likely blanked it out of my mind.  If it was over the school anouncements, it would have been Jay Felli's voice.  I would have been in Corning, NY at the time.  Karen died.  Karen's heart just stopped.  Karen said to me on the day before that her visitor would be starting soon and maybe Karen mixed up pills or possibly was just too underweight to deal with her visitor starting.  Karen usually took Midol for her visitor.  Also, menstrual cycles usually cause nausea and vomiting so taking ipecac syrup sounds a bit far fetched.  Also, no ipecac syrup container let alone containers as accused anywhere to be found.  Karen was 108 pounds when she died, not 80 or 84 as another said.  That rules out Karen being too underweight.  Karen was nude (actually, Karen told me she preferred the word nude over naked) when her mother found her.  No foul play or such.  It was just Karen's time.  Karen's time (number) was up and that was that.  Who knows how long Karen may have been dead before her mother found her, five seconds, five minutes, not too long, but Karen was dead.  They took her to the hospital rather than bring the coroner to the house and all that mess.  Even with a celebrity, they don't bring a person out of a house with a sheet over them on a stretcher unless they are dead.  You can't suffocate a corpse.  No marks or anything to indicate a struggle or foul play.  Like said, Karen's heart just stopped before Karen's mom, Agnes, found her.  And the reason why Karen's mother found her is because Karen had a court date to sign divorce papers and was not downstairs yet.  Cardiac arrest; Karen's heart stopped.  Karen died.  When my grandfather, Zeke, passed away in 1986, my uncle Gary was an EMT at the time and arrived at my grandfather's house with my grandfather motionless on the couch.  Almost immediately, my uncle said, "I think I just felt a pulse" and they brought the stretcher in and took my grandfather away.  Like my uncle Gary said to me, "I didn't actually get a pulse, but if they pronounce him dead at the hospital or in the ambulance then it isn't as messy.  If a person is found dead in a house then they have to bring in the coroner and the coroner has to try and determine time of death and the cause of death and the body can't be moved and all this other stuff which just gets to be a big headache and a bigger mess than it needs to be especially for an older person.  I had a couple calls where after the husband or wife was declared dead, the wife or husband of the dead person had a heart attack themselves on the spot.  So if we can get the person to the hospital before declaring them dead, especially around older people, the better chance we have of saving someone else if something more happens.  About the only time a person is declared dead on the scene is if the person lived alone, a probable crime scene or the paramedic is a rookie and doesn't know any better."

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

On the day before, February 3rd, I had got a phone call from Karen telling me that her divorce came through and asking me to take an overnight bag with a suit, tie, shoes, birth certificate, toothbrush, and something to sleep in into school with me the next day and that Karen would be coming by the school to pick me up.  I also added deodorant too.  Karen also said that she had told Tom over the phone that she didn't care and would give Tom a million if he would just sign the papers and get out of her life.  Karen also said that she would never put that in writing, but she was figuring that Tom was greedy enough to "take the bait" and sign.  Karen then said, "I never told him a million what, just a million."  I am pretty sure that I said, "OK, so Tom gets a couple down jackets, a couple down pillows, and a down blanket.  Maybe just a down mattress even.  A million duck feathers.  That's cool.  After all the stuff with Tom, if you want a prenuptual agreement, I understand and I definitely would sign it.  You know that all I want is just you anyway, and if you didn't want me anymore; I would leave; no problems.  I'd give you the clothes off my back so that when I left I would have a place to stay after getting arrested for indecent exposure."  And I am pretty sure that Karen said, "Who was your cell mate again?"  And I was like, "Bruce"  And she was like, "That's right.  Bruce is going to have to find someone else because you are mine.  I figured you would say something like that which is why I plan on getting a house with a big yard and a tall fence that the neighbors can't see over.  That way you can just wander around the yard until you're ready to come back in.  I'll just grab some popcorn and enjoy the show.  Honestly, with what we've been through, we both know that you aren't capable of doing anything that would hurt my feelings, let alone get the cops called on you.  I am not going to let you get away that easily.  I had thought about a prenup, like you said, because of Tom, but you're not Tom.  Tom couldn't break my heart.  If you and I got a divorce, it would honestly break my heart and I know it would break yours too.  I honestly thought about it and after thinking, I don't want a prenup because I honestly don't ever want to think about going through another marriage or divorce again after we get married."  And I am pretty sure I said back, "I agree.  For life and forever."  And I am very sure that Karen said, "I like what you just said and I definitely agree.  Now that we got that out of the way..."  Karen asked me if I "drove stick" and I said "No, not yet."  And Karen was like, "Well my car is stick so I'll have my cousin Wendy pick me up and get me at the airport but maybe I'll teach you later."  I told her that I would need to drop off my car at the house before we left and that she could follow me there.  We would then take a blood test together and wait in a hotel room for two days and then see a Justice of the Peace.  Karen said that she wanted our marriage to be just plain and simple like us.  We agreed.  No big fanfare or such, just us.  It wasn't because of her previous marriage or such, it was just that we were not really wanting anything elaborate ourselves.  A big wedding just wasn't us.  Karen also warned me that her visitor (menstrual cycle) would be starting soon.  We also talked about Karen's "public image" and that Karen was tired of the business trying to push this 'sex appeal' and 'sex sells' stuff.  Karen was wanting to stay with her 'girl next door' image.  Karen was never one to show off and such and she was always body conscious to begin with.  Karen wanted to stay with being just plain Karen with the freckles.  Karen was tired of being thought of as a 'barbie doll' and wanted to be thought of as someone that was more than just looks.  I commented back that I always thought Karen was her "most beautiful as the girl next door" anyway and that the 'sexy' image made Karen seem 'trashy'.  Karen knew I was never the jealous type anyway and I wanted Karen to appear sexy and desirable and beautiful, not cheap and trashy and just out for a good time.  But business is business.  And Karen and I both agreed that Karen's public image was Karen's own business to do with as she wished and it was best if I just stayed in the background.  Karen said, "If asked, I liked your most beautiful as the girl next door comment, but try to stay away from that trashy talk stuff.  I know what you meant, but others might take it the wrong way."  And I was like, "I know what you mean and I agree.  Keep it simple in public.  Keep it positive and avoid put downs and such that can be taken the wrong way."  And she was like, "I know you'll do alright.  You've always had a good head on your shoulders about that kind of stuff."  I also asked Karen if she wanted me to bring a bib for when we drooled in our sleep at the hotel and she said her favorite words, "Smart ass".  Karen also told me that her and Richard were going to start touring again soon so it would be a short honeymoon.  Karen never showed up.  The area code for the call would have been (607).  The area code for Karen's cousin Wendy would have been 607 too.

III. Thinking about Karen's death

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

IV. Conclusion

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

V. An afterthought

And one for the road, so to speak.  Below are the school pictures from the 1979 Corning Free Academy classbook.  The extra hand in Karen's picture is from the social studies teacher Mr. (Tom?) Cook.  The pictures were taken around October 1978.  Karen was very nervous about it and asked me to be in the room during the picture taking.  I was sitting in a chair about 15 to 20 feet away and in front of Karen and Mr. Cook.   Karen's eyes closed in the picture because when the photographer snapped the picture, Karen and Mr. Cook started laughing because I was saying, "Rump roast, Liver and onions, Castor Oil..." instead of the usual, "Say cheese".  Karen wore a black wig and weighed I think 104 pounds at the time of this picture.  The vest on Karen was a rainbow color with reds, yellows, blues, greens, and oranges that Karen made herself (on a side note, Karen made her own poncho too and she kind of started a fad in the area where girls wanted ponchos, including my sister).  I believe the papers in Karen's hands were just a bunch of papers that were lying around in the room and Karen just threw a paper clip on them to make the papers look important.  I think the picture was taken in an unused classroom that became more of a storage room but I am not positive on that now.  A funny note, The writing on the blackboard is Karen's.  The funny part is that the math teachers were lined up in front of the english stuff that Karen wrote on the board, and Karen (the english teacher) was lined up with the math stuff that Karen wrote.  Anyway...

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

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When : Mid May 1983

Where : Holiday Inn, Painted Post NY, Senior Banquet

Who : Thee Ace Man & Julie Sage

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

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

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When : December 5, 1989

Where : Airport Bar, Albequerque NM

Who : Mike Judge

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

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

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When : December 8th or 9th, 1989

Where : Universal Studios, Burbank (Hollywood) CA

Who : Thee Ace Man

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

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

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When : Late 1989 / Early 1990

Where : Corning, NY

Who : Rosemary Cavallaro Knott

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

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

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When : October 3, 1994

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

Who : my dream

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

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

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

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

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When : August 4?, 2000

Where : Yankee Stadium, New York, New York

Who : King of Morocco (King Mohammed VI)

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

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

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When : August to October 2000

Where : Internet email

Who : Chris Webber and his brother Paul Webber

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

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

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When : May / June 2010?

Where : Sayre PA

Who : Thee Ace Man (Me)

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

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

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When : June / July 2012

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

Who : a NOMAC Derrick Hand & Me

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

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

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When : April / May 2017

Where : Elmira / Corning Regional Airport, Big Flats NY

Who : The Son of God

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

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

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

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