The Ghost of Karen Carpenter
|Listen to “Superstar” by The Carpenters [download]|
Someone had posted a Myspace bulletin announcing an estate sale at The Carpenters‘ house in Downey, just south of L.A. So Saturday morning, Rudy and I joined our friend (and long-time Downey resident) Andrea for an excursion to their unassuming suburban home, a place that still carries the silent of so many long-forgotten memories and broken dreams. Weight
A Mexican-American family has been living there since the mid-90s, but many sad artifacts from the Carpenters legacy still haunt the house. Much of the estate is in shambles. The back yard, which was once a lush, landscaped paradise in the style of a Japanese garden, is now a dried-up wasteland. Several of the wooden bridges have collapsed, and the piles of wood planks were being sold for $500. The words “Superstar” and “Carpenters” were engraved on the wood in Japanese.
The daughter of the current residents, who was running the whole show, gave us a tour of the main house– except for the room where Karen died. Her sister, she said, was sleeping in there.
Karen Carpenter’s Carpet.
These records were left behind.
Richard Carpenter’s wallpaper.
Downey is also home to the world’s oldest standing McDonald’s. It’s a historical landmark.