I have known PLES since I first started coming in the room sometimes in 1999. Over the course of the years that she has been a regular here I and many other roomies have heard of the terrible things that Karen has gone through and I have to admit that over the years her screen name was a name that I always hoped to see for a few reasons. First and foremost she was feeling OK and second I always enjoyed talking to her as we seemed to share a bond in the music we both grew up with. When Karen received my Email explaining what I was trying to do here she decided to try to set the record straight as to what she has really gone through in the past, not so that we would all feel sorry for her, but maybe so that we could understand better what she has gone through.
I have to admit that when reading her Emails to me on this project I was afraid to tell the” whole story” because of reality of how life has treated her. After communicating with her and being sure this is what she wanted, I now present in her own words The PLES LUVME 4EVER story.
I have been coming in the Oldies room almost 9 years now. I remember when the room was closed due to all the cursing, yelling and bad things that were going on. The King of the 45s took me by the hand and said follow me. His name was MARKIO and soon we found a room called Freakin Oldies. Soon after Oldies music was back and so popular we would have 3 or 4 rooms a night and the key was to try and get in the 1st or 2nd room. Now here is the truth. I didn’t talk for maybe 6 years before I came into this room. I was court ordered by my Neurosurgeon and Grief Trauma Psych to get a PC and go into a chatroom named Music Oldies. Those people would even go into the room just to make sure I was in there. I was there and little by little it got me past the “edge”. I started to laugh a little, smile a little and soon I was receiving WAV’s and I didn’t even have a clue as to what to do with them. REMO and BASS (with UNCOLA’s permission) would call me on the phone and would tell me how to actually listen to the WAV’s on my PC. My very first close friend was KLOWN (Jody) and also OLDIEBUTGOODIE (Fran).
My name is Karen and I first want to say that I do NOT ever lie in that room or for that matter to anyone. I live in northern New Jersey. I just love the mountains, lakes and waterfalls. I once was transferred to southern Jersey to the shore. My husband and I just couldn’t wait till my 2 year stint was over to move back. I am 35 minutes from the Pocono’s and 55 minutes from New York City.
I was the first female ever in the history of my Company to be promoted to VP of Human Resources and life was good. I was on the verge of moving out west with my new husband when I got a call that one of our branches needed some help. I was at that branch on a beautiful October day when my life changed forever. I had been involved with many holdups and was trained what to do whenever that would occur when we were held up again and our office was shot up. I was helping a 9 month pregnant employee. The robbers had told the 2 of us to lie down opposite each other. She was crying in pain and I tried to console her and help her. When I moved slightly I was shot 3 times in my neck and 4 times in my lower back, POOF, the end of my career. From that day on no doctor would ever let me work again and if it wasn’t for the emotional support of my husband in the days, months and years after I would have never made it. This was the background as I came into the oldies room needing something to sustain me and get my life back as normal as possible so in my eyes the Original Music Oldies room saved me emotionally.
I want to give all of you a little history of my life to better understand how all this came about so here it goes. My daddy who was EVERYTHING to me was a graduate of Julliard. He was a tenor but his love was Opera. He would sing lullaby’s to me in Italian. I am half Italian- half Jewish. My dad started in burlesque which really almost killed my Grams and mom. He would take me to his shows. Can you believe that? I was always told in no uncertain terms. This is not my course in life LOL.
I really loved my dad and I miss him dearly. On September 23, 1973 he was killed on his way to work by a drunk driver. My dad had appeared in many Broadway shows. He was the stand-in for Rossani Brazzi in South Pacific and while he is really into opera, I am home watching TV and American Bandstand. I was in love with Fabian, Avalon and my favorite song was Barry Mann’s “Who put the Bomp in the Bomp Bomp Bomp.” OMG how he hated that song. Well he loved me and he even took me to Philadelphia to see American Bandstand. My dad always gave in to me . I was “DADDY’s LITTLE GIRL”.
After college my dad looked for an apartment for me. He didn’t want me to leave home but I begged and begged and finally he gave in so we found a little garden apartment. Tommy Devito who you probably don’t know was the super of the apartment building. I was trying to sleep one night and I hear this noise coming from the apartment across the hall and I banged on the door. It was then that I realized that Tommy was in the 4 seasons and right before me was Frankie Valli. Frankie had bought the apartment building as an investment and they used this apartment to rehearse. (I still have all there demo 45’s) From this association I met Jay Black of Jay and the Americans and we dated for 8 months. If anybody wants to check on this, and I can see where some of you may not believe this, the address was 17A South Valley Road, West Orange New Jersey. Frankie’s real last name was Costeluccio. I was told to never ever tell anybody about this place because they didn’t want all the screaming young girls outside bothering them as they were practicing. At this time of my life I was also introduced to another rock star of the era and we got very close. He was my first for everything and I loved this man so much. You all know him as he is still doing Oldies shows to this day.
So the point is I was living the good life. I was enjoying my life to the fullest and vowing to never ever get married. My career was taking off and I was being transferred back and forth etc and taking lots of cruises and just living the good life.
Because of my connections with all the Oldies stars I was always going to concerts and getting very good tickets and that is how I was able to meet my husband.
I am sitting in the front row on the side and Chuck Berry is up on the stage doing his show. I think he was singing “No Particular Place to Go” and doing his chicken walk and boom he falls !! So I rush to the stage to see if he is ok and I look up and there is another person from the other side hovering over Chuck as the crowd is in silence. Well to make a long story short, Chuck gets up and the room starts applauding and I take a look at this other person and THE ROOM JUST STOPPED !
Just like in West Side Story… there was this man who was handsome and caring enough to check on Chuck and this was my Al. From that moment on until Albie died in my arms, we were never apart. He was nurturing, kind, good, and he had sworn that he would never be married, just like me, but it seemed like from the moment our eyes met “Were meant for each other”. We moved in 3 weeks later and married 11 months later. And all this because” CHUCK BERRY FELL DOWN DOING HIS CHICKEN WALK”.
We had a terrific, wonderful marriage but it only lasted 9 short years. My husband found and turned in 3 criminals. He was going to testify at their trial. Our house was busted in at 1AM and my husband was murdered and i was beaten. He died in my arms. I have never ever been able to talk about this before but now as it has been is 15 years and it’s now time. I was beaten severely by the men who killed my husband, and in addition to my wounds from the robbery, I live in almost constant pain. I say this because I had every intention of coming to HUGYFEST2001. I have to lay down every 90 minutes or so, but I was going to try my hardest that year to attend. I even went as far as to confirm the disabled room but alas, the pain was just too severe. I have however met 8 roomies from the room.
I used to be in the room at all different times of the day the first 3 years or so due to my strange schedule with, sleep, pain etc. I loved that room so much then, and that room is family to me. All my real family is dead now, but the Oldies room is my family in the truest sense. Even the people today who don’t know me treat me so nice. These past 3 years have been so difficult for me. I have had so many surgeries because of what happened to me in 1990… All the fusions dig into my body and give me so much pain and I can’t stay on too long now but that room does so much for me emotionally… They are my family. I try in the morning, sometimes in the afternoon and sometimes at night.Sometimes I can’t make it.
The old days were so wonderful with REMO in his red font and his gorilla suit and the Cheetos and DANNYKOOL and DUKE and BASS. What memories. I remember one evening in particular. I was in room 3 with only 3 of us LUCYG, MAMMABOU and I and then all of a sudden someone talked and his name was OMG OMG OMG YES YES YES. and we could not stop laughing. Our jaws hurt from laughing, we peed, our stomachs were so sore from the laughter so we all tried to compose ourselves and we went into the other room and there she is again and she says my boyfriend meets me in this room and he puts my fire out and that was IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. The 3 of us to this day have never ever laughed as hard as we did that evening. Whenever I see MAMABOU in the room we hug with a YES YES YES. It’s our little joke. It was just 3 girls in a room who may have had the funniest night of their lives.
I loved the Birthday parties and the changing screen names etc. I loved Christmas time and my Christmas WAVs.
In every ones life there are special friends and my life is no exception. The ones I have become so close to are always there for me, whether it is just to help me though my ordeals or to just help me in my wheelchair. I am with them always by hook or by crook, holding their hands, letting them talk or just pray, if they want.
I am not saying this because of my particular situation. We need to stop the Cliques in here. Just because someone cannot attend a certain function it’s not because we or they are hiding. Maybe they too are disabled and maybe they just can’t afford to travel. We should not shun that person and I am not talking about myself here.
THIS IS THE TRUTH.