Karen Carpenter (1950 - 1983)

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Karen Carpenter
Biography
Born March 2, 1950 in New Haven, Connecticut, USA
Died February 4, 1983 in Downey, California, USA (heart failure caused by chronic anorexia)
Birth Name Karen Anne Carpenter
Nickname K.C.
Height 5' 4" (1.63 m)
Mini Bio (1)
Born in New Haven, Connecticut, Karen Carpenter moved with her family to Downey, California, in 1963. Karen's older brother, Richard Carpenter, decided to put together an instrumental trio with him on the piano, Karen on the drums and their friend Wes Jacobs on the bass and tuba. In a battle of the bands at the Hollywood Bowl in 1966, the group won first place and landed a contract with RCA Records. However, RCA did not see a future in jazz tuba, and the contract was short-lived.

Karen and Richard formed another band, Spectrum, with four other fellow students from California State University at Long Beach that played several gigs before disbanding. In 1969, Karen and Richard made several demo music tapes and shopped them around to different record companies; they were eventually offered a contract with A&M Records. Their first hit was a reworking of The Beatles hit "Ticket to Ride", followed by a re-recorded version of Burt Bacharach's "Close to You", which sold a million copies.

Soon Richard and Karen became one of the most successful groups of the early 1970s, with Karen on the drums and lead vocals and Richard on the piano with backup vocals. They won three Grammy Awards, embarked on a world tour, and landed their own TV variety series in 1971, titled Make Your Own Kind of Music! (1971).

In 1975 the story came out when The Carpenters were forced to cancel a European tour because the gaunt Karen was too weak to perform. Nobody knew that Karen was at the time suffering from anorexia nervosa, a mental illness characterized by obsessive dieting to a point of starvation. In 1976 she moved out of her parents' house to a condo of her own.

While her brother Richard was recovering from his Quaalude addiction, Karen decided to record a solo album in New York City in 1979 with producer Phil Ramone. Encouraged by the positive reaction to it in New York, Karen was eager to show it to Richard and the record company in California, who were nonplussed. The album was shelved.

In 1980, she married real estate developer Thomas J. Burris. However, the unhappy marriage really only lasted a year before they separated. (Karen was to sign the divorce papers the day she died).

Shortly afterward, she and brother Richard were back in the recording studio, where they recorded their hit single "Touch Me When We're Dancing". However, Karen was unable to shake her depression as well as her eating disorder, and after realizing she needed help, she spent most of 1982 in New York City undergoing treatment. By 1983, Karen was starting to take control of her life and planning to return to the recording studio and to make public appearances again. In February of 1983, she went to her parents' house to sort through some old clothes she kept there when she collapsed in a walk-in closet from cardiac arrest. She was only 32. Doctors revealed that her long battle with anorexia nervosa had stressed her heart to the breaking point.
- IMDb Mini Biography By: Matt Patay

Spouse (1)
Thomas James Burris (31 August 1980 - 4 February 1983) ( her death)
Trade Mark (2)
Contralto singing vocals
Shoulder length brown hair.
Trivia (101)
In her mid 20s, she was still living with her parents.
At age 30, she made a solo album with producer Phil Ramone in 1980, titled "Karen Carpenter". However, it was shelved by A&M executive Herb Alpert. 16 years later in 1996, it was finally released.
Was married at the Beverly Hills Hotel in the Crystal Room.
On Thursday, December 11, 2003 she, Agnes and Harold were exhumed from Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Cypress, California and were moved to Pierce Brothers Valley Oaks Memorial Park in Westlake Village, California. Agnes, Karen and Harold remained in their original caskets. At 12:30pm PST, they were all re-interred and entombed in a private family mausoleum in the Tranquility Gardens section of the cemetery.
Ranked #29 on VH1's 100 Greatest Women of Rock N Roll
Sang "Bless the Beasts and the Children" with her brother Richard Carpenter at The 44th Annual Academy Awards (1972).
Started out singing in two unsuccessful singing bands called "The Dick Carpenter Trio" and "Spectrum".
"A Star on Earth - A Star in Heaven" is written in her mausoleum.
Among her friends were Petula Clark, Olivia Newton-John and Dionne Warwick.
While being treated for anorexia, she embroidered a sign above her hospital bed that read "You win, I gain!".
Attended and graduated from Downey High School in Downey, California.
Dedicated her solo album to her brother Richard Carpenter.
As of April 2004, her brother Richard Carpenter has made four new Carpenters albums since her death. This is possible by using songs that were left off previous albums and making new albums out of them. He also uses songs that Karen recorded and then later arranges music to accompany them.
She did not like the song "Superstar" until after hearing her brother's arrangement for it; she then considered it one of her favorites that the Carpenters had done.
The song "Now", recorded in April 1982, was the last song she ever recorded.
The Carpenters franchise is very big and popular in Japan.
In 1976, she bought a Century City condominium. she gutted two separate apartments and turned it into one. The address was 2222 Avenue of the Stars. As a housewarming-gift, her mother Agnes Carpenter gave her a collection of leather-bound classic works of literature.
Collected Disney memorabilia.
Songwriter Paul Williams wrote "Rainy Days and Mondays" for her.
Ranked #30 on "E!'s 101 Most Shocking Moments In Entertainment History".
Her funeral took place on February 8, 1983 at the United Methodist Church in Downey, California.
Parents are Harold Carpenter and Agnes Carpenter.
Performed and sang for Richard Nixon at the White House in 1972.
Attended and graduated from California State University, Long Beach.
Was close to her brother Richard Carpenter.
Songwriter Peter Cetera wrote "Making Love in the Afternoon" for her.
Her favorite Carpenters song was "I Need to Be In Love".
Won the 1966 "Battle of the Bands" contest at the Hollywood Bowl.
Loved to play softball/baseball and played the drums.
Won three Grammy Awards.
Had to have surgery on her ear, during the late 1970s, for impaired hearing.
Went to Bora Bora for her honeymoon.
Her cover version of "(They Long to Be) Close to You" was originally recorded by Dusty Springfield in 1964, shortly before Dionne Warwick recorded it that same year. Dusty's was scheduled for release as a single, and potential follow-up to her No. 3 hit "I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself". However, it was not until three years later, in 1967, that it finally was released on her album "Where Am I Going?", with the beginning intro cut from its release.
During her solo endeavor, many of the demos Karen recorded were scrapped and decided not to be used for the album. Despite the rumor that only 11 tracks were completed and/or used, one more is indeed finished. It is a mellowed-out and heartfelt cover of Evie Sands's 1975 #50 Pop charter, "I Love Makin' Love to You". When A&M Records folded in 2000, it and 6 of out of the 8 demos began surfacing on the Internet. Fans who have heard Karen's version of "Makin' Love..." feel it is probably the best song to come out of her solo sessions. Sadly, it is unlikely it will ever official see the light of day, for many believe A&M discarded of the material when it closed its doors. Another song almost completed (even with backing vocals, but lacking orchestration) is a cover of Vicki Sue Robinson's "Don't Try to Win Me Back Again".
Has four nieces and one nephew: Richard Carpenter's five children.
After her recovery, she planned to go public about her battle with anorexia.
Her ex-husband Tom Burris was a real-estate developer. At the time they met, Tom was a 39-year-old divorce with an 18-year-old son. Karen was 30 years old.
Sang "Because We Are In Love" at her 1980 wedding. The song was written by her brother Richard Carpenter and friend John Bettis.
The rock band, Sonic Youth, wrote a song about Karen, called "Tunic (Song for Karen)". They also contributed to a 1994 tribute album for The Carpenters.
Had her own personalized driver's license plate which was: KAC3.
She was portrayed by a Barbie Doll in Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story (1988)
When she was 17, she went on the "Stillman Diet" with a doctor's guidance, and lost between 20 and 25 pounds
In 1998, the RIAA certified that "The Singles 1969 - 1973" had sold 7 million units since its release in 1973. This makes "The Singles 1969 - 1973" the Carpenters' bestselling album ever (as of 2005).
The Carpenters' second bestselling album is "Carpenters (the tan album)" - it has sold four million units since its release in 1971.
In 1975, "Please Mr. Postman" became the Carpenters' 10th and last certified Gold single.
In 1970, "(They Long to Be) Close to You" became the Carpenters' first certified Gold single.
She befriended Cherry Boone while getting treated for Anorexia. Boone herself was a recovered anorectic.
The Carpenters are still A&M Records' biggest and bestselling artists.
Her childhood home was 55 Hall Street (in New Haven, Connecticut). She attended school at Nathan Hale Elementary School in Connecticut.
Her family started the "Karen A. Carpenter Memorial Foundation", which raised money for research on anorexia nervosa and eating disorders. Today, the title has been changed to "Carpenter Family Foundation"... in addition to eating disorders, the foundation now funds the arts, entertainment and education.

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Timeline

1950 - In the year that Karen Carpenter was born, on October 2, Charlie Brown appeared in the first Peanuts comic strip - created by Charles Schultz - and he was the only character in that strip. That year, Schultz said that Charlie was 4 years old, but Charlie aged a bit through the years.

1955 - Karen was only 5 years old when on September 30th, movie star James Dean, 24, died in a car accident. He was headed in his new Porsche 550 to a race in Salinas California when, traveling at 85 mph, he collided with a 1950 Ford Tudor, also speeding, driven by a 23 year old college student. Dean died, his passenger and the other driver survived.

1959 - When she was only 9 years old, on January 3rd, Alaska became the 49th state of the United States and the first state not a part of the contiguous United States. The flag was changed to display 49 stars.

1971 - By the time she was 21 years old, in March, Congress passed the Twenty-sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which lowered the voting age to 18 (from 21). It was a response to the criticism that men could fight at 18, but not vote for the policies and politicians who sent them to war. The states quickly ratified the Amendment and it was signed into law on July 1st by President Richard Nixon.

1983 - In the year of Karen Carpenter's passing, "crack" cocaine was developed in the Bahamas and spread to the United States. Previously, cocaine had been cut with other substances, diluting it. Crack was 80% pure and therefore was more addictive. It was also cheaper, making it more easily available to low income neighborhoods.

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Obituary

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Karen Carpenter died on February 4, 1983 at 32 years old. There is no known cause of death. She was born on March 2, 1950. There is no information about Karen's family.

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no.
Sep 18 · Reply
beautiful person. voice.and drummer.
Sep 18 · Reply
Karen Carpenter
Birth name Karen Anne Carpenter
Born March 2, 1950
New Haven, Connecticut, U.S.
Origin Downey, California, U.S.
Died February 4, 1983 (aged 32)
Downey Community Hospital, Downey, California
Genres Pop, easy listening, soft rock, jazz
Occupation(s) Musician, singer
Instruments Vocals, drums
Years active 1965–1983
Labels A&M
Associated acts The Carpenters, Richard Carpenter
Website [external link]
Notable instruments
Ludwig Drums
Zildjian cymbals
Remo drumheads
Karen Anne Carpenter (March 2, 1950 – February 4, 1983) was an American singer and drummer. She and her brother Richard Carpenter formed the 1970s duo the Carpenters. Her skills as a drummer earned admiration from drumming luminaries and peers, but she is best known for her vocal performances. She typically sang in a contralto vocal range.
Carpenter suffered from the eating disorder anorexia nervosa, which was little known at the time. She died at age 32 from heart failure caused by complications related to her illness. Carpenter's death led to increased visibility and awareness of eating disorders.

Early life
Karen Anne Carpenter was born in New Haven, Connecticut, the daughter of Agnes Reuwer (née Tatum, March 5, 1915 – November 10, 1996) and Harold Bertram Carpenter (November 8, 1908 – October 15, 1988). Harold had been born in China where his parents were missionaries and was educated at boarding schools in England before working in the printing business.

When she was young, she enjoyed playing baseball with other children on the street. On the TV program This Is Your Life, she stated that she liked pitching and later, in the early 1970s, she would become the pitcher on the Carpenters' official softball team. Her brother Richard developed an interest in music at an early age, becoming a piano prodigy. Karen enjoyed dancing and by age four was enrolled in tap dancing and ballet classes. The family moved in June 1963 to the Los Angeles suburb of Downey.

When Carpenter entered Downey High School, she joined the school band. Bruce Gifford, the conductor (who had previously taught her older brother) gave her the glockenspiel, an instrument she disliked, and after admiring the performance of her friend Frankie Chavez (who idolized famous jazz drummer Buddy Rich), she asked if she could play the drums instead. She and her brother made their first recordings in 1965 and 1966. The following year she began dieting. Under a doctor's guidance, she went on the Stillman Diet. She rigorously ate lean foods, drank eight glasses of water a day, and avoided fatty foods. She was 5' 4" (163 cm) in height and before dieting weighed 145 pounds (66 kg; 10 st 5 lb) and afterwards weighed 120 pounds (54 kg; 8 st 8 lb) until 1973, when the Carpenters' career reached its peak. By September 1975, her weight was 91 pounds (41 kg; 6 st 7 lb).[9]

Music career[
Main article: The Carpenters
From 1965 to 1968 Karen, her brother Richard and his college friend Wes Jacobs, a bassist and tuba player, formed the Richard Carpenter Trio. The band played jazz at numerous nightclubs and also appeared on the TV talent show Your All-American College Show. Karen, Richard and other musicians, including Gary Sims and John Bettis, also performed as an ensemble known as Spectrum. Spectrum focused on a harmonious and vocal sound and recorded many demo tapes in the garage studio of friend and bassist Joe Osborn. Many of those tapes were rejected by record companies. According to former Carpenters member John Bettis, those rejections "took their toll."[10] The tapes of the original sessions were lost in a fire at Joe Osborn's house and the surviving versions of those early songs exist only as fragile acetate reference discs.[11] Finally A&M Records signed the Carpenters to a recording contract in 1969. Karen sang most of the songs on the band's first album, Offering (later retitled Ticket to Ride), and her brother wrote 10 out of the album's 13 songs. The issued single (later the title track), which was a cover of a Beatles song, became their first single; it reached #54 on the Billboard Hot 100. Their next album, 1970's Close to You, featured two massive hit singles: "(They Long to Be) Close to You" and "We've Only Just Begun". They peaked at #1 and #2, respectively, on the Hot 100.


Karen and Richard Carpenter, at the White House on August 1, 1972
Carpenter started out as both the group's drummer and lead singer, and she originally sang all her vocals from behind the drum set. Because she was just 5 feet 4 inches tall, it was difficult for people in the audience to see her behind her drum kit, so she was eventually persuaded to stand at the microphone to sing the band's hits, while another musician played the drums (former Disney Mouseketeer Cubby O'Brien served as the band's other drummer for many years). After the release of Now & Then in 1973, the albums tended to have Carpenter singing more and drumming less. At this time, her brother developed an addiction to Quaaludes. The Carpenters frequently cancelled tour dates, and they stopped touring altogether after their September 4, 1978, concert at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The Carpenters' Very First TV Special aired December 8, 1976. In 1980, she performed a medley of standards in a duet with Ella Fitzgerald on the Carpenters' television program Music, Music, Music.[12] In 1981, after the release of the Made in America album (which turned out to be their last), the Carpenters returned to the stage and did some tour dates, including a final live performance in Brazil.

In addition to being a drummer and a singer, Karen Carpenter could also play the electric bass guitar. She played it on two songs, "All of My Life" and "Eve", on Offering, later retitled Ticket to Ride, the Carpenters' first album, released by A&M.[13] Although Karen's bass playing is heard on the original album, Richard remixed both songs (as he has done with almost every Carpenters song), and Joe Osborn's bass playing was substituted on later "greatest hits" releases.[14] [15] [16]

Recognition of drumming skills[edit]
Carpenter started playing the drums in 1964. She was always enthusiastic about the drums and taught herself how to play complicated drum lines with "exotic time signatures," according to her brother.[10] Carpenter's drumming was praised by fellow drummers Hal Blaine, Cubby O'Brien and Buddy Rich[17] and by Modern Drummer magazine.[18] According to her brother, Carpenter always considered herself a "drummer who sang." Despite this, she was not often featured as a drummer on the Carpenters' albums. She was, however, the only drummer on the albums Ticket to Ride and Now & Then (except for one song) and on the songs "Mr. Guder", "I'll Never Fall in Love Again", "Love is Surrender", "Bacharach/David Medley", the piano instrumental "Flat Baroque" (highlighting her use of brushes), "Happy", "Another Song" and "Please Mr. Postman." The role of drummer in the Carpenters entourage was mainly taken over by Hal Blaine as she went from being behind the drum set to the front of the stage.[19]

Karen Carpenter was known for endorsing Ludwig Drums and she had two setups (20" bass drum, 14 and 16" floor toms, 13" mounted tom, 4, 6, 8 and 10" concert toms and the Ludwig SuperSensitive snare drum, which was the one snare drum she favored greatly). She also used a Rogers hi-hat, a Rogers bass drum pedal, Zildjian cymbals, 11A drumsticks (brand unspecified) and Remo drumheads.[13][20][21] On Made in America, Karen provided percussion on "Those Good Old Dreams" in tandem with Paulinho da Costa and made a final return to playing drums on the song "When it's Gone (It's Just Gone)" in unison with Larrie Londin.

Solo album[edit]
In 1979, Richard took a year off to treat his addiction to Quaaludes,[22] and Karen decided to make a solo album with producer Phil Ramone. These sessions produced music that was noticeably different from the usual Carpenters material, tending more towards disco and up-tempo numbers, with more explicit lyrics and taking full advantage of Karen's upper vocal register. The album met with a tepid response from Richard and A&M executives in early 1980. The album was shelved by A&M Records co-owner Herb Alpert, in spite of attempts by producer Quincy Jones to convince him to release the record after a remix.[3] A&M subsequently charged the Carpenters $400,000 to cover the cost of recording this album, to be paid out of the duo's future royalties.[23][24] Carpenters fans got a taste of the solo album in 1989, when some of its tracks (as remixed by Richard) were included on the album Lovelines, the final album of Carpenters' unreleased new material. In 1996, the complete album, titled Karen Carpenter, was finally released.

Personal life
Carpenter lived with her parents until she was 24. In September and October 1971, two years after their debut album, she and her brother bought two apartment buildings in Downey as a financial investment.In 1976, Carpenter bought two Century City apartments which she combined into one; the doorbell chimed the opening notes of "We've Only Just Begun". She collected Disney memorabilia and liked to play softball and baseball. Petula Clark, Olivia Newton-John and Dionne Warwick were close friends.

Carpenter dated a number of well-known men, including Mike Curb, Tony Danza, Terry Ellis, Mark Harmon, Steve Martin and Alan Osmond. After a whirlwind romance, she married real-estate developer Thomas James Burris on August 31, 1980, in the Crystal Room of the Beverly Hills Hotel. Burris, divorced with an 18-year-old son, was nine years her senior. A new song performed by Carpenter at the ceremony, "Because We Are in Love", was released in 1981. Burris concealed from Carpenter, who desperately wanted children, the fact that he had undergone a vasectomy. Their marriage did not survive the deceit and ended after 14 months. In addition to that, Burris was said to have been broke and living well beyond his means, borrowing up to $35,000 and $50,000 at a time from his wife, to the point that she had only stocks and bonds left.[29] He was also said to have been abusive towards her, often being impatient with Karen, who shared with close friends that she remained fearful when he would occasionally lose his temper with her. Close friend Karen Kamon recounted one incident where she and Carpenter went to their normal hangout, Hamburger Hamlet, and Karen appeared to be distant emotionally, sitting not at their regular table but in the dark, and wearing large dark sunglasses, unable to eat and crying. According to Kamon, the marriage was "the straw that broke the camel's back. It was absolutely the worst thing that could have ever happened to her."

In September 1981, Carpenter revised her will and left everything to her brother and parents.Two months later, following an argument after a family dinner in a restaurant, Carpenter and Burris broke up. Carpenter filed for divorce while staying in Lenox Hill Hospital.

Final months
"Now" (April 1982) was the last song Karen Carpenter ever recorded. The session took place during a two-week break in her anorexia therapy with psychotherapist Steven Levenkron in New York City. Anorexia had driven her to abuse thyroid replacement medication, which increased her metabolism, and laxatives, which caused food to pass quickly through her digestive tract.[citation needed] Despite Levenkron's treatment, her condition continued to deteriorate and she lost even more weight. Karen told Levenkron that she felt dizzy and that her heart was beating irregularly. Finally, in September 1982, she was admitted to Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, where she was placed on parenteral nutrition (i.e., intravenous feeding). The procedure was a success, insofar as it allowed her to gain weight (30 pounds) in a relatively short time, but regrettably, the sudden weight gain put a strain on her heart, which was already weak from years of improper diet.

Carpenter returned to California in November 1982, determined to reinvigorate her career, finalize her divorce and begin a new album with Richard.[citation needed] On December 17, 1982, she gave her last singing performance in the multi-purpose room of the Buckley School in Sherman Oaks, California, singing Christmas carols for her godchildren, their classmates and other friends.[2] On January 11, 1983, Karen made her last public appearance at a gathering of past Grammy Award winners, who were commemorating the show's 25th anniversary. She seemed somewhat frail and worn out, but according to Dionne Warwick, Karen was vibrant and outgoing, exclaiming to everyone, "Look at me! I've got an ass!"
Death
On February 4, 1983, Carpenter was scheduled to sign papers making her divorce official. Shortly after waking up, she collapsed in her bedroom at her parents' home in Downey, California. Paramedics found her heart beating once every 10 seconds. She was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital at 9:51 a.m.

An autopsy released March 11, 1983, ruled out drug or medication overdose, attributing death to "emetine cardiotoxicity due to or as a consequence of anorexia nervosa."[37] How the emetine got into Carpenter's system was not specified.[38] Two years later the coroner told colleagues that Carpenter's heart failure was caused by repeated use of ipecac syrup, an over-the-counter emetic often used to induce vomiting in cases of overdosing or poisoning.[37] This was disputed by her mother and brother, who said that they never saw ipecac in her apartment or evidence she had been vomiting.[39] Richard believed Karen would not have used ipecac syrup, because of the potential damage to her larynx that would have been caused by the regurgitation of stomach acid. He was convinced that she had been abusing laxatives to maintain her low body weight.

Karen Carpenter's funeral was February 8, 1983, at Downey United Methodist Church. Approximately one thousand mourners attended, including her friends Dorothy Hamill, Olivia Newton-John, Petula Clark and Dionne Warwick. Thomas Burris also attended, and placed his wedding ring in the casket. Carpenter was buried at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Cypress, California. In 2003 her body was moved, to be placed with her parents in a mausoleum at the Pierce Brothers Valley Oaks Memorial Park in Westlake Village, California.

The Carpenters' star at the Hollywood Walk of Fame
Carpenter's death brought media attention to anorexia nervosa and also to bulimia. The general public had little knowledge of anorexia nervosa and bulimia prior to Carpenter's death, making the condition difficult to identify and treat.[3] Her family started the Karen A. Carpenter Memorial Foundation, which raised money for research on anorexia nervosa and eating disorders. Today, the name of the organization has been changed to the Carpenter Family Foundation.[citation needed] In addition to eating disorders, the foundation now funds the arts, entertainment and education.[citation needed]

On October 12, 1983, the Carpenters received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Aug 23, 2017 · Reply

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I have previously submitted several pictures of my grandfather August Zemidat. I have tried for many years to find anyone with that name, and I have searched many genealogy web sites to no avail. Recently I was contacted by someone who saw my pictures on AncientFaces who may well be a cousin. She also provided me with information that seems to indicate her grandparents were my grandfather’s siblings. Considering the many years I have been searching for the name Zemidat, I find this is absolutely amazing that I have finally found a family member. Thank you AncientFaces -Ron D.
I love AncientFaces, a while back I saw that you had labeled Garcia surname pictures. At the time I didn’t have all my family facts for my research. Anyway, I wandered into your site just to check it out AND NOW 1 YEAR LATER I received a picture from an 87 year old aunt and guess what you had this very same picture on your site!! (They were my great aunts and my great-grandmother!). Thank you… -Angela M.
I have loved AncientFaces since I first found it, it's the first thing I check when I turn on the computer. There was a time when even in the most modest households there were three cherished possessions, a family Bible. a family album and a fancy lamp. It was usual for the family to gather in the parlour, generally on Sunday and talk, tell stories of family and friends with the photos in the albums as illustration. Sadly in our modern electronic age we have fallen away from the oral tradition and interest in history has waned. I was quite shocked on the anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic to see so many comments from younger people who were surprised to learn that the Titanic wasn't just a movie. This is why AncientFaces is so important, to me it's the electronic age version of the oral tradition on a global scale and the sheer volume of people who follow, comment and contribute seems to prove the point. We are all grateful to you all for providing us with this wonderful site. - Arba M.