i miss miss karen

Today is the 61st birthday of the late Karen Wilkinson, whom some of us, Marty K in particular, called “Miss Karen.”


I miss Miss Karen. When I think of her it is a jumble of good memories. When she played her violin in my workshop as a payment in kind for something I’d done for her, the last song was “Just My Imagination” by the Temptations. When she danced with me on the balcony of Charlie and Susie’s cabin in Colorado, I was so clumsy I murmured “You’re gonna have to lead” in her ear. When her basset hound Oliver got excited, Karen laughed with her tongue between her teeth. She often called him Ollie Baba. When she lived near 7th Street and Orangewood she had an orange tree and a pecan tree in her back yard, and would invite her friends to pick when things were ripe. When she threw a Jamaican-themed party for me for my 46th birthday, she cooked jerk chicken in that back yard.

She has been gone for the better part of two years. Life is not quite the same without her. Sometimes, though, it seems like she is here, watching, smiling–waiting.


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