It is with a heavy heart and through tears that I write this post. A dear friend, Karen Fowler, who was probably best known as “Harp” and “HarpNSoul” in the Taylor Hicks online community, has recently passed away. All of us who loved Karen are feeling devastated by this tragic loss.
Many Taylor fans may have already heard or read the heartbreaking news about Karen, but they might not be able to put a “personality” with the name. I would like to share a little about Karen, so that those who didn’t know her can get to know her a little, and those who did know her can reminisce along with me.
Karen was a loving wife, daughter, sister, aunt, mother and grandmother. She was also a wonderful friend — kind, caring, understanding and generous, with a unique sense of humor and a quick wit. She encouraged us, reassured us and advised us. She was always there when we needed her.
Karen was a true confidante. I admit there were many times when I was complaining about the same old things to her, but she would still listen, try to make me feel better and give me advice if I needed it.
Some of her favorite things included photography, shoes, Coach purses, American Idol, Deadliest Catch, FarmVille, Stephen King books, Dill Pickle Pringles, Mallomars, Shamrock Shakes, Cyndi Lauper, Cat Stevens, Queen and Freddie Mercury — and of course, Taylor Hicks.
Karen took many pictures of Taylor that she shared with her fellow Taylor fans. I know how much she enjoyed sharing pictures she had taken of Taylor, because she was combining her love of Taylor with her love of photography.
I would like to post some past links from my blog, to remind us of Karen’s many contributions to the Taylor Hicks fandom. Various posts here at RightHicksSave contained at least one photo taken by Karen. But back in June 2008, she generously contributed a number of photos to RHS that she took on Taylor’s opening night for Grease — so many in fact, that I broke up the photos into three posts. Here are the links:
Planet Hollywood photos
Planet Hollywood photos – part two
Stage door after Grease
Karen also provided RHS with seven photos that she took of Taylor after the Rams Head show in this post from last February.
Those are just some examples, to show not only Karen’s talent for photography, but her generosity in sharing her photos for all of Taylor’s fans to enjoy.
Here are a few more of Karen’s Taylor photos (one, two, three) that I posted here in the past. I know that many people will enjoy viewing her photos for years to come.
On Karen’s birthday last year, the blog post I made was in honor of her special day. In this post, I made a little joke about it being her 23rd birthday and then filled the post with pictures of Taylor playing harmonica (Taylor with his “harp” in honor of Harp), concluding the photo array with a particular favorite of Karen’s, Taylor using the harp brace. She was touched by the birthday post and the nice comments that people left for her. Here is the link to that post
. It’s still touching to read all the birthday wishes that people left for Karen in the comments section of that post.
Karen adored her grandsons, so I would like to share a link to the post I made about the arrival her grandson, Sebastian, back in October 2008. Here is the link to the post: Welcome Little Sebastian
Laurie (soulaz), who was also friends with Karen, wrote this poem about her friend.
Our lives are woven with many threads
That brighten darker hues
Our times together were vibrant reds
Bright yellows, greens and blues
The smallest splash of color turns
The common into something new
I carry with me my life’s own cloth
And I’ll always treasure you
I wish that I could say to you
How much you meant to me
And how glad I am for the colors
You brought to my life’s tapestry
Here is a photo of Karen and her husband Ken, taken by Karen’s friend Linda T, on Karen and Ken’s anniversary in 2008.
I would like to offer my deepest condolences to Karen’s family and all of her friends. She was taken from us too soon and we will miss her terribly.
Even as we grieve, I think everyone who knew Karen will smile and laugh when they think about the times they spent with her, because she always brought “the fun” with her. Even when she wasn’t feeling well, she would still crack jokes and make others laugh. Of course she had her serious, pensive side, too. There were many facets to Karen’s personality.
I know that Karen had a lot of friends in the Taylor Hicks fandom. I also know that many people felt like they knew her just from reading her posts online. We all feel a sense of loss, yet we’re also thankful that she was a part of our lives. So I invite everyone to share your memories and photos of Karen here in the comments section.
I leave you all with this comment that Karen made on one of my blog posts last year, which showed her feelings about her fellow Taylor fans…
Like others here, I do feel a special “kinship” to all of you.