Richard Pecorella (RP)
RP: Friend of mine gave me tickets to the car race, he says ”Why don’t you go to the Indy car race? Get out of New York for a while. Just go have a good time, you’ll enjoy the race.”
Went to the race and sat down, I’m lookin’ around and then all of a sudden, Karen comes in, blond curly hair, big smile on. Sits down next to me and she says ”Hello.” I says ”How you doin’?” She says, ”First car race.” ”First car race? You never been to one?” She said ”Nope.” I said, ”Oh, I’ll tell you all about it.”
I knew as soon as I looked at her that she was the one. It was magical, I can’t describe it. I couldn’t tell her that, but I was like a 15-year-old again. I got all google-eyed and didn’t know what to do or say and stumbling, wasn’t like me at all. Wasn’t the typical macho Italian guy from Brooklyn. [Laughs].
I says, ”Maybe you’d like to go to dinner after the race?” She looks at me, she goes, ”You know what? Maybe I will.” When I met Karen, she relaxed me, and she showed me how to live in a city of stress without the stress. She just taught me patience, I had very little patience.
Basically, I was one of those guys who rolled down the window and screamed at the drivers when they weren’t driving the way I thought they should be. And she toned me down. She showed me to be nicer to people, give it a second thought before you start yelling. And I’ve carried that with me. Anytime we did a driving trip, it was always an adventure, even a short trip. We would go to her brother’s house quite often and it became a joke later on—we would get frisky in the car and decide to stop at a motel along the way, and her brother would be waiting for us to get there in two hours, and we wouldn’t get there for five hours. But our best trips were to Las Vegas. She loved it there and I loved it there. We just got back from there two days before she was killed, and we were gonna get married there the following June.
Other than her going to work, there wasn’t a time we weren’t together. Every morning, Karen would drive with me to my office and then she’d take the subway from my office one stop to the Trade Center—I worked in Brooklyn, from my window across the East River, I could see the Twin Towers. So I’m doin’ some work and one of my workers comes in and says, ‘Richie, I just heard that the Trade Center got hit with a plane.’ I turn around and I see the building burning, and I took my office chair and I threw it at my window.
I miss her eyes. Her eyes sparkled to me. One day they were blue, next day they were green, depending on how the light hit them. Karen, I’ll always be in love with you, and I will see you again. I will do enough good to make it up there.