For those who knew her these past 63 years, Karen Jane Rogers was a good person. Ralph and Karen lived on Hatteras St. in a house they bought for $45,000 in 1971. Kenny, Lisa and Albert were raised there.
Karen taught English at one of the high schools. She grew up here, and was a debater, and also studied nursing, and environmental sciences. She was active in preserving nature: parks, birds, hiking.
Ralph had loaned my dad $5,000 in 1975 when he was out of work. And never asked for the loan back. Karen had taken my cousin to the hospital and paid for her surgery after a car accident. Kenny saved a boy from drowning in Lake Balboa.
Karen was always guarding the neighborhood from bad things. She would organize clean-ups of trash and illegal dumping. She got the city to condemn a motel used for prostitution. She also called to complain about food violations at a bakery. She was particular about food safety as one of her babies had died after contracting illness from tainted milk.
A couple of years ago Karen lost Ralph who died of lung cancer. Then a year later Karen herself had a double mastectomy. She survived but was weakened from cancer. Her children, by now married, lived out of state. The only one who stayed in California was Lisa who married an artist, an African-American sculptor named Jacob Livingston and they both lived in Baldwin Hills.
Last year a neighbor lit off some illegal fireworks and one landed on Karen’s garage setting the roof on fire.
Karen was tolerant. She came of age during the 1960s and had empathy for outcasts, minorities, unpopular causes, immigrants and the disabled.
Her street had always been nice, but around 2011 the homeless vans and RVs and tents started appearing. People who lived in homes were experiencing illegal dumping, trash, vagrancy and thefts.
Karen, along with other neighbors, went to community board meetings to talk to the police and other officials about what could be done.
Then Karen discovered NextDoor which she thought was a wonderful way to keep an eye on her area and get helpful information from other residents.
She posted about one of her neighbors who was illegally selling fireworks out of his garage and who also was burning trash in a backyard incinerator against the law. Karen believed her post would help end these violations and be a bulwark against neighborhood decline and decay.
When cars started speeding down the street, and one went through an intersection and crashed into a wall, killing the driver, Karen asked for speed bumps to be put on the street.
When a homeowner rented out his back and front houses to seven noisy TikTok performers who had all night parties, Karen opposed it.
And when an empty lot two doors down became a dumping ground for mattresses, furniture, televisions, and human excrement, Karen stepped in and called LAPD and reported it on Next Door.
Then one day, on Next Door, a woman, Jannelle Ju Suarez, posted.
BITCHY OLD WHITE LADY BEING KAREN
Jannelle Ju Suarez
I’m a renter so I don’t get no respect. Which is fine by me. Struggling to feed my kids and working to support our family. So I come out to this community and find that this old bitch named Karen, who doesn’t know me from a fucking hole in the wall, has called the police a number of times just because some young people hang out and have a good time across the street.
Not everyone can afford to call a trash hauling service to take away furniture. Yes, I have placed my old sofa and bed on the curb for anyone who wants it. But I don’t appreciate this Karen calling me and profiling me just because I don’t look like her.
Oh, thank you for this! I park my car on the street and it’s supposed to be two-hour parking but this Karen lady is constantly reporting me. I have to work all day and sometimes don’t move my car which doesn’t mean I can afford tickets for $75. This Karen should mind her own fucking business!
I agree! These old boomers should just all die! I hate when they think that just because they own a house that everyone who doesn’t is a lesser human bean. Karen has to mind her own business. How does it hurt nobody to lite fireworks and explode M80s! Karen is a pig. I saw her too. She is old, fat, wrinkled, and looks completely miserable!
Tamara Sue Yzboil
I know exlaxly who you are talkings about! She live in the house on Hatteras and she got lemon trees in her bakyard. I went over the fence with my little girl last year to takes some lemons and she comes out and starts yelling at us. I mean I’m wit my little girl. I know lady it’s your fuckin backyard but I don’t got know backyard so do you mind if I takes your lemons? Why are peeps so selfish? This is what is wrong with society. They got know human kindness.
The pile on continued for weeks and months.
Then last week I heard Karen died.
She hung herself by rope in her closet.
Note: Names Have Been Made Up in this Social Satire. None of the events are true. But all of the behaviors are.