Karen Ann Hjorten

This is an old friend of mine, Karen Hjorten.

I met her in a small town in Norway called Husnes in about 1980.

I don't think I was ever so glad to talk to someone from home!

It was a happy coincidence that we were both from the same area.

And check this out - we had the same birthday (August 11th) - but 5 years apart.

She was just a kid, and I was 21.

She was the only other American I saw there. We got together and talked about home.

She loved tacos, and her family would send her taco shells from the U.S., and she would make tacos for her Norwegian family.

She was an inspiration. Man, she was so full of energy and constantly wearing me out with all her ideas of what to do with her life.

I was a reluctant big brother to her when she started at the University of Washington after her year in Husnes. That relationship got complicated as these "just friends" boy/girl things sometimes do. She wasn't a little kid anymore.


A young lady.

Things happen...

Anyway, she worked for SAS for a long time, and became a nurse, and rode a Harley, and was loved and respected by a lot of people. I know for a fact that she broke more hearts than any other woman I have ever met.

Karen was killed by a drunk driver on May 30th, 1995.

She was 30.

And I don't think

I have ever




Mothers Against Drunk Driving

Karen's been gone for almost two years, but I'm still sad.

Here's the deal:
The last time I saw Karen was a couple years before she died, and the very last thing we did was exchange phone numbers. I asked if she would like to come out to the house and meet the kids. She was very thoughtful and reminded me to make sure it was okay with my wife. I hadn't even thought of that. It had been so long.

So that worried me a little and I put off calling her. I figured I'd let more time pass.

Since the funeral I have kept a picture of Karen on my wall. She's there to remind me to NEVER put your friends off because you NEVER know what could happen tomorrow.

Einar Ask / einar@einar.com