And truly, I didn't anticipate feeling so sad about it. THE Michael Jackson has died. Is that even possible? I mean really? I am using this picture because this is the Michael I will remember and miss.
I remember being afraid of the video thriller when it came out. It was something like 15 minutes long, and I remember watching it at my Aunt Mychelle's house with all of my older cousins. The carpet was blue, (strange that I remember that) and we were all so excited to watch this video we had heard BJ talking about. Then I watched it. Mind you, I was only 5 or so at the time, and I was trying to be a big girl with all the big kids, so I couldn't very well TELL them I was afraid. I couldn't leave when everyone else was so thoroughly engrossed in this terrifying video. And the end....I still get chills. Man he was good!
I never mastered the moonwalk. I never really tried. But boy was it fun to watch him perform. "Billie Jean is not my lover" had absolutely no meaning to a child of my age, so I would go around singing that over and over...."Wanna be startin something?" again, no clue what I am singing about. Bad, Beat it, Smooth Criminal...none of these are lyrical geniuses. But it was MJ in his prime. And you couldn't help but like them.
I will always remember one of the Lincoln at Mann productions that we had as a whole school. Now, each class does them on their own individual nights, but when I went to Lincoln we did it ALL at once, one big night at the theater. Of course, with all classes, students, parents and teachers in one place at the same time, our little gymnasium couldn't hold us all, so we would go to larger venues. Many times it was John Marshall, but there was one in particular that was held at the Mayo Civic Center. (you know, old school Mayo Civic Center) This production theme was "We are the World" Can you guess what song we ALL sang, while holding hands, and dancing? It was so beautifully done, and I will always remember it. That song was co written by MJ, and it still has the same silly effect on me now when I hear it as it did then.
MJ was an amazing performer, no matter what turn he took later in life, he still managed to hold our attention. He stands out as an artist, and regardless of the changes that took place in recent years, now that he is gone I will remember him not for who he was recently, but who he was then. A star. A soft spoken, passionate, multi talented super star.
He was the King of Pop after all.