It's taken me a while to write this tribute. Like the entire world, I am shocked at the loss of Michael Jackson. You know those moments in your life where you can recount in exact detail where you were? For a lot of people in the U.S., the tragic assassination of JFK is a poignant example. I never tire of hearing these stories from my older relatives, and so clear is the memory of that moment that the stories never waiver.
In my lifetime, I have three such moments like that. One, of course, is 9/11. But it strikes me as ironic, that two of my three moments - are moonwalks. I clearly remember the day in 1969, when Neil Armstrong made his courageous moon walk.
Image from PRWeb.
The other was Michael Jackson's moonwalk in 1983 at the 25th anniversary celebration of Motown. I never watched TV, so it is a fluke that I even saw this performance. I was a newly wed at the time, married a mere two months. We were living in Tampa. My husband said something like this to me: "Will you quit reading that fucking book and come watch fucking TV with me for once?" at decibels which approached the sound barrier.
I obligingly dragged my pouty ass to the sofa, and told myself: "For chrissakes, Peg, please try not to gab." Attempting small talk while observing television with my now-ex-husband met with severe recriminations.
Then ..... gasp.... I saw.... Michael Jackson's performance at the 25th anniversary of Motown in 1983.
To say that I was awestruck is understatement. To this day - and even at this writing - I get chills when I think about it. Here was something that I have never seen before or since. I consider Michael's performance to be one of the best performances of the 20th century. In my mind, that evening Michael upstaged the great Gene Kelly's Singing in the Rain, not an easy feat.
Such a performance happens so rarely, and I'd like to thank Michael for giving me a moment that I will always remember. I am so grateful that you shared your gifts with us. I adore your videos, my favorite is your collaboration with Janet, Scream.
I'd like to take this opportunity to ask my readers to say a prayer for Lisa Marie Presley. When I read her blog entry entitled, He Knew, I wept. Dear Lisa, I pray you will find peace in your heart and, baby, do not blame yourself. Maybe it was just his time. We are only here for a brief moment. That's why we must let our lights, shine, there's no time to waste. I mean this, not as a lesson to Lisa, but as a lesson to me. We need everyone's light if we are going to make it. This is what Lisa and Michael taught me.
I don't mean this to be a postscript but - Farrah Fawcett died the same day, and was perhaps eclipsed by Michael. Farrah was influential in my life in her own way. I had a love/hate relationship with her.
Image via Amazon.
Image via Amazon.
I, of course, had the ubiquitous Farrah Fawcett hairdo. But the ubiquitous poster made me want to vomit. Every boy I ever dated had this poster in his room. One went so far as to tell me he wished I looked like her. Needless to say, he got no nookie that night. I was terribly unhappy that I did not look like her, and I hated her for it.
But Farrah proved that she was so much more than just a poster girl. She actually became better and more interesting as she aged. I could write a dissertation about the contribution to feminism her performance in the Burning Bed made, but I probably won't. I may never be as beautiful as she was, I can only hope that I age as gracefully.
Michael and Farrah, thank you for influencing my life, and for generously sharing your creativity with me, and the world.