Thursday, June 25, 2009

Rest in Peace, Michael Jackson

I remember it like it was yesterday.  I was in my parents' family room in their old house on Charterhouse Road in New Milford.  The family room in that house was huge.  The television and seating area was on one side - the side with the sliding door out to the back deck - and my mom's desk was on the other side - the side by a big picture window looking out to the driveway.  We had some family friends over to watch the Super Bowl.  Not caring much about football, I was looking out the picture window when I heard one of our friends gasp excitedly at the TV.  Even on the other side of the room, I quickly saw why he was so excited.  Michael Jackson had just appeared through fire on the 50 yard line.  It was Super Bowl '93.  Jackson thrilled millions that night with brilliant dance moves and revolutionary (for its time) pyrotechnics before bringing 30,000 children onto the field for a rendition of Heal the World that - without a doubt - left many houses in America without a dry eye.

From there on out my sister and I were fixated by Michael Jackson's music.  He wasn't just a musician, he was a performer.  And he wasn't just a performer, he was a musician.  It's rare to find both.  Michael Jackson had it all.  He was the King of Pop.

I know Michael Jackson lived amidst much controversy, particularly towards the end of his life.  But that doesn't erase the legacy he left on music, the millions of dollars he donated to charity and the revolutionary stand he took on AIDS in America when Ryan White was battling a misunderstood disease and was considered a social stigma.  For that I will always be eternally grateful.

Rest in Peace, Michael Jackson.  I pray that you can finally take refuge from your troubles, fears and anxieties.

Michael Jackson

Super Bowl XXVIII Halftime Show
January 31, 1993
Pasadena, CA

Photo courtesy of MSNBC

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