I LOVED Michael Jackson. Musically speaking, he was a genius. I grew up in the 80s during the height of his solo career. Picture me, circa 1984 with hair twisted into banana curls. I was in the sixth grade. All of the cool boys in my class of 18 could breakdance. The girls in my class were divided - who liked Joe and who liked Chris? Some of the kids even began pairing off in our first attempts at dating! At the end of the school year, we were invited to the junior high's formal dance. I am pretty sure the theme was Purple Rain by Prince. The teachers had taken all of our school pictures and put them on purple rain drops to decorate the gym. My mom made my dress for me. It was a really pretty spaghetti strap sundress over-layed with sheer lavender material and decorated with flowers. She even bought me pumps! My first heals. I remember being disappointed that she bought bone colored ones instead of white - how junior high was that?
During the dance, they awarded various different prizes, and about midway through the night, I won! I had never won a prize before, and I was so excited. My prize was my very first cassette tape - Thriller. It is so funny how fashion trends took so long to make it to the Midwest, but music was instant. Most of our families did not have cable since we lived out in the country. None of us had watched MTV, but we knew music. We loved Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and Madonna. The boys in my class were all "Bad", and it was really cool to be able to say all of the words to Thriller (even the bad one which, of course, I never did). During lunch recess, we would push the desks out of the way so we could dance. We would all bring our 45s to school. I could even moonwalk. Actually, it is probably more accurate to say I could only moonwalk. Those were days I loved, but I would never go back.
Now, as a mom to a preschooler, I am torn - did Michael Jackson really harm those children like he was accused? Does that take away from his musical greatness? Can anything take away from his musical greatness? I hope he was falsely accused. I would like to believe he wouldn't do that. Now that he has passed, I choose to remember his music and celebrate the artist he was. I can better understand why Elvis fans have hoped for years that the King is still alive. I have even been wondering if he pulled and Elvis. His music colored my life, and I hope he rests in peace.
Thanks for the memories, Michael! Do you have any favorite Michael Jackson memories?