Friday, June 26, 2009
Another business week is coming to an end. The world is reeling with the deaths of Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson. With Farrah, we knew she was sick - like we know that Walter Kronkite and Patrick Swayze are not doing well. But Michael? I guess that some people knew about the Rx drugs. Perhaps that's why CBS News already had a special cued up to go by 10:00pm, when we had just found out he died around 6:00pm. Somebody knew SOMETHING - the general public just didn't know.
His death, and the many postings about old songs and videos, has made me think back on happy times in my childhood. My sister P was THE ULTIMATE Michael Jackson/Jackson 5 fan. There were huge posters of Michael all over our room. She took the Thriller album cover and opened up to that pic of him in the black and white, and tacked it to the wall. She had pages ripped out from Right On! magazine. I remember at one point, she tried to tack some pictures to the ceiling, but they wouldn't stay. There were three big posters - one was of him posing in that famous yellow and white outfit he had. The other one, he had on jeans and a brown leather jacket. The last one was a HUGE picture of his face...he was posting with his hand on his chin, and he had on a red and white striped shirt. She even had one of those black light posters - you know the fuzzy ones, with the fluorescent colors. They glow when you shine the black light on them. Do you think we had a black light? Yeah, right! But she had that poster up!
And then the one memory I never let her live down: taking down my train!
We lived in this old colonial house. The room we shared was kind of a split bedroom. There was the actual bedroom, and then connected to that there was a sun room/sewing room. That sun room didn't have any heating ducts or anything. I'm not sure what it was supposed to be, or why it was designed like that. My oldest sister, S, moved into this little sun room, and then P and I shared the bigger room (I really wish I had some pics to scan in to show you). I had this "alphabet train" - it was part of a coloring book I guess. S and I had colored in the letters and the "train", from A to Z. We put them up on the wall in our room so that it flowed like a train. That was my only decorative contribution to the room.
I came home from school one day, and do you know P had taken down my train, so she could make more room for MJ????? But that wasn't the worst part - the worst part was, she just threw the train away!!!! Now by this time, I think S had left for the Marines, and I ended up with her "room." I coulda put my train up in there, or something! Verklempt! You owe me a train! LOL
Back to the reminiscing. Unlike some of these lazy chil'ren folks are raising today, we had chores to do. Saturdays were usually the days where we would have to clean up our room. We had to clean out our closets. We had to clean baseboards sometimes. We had to get on our hands and knees with the Mop n' Glow (do they even make that anymore?) and clean the hardwood floor in our bedrooms. We were not allowed to have messy bedrooms; we couldn't claim the room as our "domain" - all the rooms were my parents' rooms - they paid the mortgage!
The soundtrack of these cleaning sprees was The Jacksons. P was always Michael; I never got to sing lead. I lodged my complaints to no avail. I was Tito/Jackie/Jermaine/Randy/Marlon - I sang all the backgrounds. We had the moves from the cartoon. We used the handle of the dust mop as our mic stand. If we needed a cordless mic, we used a brush. We sang all the hits - ABC, Stop The Love You Save, With A Child's Heart, Never Can Say Goodbye, Mama's Pearl...P knew all the words to EVERY song...I knew my background parts and some of the leads. She joined the fan club in the 80s, and they sent this record. I think it was mostly them talking about things, and then on the B side there was a "surprise song" where they just improvised. We learned that one, too.
I don't remember what age I was, but one day I got the crazy idea that a 78 record would float like a Frisbee. So I took the "Destiny" album and sailed it across the room. Why? I have no clue. Well, I had no aim then (and still don't now), and the dang record hit the door frame and cracked a chunk out. I'm sure she was livid, but she didn't try to kill me. She still kept that dang record, too. She just couldn't listen to the first two songs on either side. Fast forward to college...I was in the music store down the street from my school. I saw the Destiny CD and I bought it. I sent it to her with a card and apologized. :)
My oldest sister always (jokingly) apologizes that she left me in P's clutches, to be tortured with Michael Jackson and the Jacksons (she enlisted in the Marines when I was 9). But I loved it! We had so much fun! When I was a child, I got to be a child, and my sisters were a big part of that. I wasn't running around worrying about teenage things as a child. I was just goofing off and having fun with my family, and the rest of the Bruce Street gang. Music was a big part of that - that's probably why I love old school music so much as it is. I have several MJ/Jackson 5/Jacksons albums on my iPod, and they are great for road trips. When I hear the old songs, I always flashback to the old days on Bruce Street...and it brings a smile to my face.
RIP, Michael...thanks for the memories. :)