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Everyone has a Michael Jackson story to tell

July 7, 2009 - LLee Janssen
So the phone rings one night not so long ago, shortly after I'd gotten home from the office. It's son number two. With a news item for his mom. "Michael Jackson is dead." "What?" I respond, thinking he's pulling my leg for some strange reason. "Yeah, for real. He's dead. It just happened." My response? "Wow. OK, I've got to go. I've got to call the office because this is a huge news story." And hang up. Forget that my son has called because his first childhood musical hero has just died, and he's looking to his mother for consolation. It took a few days for that to sink in ... which makes me feel much as the oaf. I took off into that path which has become my life's destination: news. And forgot momentarily my priority: sons. Both sons fell in love with the music created by the king of pop at a very early age. Was it Billy Jean? More likely the book narrated by Michael Jackson that came out with the record album from the movie ET. We listened to that album over and over again when they were but toddlers and I was a college student with young ones in tow. It's just as nostalgic for them to think of those days as it is for me to remember the bubble gum days of the Jackson Five, ABC and debates with girlfriends over which boy group was better: them or the Osmonds. Later in life, we would have a sitter that would tell my child that he would go to hell if he listened to "that music." She didn't last long; his music will keep him around forever.


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