June 30, 2009
Michael Jackson—Gone but Never Forgotten
I have always been a Michael Jackson fan. I guess it all began with my mother's love for young Michael. As a kid I remember playing Jackson 5 songs, especially "Kansas City" on repeat and watching our VHS recording of "Thriller" and "The Making of Thriller" over and over again. My freshman year of high school my brother lip-sync to the Michael Jackson's "Man in the Mirror" and it became a school hit, him going on to repeat his performance at other school functions. To carry on this family legacy "Michael Jackson's Greatest Hits" CD frequenting my car stereo in high school, I became known as a Michael Jackson Fan among my peers. To carry on this title, in art class I made a t-shirt with Michael's famous silhouette and the phrase "I wanna be like Mike..." Then Freshman year of College my college roommates I am sure wanted to strangle me as I played his new "Invisible" CD over and over again. Needless to say, hearing of his death on June 25th, was a shock and I mourned the loss of such a great music legended and genius.
Being in Harlem during this tradegy was a special experience. The Apollo Theater (one of the venues where the Jackson 5 got their start) became a meeting place for those that loved Michael to gather and not mourn but celebrate his life by singing and dacing to his greatest hits. With the Apollo Theater only being a few blocks from our apartment, the next day (June 26th) we headed down to pay our respects to MJ as well in enjoy some grade-A people watching.
It was amazing how less thatn 24 hours T-shirts, CDs, buttons, and tons of miscellanious Michael Jackson memorialbelia had already been made and was being marketed.
A contruction wood wall next to the Apollo became an unorganized place for people to write notes expounding their love for the King of Pop.
Later that night they made this wall a formal memorial where thousands were able to leave the words of appreciation and in Pat's case a promises of deeds to be done:
"Michael, don't worry we will do your work for you. Love, the Koellings"
We were glad that we were in Harlem to be able to show our respects for Michael in the proper way.