Today has been a day . . . as we collectively memorialized the life of Michael Jackson and the jolt we felt at his sudden death. He died the same day as Farrah Fawcett. We expected her to die. I agonized as I watched her last days captured on film that were so much like the days which we walked through with dear Sandy just over a year ago. But Michael? I have been silently cheering him on to a comeback on his world tour, and new ground-breaking music.
MJ was bigger than life. Most conversations I’ve had in the last week have at least touched on what his musical contributions meant to us. My memories center on two 5-year old boys, one white Scandinavian, the other black with pigtails all over his head, singing Beat It at the top of their lungs on our back patio. Or the whole group of neighborhood kids (as racially diverse as any group of military brats can be) roller skating to the Thriller CD on that patio. And a half-time show at a high school football game in Berlin Germany, where the high school choir I directed led a mass singing of We Are the World that gave all in the stadium a lump in their throat.
Thank you, Michael. With all your imperfections you made the musical world a better place.