I know he's gone and we buried him and it cost LA millions, but today I am giving a shout out to Michael Jackson. He died a little over a week ago, but the King of Pop has been gone a lot longer than that. The man that changed the face of pop music has been gone for years now; the man whose heart no longer beats was a shadow of the man the world came to love and admire. When I think of MJ, I don't think of the specter that passed away, I think of the man who made his way into my family's living room in the 80's, the man who would belt out "Beat It" and "Thriller". I would dance and sing my heart out and wish for the day he would dance right into our living room.
I was a little girl living on a ranch in the Texas Hill country. The town we lived in had a population of less than 500 people. The nearest neighboring town about about 15 miles away, and the nearest town to us that you have heard us was Waco, TX, 64 miles west of us. If Michael Jackson's vocal chords were unable to reach somewhere, it should have been there. However, they reached me. My sweet mom would play his records and we would dance around the room, a baby girl and her mama, dancing to this man's magical voice. When asked who I would marry, as a four year old the answer was quite simple. "Michael Jackson," I would say.
I was a young lass when we moved from our little house in the hollow on the Flippen ranch, so I don't have too many memories of living there. But I remember dancing to Michael. I remember mom putting on the record, I remember her moving the brown coffee table, and I remember her grabbing my hands as we would twirl around the room. "Just beat it, beat it, beat it, beat it, no one wants to be defeated." My mom would sing that part with such passion, I was convinced she was the female equivalent of Michael.
Now, as a young lass of almost 27, I say thank you to Michael. I mourn the Michael that entered the living room in 1986 Evant, Texas. Not every girl gets to dance with her mama to really good music and I did. I will never forget those precious moments, precious moments that were facilitated by Michael Jackson. When I think of Michael, it won't be of the eccentric, ghost of a man that died, it will be of the young, vibrant Michael who changed pop music forever. The Michael that made my mom dance.