Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Fractured pieces of my Michael Jackson experience.....


After 7/25/09 and all this hubbub around Michael Jackson's death....I had totally FORGOTTEN about 16 years ago. I guess I am so stunned about his complicated death and all the drama that is GOING to ensue....A friend emailed me and reminded me of this forgotten event in 1993.

Let me tell you my story.

We had eaten at the Olive Garden (the silver wrapper on the left) and walked over next door to a Hallmark Store to purchase some cards a little before 3 pm(receipt of date and time on the top right).

As we were shopping, people were talking excitedly in the store. "Michael Jackson is shopping at the Toys R Us across the street"....Yeah, right.....Nuh-uh....

Of course, my friend and I being skeptics yet curious (and with nothing to do really) we walked across the major six lane road called Leesburg Pike or Rt. 7 at Bailey's Crossroads in Falls Church, VA.

It after lunchtime and the parking lot at the Toys R Us was pretty empty. We walked over and sure enough, there was a huge stretch limo in the parking lot. A few security guard like guys lingered around the door. Toys R Us was not open.... they had closed it for the day. They said nothing about who was in there. Just a few people were lingering around the parking lot. So we waited by the limo. It wasn't really long and out comes Michael Jackson (he didn't have kids during this time), his entourage carrying many big bags of toys. No waving, no handshaking. No talking. Just his hat and big glasses to shroud his face as he was hurriedly ushered into his limo, oddly his staff seem to linger outside the car. 'Why aren't they driving off?' I wondered.

I was suddenly getting a rapid heartbeat....I asked his staff "will he do some autographs?" The burly guy coldly said, "that depends on him" Meanwhile I am clamoring around in my purse for something suitable for him to sign. Dammit. Random stupid slips of paper. I didn't want his autograph to be on my grocery list or some tampon coupon.....Wait! I went to the card store. An envelope would be perfect! Large and plenty of room for an autograph!

So I waited by the limo door. Slowly the motorized tinted window went down to give an 3 inch opening. Very white fingers rapped on the top of the window to get our attention as he flipped his hand out as to say 'gimme your stuff to sign!' We all were looking back and forth at his hand and at each nervous by celebrity, yet confused as to what his hand gestures meant. Of course none of his 'bouncer guys' were gonna tell us what that meant it seemed. So I thought....'well let's see if he takes it' I handed the ghostly fingers my purple envelope. He snatched it and up went the window. I can't even remember if I gave him a pen or he had one or what....I was so flustered.

A few seconds later, like an ATM slip sliding out of a tinted slot. Out came his autograph:

Love, Michael Jackson.

Was I a rabid fan of Michael Jackson at the time? Nope. I enjoyed his music and sang to it on the radio. Unfortunately, the music of his I DID have was in form of cassette tape. My collection has long since gone. Really, I was more into his sister's music - Janet Jackson. I have some of her CD's and even went to one of her concerts here in DC.

But when a celebrity of ANY level appears in your proximity.....JUMP on the opportunity. You just NEVER know. It just so happened to have gone to a card store and had the receipt. I didn't realize then how THAT little slip of paper that we always throw out or don't take from the clerk when they ask if we want our receipt could be so important...TAKE just never know. More importantly, keep it organized! Weird though, for some reason, despite my not-so-rabid fanship of Michael Jackson; I took the time to permanently seal my memorabilia under plastic in my photo album later on that day.

Somewhere deep down, I knew that this would be special to me one day. I feel sad for what is about to unravel about Michael's life now. His dirty laundry, his alleged prescription drug use, the fight for his kid's, the debate over this will and it's contents. Let's not even talk about the number of books that will be mass produced about him and his life now that he's passed. How many books about Princess Diana have come out since her accidental death?

As for my friends email....not only did she remind me of this forgotten event in my life, she was asking if I was going to put my autograph on Craig's list and she wanted know how that worked. I told her to try E-bay, it was more secure and she probably could get more for hers there, I dunno. I am keeping mine.

Do you have any brushes with celebrity?


Ginger said...

Great blog Jenny! That is pretty exciting. That is definitely being in the right place at the right time!! I hope that summer is going good for you.

Leslie said...

what a cool cool story. NO WAY I would sell it.
My sister and I went to LA a few years ago and had the time of our lives..we had many brushes with celebs..At Mr. Chow I was hit on By Won G(some rapper dude, and still have his phone # that HE programed into my phone) the same evening at Mr. Chows, we sat at the table next to Edie Falco(from the Sopranos.) Had a long conversation with Jimmy Kimmel on his show(we were placed in the front row to sit)
Tracy Morgan said he wanted me to have his baby(I got my ohoto with him)
Got totally shit faced with Shanna Moakler at a bar named Winstons(she was soooo sweet.I had lots of photos w/ her) met Cherly Burke(from Dancing w/ the stars..she was a bitch) . Talked with Dr Rey(from Dr 90210) in an elevator. And yes this was all in the span of 5 days. I suppose we were in the right place at the right time! Oh and we were on the Oprah show too. FUN ASS TIME

alisa said...

Oh my! That is awesome! You are so lucky to have that!

Earnestine Novick said...

A limo for the King of Pop! Consider yourself fortunate enough to have his autograph, even though you only saw just his ghostly fingers. He must be really a kid at heart, no wonder why he’s shopping at Toys R US! I’m not a fanatic too, but I believe that his music will live forever.

-Earnestine Novick