Thursday, June 25, 2009

Memory Lane

The death of two pop culture icons today certainly threw me down on Memory Lane. I was in 7th grade in '69 when Jackson 5 and their Motown sound hit it big. And then a senior in '76 when the poster of Farrah Fawcett in the red swimsuit hit the press. The hair...the wings, everybody wanted them. Looking back, this was probably the beginning of the end of my innocence. My world was getting bigger than little Bryan, Texas.

For those of you under, let's say 45, Michael Jackson wasn't always weird. He was the youngest brother of a singing group of black boys, Jackson 5. I am going to say this and you just may not believe me....but I hadn't seen many black boys before entering junior high. And so they were still a novelty to me. I was a child of the 60's and our schools were segregated. I didn't know that. You don't know what you don't know....and I didn't have black friends and I didn't know they were out there. Let me remind you there were only 3 channels on the t.v. and no I wasn't dumb as much as not exposed to the kids are today.

The most wonderful thing about Michael Jackson was his voice. I'm talking ABC, as simple as 123, as easy as Do Re Mi, ABC, 123, baby you and me....oh, my sounded like a sounded like mE! I could sing along with him and we blended so well. I would crank up the volume on the little portable 45 in my lime green bedroom with fake blue fur bedspreads that I shared with my sister. I knew every word to every song....well 2 songs at the time. This was a 45 and it had one song on each side.

I wonder what the song was on the flip side of ABC? Trivia.

And then....he got out on his own. And got bigger and bigger. And more famous. And more wealthy. And more lonely. And he morphed into Diana Ross.

So today, Michael Jackson died. And I am sad. But, honestly, I have been sad about Michael Jackson for a long, long time. Haven't you? How does someone get so lost? I hope wherever Michael is floating today that he is free of his worries and troubles.

And Farrah's gone, too.

I have a totally different memory of Farrah. Her poster was everywhere. She was the "it" girl. And while I am sure all the boys my age (and older) remember her, too....I am sure it is way different than my memory. Farrah turned me into an insecure young girl. I mean, look at that skin. Look at those teeth. Look at that body. Look at that hair.

The skin? I was the whitest kid I knew. I never tanned but that didn't stop me from trying. Always blistered. Baby oil and iodine.....deep fried is more like it.

The teeth? I wore braces....and a headgear....that had to be worn to school a few hours a day.

The hair? I had alot of hair on my head but it was the limp kind. And I could get my hair to look like Farrah's while still in my bedroom but step outside....that look was history for the day.

And that body? Uh, I waited and waited for my uh, you know, to develop. I finally bought a padded bra. But this was years before padded bra inserts for bathing suits. And while I would appreciate now the hips and thighs I had then....they weren't anything like Farrah's long leggedness.

Well, you get the point. Farrah was blessed with a beautiful face and body while on this Earth. Her friends and family say she was beautiful on the inside, too. I hope wherever she's floating now...she is free of the painful cancer that took her.

Michael and Farrah are just like us after all. Mortal.


  1. Great post..... you expressed my thoughts completely. Thank you...I'm just going to direct my blog readers to come read what you said for me. Being older than you...sigh...I didn't feel that way about Farrah...I bought her poster for my husband. But if I had been a teenager when she appeared in our lives...I'm sure I would've felt as you did. Yes, it is all sad. And Michael....a tragic life.

  2. Linda sent me ;) Well said, Miz Juney. A very nice tribute to both celebs. Farrah, I knew had cancer so her death was not a surprise to me. Michael's mystified me. I didn't even know he was still in the country. Didn't he flee to avoid child molestation charges? I hope he's in a better place. His life was no picnic.

  3. Well said, however I did have a frightful flash back to 1980 when I was a Senior in High School and I had to wear the headgear. I too used baby oil and Iodine along with a fan and sometimes the sprinkler. I would freak out if either of my teenage daughters attempted that today!!!
    i follow Crafty gal Linda and read from her blog a recommendation from the "Farrah Poster" owner Linda to come read your post. Whew, anyway I am curious how people find my blog...I enjoyed it and will be back.

  4. So well put Julia. Life is so fleeting and such a gift. This has been a week of shocks. Makes me wonder what our kids today are thinking about their role models. . .

    Hugs, Kim

  5. Hi - followed you here from...I forgot...

    The only thing I can add to what was already said is that, at least for me, Farrah's death was barely a blip on the radar after the news of Michael's death hit the screen. I want to scream and say, "WHERE'S FARRAH?" Ed McMahan died, too. I know Michael was an icon, but you are right - he lived such a sad life, and some of it was of his own making. I'm so sorry for him, but I felt like Farrah and Ed sort of got lost.

    My 2 cents...

  6. I'm so glad my older boys got to enjoy Michael when he was at the top before he went over it. Fortunately for Matt, he learned about MJ from his Social Studies teacher this last year and it was all the positive things from his past. He had just gotten to know him and was devastated but it seems that he was not going to get any better and I believe that he's in a better place now than we can even imagine. Same with Farrah; same reaction-boy did tend to use her as a scale when scanning the mate horizon and right when we were going out into the world for picking. She did have a lot of gifts; I suppose I would have done the same if I were from Houston-whoops, we are, aren't we? How'd they miss us? Must have been the off-white teeth and frog fur for hair for starters-me, not you.

  7. MJ-tragic yes but also amazing. He lived the best and worst of humanity and had the "Benjamin Button" thing going on inside.