Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Eve at Holly Terrace 2010

I want to thank everyone who sent such lovely emails and messages and made comments. It brings me much joy to know that this story blessed you and helped you to feel closer to Michael.

However I have chosen in good conscious to delete this story. I can only advise all fans that if you want to be sure that your flowers are delivered inside to Michael Jackson please be sure to go directly through the Forest Lawn Florist shop. They are wonderful people and will work with you.

You are also guaranteed that the money you pay goes directly to the flowers you are purchasing, and what ever you purchase will in fact be delivered inside to Michael.

Forest Lawn Florist Shop:

Please contact Forest Lawn Florist Shop if you have questions or would like more information. Business hours are 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

The mortuary staff is on-call 24 hours a day and can be reached at our 800 number below.



Forest Lawn Memorial-Parks and Mortuaries
1712 South Glendale Avenue
Glendale, CA 91205
Attn: Information Office

You can also purchase flowers for Michael Jackson online from the Forest Lawn Florist Shop:

Sunday, December 19, 2010

My Christmas Card 2010

Every year I receive those Christmas cards from, I am sure, well meaning people with the long news letter proclaiming how perfect their lives were the previous year, listing in great detail the luxurious vacations, exciting events and all the wonderful accomplishments of each family member. I hate those Christmas cards! They usually contain a typed letter about 2 to 3 pages in length of parental and wifely or husbandly bragging rights. I dread opening these… they only seem to point out how pitiful, woeful and unaccomplished my life seems. I tend to save my bragging rights for resumes to new employers on the latest job hunt. My children are in God’s most capable hands and have survived quite well a childhood and family life that I would not have chosen for them. Each turning out to be the most loving and caring people I know. None have graduated college and yet each of them are beautiful and accomplished in many amazing ways. I have the most precious grand children on earth and am amazed how God has healed my life after surviving not as many marriages and divorces as Liz Taylor but enough to number them as Jerk #1, 2 and 3, each one more disappointing than the previous, each one a lesson in who not to be drawn to and what not to do in life. Rather than long years of school resulting in initialed degrees behind my name, I seemed to have taken the path of surviving the pitfalls of heartache and pain reaped from abuse, drug addiction and alcoholism and the school of hard knocks. We all have our paths God sets us on and for each of us God has a purpose, God’s plan for us. Mine is one of survival, gaining the ability to turn pain into peace, contentment and joy, so I might reach out and help others. So this year when I received the shiny Christmas cards with the long dissertations that I loath from people I only hear from once a year anyway, I have chosen not to read them but file them unread in the “who cares, God bless you anyway” file… the trash can. Over the years I have often wondered what these people think as they address these lists of accomplishments to the single, struggling mothers on their list. Do they even pause to consider how their bragging makes others feel? Most likely not. Seems as though it is the one time of year they are allowed to blow their trumpet to validate themselves to the world. God bless them. Well I have chosen not to allow them to get to me this year. Instead I will hold my head high, count my many, many blessings and thank God for who I am, that person He created me to be and instead choose to feel immensely grateful for the path He has placed my feet upon.

My Christmas wish this year:

I am wishing and praying for PEACE and most of all the JOY of God’s LOVE to fill the hearts of all who read this and everyone I know. Those who believe and those who don't. I am praying for God’s love to permeate the hearts, minds and souls of each person, their lives, their families and all those they love. My gift to each of you this Christmas season is a prayer for God’s LOVE to be the motivating factor in all you do, the primal rudder of your lives this coming year. May your hearts abound in LOVE...L.O.V.E. for all those who come in and out of your lives in 2011. May you see the people who come into your life through God’s loving eyes…see them for all they may become instead the human frailties we all carry and expose to one another daily. May the power of God’s love allow resentments and unforgiveness toward family members, friends, neighbors and acquaintances or even God himself to peel back and fall away like dust in the wind this holiday season, vanished... as we move into this New Year 2011.

This is not my typical blog story of Michaeling but rather a mixture of wishes and prayers and sharing my heart about Michael Jackson's huge caring heart. More of a pouring out of my broken heart, still broken, still unable to comprehend what has happened to me and to this world with the loss of Michael Jackson and why it has affected me so deeply. This is the 2nd Christmas without Michael Jackson on this earth. For many on this earth they go unscathed at the loss of Michael Jackson, yet for millions of us, who have felt the love of Michael Jackson in our hearts at a depth we never anticipated and still don't understand, we have felt immense anger at being deceived and manipulated by the media, we have felt anger and grief over the manipulation and destruction of a sweet, tender hearted man, a kind, caring, giving, genius of a man whose purpose on this earth was to make music and share love. Simply put our lives will never be the same, and still many, many more will slowly begin to open their eyes to who Michael Jackson truly was and to the ugliness of this world and how gossip, bullying, jealousy and greed can destroy others.

On June 25th, 2009 the world, lost Michael Jackson. My life changed that day, “I will forever be counting backwards from June 25, 2009.” Some of my family and friends have not been able to understand why or how Michael Jackson, someone I never met affected me so greatly. I too have pondered many times over the same thing. Yet my life IS different today as I view the world through Michael Jackson's eyes, measuring life against Michael’s love for humanity and his concern and love for this planet, Earth. A walk of LOVE which is unparalleled in modern society. Michael reached out to the hurting in the world with the strong, powerful love of God in his heart. He truly was and still is an incredible example of how to walk in love and giving... as Jesus walked. Yet the human race took Michael Jackson for granted.

Michael suffered greatly as a child, he worked long relentless late night hours in the studio, going to places children should not go and performing one show after another, night after night, seeing things a small child should not ever be exposed to, living a life of violence and fear. He longed for his boyhood and he suffered from great, overwhelming loneliness and shyness. Sometimes we wonder why we experience the things in life we do. What possible purpose would God have to allow such violence against such a beautiful child or any child for that matter? In many cases God turns pain and suffering into empathy and compassion. Clearly Michael's childhood pain is what shaped his feelings of compassion for the hurting children, the sick and needy in the world.

Michael made it clear in his 1993 Grammy acceptance speech when he said, "Today I would like to thank all the children of the world. Including the sick and the deprived. I am so sensitive to your pain." Again in the "Living with Michael Jackson" special, which was a huge betrayal to Michael, he clearly stated, "I'm just very sensitive to their (the children's) pain, the family, the human condition." Michael took his pain and turned it into gold, caring for the sick and needy of the world. He gave of himself to others in mammoth proportions, in ways we everyday humans can only dream of.

Today like everyday since his passing I have thought of Michael throughout the day and am not sure that will ever change nor do I want it to. I have wanted for sometime now to write specifically about Michael's giving but it was so enormous I could not wrap the words around the thoughts in my head... until this month. So here during this season of giving I attempt to share about Michael Jackson's humanitarianism, his passionate, huge heart and world wide charity that encircled the globe and reached to just about every country and definitely every continent on this planet. There is no other human on this planet that has done this and Michael did it all quietly, humbly and without applause. Michael truly, deeply loved ALL children everywhere in the world. ALL children were Michael's heart as he has said several times, "I see the face of God in children."

Brett Ratner, Michael's good and loyal friend, said it so well in an interview when he shared a conversation he had with Michael:
“I know that people looked at Michael and thought he was strange, but to me, he was fascinating. He was the most inspirational person in my life. His one dream was to cure all the sick children in the world. And when I’d say, ‘Isn’t that impossible?’ Michael would just start to cry. He was very emotional.”

"Michael is a generous, honest, and sensitive human being, filled with amazing insight and the capacity for love. If this is weird, I want to go live on another planet." ~ Karen Faye

An uncontrollable 'pftt' and laugh escapes my lips when I think of those who claim to be filling Michael Jackson shoes. Just the very thought that they ‘could’ fill his shoes tells me they have too much arrogance or ignorance to even fill the baby toe in those beautiful, speed of light, God inspired loafers, for Michael Jackson was not just the genius of dance, song and music. His altruistic heart encompassed the globe. Yet Michael encouraged the young to practice hard and maybe one day become as good as he was at his craft. In Germany when he received the Bambi Millennium Award Michael spoke directly to the children of Germany saying, "Please go for your dreams. Whatever your ideals... you can be whatever you want to become. Become an astronaut or famous scientist, famous doctors, and of course become an artist... and maybe you'll get a Bambi award like me." He was in a playful mood that night, his child like spirit bursting forth as he talked and smiled. He was not yet aware there was a jackal in his midst who would betray him and strike the most devastating crippling blow and change his life forever.

Michael Jackson was truly about healing the world with the LOVE of God and his instrument of dance, music and creativity was just the vehicle which enabled him the ability to do his acts of charity, his real work. He was not a perfect human being for that is an oxymoron. Yes he was a “human being” but he strove to show us by example how to LOVE in this evil world.

I have struggled with the thoughts I have had toward Kenny Ortega and questioned over and over again, "Why? Why? Why didn't you protect Michael? Help Michael? He was your friend. He trusted you. Why?" I admit I still hold anger and GREAT disappointment towards Kenny Ortega. Here I work on forgiveness toward this man and others involved in Michael's I ask God to take the lead as he knows every despicable detail of the events which led to Michael's death and every last one of the participants involved. Nothing escapes God. I debated on whether to post this video because Kenny Ortega is the one speaking, but this video talks like no other about the ultimate purpose of why Michael toured and the types of things he did for the sick and hurting that no one ever saw. The slanted media never reported these things in their quest to destroy Michael Jackson and gain ratings. This video truly shares what was most important to Micheal Jackson.

"My dear mother instilled in me very young to give back and as I grew in God I knew what I had to do as a believer in Christ." ~ Michael Jackson

It is a funny thing about death, when we loose someone we love, it seems as humans we tend to grasp on to and recall all that was good about that person, to place them on a pedestal. I did this with both my father and mother. Each had long illnesses at different times and I was blessed to be there for both to care for them, spend time with them, talk, share about our years together, laugh and cry, ask for forgiveness, and express many times over how much I loved and treasured them both, then finally to say our final goodbyes. Yet still I put them on a reverent pedestal when they passed and still do today. Which makes me wonder WHY in so many cases don’t we attempt to do this while people we love and care about are alive? Why don’t we honor those we love in this way while they still walk this earth and we can still get our arms around them and tell them how much we love them or how sorry we are we hurt them? Tell them while looking them in their eyes that no matter what mistakes they may have made we love them. To do so we must make ourselves vulnerable for rejection or ridicule. Yet this is my Christmas wish for each of us. To allow ourselves this freedom, no matter how uncomfortable it may feel at first, to reach out to those we love and tell them we love them… forgive them… hold them in our arms and convey our hearts. (I need to add here: I am not talking about anyone who is abusive... as I have said I come from an abusive background. Those type people still require forgiveness but from a distance. It is 'your' heart you are healing by forgiving others. You do not need to be in physical contact with someone to forgive them. Stay protected and keep your distance if this is your fate in life as it was mine.)

Christmas for me, since my childhood, has been my most favorite holiday season. All others were just precursors to Christmas, the ultimate holiday, where God’s LOVE and JOY prevailed every year no matter what the circumstances. No matter what event befell my life, everything stopped and the treasured Christmas decorations were dug out of the garage or attic depending on where I lived and we celebrated the birth of Jesus. No matter how meager or what painful experiences I carried it was a time of forgetting, a festive, exciting time. I remember one year as a child proudly giving my dad a new box of nails, his tremendous smile and hearty laugh as he engulfed me in his arms and smothered me in kisses. Oh my Lord, I loved my dad! I remember another penniless Christmas as a new, struggling, sober, alcoholic digging through drawers and discovering long forgotten treasures and wrapping them with love. I chuckle when I remember my ex not feeling as much joy about these gifts as I did. For me it was about the giving of the heart. However, now Christmas has changed for me. It is still and has always has been about the birth of Christ and sharing of ones heart but this year and last I feel so inexplicably different about Christmas since the passing of Michael Jackson. I find it hard to decorate the tree, to put out the family decorations I once took so much joy in digging out of boxes every year. Yes Christmas has definitely changed for me since Michael died. I no longer listen much to Christmas music that used to bring so much joy; it no longer has the jubilant, celebratory feeling for me it used to. Michael still plays non stop on my CD player, computer and in my car. Christmas for me will never be the same without Michael Jackson in this world. It's odd since I never met the man... but then life simply just will never be the same, everything has a different feel and meaning now as I look at life through the filter of Michael Jackson's heart and soul.

As a child Michael did not celebrate Christmas due to his Jehovah's Witness up bringing but as an adult Elizabeth Taylor made sure to show him how it was done and decorated his home for Christmas. It was a Christmas of LOVE and laughter that year as he opened many, many Super Soakers, his favorite water toy, besides water balloons, and as it turned out Christmas was Michael's favorite holiday. He kept Christmas decorations up all year long. Just look at the expression of wonder on his face in this picture as he gazes at his first real Christmas tree.

The tabloids, medialoid, led the world to believe many untruths about Michael Jackson but the real Michael Jackson was the greatest humanitarian the world has ever seen. He walked liked Jesus and practiced practical giving and shared quietly and anonymously God's LOVE. He believed that you gave from your heart because God wants us to take care of others who are hurting and less fortunate. Not to ring your own bell and put on display your altruism to the world like so many celebrities you see. He cared genuinely, deeply cared for the afflicted and hurting.

Michael had the ability to look into the eyes and hearts of the hurting and bring peace, assurance, healing and love into their lives. Michael read the bible daily and many including Michael testified to this fact. Michael knew what life was about and he emulated Jesus in so much of what he did in this world as he stated in an interview:
“Each day I take time out to study the Bible, no matter where I am. The teachings of the Bible have added a new dimension to my life. It, somehow, makes me whole."

In another interview Michael commented on what his children have taught him:
"A lot. (Parenthood) reminds you to do what the Bible has always taught us. When the apostles were arguing among themselves over who was the greatest in Jesus’ eyes, He said, "None of you", and called over a little boy and said, "Until you humble yourself like this child.”

Michael Jackson the King of Pop was humble and grounded in the love of Christ, for me too the cornerstone of my life is Jesus Christ. I am unashamed and more than willing to share this fact. Without Jesus I am nothing and I thank the Lord everyday for the lessons and changes His love has wrought within me through the seemingly bad experiences in my life. I must admit there have been several times in my life I have felt as though I have lived several lifetimes of not so graceful change. The Lord has taught me many things as He has carried me through seemingly devastating times when the light at the end of the tunnel that was in view felt like a locomotive bearing down on me; however no lesson quite like what He has taught me through Michael Jackson. God’s timing is perfect too, for I never would have been ready for this lesson of LOVE if I had not already gone through life’s previous hard experiences.

Since Michael’s death a tapestry of LOVE like the world has never seen before has woven it’s way spontaneously into the hearts of millions, the thread of Michael’s spirit joining the world together in a collective force via the internet, woven in God’s healing LOVE, traveling it’s way around the globe and into the hearts of Michael Jackson fans everywhere. I have met the most amazing people over these last 19 months since Michael physically left this earth. I hold these friendships very dear to my heart, and consider them my greatest gifts this year. I can’t list their names for the list would be far too long. I also look at my children and grand children in a different light. Their smallest accomplishments seem so huge and grand to me. Their giggles and small triumphs in life, the sharing of disappointments and heart ache so much more bonding. I listen differently now with deeper insight. I can not express to you the overwhelming JOY and LOVE that abounds when I am in their presence now. I have changed and continue to change. This life for me since surviving abuse and alcoholism has always been a spiritual process with each new level a new and exciting journey… and now God through Michael Jackson has given me this ultimate gift to see life through different eyes filtered by Michael Jackson’s LOVE and compassion for this world.

There is an inescapable comparison this year I feel compelled to point out between the birth and life of Jesus and life of Michael Jackson. Jesus was born hunted by King Herod because of fear, ignorance and greed. A decree went out and many first born baby boys were murdered when Jesus was born. God hid Jesus in a stable with a manager for a bed, not the place you would think a king might be born. God has a purpose for everything. Michael Jackson came from very lowly beginnings himself in Gary, Indiana and lived a life of abuse and hard work as a child. Michael Jackson is not God, is not Jesus but to me it is truly not a coincidence that his life parallels that of Christ’s in many ways, for it was Jesus that Michael turned to for peace and direction throughout his life. He emulated Jesus. Michael was born different… gifted... chosen by God and given special talents and abilities. He was different than his family, different than any other soul on this earth. He was chosen by God to deliver a message via the conduit of his fame, talent and musical genius, to remind the world of LOVE, healing and compassion. He was hunted, stalked, ridiculed and maligned because of this for as the Bible tells us when we are about God’s business:

“If ye were of the world, the world would love its own: but because ye are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” John 15: 19 American Standard Version

My Christmas prayer for each of you this year is that no matter what is going on in your life this year that your blessings abound starting today and on into the coming year, as the biblical expression states “Pressed down, shaken up, pressed down again and over flowing"… in God’s LOVE. Just as Jesus was born hunted and stalked by jealous greedy, evil, power driven people in his lifetime and ultimately put to death on the cross for the salvation of all mankind, He fulfilled God’s calling and purpose to teach the world about God’s LOVE, about salvation through Christ Jesus and the cross. Michael endured the same in his lifetime and over came so much to also ultimately die at the hands of greedy, selfish people and ultimately fulfilled the calling on his life as well… to share God’s LOVE with the world… It’s All About LOVE… L.O.V.E. May your lives abound in LOVE! I wish for Peace, Joy, LOVE and a very Merry Christmas to each and every one of you!

"I believe in the Bible and I try to follow the Bible. I know I’m an imperfect person… I’m not making myself an angel because I’m not an angel and I’m not a devil either. I try to be the best I can and I try to do what I think is right. It’s that simple…I don’t just pray at night. I pray at different times during the day. Whenever I see something beautiful, I say, "Oh, God, that’s beautiful." I say little prayers like that all through the day." ~ Michael Jackson

I hope you enjoy this beautiful story of Christmas from the perspective of the lowly shepherds of the field as the angels visited them on the night of the birth of Jesus.

Luke 2: 6-20, American Standard Version:
And it came to pass, while they were there, the days were fulfilled that she (Mary the mother of Jesus) should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son; and she wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were shepherds in the same country abiding in the field, and keeping watch by night over their flock. And an angel of the Lord stood by them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, “Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all the people: for there is born to you this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord. And this is the sign unto you: Ye shall find a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men in whom he is well pleased. And it came to pass, when the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing that is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found both Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in the manger. And when they saw it, they made known concerning the saying which was spoken to them about this child. And all that heard it wondered at the things which were spoken unto them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these sayings, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, even as it was spoken unto them.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Icons & Idols - Michael Jackson

It had been a long week at work already, although it was only Wednesday, and I was feeling a bit down, tired and already stressed. The holidays just have a way of doing that sometimes. Feeling the pressure of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the twist commercialism puts on Christmas is just wearing sometimes. This is the time of year when we should be filled with the most joy and celebrate the birth of Jesus, his LOVE, his peace. I was just leaving work and contemplating the bah-humbug Christmas poem a friend had shared with me about working our tails off, running here and there to keep up with the Joneses, shopping, parties, functions, dinners and on and on with stress as the main course served up daily for the last month of the year. It was then my cell rang and on the other end I heard the high, excited exuberance of my dear friend telling me “Betty, You just HAVE to go to Julien’s Auction House in Beverly Hills. They have SOOO much Michael stuff on display. YOU JUST HAVE TO SEE IT!!” She went into detail about her day seeing MJ’s belongings and suddenly, magically as Michael has done so many times I felt my whole being change. Michael just has a way of doing that to those who love him. I most certainly couldn’t deny I wanted to see anything… simply ANYTHING… that belonged to Michael up close and personal, but there was a gnawing in the pit in my stomach. My heart began to ache, like so many times before, as I thought of what Michael endured over the last two decades of his life. Those that wanted what was his, those that used him, the hangers on, the opportunists, the greedy, those that plotted, planned and put into motion schemes that would lead ultimately to Michael’s death. In that process many items which belonged to Michael had vanished, apparently showing up at auctions and then disappearing again.There has been so much controversy and speculation about where Michael's belongings have gone.
Holding a private conversation with the main man in my life I prayed, “Dear Lord, are these some of those items and if so what gives me the right to go and gaze upon them?” Encouraged by my friend’s exuberance I simply felt I needed to go and see for myself the next day. One of Michael’s gold fencing shirts from the Dangerous Tour was on display. That in itself was the final straw… the magnet that drew me toward Beverly Hills. I placed my desire to see MJ’s items, my car and the California freeways in the Lord’s hands and asked Him to guide me there, as I set out on my Michaeling mission.
Once the car was parked which was an adventure in itself and I might say to the inexperienced here, be forewarned you need to take a fist full of bills to park in Beverly Hills, I made my way to my destination, as I opened the doors and entered from the cold, dark night into the warm, bright light of the showroom, it seemed as though I stepped into another time zone. Yes in fact it was the Julien’s Auction show room zone. The nicely suited attendants greeted me and an invisible force drew me to the display of the “Beat It” jacket, the sequined glove, make up case and so much more than I can list. Most all items signed personally by Michael Jackson. I looked at his famous signature and thought of Michael’s hands, and seeing each item the thought that he had touched, used or had worn almost every item there suddenly hit home. An attendant walked with me and I asked the burning question in my heart, “Where did all these things come from?” As I looked around and witnessed with my own eyes he assured me “Almost every item here was signed my MJ and given freely to people as gifts or to auctions by MJ, to be sold to raise money for charity because that is just how Michael Jackson was. He was always giving away his things to make people happy.”

Now I was drifting from display to display effortlessly, no more stress, or holiday pressures… what holiday? I had now entered the world of Michael Jackson’s closet as I gazed at his jackets, jumpsuits, hats, “The Belt” he wore on his 45th birthday, this belt along with many other items designed and tailored by Michael’s very good friends, Michael Bush and Dennis Tompkins, a sequined white glove, and YES the gold fencing shirt... which… oh yes indeed… I smelled! Up close and personal I sniffed this outfit. YES… that’s right, I freely admit it... I smelled MJ’s fencing shirt and I have to say… but can’t be sure… I may have detected a hint of Bal a Versailles. Ok… I know only a die hard MJ fan would go sniffing for traces of MJ’s sweat and cologne, but then how many times does someone like me get to see up close and personal the stage costumes or clothes of Michael Jackson?! Was it just wishful thinking… another sniff… No I really think it…

I took many, many pictures. I asked to see the secret backroom. The Executive Director, Martin Nolan, who was lovely to me and so much fun to joke with, wanted to know how I knew about the secret back room. I told him I couldn’t reveal my sources… only that, “Fans just know these things.” He shook his head at me, not for the first time that night, rolled his eyes and we laughed and then he asked one of the attendants, Allen, to escort me to the back room. Others, Julien family members, who were working there also came along as they were surprised to learn about the back room items as well and wanted to take a gander. To my surprise on display were full sized, soft rubber, wax looking statues of Indians and cowboys, which MJ had set up in the Indian Village at Neverland near the train tracks. I must say the Indian sitting cross legged with the peace pipe made me step back. He was a bit scary looking but I am sure in the outdoor, tee pee setting he fit quit well. They were simply amazing to view, like a secret peek into Michael’s longing for his boyhood and his wonderful childlike, fun imagination.

Returning to the main floor the pedestals outfitted with MJ’s jackets were being strategically placed for Saturday’s auction, a world wide event where anyone, any where can bid on items by phone, online or in person. The chairs were in place, the sound system was being set up, podium at the ready, display cases lit and organized, computers were up and running. There were many items from other iconic legends like Marilyn Monroe, Rock Hudson, Madonna, Paul McCartney, John Lennon, The Beatles and many, many others. The jacket… I mean “The Jacket” that John Lennon wore on the Sgt. Peppers album was on display and was later to sell for $240,000. It was amazing to see this piece of history from my teen years up close and personal…and did I detect a hint of Marijuana, good ole’ Mary Jane on this one? So many cool and interesting items… yet I continually was being drawn back to MJ’s things.
John Lennon's Sgt. Peppers Jacket:

My friend who had raced against time and rush hour traffic to arrive before closing popped in the door and I greeted her with a big hug. The stress of the road melted from her shoulders as we began to peruse the displays together and take more pictures of one another. We posed grinning from ear to ear next to MJ’s “Beat It” jacket. I was so thrilled to see a jacket from the world’s BEST Super Bowl half time show EVER signed by Michael and a game football signed by both Michael and Troy Aickman, an original Michael Jackson doll from the 80’s with the original price tag of $14.95 on the box, gold records, platinum records, J5 memorabilia signed by all the Jackson 5, The original Motown contract the J5 signed as children, This Is It tickets, Victory Tour memorabilia, a signed Smooth Criminal hat, a Hungarian military hat signed with a written note from Michael saying “Thanks for your support. All my love, Michael Jackson, 1994”, there were 3 black, stage worn, signed fedoras with Michael’s name printed inside, and the Julien’s Auction catalog from April 25, 2009 signed in gold by Michael Jackson. This one stopped me short and my heart sunk, as I read the date and realized, two months later to the day Michael lay dead. I felt a wave of nausea come over me and I felt the anger rise. Still there is NO justice! God hear our prayers!

The Julien’s director, Martin, allowed me the privilege of roaming the displays with the catalog in hand. I was juggling the camera, the catalog, my purse and sweater when I realized the other catalogs were chained down and then asked how much they were. He smiled and said “For you, $100.” I laughed and then made my way back to the desk and gingerly put it back on the stand like I didn't want to break it. As I set it back on it’s easel he said to me, "I have one just for you." I thought again he was joking and meant if I paid the 100 bucks. Later just before I left he handed me a catalog with both hands and slightly bowed like he was handing over the crown jewels to the queen, royally presented me with a catalog. I felt very much honored and thanked him. Later the next day checking online I realized he wasn't joking they really do cost $100. All I could say was “Wow!! It was definitely my night!!” If you are reading this Martin, again I thank you for your generous kindness.
I had taken 100's of pictures, a fact that Martin did not miss and approached and commented in his Irish brogue, “Well gone are the days when the Instamatic took 24 pictures and that was it and you had to take them into Rite Aid or the drug store for development.” I realized suddenly maybe I was crossing boundaries saying “Oh I’m sorry! Do you want me to quit?” He laughed and said “No you go right ahead and take your pictures. I guess then all that photography we worked so hard on in the catalog is not good enough?” I then revealed “Well I write stories and like to use my own pictures.” He laughed out loud and shaking his head again gave me a jovial, “Oh! NOW you tell us!”
MJ fans are still fiercely protective of MJ, his children and mother, so after checking out every last item including the back room three times I went to the main desk where Martin was working and where Darren Julien was standing close by and again voiced my concern about the source of all the MJ items, with an ache in my heart for MJ I inquired of Martin, “Please answer this question for me. I need to know, are any of these things taken from MJ? What is the source of all these items? What about the family?” He assured me saying “All items are donated and they were gifts from MJ to fans and friends. Some were items MJ donated, when he was alive to other auctions to raise money for different charities and causes. They did not sell and were returned to Michael Jackson and are now in this auction. Some are from the family, the estate and Katherine and the family all gave their blessing, all except Joe. The items belong to others and were freely given on consignment for this auction.” There have been many false rumors and it felt good to hear the family had given approval for this auction, well all except Joe, so for me it was the majority. I believe it is just like that in large families, not all members agree on everything or join in each venture. It was also very clear that the vast majority of items displayed for auction were clearly signed and had been given to others by MJ and that supported Martin’s statement.

Then Martin began to tell me about the previous auction at the old Robinson’s May in Beverly Hills where Michael’s beautiful, ornate Neverland gates were being offered, as well as many other items from Neverland. I had heard several media rumors about these items. I felt so blessed to hear from someone who personally had witnessed these very gates being restored to their original home at Neverland. Martin assured me that “The Gold Gates” were reinstalled at Neverland. That he personally was present on the property at Neverland to witness the restoration, sadly and ironically the very weekend of the week Michael died the gates were reattached to their original place of honor at Neverland. They are there and working just as they did when Michael lived there.
A sudden burst of hope leaped in my heart spurring me on to ask, “MJ’s Carousel?” Martin’s response filled me with even more hope and again put to rest yet another untruth as he assured me, “You know MJ himself hand painted some of the horses on that carousel. It has special meaning. MJ made sure to dismantle it and store it carefully in a warehouse on Neverland where it still is today, untouched.” My heart was over flowing and like the unashamed MJ fan that I am I blurted out, “Really? Oh my God! It’s STILL there? Really there? At Neverland?” which elicited Martin to reveal, “Yes, there is a huge, massive warehouse on the property at Neverland where MJ’s things are stored. Safe and protected.” Astounded I slapped the desk happily and heard myself exhale with great enthusiasm, “Thank God! Another rumor put to rest! There are so many false rumors!” I then thought about the other Neverland treasures that had also been on auction like the train and all the bronze statues MJ so lovingly collected and had displayed about Neverland. I had read they were all gone now, just a memory of past glory days. I needed to know, “What about all the bronze statues that had been on auction? Were they sold? I read they are all gone now.” Martin’s quick emphatic response dispelled all previous stories as he said “No, NONE of them were sold. They were returned to Neverland and are also in storage.” In a ‘Need to Know’ voice I added, “And the train? What about the train? Michael would not have wanted to sell the train!” He again emphatically replied “No. The train was never on auction. You know Michael named that train after his mother, Katherine?” I shook my head up and down as he continued, “He would never sell that train. It was special. No, it too is stored away.” So many rumors went…puff… up in smoke, vanished in one short conversation. Maybe the one positive rumor of Neverland being restored is not so impossible after all. Yes in my heart and mind there is definitely hope now. I do not want to think about the people who partially own Neverland now or how they were involved in anything horrible that happened to MJ… yet that thought looms large in my mind. My hope and prayers for MJ3 are that all that is rightfully theirs will be restored to them.
It was a great evening at Julien’s Auction house in Beverly Hills. Every one of the people who work at Julien’s are wonderful, warm, friendly and accommodating. I smiled all the next day every time I thought about MJ’s belongings still safely stored away and that I was able to be so close to so many items MJ owned, wore, performed in and gave to others in love. It’s a funny thing when someone dies how their belongings become so much more important. It was like that with my mom…just a piece of her near me. MJ’s generous giving heart was so apparent in many of these items, and in every signature I saw. The thought of how many thousands of times he must have signed his name to make others happy just makes me love him all the more. Of course thoughts of how wonderful it would be for the MJ3 to be able to acquire Neverland and all of their father’s belongings, which really should rightfully be theirs anyway, allowed for hope to spring anew. I know Michael was so crushed at Neverland and expressed his deepest hurt about that when he said “I won’t live there again. It’s a house now. It’s not a home anymore”, but this was the children’s first home with their father and in protecting them MJ never let them see his broken heart and spirit while living there. For them I am sure there will always be many wonderful Neverland family memories.
Two days later I contemplated if I should attend the Saturday auction personally or take part from home on the computer. I opted to save the headache of parking and stayed home. As I watched and listened I wondered how the auctioneers were able to get so many words, facts, and details out so quickly. Although the internet auction was full of energy and moved quickly through thousands of sales I thought Michael’s section would never come, finally the time arrived. His section was last and certainly the most exciting. Even over the internet I could feel the mood become very much energized as the auctioneer’s voice rose and he exclaimed, “Now we have Michael Jackson’s items. Michael Jackson had a relationship different than any other entertainer in the world with his fans. MICHAEL JACKSON, the greatest entertainer of all time and he will NEVER be replaced! Michael Jackson who transformed music! You see why he transformed music and why he was the KING OF POP! Nobody will EVER be like him! Everything he did he did to be the best!” Although I have no idea if this man is an MJ fan, even sitting at my computer I felt he was a kind person who truly loved MJ and who also knew my heart and the heart of fans around the globe. I felt a rush as I witnessed the first flurry of bidding on the 4th item, a signed black and white, 8x10, glossy picture of the Jackson 5, soared quickly to sell for $10,625.

I thought, “Ok… Heerree we go!” I was not disappointed. I simply couldn't resist and bid on several items but was out bid which my wallet and budget thank God for. My MJ love wishes so much I would have won. I about died as I noticed the gold fencing shirt was coming up just two more down on the list. I reached for the key board to be ready, grabbing it randomly I hit a key and suddenly the screen read in bright green, “You are the top bidder” and I realized in shock I was now accidently bidding on a 2nd Neverland Golf Cart. The 1st one had sold for only $1,200 so in my clumsiness I just put myself in the running for the 2nd one at $2,250. Quickly realizing the other one went for less, I prayed “Dear Jesus, please let someone else bid. I really don’t need a golf cart!” In slow motion the auctioneer began to say in a parent “Peanuts” voice “Theeee… wiinnnner… issss…” then my prayer was answered and someone else bid, with many others jumping on board, a flurry of bids took place making the winning bid $8,750. Of course it could have been much worse and I could have accidentally bid on a $40,000 item. I would have just fallen out right then and there with no one around to revive me, in the end though, once the shock wore off, I actually felt sort of sad as I thought about taking the grand kids and friends on rides in MJ’s Neverland golf cart. How cool would that have been?
I was shocked to see that the gold fencing shirt only brought in $37,500 as I had really expected to see it sell for much, much more. The highest item sold was the white, sequined glove which was sold to an international bidder for $330,000, chills covered my body as I watched the flurry of bids on this one. Not to demean MJ’s love for mankind or in anyway compare dollar signs to love but I just couldn’t help but see in all this the love and attention from fans all over the world for Michael.
Oh how I pray MJ sees how much he is loved and thought about as he watches down from heaven. It was all very interesting but several times I could not help but think about how MJ would feel about this auction. I just kept feeling like maybe MJ would have wanted all this money to go to charity…. as Allen, the attendant said, “…because that is just how Michael Jackson was.” Yes the facts prove Michael Jackson was one of the kindest, most generous, caring humans on this planet. We will be missing you forever MJ!
A random sample list of great items with end sale prices:
3 black, stage worn, signed fedoras:
1 - $53,125
2 - $31,250
3 - $72,000
White Smooth Criminal, stage worn fedora, signed: $72,000
Hungarian military hat, signed: $8,960
MTV award statue: $72,000
Helmsley Palace doorman’s jacket which MJ wore many times, signed: $31,250
Bubbles’ MJ matching racing outfit, signed: $9,500
Beat It Jacket, signed: $96,000
Beat It sheet music signed by MJ, signed: $6,500
Studded, Bad, black leather arm guard: $31,250
Military style jacket MJ wore when he met Nelson Mandella, signed: $60,800
Gem encrusted football bag, gift to MJ by Katherine Baumann, with MJ’s name: $1,750
MJ’s make up case, signed: $5,760
The belt MJ wore for his 45th birthday party: $12,800
Promotional Invincible sign, signed: $1,664
Neverland Valley T-shirt, signed: $1,500
Michael Jackson doll, original box, signed: $1,625
I am so thrilled to know that two wonderful Michael Jackson fans were the winners of the both of these amazing items. The Neverland T-shirt signed "Love, Michael Jackson" and the studded belt Michael wore on his 45th birthday!! It is so wonderful to know these treasured items will be cherished for all time by people who love Michael Jackson!!!!
Deborah Soroky from Glendale, California wins the Neverland T-shirt signed by Michael!!
Final winning auction price: $ 2,100
Debbie Jackson from Auckland, New Zealand wins the studded belt
Michael wore to his 45th birthday party, final winning auction price: $12,800!!

Align Center