Sunday, July 24, 2011

LOVE Lives On! Gardner St. June 25, 2011

There was a sense of joy in the air this warm summer day on June 25th, 2011. It always strikes me as so contrary to the sadness... this bittersweet feeling. The purpose of this event, this gathering of MJ fans from all over the world, on June 25th was to promote donations for William Wagener’s documentary which is intended to finally turn the tide and put Tom Sneddon in jail. A documentary which apparently will gather facts and garner the attention needed after all these years to expose the underhandedness, the lies and the laws Sneddon broke in his vicious vendetta against Michael. I pray this documentary is made and as a result former Santa Barbara D.A. Thomas Sneddon is finally no longer above the law but brought to justice.
Beyond this purpose was another even more important purpose for myself and many other fans, the celebration of a victorious fight which has brought honor and vindication to Michael Jackson... Uncover Michael Jackson's Name at Gardner Street Elementary School. Two Soldiers of LOVE from Michael’s Army, Jennifer Marino and Catherine Gross, were present at this event and each spoke. Their team worked very diligently with determined commitment to achieve this goal. I felt so elated to personally see with my own eyes the fruition of all the hard work of this team from Face Book “Uncover Michael Jackson’s Name (The Gardner St. School Issue Campaign). Many fans from all over the world, including myself, had joined in on this effort and signed petitions and also carried petitions in Hollywood for neighbors and local businesses to sign resulting in thousands of signatures in support of this cause. It was a successful community effort to turn the tide of negativity toward Michael Jackson. I know myself along with multitudes of others feel that the “Uncovering of Michael’s name” was a turning point in vindicating Michael’s name and public image from all the damage a slanted, greedy, slanderous media have unjustly heaped upon him even in death.
There were many great moments in this day starting with pulling into the school parking lot at Gardner, looking up and right there big and clear for all to see is Michael’s name gleaming shiny bright above the auditorium doors. The building has been crisply painted and the shiny, silver letters are clean and pristine. Rounding the school building on my way to the auditorium I see a mural of children and adults in silhouette holding hands which brings to mind Michael’s song "Cry" and under it the inspired artist penned the words, “ Rise from your slumber and remember who you are, the sky is not the limit when you're a STAR.”

The first thing you see when you enter the hallway which leads to the auditorium and main school office are framed pictures of the student’s art work. In these pictures they have artistically completed Michael’s portrait at different times in his life. Half of the picture is Michael’s photo and the other half they have drawn in the rest of his face. I love this so much and believe Michael too would have loved to have seen the children’s artistic endeavors, some are really very good.

There were many there that day lending to the festivities including SUNN, a young new artist, who sang a beautiful tribute to Michael she recently released. Larry Nimmer was present video taping the day’s events, also sharing portions of his video from the court hearing in 2005 which was instrumental in revealing the truth about Michael and Neverland for the members of the jury. This is now a documentary, "The Untold Story of Neverland." His narration was wonderful and the pictures of his recent visit to Neverland were captivating. Beautiful Tatiana from Michael’s video “The Way You Make Me Feel” was present. Majestik the Magnificent was the emcee. William Wagner spoke several times about his planned documentary. The realtor who sold Michael Neverland was present and spoke so highly and lovingly of Michael. There were several Michael Jackson impersonators, including Michael Kiss who amazingly ramped up the energy level and love in the room bringing great honor to Michael Jackson. Also the Michael Jackson bike which recently was shown to Prince and Paris at their home was present outside for fans to view first hand.

                                  Hallway pic of children's MJ art projects c/o Debbie Jackson

The ultimate moment of the day though was when Thomas “Hurricane” Mesereau entered the auditorium. Mr. Mesereau was the main reason I was in attendance at this event. I had left my cherished visiting and paying respects to Michael at Forest Lawn to come to the school specifically to see Tom Mesereau. As he came in the back doors and walked down to the front the fans all flew to their feet and went wild with applause and cheers. My heart over flowed with love and gratitude toward Mr. Mesereau. Sitting in the end seat of the row I was thrilled to see him walking down the isle right by me. While enthusiastically clapping with all my might I heard myself yell above the cheers “THANK YOU for all you did for Michael!” and was ecstatic when he looked at me smiling, nodding in return, mouthed the words “Your welcome.” He was so gracious and humble. He truly is the greatest defense lawyer in the United States, an honor which he earned with integrity, humility and deep personal commitment to his daily fight for truth and justice; not just for Michael but for all his clients, a true rarity in today’s legal profession. Later to be sure my thanks were conveyed and as I posed for a picture with him, while standing in Michael’s classroom, I was able to look him in the eye and tell him personally “Thank you for all you did for Michael.” He said “Your welcome. It was my pleasure to help Michael.” Then he pointed and asked me if I had seen the display the children had arranged with the signed chalkboard preserved and framed behind glass. This was from the original dedication where Michael signed “Love the Children ~ Michael Jackson.” Below is my cherished picture with Tom Mesereau and just behind us is the chalkboard. Thank you so much, Sandy, for sending this picture to me.

Every where you look in this school which honors Michael so beautifully you are reminded of Michael’s spirit, his essence of artistic creativity and heart for children. I sat there in the audience in the original wooden auditorium chairs that Michael once sat in and felt Michael’s presence everywhere. I smiled as I glanced to the back of the room and attached to the wall were hundreds of butterflies the children had drawn and colored. Michael’s music played and beautiful brown skinned babies danced in the isles to Michael’s voice. The entire school is frozen in time, preserved just as it was when Michael attended. At one point in Michael Kiss’ performance I moved up closer to get a better picture and felt a rush of elation when I realized as I stood in between Tom Mesereau and Michael Kiss on stage that I was standing in what seemed to be the very same spot that Michael himself stood in when he attended the original dedication and listened to the children’s choir sing "We Are The World." I pictured his beautiful face and felt the joy he must have felt that day when he stated, “This is the happiest day of my life.”  

After the last performance and the photos were completed I returned to the auditorium and took my seat only to be summoned away. I heard those words “Go to the principal’s office” and needless to say even after all these years they brought feelings of anxiety fluttering up in side me. I laughed loudly as I realized it was Michael Kiss who wanted to see me. I happily climbed the stairs I knew Michael Jackson had also climbed in his life and found my way through the corridors and entered the main office. I was standing waiting to talk to MK who was literally using the principal’s office as his dressing room, when above me on the wall a TV was running a loop of the school announcements. I stood there holding on to the cool counter as Michael's voice filled my senses. He was speaking, giving his acceptance speech, with that gorgeous smile saying the very words I had just earlier heard in my head. My mouth hanging open and covered in chills I realized that all day long, every day the children in this school hear Michael’s beautiful voice and see his face…what an inspiration Michael is for the generations that have been and are to come. I glanced down from the over head TV and standing before me was the man who made all this possible, the man who fought right along side the team of Michael fans, the man who went to bat with the board and pushed to bring honor back to Michael Jackson at Gardner St. Elementary School, Principal Urbina. I delightedly said “Principal Urbina you are the one who fought so hard for Michael! It’s so nice to meet you. I want to personally thank you for all you have done for him and getting his name uncovered. All the fans appreciate it so much. The school looks just great!” He said as we vigorously shook hands, “It was my pleasure. Thank you for coming today.” Then Michael Kiss’ team member stepped out and called me in to his dressing room. It was an amazing day filled with closely held surprises and many blessings.

                                Picture of the TV monitor in main office c/o of Debbie Jackson
                             Principal Urbina and the children on February 2011. Victory!

As the day ended many fans went outside to look at an amazingly crafted motorcycle, the Michael Jackson bike, where builder of this bike, Marcel “Porkchop” Miller, adorned the bike with many renderings of Michael through out his career. All the fans looked closely at his beautiful work and wished we could have a ride. 

It was, as always, with most all Michael events a blessed day filled with LOVE about and for our beautiful Michael Jackson, our inspiration, the connector of hearts and lives around the globe. Michael’s wish for unity and LOVE around the world in action… his wish fulfilled one more day… proving truly that LOVE never dies.  LOVE will always Live On in Michael's name!

Video of Michael Kiss by Larry Nimmer. Thank you Larry!

Video by Debbie Jackson. Thank you Debbie!


  1. Thanks Betty. This is fantastic!

  2. Thank you Betty, you have helped to fill in the blanks for me. As always, descriptive and full of feeling!

  3. Beautiful! Thanks for sharing your story Betty

  4. Thanks Betty. I love your blogs as always. Michael Kis is wonderful. He looks a lot like Michael too!

  5. Betty, it's Blessy (BJInTheMirror) on Twitter and Admin of UMJN. I just stumbled upon this wonderful post while looking for new stories about the auditorium! This is amazing! Although I've seen the sign itself when I went to LA last year, I've never been inside. Beautiful!! May I borrow some of your photos and post them on the Facebook page?

    1. Hi Blessy, Happy you enjoyed the story. If you ever visit the school again on a school day... try to go inside. The school office manger Maria will show you some great pics and a DVD they have for sale which help support the school and MJ's Music Room.
      You may use the pics with credit given to Michael's Heart Blog and please include the link to this Michael's Heart blog story.
      Thanks so much for sharing. It's All For LOVE.

    2. I did very much! Thank you! It's very timely coming back on this post today, the anniversary of the uncovering. Wow, I will keep that in mind. I'd love to go and see the inside. Thank you so much for giving permission. I'll be sure to give the specific credit as requested. Thanks again and much love!


    3. So happy I wrote this story now... as all the student's pics of Michael have been taken down. A little part of MJ's history at Gardner Street School preserved here. Thanks for all the work you did on this project, Blessy.