Sunday, October 18, 2015

MJ's Hollywood Star & The Broken Heart Stone ♥

“Speak of others in LOVE lest you break their heart.” ~  Dawn Wilson

**  This is a rewrite of the 'Broken Heart Stone' article originally posted from March 2012...
  The 'Immortalization of Michael Jackson Hand and Footprint Ceremony'
spearheaded by the MJ Estate and held on Hollywood Blvd 
on Jan. 26, 2012 and the exciting delivery that day of 'The Broken Heart Stone.' **

I have recently started listening to my Christian music again and there is a line in a song I love that goes: "I am just a tear on a crowded street." Every time I visit MJ's Hollywood Star this is how I feel. Even in the most joyous times my heart still breaks... when I'm there near his star I'm just a 'tear' on the boulevard... for the emptiness, the loss, the missing what could have been... the longing, the yearning for more of Michael Jackson seems to never leave... will last For All Time.

God can do anything, far more than you could ever think or ask or
imagine in your wildest dreams!    ~ Ephesians 3:20


It was dark, very dark... I don’t even remember there being a moon that night. Finally and gratefully I had time off work. Just in time too as I was looking so forward to the ceremony. I had no idea what was in store on this Michaeling adventure. I have learned to just stay open to what ever God has for me. I make the plans and put the results in God’s hands. He just places me where he wants me to be. One day I may know why but for now I stand in awe of my most precious Lord and thank him constantly for he knows the deepest desires of our hearts.

Robyn and I had discussed the time... an announcement had been posted stating the earliest time to line up would be 6:00 in the morning. I am a night person, not an early riser but have trained my body clock to rise at 5:30 every day for work just like a responsible grownup. However my true heart and body clock are more that of a wild child. I’d choose to stay up all night rather than rise early. I wanted to be fresh and full of energy for this day so I forced myself to bed early in order to rise early to enjoy all the Michaelness God had in store. In mapping out our plans we decided to be on Hollywood Blvd. and in line at 5:30a.m. I needed to wake up at 3:30a.m. WHAT?

So it was for this Michael adventure in the dark of night I rose and drove bleary eyed to pick up Robyn. She hopped in the car bright eyed and far too full of energy than the hour called for. Immediately we were laughing like giddy teenagers sneaking out at night. If my grand kids are reading this: "Yes, my bad... and No, don’t even think about it!" For everyone else... Yes life does come full circle.

There we were up way before dawn, playing, thinking, singing, breathing Break of Dawn. Unable to shake that feeling of ‘If only Michael was here on this earth to sing it to us.’ I have come to accept this longing, the missing, that this empty feeling will just NEVER pass. It is part of me now. Michael’s songs, his genius music are the continual musical score of our lives and helps to fill that emptiness. I think there is a Michael song for every moment and experience in life. Now Break of Dawn plays as Michael is forever in our minds and hearts. We drive on down the 101 Freeway on to Hollywood... She’s Going Hollywood.

Hollywood Blvd deserted... 5am view from over hang
at the then Kodak Theater (now Dolby Theater)
Only the set up crew here on a
deserted Hollywood Blvd. - street level
We arrived in Hollywood in the still of the night. Hollywood to me is like Vegas - a place that never sleeps. So I am very surprised when entering the Kodak Theater parking structure to find the entire theater building and parking structure were basically empty with just a few scattered cars and workers here and there which allowed us the luxury I have never experienced to park where ever I wanted. The escalators were even shut off so we climbed several flights determined and committed to this day. Weaving our way through the empty Kodak building we emerged out on to an eerie Hollywood Blvd. The entire street was abandoned except for the workers and scaffolding as they set up for the ceremony. There seemed to be a haze hanging in the air as the bright lights from the crews cut into the uncharacteristic dark stillness of the night. It was an odd, sad sensation I’d never seen or felt on the normally bustling Hollywood Blvd. As I looked out over the Kodak balcony and down on to the street I froze. The sight and feeling took me short, as if all of Hollywood were giving a moment of silence for our fallen King. There it was again... that emptiness.

Not wanting to land too far down the line we then quickly moved down to the corner of Highland Ave. and Hollywood Blvd. across from Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Museum, the one with the dinosaur on the roof or is that Godzilla? Anyway... there they were gathered in the dark of night. The die hard MJ fans standing in line even before 5:30 in the morning. We greeted the fans. Some we have known now for the last two and half years. Michael’s loss brought us together from all different generations, religions and races. Some are brand new MJ friends. Some have traveled from other countries and great distances to stand on this corner. We shared hugs and LOVE and took our place in line. I found myself having a very difficult time standing still, so moved up and down the line talking and mingling losing my place in line several times but I didn’t care. Today I could feel the energy in the air. The unmistakable, absolute LOVE of Michael Jackson. This was a special day I could just feel it. I had felt it for weeks. It’s a power that takes over when I just know I have to be there to support something for Michael.

In the past I have risen in the wee hours many times to make the trek to the court house for the trial as one of MJ’s Soldiers of LOVE, raising my voice for JUSTICE for Michael, fighting for Conrat Murderer to be found GUILTY! I felt privileged and honored to do so, to be a part of JUSTICE for Michael Jackson. However this early day was different. This day was a celebration of Michael Jackson. A much different day in HIStory. This day we would witness Michael’s wish come to fruition as he would forever be immortalized with foot prints and handprints being placed in cement at Grauman’s Chinese Theater. His beautiful children would be here today to accomplish this and honor their father. Yes the energy was running very high on that corner of Hollywood Blvd. as we all anticipated the day and talked excitedly about Michael.

All generations love & respect Michael Jackson

We stood in line for a while and then official looking men in suits, security, showed up and said we were there too early and needed to disperse for about 20 minutes but then could line up again. So in compliance I immediately walked to the curb. Now I could have walked anywhere but I walked over to the curb... not to the corner to cross or the other way down the sidewalk but straight to the curb. As if pre-planned at the very same moment a van pulled up in front of me and a man hopped out and approached. He looked me in the eye and asked what I felt was obvious... “Are you Michael Jackson fans?” I looked at him confused wondering what planet he just arrived from as I laughingly looked back wondering if he saw what I saw and gestured to all the fans still in line with their fedoras, military jackets, Thriller and Bad jackets, some with hoodies on where Michael’s face was on the side of the hoods, which really took me back several times because in the wee morning hours my heart would jump as I kept feeling like Michael was looking back at me when they moved their heads, some in MJ shirts and some even with gold pants and sparkly gloves. As if we needed no explanation I questioningly said, “Yessssss... we are MJ fans.” Robyn and I shared a look and eyed him suspiciously as we both protectively wondered, ‘What does he want? Is he selling posters or t-shirts?’ Then I immediately asked, “Why?”

I looked closer at this straw fedora, sporting man dressed in a spiffy suit and he seemed somehow familiar to me... I told him so... he smiled at me and said, “Well I am the owner of 'The Broken Heart Stone’ and I have it in the back of my van and was wondering if the MJ fans would like to see it.” Now why I would have doubted at this point with all that has happened in my life concerning Michael Jackson I have no idea... but my next words were, “Really? Well open up so we can see.” It was about this time I realized why he looked familiar. I had read about him and ‘THE’ Broken Heart Stone that MJ had made in Las Vegas at the Rivera when the hotel had plans in place to create their own walk of fame. MJ had placed his beautiful loafer adorned magical feet in the cement in a three point dance position, made his ‘heart’ hand print in the stone and signed his name with the famous star at the end. His left hand had left a heart shape which only Michael could have done. The stone had cracked while in storage and the crack ran directly through the heart but not through the entire stone... keeping the stone intact. Robyn stood next to me, we looked again at one another, no words needed to be spoken as we both moved toward the now open back hatch of the van as if a magnetic force pulled us in. There it was lovingly covered with red velvet. We were anxious as this man, Andrew Wilson, told the fans about the stone. The excitement grew in the MJ crowd as we both stood there at the back of his van looking down on the only piece of cement in the entire world that had Michael Jackson’s actual footprints, hand print and signature embedded in it. The stone that Michael himself personally made and was very excited to show the world.

We were huddled close at the back of the van as I excitedly asked, “Can we see it without the cover?  Please uncover it.” I was snapping pictures of each step. Andy, much too slowly for me, gently and carefully removed the red velvet from the stone and there in the dim light of the van was “Michael’s Broken Heart Stone” with the amazing heart palm print, there right before my very eyes. I leaned inside the van to get a closer look. For sometime after that moment it all seemed to move in slow motion, feeling alone and yet in a crowd as I heard in what seemed to be the distance, but later realized was right behind me, the high pitch sound of fans squealing, buzzing and laughing in high anticipation and pressing in. I felt the force of the fans pushing against me from behind so I leaned in further and asked in awe and respect, “Can we touch it?” Andy who was now standing at the side door looking in at us crazy fans smiled and verbally released the onslaught with an “Of course!” So I literally crawled up into the van and touched Michael’s shoe prints. I could hear Robyn laughing near me to my left and then saw her hand with the sweet turquoise nails reach out and tenderly touch Michael’s hand print. My heart paused and I took a deep breath as I knew exactly what she was thinking and feeling in that moment, Speechless. I then stretched my fingers out over the handprint of MJ’s fingers visualizing in my mind his long fingers against mine. His hand had been there where mine now rested... I didn’t want to leave that spot.

I lost my balance as the force of the fans suddenly pushing in landed me on top of the stone. I was literally laying on top of the stone! It seemed the place for me to be somehow. So I took full advantage of my position thinking, “Well I’m here now... I might as well touch every area of Michael’s fabulous three point, dancer’s pose, loafer, shoe prints.” So I ran my hands over every single inch of the foot prints and his beautiful signature, even the special star burst at the end, all the while laying on my stomach with my feet dangling out the back of the van as MJ fans crowded around me. In my mind I was alone there with Michael while he painstakingly signed his name in the wet cement. I could see his beautiful face and his hand moving slowly deliberately as he signed his name and drew the final flourish of the star burst at the end.

The clamoring and screeching of the fans burst my bubble and I reluctantly had to release my hold on the stone to let others have a look and a touch. I tried to move but the press of the fans made it almost impossible. Pushing against the flow I put my head down and forged out backwards through the crowd asking, “Hey guys please let me out.” Literally crawling backwards I popped out of the back of the van and landed on my feet, found my bearings on the solid ground once again.  Then began immediately talking with Andy who had come around to meet us as the other fans moved in to get their look. I knew who he was now and wanted to know more as I just knew he had a wonderful story to tell... and anyone who knows me knows how I simply LOVE a Michael Jackson story, my Best Of Joy. Yes, God knows the desires of our hearts.

In our conversation I learned that by God’s divine intervention Andy first became aware of the existence of The Broken Heart Stone the day that Michael died. The stone many thought was lost forever until it was discovered stored in the basement of the Rivera Hotel in Las Vegas not long before it was demolished. An amazing story of God’s hand and direction on Andy’s life as God chose him to deliver this wonderful gift, ‘the most famous hand print in entertainment history’ rightfully to the Jackson family and so doing also blessed Michael Jackson fans. Andy shared he had heard of La Toya’s story of Paris sharing the broken heart necklace with her daddy. As shared by La Toya she went with Paris and purchased a broken heart and two necklace chains. One for Paris and one for her daddy, each having one half of the broken heart. One Paris wrapped around her daddy’s wrist and the other she kept. It was this story that motivated Andy to realize that the Jackson family MUST have the stone. God bless you Andrew Wilson for following God’s leading and your heart of LOVE for Michael and his children.

Clearly even the police are MJ fans at heart, stood in awe, interested and enthralled by The Broken Heart Stone.

This day was a marvelous, high spirited celebration of LOVE for Michael.  Tito and Jackie Jackson acknowledged Andrew and Dawn Wilson for making the stone available to the Jackson family. In this statement The Broken Heart Stone was publicly back in the hands of those who deserved to have it the most, Michael’s children and the Jackson family.

The celebration that day was  beautiful. It was just so touching to see Michael’s children so happy. I  just know Michael is looking down from heaven and is so proud of them.  They are all three just beautiful examples of his amazing parenting skills. Their confidence and respect for their father and the enormous glowing smiles lit up the children’s faces and the stage just as their father used to.

MJ fans have always known it was Michael’s desire to have his footprints and handprints in the cement at Grauman’s, his beautiful children proudly and gratefully confirmed this during the  ceremony, and God used Andrew Wilson and his lovely wife, Dawn, to make this happen. Andy shared that only the day before the ceremony the contract had been finalized and signed. Leaving frantic last minute  arrangements to deliver the Broken Heart Stone to Grauman’s Chinese Theater for the 'Immortalization of Michael Jackson in the Hand and Footprint Ceremony'.

It was later in talking to John Branca at the MJIWT Los Angeles premier at Staples that I learned that the negotiations to garner 'The Broken Heart Stone' for the Jackson family on this special day had gone on for almost a year and he felt very happy negotiantions had been finalized in time for the ceremony and that every one was happy with the end result. Michael Jackson fans around the world can thank John Branca and Howard Weitzman for their loving commitment and hard work to Michael and his family which enabled this wonderful piece of Michael HIStory to go public.

Video screen pic of the Jackson family, celebs
and MJ Estate members in attendance
MJ Immortal Cirque dancers entertain the crowd

If you look carefully you can see the image of a fedora above the studded glove imprint in the wet cement.

        So like Michael to be there with his children and to make some magic.

Paris fittingly writes her father's name with a heart in the middle, 'Michael ♥ Jackson.' Watching her at the  ceremony write her father's name in the cement I see Michael in so many ways, with all three I see Michael, but here on this day I see Michael in 1984 on his knee writing his name so carefully in the cement.

A week or two later after the Grauman's cement stone had dried enough for installation both stones were installed in the center of the main Grauman's Chinese Theater patio, directly in front of the main theater doors, only steps from Michael's original Hollywood Star on the sidewalk.

The two stones next to each other center court in front of Grauman's Chinese Theater.  
HOME at last! MJ's wish comes to fruition.

Whose hands? Rachael, Gi, Nicky, Betty.
A great memory!
Fans from around the globe can now visit Grauman’s and touch a piece of Michael’s heart and history. It’s a beautiful thing! So fittingly and assuredly the most important element to Michael, as we were always so accustomed to seeing, was Michael holding hands with his children. Michael’s stone sits right next to his children's hand print stone. All their hands forever immortalized connected For All Time.

Michael’s original star, the Hollywood Walk of Fame Star, with the Broken Heart Stone in the background awaiting it's presentation. The original MJ Hollywood Star where not long after Michael had received it and while in the process of writing his book 'Moonwalker' was riding in a car down busy Hollywood Blvd. with one of the editors discussing his book when suddenly he asked the driver to pull over and stop the car. He jumped out did one of his famous spins and dance moves, sang a short bit of a song and then jumped back in the car giggling and laughing as they drove away. You can read this story in the editor's notes of 'Moonwalker'.


** Credit for top picture and several other pictures to Andrew and Dawn Wilson

 ♥ Robyn's video The Broken Heart Stone.
   Thank you Robyn. Just Beautiful!


If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.  Psalm 139:9-10


Sunday, July 19, 2015

Kent Twitchell's Smooth Criminal Mural ♥

♥ UPDATE: MJ fans need to know this information. There are NO donations being taken at this time to install the Smooth Criminal Mural anywhere.  The article below was a fun and exciting event for MJ fans last summer... BUT all has not worked out for this installation.

In the future it is our hope that we may see this incredible mural respectfully installed somewhere... but for now all plans for the installation via the Museum of San Fernando Valley and the Marriott are no longer in effect.

In time when the mural is finally and definitely installed it will be with respect and integrity for Michael's memory... and Kent Twitchell the artist who personally worked with MJ to create it.

*** If you are asked for donations for the mural installation give at your own risk. That money will NOT be going toward the installation of this mural on the Marriott in San Fernando Valley, Calif. 


Kent Twitchell's 10-story, Michael Jackson, Smooth Criminal mural may soon be a major new Michaeling spot near Michael’s family home.

The installation of this incredible art piece has been a LONG time coming... since the '90s when Michael worked closely with Kent to create this one of a kind art piece. This spectacular piece of art has been rolled up and stored away for over a decade in Kent Twitchell’s Los Angeles warehouse; however to the joy and bliss of MJ fans around the world portions of this 60 ft. x 100 ft. tall mural are now on display in the galleries of The Museum of The San Fernando Valley.

Courtyard Marriott Hotel, pic of envisioned installation
Michael lived in and called the Hayvenhurst compound in the San Fernando Valley (SFV) home for many years. This bustling valley which is just northwest of Hollywood lays conveniently just over the hill from the Hollywood and Beverly Hills sound studios where he spent much time creating his master pieces. Michael also owned a condo close by Hayvenhurst which he used as a safe and private getaway, a place to store some of his ever growing art and sculpture collection, business and friend meetings and sometimes met media for an interview in the condo. In addition he established a business office for MJJ Productions near by Hayvenhurst on Ventura Blvd. He worked, shopped, visited the local Barnes and Noble book store, doctor and dentist in the SFV, and walked his pet llama on the streets of SFV... all those everyday, normal things that we do... well except walk our pet llamas. He also created his magic in the Hayvenhurst compound recording studio he had specially built. He choreographed parts of the infamous Billie Jean dance routine in the kitchen of Hayvenhurst before the 30th Motown Anniversary TV show and he wrote Liberian Girl in the home studio, after playing pinball upstairs in his room and becoming inspired raced down to the recording studio to write the song. So much MJ history happened in the San Fernando Valley that it is so very fitting that the Smooth Criminal Mural be installed in a prime location of the SFV. The chosen display wall of the Courtyard Marriott Hotel faces the 405 freeway as you enter SFV from the south. In this prime location MJ's mural will be seen daily by over 330,000 cars coming and going each rush hour... morning and night.

Simply Must Dance and Sing Along when MJ's music comes on!

Just in time for the kick off of MJ Tribute week in June the MJ fans were graciously invited to the soft opening of Kent’s MJ mural on June 19, 2015 at The Museum of The San Fernando Valley. Among the other art work from valley museum members and historic pictures from other Hollywood celebrities who also lived in the SFV over the past decades portions of MJ’s mural now hold a prime spot. Here you are able to see up close the incredible dot detail of the mural which when you step back gives the look and feel of a photograph.

Can You Feel It? Museum attendees and staff experienced the joy of MJ fans listening to Michael’s music as we gathered for a group photo but instead broke into a spontaneous expression of joy when MJ’s music began to play and we automatically began to dance and sing along.

♥ MJ Glittery Tattoo Meet and Greet 2015:

Also during the kick off for June 2015 MJ Tribute Week the MJFSC fans were very honored to have Kent Twitchell attend the MJ Glittery Tattoo Meet and Greet 2015 on June 21st at the Universal Sheraton. Kent kindly sat with us and shared stories about the creation of the mural and working with Michael. 

Kent and MJ go over pics at MJ's Studio City Condo in SFV
Mural Photo Shoot
Michael and Kent met at Kent's warehouse studio and Michael’s condo among other places to work on this mural. In speaking with Kent he shared that the two mulled over many different themes for the mural and when Kent suggested the '20s mobster theme Michael just loved it, his eyes lit up and he became very excited suggesting the Smooth Criminal suit. Kent confirmed and felt that the white, Smooth Criminal suit would work perfectly. The contrast with the white suit, Michael's skin tone and the many colors of blue including the azure blue California sky would really make the mural pop. As with all things MJ he wanted to make a huge statement and impact, so vivid, bright colors where chosen to contrast with the white suit. Michael and Kent personally created exclusive, MJ mural paint colors. These unique and vivid, one of a kind, paint colors were created in New York and cannot be seen anywhere else in the world... vivid blues, skin tone colors and whites special ordered under lock and key. Paint colors exclusive only to MJ and will always remain so as MJ holds the rights still today. Also Kent shared that after the installation is complete on the Courtyard Marriott Hotel wall there will be a very special, strong sealant applied which will protect the mural from smog, weather and general wear. This very same sealant was applied to Michaelangelo's Sistine Chapel artwork in Italy after their recent restorations. Also the bottom of the mural will hit the top of the second floor which will also protect and keep it out of reach from vandalism.

All of Kent's murals are created from photos so several meetings took place over a span of five years, spending many hours creating together, brain storming, holding photo shoots, discussing the creation and presentation, and what building would be best suited for the mural. Kent rode with Michael in MJ’s car several times traveling around the SFV, Hollywood, Los Angeles areas looking for the right building or just going out to eat... and yes Michael drove and according to Kent did a fine job of driving. Ultimately they chose the side of the El Capitan Theater in Hollywood just across the street and down a bit from MJ’s Hollywood Star. This plan as we now know never came to fruition.

 I am a person who believes everything happens for a reason... so maybe the final installation place was meant to be in an even more advantageous place?

Kent's respect for Michael shown clearly as he told me how Michael always made everyone who worked for him feel like HE was the one working for them, always concerned if they were comfortable or needed anything, never raising his voice and always saying please and thank you. He  affirmed what so many who knew Michael have shared, that Michael was the kindest person he had ever met and was always so considerate of those around him asking over and over what he could do for them, always asking did they need him to do anything else. Fondly smiling Kent revealed that Michael had told him he envisioned himself as a sort of modern day P.T. Barnum.

Michael invited Kent to stay in the cottage at Neverland. At Neverland they spent many hours working on the creation of the mural or just talking and relaxing on the grounds. They both shared a deep love of classical music... another reason why Michael and Kent must have hit it off so well. Not only is Kent like Michael a kind, considerate, gentle human being but also he like Michael appreciates the beauty of classical music. Kent fondly recounted that at Neverland you could hear music everywhere. Michael had classical music playing for him inside and out, surrounding them everywhere, as it came out of the rocks and trees... and even the rides.

Original building choice as it would have looked
installed on the El Capitan Theater

It was fascinating to learn from Kent that the original mural installation would have included one of MJ's personally, conjured up state of the art special affects. Michael had requested a special cloud making machine which would have created a smoke affect coming up from MJ's feet. Although on the Hollywood site it would have been an incredible special affect this will not be possible with the new installation... yes I asked. ;)  However there is going to be one unintentional added affect with the Courtyard Marriott installation. On the side of the building is an elevator shaft, the wall needs to be flat to install the mural, so plans are in process for construction of wedges to be inserted along each side of the shaft on the outside of the building. This will create a slightly convex, curved feel when the mural is installed. This slight curve will hopefully create a feeling of MJ pushing his chest out.

Kent holding the little book about the mural which
is available for purchase to help support the installation
Kent signs a picture for Albert in the Netherlands via Joan
Group pic with Kent at the MJ Glittery Tattoo Event 2015
MJ Fans choosing their glitter tattoos

Kent Twitchell's website

A Guide Map to Kent Twitchell's L.A. Area Murals

** Well worth the read!
This is a link to a wonderful Los Angeles Times article by Deborah Vankin about Kent Twitchell:

[article excerpt] As is the fleeting nature of street art, many of these works no longer exist, but more than a dozen of Twitchell's murals are still up — often seen from major freeway intersections, familiar landmarks to Angelenos traversing the city.

Another article on Culture Monster from Los Angeles Times: