Saturday, January 8, 2011

"I get chills every time I think about it..."

Here's another MJ beautiful recollection I'd found at Associated Content website;

Michael Jackson Showed Support in 1989 to My Town of Stockton, California

By Darrin Atkins, Yahoo! Contributor Network

Michael Jackson was there for us when it mattered most. He didn't have to, but that was the side of him that many people did not know. 

On a day when the City of Stockton was down for the count, Michael Jackson showed up out of the blue and resuscitated us back into existence. We could  not do the same for him.

After a madman with a rifle killed and injured dozens of schoolchildren at Cleveland Elementary in Stockton, California, nobody would expect the world's biggest musical superstar to take notice and make the effort to show up in person in January of 1989.

Patrick Purdy may have destroyed many lives that day, but Michael Jackson's presence helped bring more attention and compassion to the victims than anybody else on planet Earth could have done in a hundred years.

I certainly remember the panic in the air around Stockton, the calamity and desperation of parents stopping everything they were doing and racing to get their kids out of school immediately. I clearly recall hoping desperately that the police got there fast and ended it in a hurry.

The incident in Stockton led to a quick assault rifle ban in California and was the beginning of national campaigns and activism against these types of deadly guns, according to an analysis by Reuters. Michael Jackson played a major role by his presence there that day.

Michael Jackson's Support

Michael Jackson, coolest pop singer on the planet, showed up in Stockton with "truckloads of gifts to the children" and helped comfort survivors of the attack, according to Diane Batres who worked for the district attorney's victim witness department. 

The Record newspaper of Stockton has reported that Michael Jackson went far beyond the call of duty when he visited the classrooms of Cleveland Elementary School and met with the injured survivors of the shooting.

This is true. The residents of Stockton suffered a huge psychological blow that cannot be described, one where one minute all is normal and the next minute a crazed maniac with an assault rifle is shooting and killing  innocent children at an elementary school. The rage, madness and intensity of this cannot be compared.

The Future

It has been a little more than twenty years since the Cleveland Elementary School shooting in Stockton, but I get chills every time I think about it because I lived in Stockton at the time, was a high school student then, and it easily could have been my school that Purdy attacked.

Michael Jackson was exceptionally different and he had more than his share of troubles. But I don't remember any of that stuff. 
My most powerful and long-lasting memory of Michael Jackson was after that school shooting in my hometown when he showed up and brought doses of mesmerizing happiness and cool comfort that nobody else in the world could bring. 

At the height of his fame, he reached out to a community that needed help in the worst way. The king of pop is dead. Long live the king. Long live the king. Again I say, long live the king.


And this one, a related post from Democratic Underground;

Jackson Remembered Fondly for 1989 Stockton Visit

STOCKTON, CA - Diane Batres wasn't happy back in 1989 when she took a call from someone at MJJ Productions.

"I thought it was someone wanting to make a movie. I was furious," said Batres.

The Cleveland School shootings had happened a couple weeks before -- and Batres was in charge of the District Attorney's Victim Witness department. Then she learned MJJ was Michael Jackson, offering a Stockton visit to comfort survivors of the school attack.

"It was very kind of him to do this. He brought truckloads of gifts to the children and held children in his arms. He was genuinely concerned and expressed his sorrow," said Batres.

Jackson gave videotapes of his recent recordings to the children. One of the songs was 'Man in the Mirror.' Batres heard later from a grateful parent how much that meant.

"One of the mothers called after the experience and said, 'I'm so glad I saw that' because she realized for the first time there were yellow tears, white tears, brown tears and black tears. Every tear was the same color. They all felt the same sadness," said Batres.

Like him or not, many were impacted in a personal way by MJ.


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