Excerpt from an article originally posted at jennymacslipsmack website;
We had eaten at the Olive Garden (the silver wrapper on the left) and walked over next door to a Hallmark Store to purchase some cards a little before 3 pm(receipt of date and time on the top right).
As we were shopping, people were talking excitedly in the store. "Michael Jackson is shopping at the Toys R Us across the street"....Yeah, right.....Nuh-uh....
Of course, my friend and I being skeptics yet curious (and with nothing to do really) we walked across the major six lane road called Leesburg Pike or Rt. 7 at Bailey's Crossroads in Falls Church, VA.
It after lunchtime and the parking lot at the Toys R Us was pretty empty. We walked over and sure enough, there was a huge stretch limo in the parking lot. A few security guard like guys lingered around the door. Toys R Us was not open.... they had closed it for the day. They said nothing about who was in there. Just a few people were lingering around the parking lot. So we waited by the limo. It wasn't really long and out comes Michael Jackson (he didn't have kids during this time), his entourage carrying many big bags of toys. No waving, no handshaking. No talking. Just his hat and big glasses to shroud his face as he was hurriedly ushered into his limo, oddly his staff seem to linger outside the car. 'Why aren't they driving off?' I wondered.
I was suddenly getting a rapid heartbeat....I asked his staff "will he do some autographs?" The burly guy coldly said, "that depends on him" Meanwhile I am clamoring around in my purse for something suitable for him to sign. Dammit. Random stupid slips of paper. I didn't want his autograph to be on my grocery list or some tampon coupon.....Wait! I went to the card store. An envelope would be perfect! Large and plenty of room for an autograph!
So I waited by the limo door. Slowly the motorized tinted window went down to give an 3 inch opening. Very white fingers rapped on the top of the window to get our attention as he flipped his hand out as to say 'gimme your stuff to sign!' We all were looking back and forth at his hand and at each other....so nervous by celebrity, yet confused as to what his hand gestures meant. Of course none of his 'bouncer guys' were gonna tell us what that meant it seemed. So I thought....'well let's see if he takes it'....so I handed the ghostly fingers my purple envelope. He snatched it and up went the window. I can't even remember if I gave him a pen or he had one or what....I was so flustered.
A few seconds later, like an ATM slip sliding out of a tinted slot. Out came his autograph:
Love, Michael Jackson
Was I a rabid fan of Michael Jackson at the time? Nope. I enjoyed his music and sang to it on the radio. Unfortunately, the music of his I DID have was in form of cassette tape. My collection has long since gone. Really, I was more into his sister's music - Janet Jackson. I have some of her CD's and even went to one of her concerts here in DC.
But when a celebrity of ANY level appears in your proximity.....JUMP on the opportunity. You just NEVER know. It just so happened to have gone to a card store and had the receipt. I didn't realize then how THAT little slip of paper that we always throw out or don't take from the clerk when they ask if we want our receipt could be so important...TAKE IT....you just never know. More importantly, keep it organized! Weird though, for some reason, despite my not-so-rabid fanship of Michael Jackson; I took the time to permanently seal my memorabilia under plastic in my photo album later on that day.
Somewhere deep down, I knew that this would be special to me one day...