On June 19th 1991, Michael visits the island of Bermuda with his friend, Home Alone star, Macaulay Culkin.
Alan Goldstein and his wife, Lynn, remember they were busy getting ready to take a nice family vacation with their youngest son, Brock, and his best pal, Mac, when they overheard Brock on the phone with Mac, saying something to the effect of yeah, sure, bring him along, too.
This is how pop superstar Michael Jackson appeared at their hotel in Bermuda with a shy smile on his famous face, and a trunkful of squirt guns, race cars and stink bombs on his bed in the VIP suite.
Nice to meet you, the Goldsteins said, or something to that effect.
The surreal island idyll began when Brock Goldstein, a sometime actor in Orlando, met Macaulay Culkin on a movie set and the two 10-year-olds became fast friends. After his hit Home Alone was released that year, Mac Culkin made another new friend, as well: Michael Jackson.
"That sounds like fun. Mind if I tag along?" Culkin would remember Jackson saying when he mentioned the upcoming Bermuda trip with his buddy Brock.
Although prosecutors would later suggest that Jackson crashed the party, Alan Goldstein recalls that the family had been in Bermuda for a few days and had just gotten off their mopeds when the hotel relayed a message to please call "Mr. M. Jackson."
The world's best-selling voice came on the other line. "Well, I just need a break," Jackson explained. "Would you mind?" Goldstein, who grew up in Wheaton, started scrambling to find suitable quarters, until Jackson called back and said he had it all arranged -- two suites at the luxe Hamilton Princess. Goldstein swallowed hard.
"I can't afford that," he admitted.
"Don't worry," Jackson assured him, "everything's on me."
He turned up the next day in "his standard red shirt, black pants, yellow socks and wide-brim hat," Goldstein, recalled in a telephone interview from his home in Las Vegas. Jackson invited the gang up to his suite.
"He'd brought this huge trunk. He threw it up on the bed and opened it up," Goldstein says. "It looked like he'd raided a Toys R Us. He's got water guns, race cars, chewing gum that made your mouth turn black, snap-and-pops . . . "
While Lynn Goldstein mopped up behind them with Turkish towels, the two grown men and two small boys raced around the suite in a Supersoaker war.
It was great fun, the Goldstein menfolk now reminisce.
"It was a nightmare" is how Lynn good-naturedly puts it.
Jackson came to Bermuda alone, and the role of surrogate-manager fell to Lynn, who made sure the star's meals were vegetarian and that hotel management kept away fans. Jackson's trip made the local press, and then the international media.
For nearly two weeks, first in Bermuda and then back in Orlando at Disney World, the Goldsteins found themselves immersed in the other world of stardom with a benefactor they considered both weird and wonderful.
But with Jackson on board, dreams of sunny days on the beach disappeared, and they all became Vacationers of the Night, venturing out in the wee hours to protect Jackson and Culkin from being mobbed. That meant 2 a.m. dips in the hotel pool, room service instead of restaurants, shopping trips arranged after stores closed to the public.
Jackson tried to compensate for the inconveniences.
"We were talking one day about how it might be fun to try diving," Alan Goldstein said, "and next thing you know, we've got a dive boat to ourselves with some dive masters to teach us."
When the family wanted to see a variety show at one of the island's resort hotels, the cast put on a private performance at one in the morning in an otherwise empty auditorium, the Goldsteins said. "There was a Michael Jackson impersonator, which was a little awkward, but Michael was fine with it," says Alan Goldstein.
Brock Goldstein remembers the "once-in-your-lifetime" excitement of his favourite music star suddenly becoming a playmate. He remembers Jackson pulling out a small laser light and taking the boys out on the balcony to shine the beam down on bewildered beachgoers
"We'd try to get them to follow it," Brock recalls. "We'd be calling out: 'Follow the red liiiiight, follow the red liiiight. The red light has a present for you! Look, it's a red balloon!' " The three would then hurl water balloons at their targets, ducking behind the balcony to collapse in laughter.
The vacationers headed back to Orlando, where the Goldsteins then lived, and holed up in separate suites at a Disney World hotel to enjoy the theme park for a week.
Summer after summer drifted by. The Goldsteins tucked away their photo albums and lost touch with both Jackson and Culkin.
Lynn Goldstein noted, during one conversation in Bermuda, she recalled, Jackson turned to her and said wistfully: "'You know, kids are different than adults. Kids are honest with you. You can trust them. I haven't met an adult who has been my friend without ending up wanting something from me.' "
"He was like one of us," Brock Goldstein says of Jackson, and his childlike antics in Bermuda. "It makes perfect sense to me because he never had a childhood."
text source: http://www.washingtonpost.com
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