When Elvis died, I was at home listening to rock station KMET ("The Mighty Met") when the DJ interrupted the programming to announce the death of The King. I was 13 and while Elvis was kind of a comic cult figure to people my age, I still appreciated who he was and grieved a tiny bit. But not nearly as much as the lady who lived across the street from us. She was so bereft that she simply had to go to Him. So without a word of warning to her husband, who was at work, as soon as she heard the news, she hightailed it to the airport and got a flight to Memphis. I haven't lived in that neighborhood since 1981 but we STILL talk about how Carole S. ran off to Memphis when Elvis died.
When Princess Diana died, TheManTheMyth and I were watching TV when a Special Bulletin interrupted our show. We already knew Princess Di had been in a horrible car crash. But before the newscaster even opened his mouth, I turned to TheManTheMyth and said, "Oh my God, she's dead!" because there wasn't anything else serious enough to warrant interrupting whatever it was we were watching. We stayed up into the wee hours of the morning, watching every newscast we could find. We sat and cried while watching her funeral and felt that the world had lost a Great Lady. Today, I think Princess Di was a manipulative whackaloon obsessed with revenge on her former husband to the point where it clouded her judgement but at the time, she was the "People's Princess" and we grieved along with the rest of the world.
When Dale Earnhardt was killed in the last turn of the last lap of the Daytona 500, we were stunned. To NASCAR fans he was Superman and Superman isn't supposed to die. For the first time, I finally understood why the neighbor lady flew to Memphis when The King died. If I could have, I would have flown to North Carolina and hung around outside DEI, laying flowers at the fence while bawling like a banshee.
Yesterday, I woke up to the not-unexpected news that Farrah Fawcett had lost her battle with cancer. Despite only one season on Charlie's Angels and a couple of movies since, she was still just as famous as she was back in 1976, when her infamous poster came out. Some of her fame was due to her relationship with Ryan O'Neal (he'll never win Father of the Year) and her poor, screwed up son (that poor kid was doomed from the get-go, IMO) but when news of her cancer came out, everyone rallied behind her.
I was watching HGTV or something when I received a text from Thing 2, informing me that Michael Jackson, The King of Pop, "Wacko Jacko" was dead. What the F***? No way? Way! I was shocked. Stunned. And saddened. His controversial life had a tendency to overshadow what an incredible talent he was. He went from a black male to a white genderless creature but who can ever forget "Thriller" and the moonwalk and "Billie Jean" and how he set fashion trends. Hello? Red leather jacket? Single sequinned glove? Fedora? White sparkly socks with black loafers? Yeah.
I hope both Farrah and Michael are both free from the pain, both physically and emotionally, that they suffered from.
Rest in peace.