by Harriette J. Schwartz
(Tarzana CA)

by Harriette J. Schwartz

In a town known for its tinsel and the ability to erupt a good can of whoopla, tomorrow’s memorial tribute and burial services for the King of Pop is sure to be the most watched and loudest farewell any departing spirit could hope for. The Ed Sullivan Show, which featured early Michael Jackson had a catchphrase. Ed always promised, this will surely be a “really big show.” As for tomorrow pallies, that is putting it mildly.

Okay I still consider myself a New Yorker at heart, but I am a resident of Los Angeles since 1990. As the whole world knows, finances here are a mess. If you get an IOU from the City of LA these days, sadly you should not hold your breath for payment. Now, Los Angeles taxpayers could get stuck with the estimated $2.5 million for security and crowd control needed for tomorrow’s Jackson funeral and memorial. As one of those local taxable peeps, I hope the Jackson family steps forward to cover all or part of the bill. I too however, will not hold my breath. I will pray though.

I live one town over from Encino here in LA, where the Jackson family “compound” is and I am glad I have no idea where in the hills it is, though I know its very close. I do not care to know. I am familiar with the locations of Forrest Lawn Cemetery and the Staples Center. Just as I never went to Times Square on New Year’s Eve, so shall I steer clear of it all tomorrow. Home with the AC and TV is fine for me.

DameElizabeth (Liz Taylor) tweeted pm Twitter today words to the effect that her grief is private and she is sure Michael would not want her to share it with the world, thus she will not be at Staples Center. I am certain that the “Twitter is over capacity” banner will be raised a lot tomorrow. Communications will be running rampant in every form. I just heard on TV as I sit typing this, that coverage of events tomorrow will begin at 4am.

Like all things Michael Jackson, tomorrow will be megastar quality and not at all simple. It will include a stellar list of names both remembering and performing in honor of his vast body of work. His albums will continue to sell as they are now, like hotcakes. It is likely the video of his rehearsals just days before his death will be turned into some sort of sellable DVD concert. For the world is not quite ready to let go yet, so many grieving this loss and holding onto him still. He is an icon now.

I have said that those to whom we did not say goodbye are the hardest to let go of. Now finally, the time has come for the entire universe to bid the King of Pop a safe journey. Michael Jackson after all was a superstar and one of the most uniquely talented entertainers of our lifetime; an incredible and trailblazing artist. Like so many others, I saw him from the beginning; watched him grow up. It is unfortunate that despite his accomplishments and fortunes, Jackson became a very lonely and eccentric man. No matter how hard he searched Michael could not find the “man in the mirror” because he got lost in so many permutations. I hope when tomorrow is said and done, that man and his spirit of a little boy get to spend eternity with love and joy in the Neverland he envisioned but never quite found here on earth.

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