Dec 01 2011

December 1st is World AIDS Day

Category: Children,Friends,Humanitarian,Photos,Poetry,VideosSeven @ 1:16 am

In honor of World AIDS Day, I’d like to bring attention not only to this horrible disease and all those suffering with it or who may suffer with it, but also to Michael Jackson who this site is dedicated to, and who bravely and selflessly befriended young Ryan White who contracted HIV/AIDs in the 1980s from a blood transfusion. Kicked out of school and shunned by many in his Indiana town because of fear of the disease, Michael became Ryan’s friend and companion during the last years of Ryan’s life. Michael attended Ryan’s funeral with his family, and performed the song “Gone Too Soon” in honor of Ryan, who died in April 1990. One video of that song is below, sung at Bill Clinton’s inauguration, after which Michael asked President Clinton to provide research and treatment funding to fight the disease. The Ryan White Care Act was passed in August 1990.

On October 21st 2009, the House passed the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act (S.1793), reauthorizing the Ryan White program for four years. On Oct 29, 2009, Ryan White’s mother Jeanne White-Ginder was present at the signing ceremony of this fourth extension of the original Care Act.

The Ryan White program has served people with AIDS and HIV for nearly two decades. The Ryan White program provides care, treatment and support services to nearly half a million people.

I had little Ryan White in my dining room telling his mother at the table, ‘Mother, when you bury me, I don’t want to be in a suit and tie.’ He said, ‘Don’t put me in a suit and tie. I want to be in jeans and a t-shirt.’ I said, ‘Excuse me, I have to go to the bathroom.’ And I ran to the bathroom and I cried. Imagine a 12-year-old boy telling his mother how to bury him. That’s what I heard him say. How could your heart not go out to someone like that?

-Michael Jackson

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Also featured below is a link where Ryan’s mother talks about Michael’s relationship with Ryan and the White family. This interview was televised in July 2009, after Michael’s death (embedding is disallowed for this video, thus, I only provide a link):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSPRxVLOjQE

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And not least, directly below is a link to MANY AIDS charities that you can contact if you would like to help or donate:

http://www.looktothestars.org/category/1-aids#charities

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MJ and Ryan White

Michael and Ryan: Two Angels - Both "Gone Too Soon"

• • •

Ryan White

Ryan White, symbol of justice
Or child of innocence, messenger of love
Where are you now, where have you gone?

Ryan White, I miss your sunny days
We carelessly frolicked in extended plays
I miss you, Ryan White
I miss your smile, innocent and bright
I miss your glory, I miss your light

Ryan White, symbol of contradiction
Child of Irony, or child of fiction?
I think of your shattered life
Of your struggle, of your strife

While ladies dance in the moonlit night
Champage parties on charted cruises
I see your wasted form, your ghostly sight
I feel your festering wounds, your battered bruises

Ryan White, symbol of agony and pain
Of ignorant fear gone insane
In a hysterical society
With free-floating anxiety
And feigned piety

I miss you, Ryan White
You showed us how to stand and fight
In the rain you were the cloudburst joy
The sparkle of hope in every girl and boy
In the depths of your anguished sorrow
Was the dream of another tomorrow

–Michael Jackson

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NOTE: While Michael performed the song in honor of Ryan White, ‘Gone Too Soon‘ was written by Buz Kohan (lyrics) – head writer of the 1983 Motown TV special & many other specials – and Larry Grossman (music) – Thank you Angela!

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Aug 08 2011

‘Once Upon a Time’ in a Neverland Far, Far Away…

Category: Children,Friends,Photos,Prose/Essays,Quotes About MJSeven @ 5:13 pm

A while back, I wrote about a friend of Michael’s named Joanelle Romero and her daughter Sage, who worked with Michael on the Black or White video. Joanelle (Sage’s mother) had been friends with Michael at Gardner St. Elementary. But Joanelle and Sage were not the only ‘Romeros‘ whom Michael befriended. There was another.

LaLa Romero is a singer who remembers meeting and spending time with Michael as a 5-year old child. She shared her memories of Michael on her website. LaLa wrote:

Michael with little LaLa Romero at 5

Michael with sleepy little LaLa Romero at 5

I don’t tell this story too often, in fact growing up I kinda learned to just keep it to myself.

Whenever people would find out I knew him, a gang of silly, dumb questions would follow, and I would always end up having to defend someone I loved so much.

When I was 5, my cousin Brian and I where OBSESSED with Micheal Jackson. We had dolls, sleeping bags, lunch boxes, and OF COURSE the gloves. I was pretty convinced I was goin to be him when I grew up, and nobody could tell me otherwise! Brian was older then me, and found out at school MJ actually lived in the Valley, we lived in. Anyone from LA pretty much knew the house. So we wrote him letters and enclosed a bunch of pics, you remember the ones from school you’d write on the bk, yeah well, lucky Micheal got about 25 of me!! Basically we told him we LOVED him & I told him I was a singer and dancer!!! We also asked him to come to our house & visit!! Our loca tia Carol (RIP) took us to his house and we rang the gaurd gate. His gaurd came out to us & took our letters. WE WERE SOOOOOOO HAPPY, we KNEW he would get em!! I honestly can say we were just happy enough to see his gate & meet his gaurd NEVER did we really expect what happened next.

About 4 days later, at 10:30 pm, my mom got the call from Carol, Michael Jackson was HERE, in our APT building, on her couch. I was 5 & anybody who knows a 5 year old also knows that it’s damn near impossible to wake em up!! The pic you see of us is him holding me, cause I wouldn’t wake up, he insisted my parents take da pic so I would truly know he came!! A few days later I was going into the hospital for sugery & he called me. I couldn’t BELIEVE I was talking to Micheal Jackson & that he actually had my number!! Over the next few years he would invite Brian & I to his house, to watch him shot his videos & to his shows.

It’s weird, when I was lil, I didn’t really grasp FAME, especially his FAME. All I knew was he was my friend & I think thats why he liked me. My friendship with him changed my life. It was a HUGE influence, it made me believe having a singer career was in arms reach. My neighborhood didn’t support BIG DREAMS but his freindship gave me confidence & assurance that ANYTHING & EVERYTHING is possible, if you work hard & aren’t scared to try. His generousity & kindness inspires me daily. Here was the biggest super star in the world taking time out to come to a broken down apt building in Van Nuys CA to see his fans. He was ALWAYS about his fans & his community, and I really always knew that if I got my chance I would strive to be just like that!!

Even as a tiny lil girl I could see his saddness & his lonely. It was a part of him, I think his childhood, fame & money alienated him from most of the world. Thats why he loved US cause we didnt care about the BS!! We just had fun!! He was so goofy & silly, we would jump on his trampoline and raid his candy shop.

Micheal was like Edward Scissorhands & Willy Wonka to me, SOOOOO AMAZING in the HEART but so misunderstood by most! I love him always for touching my life & showing me a different world then the one I grew up in.

I hope those babies of his really grow up understanding that they did have the best daddy in the world. His heart & sprirt are what made him the GREATEST and so RARE.

One day I’ll post more pics, and tell ya specific stories!! All the good things ya heard about him were ALL TRUE!! I promise!!

R.I.P M.J. YOU WILL BE MISSED AND ALWAYS LOVED!

LaLa Romero, Emmanuel Lewis, and Michael

LaLa Romero, Emmanuel Lewis, and Michael

Below is a video where LaLa Romero talks about friend and mentor Micheal Jackson:

LaLa Romero has a Facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/LaLa-Romero/407186915103?sk=wall and her website is http://www.lalaromero.com.

Thank you LaLa for sharing your memories of Michael with the world — and thanks to my friend Brigitte for finding the additional photos, video, and websites to accompany this amazing story.

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Jul 12 2011

“I don’t want to leave…please, all I want to do is be a kid.”

Category: Art,Children,Photos,Prose/EssaysSeven @ 3:35 am

"I don't want to leave ... I just want to be a kid."

"I don't want to leave...please, all I want to do is be a kid."

I often think of Michael in that big tree at Neverland, because he climbed up during the Bashir documentary…and was really savoring those peaceful moments with nature. Remember how sweet his profile was? Michael was all about communing with the spirit and had more going for him just in the richness of his soul. But the moment that really got to me was when I looked out my second floor office window in the spring of 2010. I was fixated on one of the trees below, and suddenly Michael “appeared” under the tree. He was about 11 and was wearing that famous purple brimmed hat that he wore on the Ed Sullivan Show. His big eyes looked up at me and without words he was saying, “look at me, I’m down here. I don’t want to leave…please, all I want to do is be a kid.” I ran to the rest room and just fell apart. It took me about ten minutes to recover. Now every time I see that tree I can’t help thinking of him. Our lives have changed forever.

Even though it was all in my imagination, my heart and mind were there…with Michael…in the moment. I saw him looking at me, pleading with those eyes and it felt so real. I was trying to tell him that I could hear him, as if we were communicating with our souls.

Micheline James

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{ I do not know who to credit for the artwork. It really is very whimsical and sweet. -Seven }

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Jun 29 2011

Who cares now about children in Romanian orphanages?

Category: Children,Humanitarian,Photos,Quotes About MJSeven @ 10:03 am

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At the 'Heal the World' Playground in Romania

That is a line from my poem called ‘Love’s Symphony‘, published here back in 2009.

And it’s true that Michael Jackson was one of the few – if not the only one – who ever gave a thought to children in Romanian orphanages, which are known for being particularly dismal places.

He just felt so bad that there were so many little children in Romania in these orphanages, and he wanted to try to give them homes.”  -Brooke Shields

I recall a story from Kenny Ortega about going with Michael to one of those orphanages and relating how Michael demanded that extra personnel be hired, that new beds and bedding and other items be provided, before he would go on stage the next day. Ortega claimed that Michael had turned that orphanage around in less than 24 hours. Michael – more than anyone else I know – used his stature and his money in ways that helped others. . . others that hardly no one else even gave a thought to.

Following is another story about Michael helping an orphanage in Bucharest, Romania by completely funding the building of a playground there.

SOURCE: http://www.playdale.co.uk/about-us/the-playdale-story/17352003/

The Mystery Client

Unbeknownst to many, in 1992, Michael’s ‘Heal the World Foundation‘ donated a playground for an orphanage in Bucharest, Romania. Here is an excerpt from the essay entitled “The Playdale Story” written in April 2003 by then eleven-year old Hannah Croasdale:

Heal the World’ in Romania:

In 1992, my Dad, John Croasdale, received a phone call from a man who wanted Playdale to build a playground for a big orphanage in Bucharest, Romania, for 500 children. That was the furthest Playdale had ever been to build a playground, the man did not say who wanted the playground to be built, so the designers and installers got to work, they built the playground in the factories and sent it in a massive lorry to Romania, six people went along too, when they arrived in Bucharest, they discovered that MICHAEL JACKSON was the mystery client, and he wanted the playground for his Michael Jackson ‘Heal the World’ foundation. When Michael Jackson opened the playground, my mum managed to take a photo of him, sticking his thumbs up at her and the other people to say thank you.

Heal The World Playground in Romania

Heal The World Playground in Romania

MJOpensHTWPlaygroundInRomania

Michael dedicating the playground

Heal the World for Children is a fan-based, registered charity that seeks to carry on Michael’s work. Visit them at: http://www.healtheworldforchildren.org/HTWFC/Heal_The_World_For_Children.html

You can also find “Heal the World for Children” on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Heal-The-World-For-Children/220848587942651

Recently, ‘Heal the World for Children‘ visited and gave love, toys and played games with children in a Romanian orphanage. You can see photos of their visit here: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.239536559391104.69736.172932912718136

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Jun 15 2011

Gardner St. Elementary celebration & other June 25th events and suggestions

Category: Children,Humanitarian,PhotosSeven @ 11:38 pm

Gardner School Auditorium

Gardner School Auditorium

If you remember, a while back on this site I shared with you the magnificent achievement of having Michael’s name finally uncovered on Gardner St. Elementary School’s auditorium. It was mentioned at that time that a more formal celebration would be planned later. That event has finally been planned: On June 25th from Noon to 4 p.m. Gardner St. Elementary School will host  “A Celebration of M.J.J’s Life”. Special guest appearances are expected from Tom Mesereau, William Wagner, Geraldine Hughes, Larry Nimmer and Majestik Magnificant. Larry Nimmer will be filming the event and you can get more details from Sandy Scott . You MUST have tickets to attend the Gardner St. event. To obtain yours, see http://mjjforeverinnocentfoundation.org/

Also planned for June 25th is of course a special delivery of flowers, cards, and messages from the Sunflowers for Michael group (donations for the June 25th delivery are now closed though) as well as a helicopter fly-over and sunflower drop over Neverland . The deadline for the sunflower drop is June 20th!

Another “event” being planned for June 25th is World Flag Day in and around LA:  “In and around LA, all groups and supporters of Michael Jackson from around the world are invited to carry a large flag or a personal-sized flag representing their nation.”  So – if you’re going to be in LA on June 25th especially from outside the US – carry or wear a flag from your nation in support of Michael.

All these are wonderful ways to remember Michael and I know he’d appreciate any of it.

But if flowers, flights, travel, flags, and public events aren’t for you and you want to do something different, remember what Michael himself lived for – helping others – especially children.

Michael [Jackson] told me, “we’re all put on earth to do something”. He said “I was put here to help children.” Which he did from the time I met him, he was 29 when I met him, that was what his life was all about. It was that way all the way up to the time he died. Michael never changed. Michael had incredible empathy, especially (for) children that were injured or sick or neglected. There were people that were hungry and homeless and that was always in the front of his mind his whole life.”

-David Nordahl on his friend Michael Jackson [Interview conducted by Deborah Kunesh]: http://www.reflectionsonthedance.com/interviewwithdavidnordahl.html

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If you have a local friend, neighbor, or organization that needs help or donations, help them that June 25th weekend. Tell them that it’s on behalf of a friend named Michael or tell them Michael sent you. If they ask for more details, tell them who that friend is. Or if it seems appropriate, tell them straight away. If that isn’t possible or you’re uncomfortable with that idea, maybe consider making a memorial donation to a charity in Michael’s name for June 25th.

Michael has supported following charities:

Great Ormond Street Hospital
Jane Goodall Institute
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
Make-A-Wish Foundation
Prince’s Trust
Ronald McDonald House Charities
Starlight Children’s Foundation
TJ Martell Foundation
United Negro College Fund

And you know, if none of this is for you, just quietly remembering Michael in your heart is enough. Keeping his memory safe and warm is the most priceless gift.  No matter what you do around June 25th to remember Michael, he’ll know — and he’ll love you more either way. ♡

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