thriller.jpgWelcome to a post by our guest blogger for today, Tootsie Bellittera. She wrote this funny, touching post on Facebook to honor MJ. It captures that Michael Jackson fever essence so many of us grew up with. Thought you might like to read. She has kindly let us reprint it.– Valerie
My Top 10 Favorite Michael Jackson Memories
by Tootsie Bellittera

10. Thriller was the second record I ever owned (after Kenny Rogers) and the Jacksons Victory was the first cassette. My older brother also had a copy of Thriller, and he refused to share, so I got my own, and my Mom wrote “Tootsie” across the top in red pen so we’d know whose was whose. I still have it.

9. I used to try to bend and tighten my wrist so that the veins would pop out like his did on the inside fold-out of the Thriller album.

8. I kept a Michael Jackson Scrapbook with clippings from his travails with Bubbles, Brooke Shields, and Emmanuel Lewis.

7. Admit it, you remember where you were when his hair caught on fire.

6. Practicing the Moonwalk with tube socks on the dining room floor after my Mom waxed it.

5. Recording HBO’s “Making of We are the World” on Beta and watching it over and over again, totally thrilled to find there was a version that included the call and response “We Are the World, Sha-Na! We are the children, Sha-na-lin-ge!”

4. Getting that oh-so-important phone call from a neighborhood kid stating simply “Thriller’s on!” and then running to turn on MTV.

3. Forming the “29 Club” with my friend Laura to commemorate our birthdays – mine is July 29, Michael’s August 29, and Laura’s September 29.

2. 1984, MTV’s first ever Video Music Awards. They had a Viewer’s Choice category where you could call in and vote, and I took it upon myself to make sure that Michael Jackson won for Thriller. Every day after school I would call the number over and over again, on a rotary phone no less, so it was a serious effort! To entertain myself while I was dialing I would create all these scenarios in my head like I was just shot and I would drag myself to the phone to make my last phone call. To vote for Thriller. Yeah, dramatic. Anyway, apparently it was a toll number, which I didn’t realize. One day I came home and my Dad asked me if I had made any phone calls to an 800 number… then he showed me the phone bill!!! It was several pages long, all the same number!! I have to ask him if he remembers how much it came to. I think I am the reason they now say, “Kids, get your parents’ permission before dialing.” But when the VMA’s came, he won, and I felt personally responsible. And thank god too, because he didn’t even win Video of the Year if you can believe it, The Cars did!!!!!!

1. Going to see the Jacksons Victory tour at Rich Stadium in Buffalo, 1984 (I was 11). My Mom came home one day and said “Guess what I bought?” and I exclaimed, “a Cabbage Patch!” But no, she told me she had bought Michael Jackson tickets (at the House of Guitars). Went with my parents, a couple that was friends with them, and their daughter. They drove us to Buffalo and we tailgated after the concert because the traffic was so bad getting out. We had floor (field) seats, I still can’t believe my Mom scored those tickets. They actually had chairs on the ground but everyone just rushed forward. The opening act was a juggler!! He was totally booed off the stage. There were all these MJ look alikes at the concert and they were signing autographs! I got one guy’s autograph and he signed it… Michael Jackson! It was the first time I saw/smelled pot – the people directly in front of us were passing joints. I was not yet in 6th grade. When Michael came out everyone went absolutely nuts – girls were pulling their hair out and fainting.

RIP MJ. Thanks for the thrills!
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