A trip to Los Angeles might be any person’s dream. That is, if they don’t live in the area and are filled with ideas of what the experience is like based off of what they have seen on television shows, music videos and the like. To me, Los Angeles is just another place. I lived there until I was seven, I visit often and surely I know most of it like the back of my hand. However, my trip to Southern California on the weekend of June 25th, 2010 was not just any ordinary trip.
The plans were set in motion for my mother and I to take a special mother-daughter bonding trip to Los Angeles for the weekend of June 25th. To shop? No. To eat? Well, yes that was part of it. Some of our favorite eateries are located there. But the ultimate reason was something that many people might find odd. The main reason was to go to one place, and one place only: Forest Lawn in Glendale. Why? To pay tribute to the one and only Michael Jackson of course. It sounds silly, yes, but upon our arrival we found that we were not the only ones. It may seem odd to take a four hour road trip to pay homage to a celebrity, but to us, it was something very special.
There we were, we arrived at our destination to find that people from all around the world had the same idea. The building was surrounded by people, ushers moved the crowd along as to not cause any major traffic, and television crews from major news networks (CNN, Fox) were there. It’s not easy to say why so many people would take time out of their normal routine to come pay their respects to a celebrity that they had never even met. I don’t know the answer myself, yet I felt fulfillment in myself for doing so. Although it wouldn’t mean a lot to many of my friends, understandably having a different opinion than I, it meant a lot to me because I set out and did something for a cause that I respected.
The trip did not just end there, however. The rest of the weekend was dedicated to paying respect to the man that I had grown up idolizing, granted I am female, but it never mattered to me. At the cemetery, my mother and I became fast friends with other fans. We then were invited to a candlelight vigil at the compound where some of the famous family still lives. The weekend evolved into an ongoing celebration of this man, us having intended to just do this one thing, but soon found ourselves going from one place to another.
The next day, a Saturday, we were off to Neverland, this of course being the famous home that many have only heard about, but yes, we went and enjoyed a whole day there amongst other fans. To my amazement, when some would approach me to take a picture of them and their family, they would not even be speaking English. I soon found myself in the midst of people from all over the world: India, Sweden, and France, amongst others. The car rides here and there to all of the events made me feel even closer to my mom. There we were listening to a celebrity that she had grown up with, yet we were both able to enjoy him just the same. You can’t do that with any modern day artists. I can’t play Lady Gaga for my mother, that is for sure.
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