The Latest from Lola's Diner

Friday, June 26, 2009

Huge dose of mortality for teens of the 70's

If you're like me, and you were also a teenager in the 1970's you got a huge does of mortality on Thursday.

I'll be 48 years old in July. About a month ago when I found out my Uncle had quadruple bypass surgery and my bff from grade school's mother passed away I started to feel it. When I discovered her passing, I looked up some other names from the old neighborhood in my hometown's obituaries and found 3 other deaths. It made me shiver just finding out. This is what it feels like to get old. This is what happens. I am checking the obituaries. I have become my parents.

In 2009: Bob May, Clint Ritchie, Ricardo Montalban, Ron Silver, Bea Arthur, David Carradine, Ed McMahon, John Calloway, Farrah Fawcett and now Michael Jackson. With the exception of Fawcett and Jackson my first thoughts on seeing recent photos of the rest were "they look so old". My parents said that all the time. I have become my parents.

Unfortunately, Farrah Fawcett's passing was inevitable. It doesn't mean the loss is felt any less, it's just that we all saw it coming. And I'm sure many of you, myself included, said now she can be at peace, she isn't in pain anymore.

I was shocked at Michael Jackson's death. In fact when my sister told my daughter and she relayed it to me I told her she was mistaken. Our son chimed in with "Mom, isn't he YOUR age?" Oh Christ on a cracker, now you have to put THAT in your sister's fragile head? What could I say? I said I thought he was a couple of years younger. Way to go Lola! Then I tried to recover saying 'maybe he had some illness or had drug problems like many celebrities do. In any event, I'm sure an autopsy will be done and it will be announced what he died of.' That's what I said, I hope it was enough to stop the wheels from turning.

We watched the Dateline special. One hour on Michael Jackson, one hour on Farrah Fawcett. Both my teens were glued to the tube for the Michael Jackson portion. I watched it and the memories just flooded back. The hair, the clothes, the shoes, the variety shows. I grew up with The Jackson 5 posters on my walls in my room. I watched The Jackson 5ive Tv Series 1971-1973 (Saturday morning animated cartoon), and all the television specials in the 70's and 80's. I remember watching the "Beat It", "Billie Jean" and "Thriller" music videos on MTV.
From 1972 Jackson 5 Television Special:

Put a quarter in Lola's Jukebox for another Michael Jackson memory from the Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour.

I'm feeling all melancholy now. Gosh I hope Anastasia's Mom doesn't call me looking for her Friday. Anastasia is going to the Cubs/Sox game with a cousin. (Only 2 tickets. Drat!) Whenever Anastasia goes out without me her Mom calls me wanting to know why she's not answering her phone. (Umm, hello? I'm not with her. And in this case it's because she's at the game!) Me being the polite quasi-daughter-in-law answers and tries to be helpful. If she needs something, I'll run to the store and run it over to her. I'm the "good" not quite daughter-in-law that way. Anyway, never ask Anastasia's Mom how she is, because she's 70 something years old and she'll tell you "I'm dying". Then she'll tell you all her maladies. I don't need that on Friday.

And if you can spare it, I need something to make me feel not so damn old!

Bonus points if you knew who Bob May or Clint Ritchie were without googling them.

Lola's Diner


Auntie E said...

I too could not believe it when my daughter told me about Michael Jackson. I remember dancing at the Y to the Jacksons5-" ABC-123 baby you and me girl..." and to Thriller, I even have the video tape of that one. He was younger than me! it really bother you when the young one start dropping from Heart attacks. What a shame... I liked his music.

Stephany said...

Because I'm on a countdown to turning 50 in 6 months, that's the first thing I thought about.

Dan River Mama said...

I was stunned as well. Renni told me Michael had died and I told her she was mistaken that actually Farrah had passed away. She made me come look at the Yahoo article. Could not believe it.

Lin said...

You know, I wasn't really all that shocked to hear of MJ's passing. He's been living some kinda hell life for the last 20 years and someone summed it up perfectly for me this morning on WGN (Yes, old person station!): He was either gonna die young or be like Phil Spector in old age--a Weird old kook.

If it is any consolation, I feel old too. :(

JHS said...

I have one reaction to your post: Sigh.

Seriously . . . what else can I say? That Michael Jackson died so young and suddenly isn't really surprising because so many icons die that way. And let's face it: He was so troubled, so bizarre that no one -- not even him -- could see him living as an old man. He might have turned into a Howard Hughes-type recluse if he had.

As for Clint Ritchie . . . my year kicked off with the death of one of my best friends on January 31st. Your readers might not recognize the name, but if they ever watched daytime tv, they will instantly recall the ruggedly handsome face, distinctive voice, and his legacy as one-half of one of daytime's most enduring "supercouples," Clint and Viki Buchanan on "One Life to Live." I created and continue to maintain his website as a labor of love:

I wrote about his passing here and

Sandee said...

I'll be 58 in September. I've been feeling this for a long time. I can so relate.

Have a terrific day and weekend honey. :)

Kelley said...

I still don't quite know what to say about Michael Jackson's passing. I do hope that the enormity of his talent won't be overshadowed by the scandal and just plain weirdness that made up the last 15 or so years of his life.

I think I'm gonna download a bunch of Jackson 5 songs when I get home tonight. I was a huge fan of them and his early solo career, namely 'Off The Wall'.

Stephanie B said...

Here's some good news. A hundred years ago, someone dying unexpected at 50 or 40 or in their 30's wouldn't have shocked or surprised anyone. If medicine, hygiene and refrigeration hadn't changed our lives so drastically (and our life expectancy), considerably fewer of us would be around to contemplate our mortality.

Shauni said...

I keep hearing the words to I'll be there..

You and I must make a pact, we must bring salvation back
Where there is love, I'll be there

it seems he died too soon, a light forever dimmed.. but he paid a huge price for his genius maybe he will find peace in the next life that he didn't find in this one..

Rosie said...

Have a drink...It will make you feel young again!

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