Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Pine River and the Death of Superstars

A surreal thing happened. I got off the river yesterday. As we were shuttling vehicles and driving, I kept trying to find a good radio station, but all the stations in the Northwoods were playing Michael Jackson. I thought I was in a time warp, back in the 80s. I was on a river when Elvis died. The same is now true with Michael’s death. Like Elvis, I liked some of Jackson’s music, but the guy drove me nuts. Early in my blogging experiences, I wrote a parody about him. I “interviewed” the “Umbrella Man,” the guy who was always seen holding an umbrella for Jackson as he was shuttled in and out of the courthouse. (Warning, the Umbrella Man parody may be seen by some as a bit racy--such a warning will probably increase the number of you who read it). I’m sure the Umbrella Man is now among the unemployed. Jackson's "Thriller" album will live on as a classic.

I’m a little miffed that Michael’s death usurped Farrah Fawcett’s death. What guy growing up in the 70s didn’t have a crush on her or one of her beautiful sidekicks on Charlie Angels? Speaking of deaths, Ed McMahon also died. Along with him died another dream, the "Prize Patrol" in the Publishers Clearance House Van driven by McMahon, pulling in my driveway. Sage could have cashed the check and spent the rest of his life hiking for a living. Of course, Ed only moonlighted with Publisher's Clearance House. His real legacy will be as Johnny Carson's front-man on "The Tonight Show." My prayers for the Jackson, Fawcett and McMahon family in their grief.

At the risk of making too much fun of the dead and being seen as insensitive or worse, I should change topics and tell you that we had a great trip on the Pine River. Three dads managed to camp with six kids without experiencing or participating in a homicide. The weather was nice, the river beautiful, I caught a few trout and a fun time was had by all.

I am going to be gone a lot over the next two months. If I disappear for a few days or few weeks, don’t worry, I’ll be back.


  1. Sage: I agree with your comment about Michael Jackson's death usurping Farrah Fawcett. Both deaths were sad. I loved Farrah Fawcett too! Lovely lady!

  2. Hi Sage!

    I wasn't the biggest Michael Jackson fan, but there's a memory of my childhood that I love: saturday afternoons watching the Jackson Five cartoons on the TV. And the song 'ABC'. He was cute as a little boy.

    Another nice memory of my early childhood: watching 'Charlie's Angels' on the TV. All the guys were in love with Farrah. She was a very sweet lady.

    To my shame, I have to say I haven't heard about Ed McMahon (but I googled him and now I know).

    Have fun while you're out! We'll be waiting! ;)

  3. Isn't is sad that they all had to go at the same time? Keeps two of them from having the kind of tributes they deserved.

    Glad you had a good river trip, and good luck in your next 2 monthly travels.

  4. Nothing is eternal.
    The pics are lovely.

  5. I never even thought of how the Ed McMahon won't be the one delivering my winnings--I was always convinced I couldn't win when I lived in "doorman Manhattan"--not sympathetic enough but now....

    It's summer and blogging shouldn't be a priority--of course it's been less and less a priority in my life for the past two and a half years so....

  6. I find it interesting when such a coincidence takes place - like how you were in the same place or at least doing the same thing when two celebrities died years apart. And these two had a common link to each other: Lisa Marie. And I agree, Farrah Fawcett's death was overshadowed by Michael's. Both made lasting impressions on me.

  7. Ed McMahon's death was sad, Farrah Fawcett's (though still sad) was expected, and Michael Jackson's (sad too) was a shock. The next few months should be interesting as they work out custody and finances.

    Love the pic btw...

  8. Michael, I remember that you had a wonderful post about Farrah a few weeks ago.

    Leni, I remember the Jackson 5 cartoons!

    Kenju, yes, but by all going so close together, we're reminded that life is fragile.

    Venus, Thanks and you're right, nothing about our lives on earth is eternal

    Pia, so you were also peeking out the window looking for the van driving through the neighborhood?

    Dan, coincidence or the fact that I spend as much time as possible outdoors?

    Kontan, I'm sure we've not heard the end of Jackson--there's going to be more surprises.

  9. I came along just a bit late for the Farrah poster, unfortunately.

    In a way, it was hard for me to believe than this would parallel Elvis' death, but it did.

    If I disappear for a few days or few weeks, don’t worry, I’ll be back.

    Wow, I wasn't expecting you to end with a Mark Sanford quote. Have fun in Argentina.

  10. I do like some of MJ's music. I was out hiking with some friends that day... we were talking about food all the way, making all of us extremely hungry. So all of us rushed home, washed up, and met at a Chinese food (yeah we were desperate) up in Redmond, the next town. We learnt about his death while munching on Chow Fun and what not. We spoke about him for 2 minutes and went right back on food. Oh yeah, we were so hungry.

  11. As much as it pains me to write this yet again...Bone's funny. :-)

  12. It was not a good week last week for the celebrity world but seeing as i have no truck in that race I am simply willing for them to sleep peacefully in the houses of their ancestors and ignore the foolishness of the living that won't let the families grieve in their own way in peace.

    BUT WAIT...see ya later Billy Mays.

  13. It's funny how when I turn on some form of media and here lots of unexpected music or clips of someone from the past, I know they have died. When Reagan died I guessed that from the radio playing from his old speeches. It was the same with MJ when I turned on the television and they were playing Thriller on the evening news. However with Billy Mays, I learned the old fashioned way through a CNN email alert.

  14. That must have been quite a shift from getting off the river to hearing news of the old pop icons. The river must have been incredible- we may do the same in a few weeks.

  15. What girl in the 70s didn't want to wear heels, twirl her hair around, point her finger at someone and shout, "Freeze?!" I loved Farrah and the other angels almost as much as The Bionic Woman. ;) All three stars will be missed.

    Speaking of three's...

    "Three dads managed to camp with six kids without experiencing or participating in a homicide." I love that line!

    Have fun while you're away!

  16. Bone, the AT would be more likely, but I've done that and I hear the West again call my name. On the other hand, what's that song, "Don't Cry for me Argentina..."

    Mother Hen, two minutes of discussion about MJ is enough for me! I wouldn't want to ruin the Chinese food experience

    Murf, he is!

    Walking Guy, Billy Mays, what a trip! Somewhere I heard he was on TV for more hours than anyone star!

    Ed, you're right, they didn't play old infomercials for Billy, did they.

    Beau, have fun on the river.

    Scarlet, you're the redheaded Farrah... But she had a gun, didn't she?

  17. I'm most saddened by Farrah's death even tho it was inevitable given her cancer. She was beautiful inside and out.

    RIP Farrah

  18. Awesome river. Is that in the U.P?


  19. I was annoyed that Farrah kinda got shoved aside, too. You know on a normal basis she'd have been big time news for three days...

    Have you done the PCT?

  20. Karen, yes, it is sad.

    Randall, no, the river flows into the Manistee (which is better known). We were about 20 miles north of Baldwin.

    TC, I have done parts of the PCT and would like to do it when I retire! I've done the John Muir Trail which is mostly the same trail, that runs 220 miles from Mt. Whitney to Yosemite Valley