Blog

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Mourning the death of Michael Jackson

On the evening of June 25, 2009, I was sitting in my South Bend apartment watching CNN when the news broke that pop singer Michael Jackson – a native Hoosier – had died. I got a call a little while later from Brad Zehr and Carrie Schedler, colleagues from the Indiana Daily Student, who said they’d be heading up to cover the story for the student paper. At the time I was a summer photo intern at the South Bend Tribune, but I drove over the next morning to cover the story for the IDS. After I arrived and saw the large number of mourners gathering, I called back to my Tribune editor to tell them I’d have photos for them as well. The scene was surreal. Throughout the day, I saw three or four different impersonators with each one depicting a different Jackson era. Several fans brought Jackson albums and memorabilia. At one point, a City of Gary truck pulled up and a couple workers started trimming the overgrown grass around the house. Although it was strange at times, I was amazed by the number of people who showed up to reminisce about Jackson at the childhood home he hadn’t lived in for decades.

Remembering Michael Jackson

Anthony Wilson, an impersonator from Calumet Park, Ill., dances on Friday, June 26, 2009, in the front yard of Michael Jackson’s childhood home in Gary, Ind. Fans gathered at the home to remember the pop star by playing Jackson’s music and dancing. (James Brosher/South Bend Tribune)

Remembering Michael Jackson

Rudy Clay, the mayor of Gary, Ind., looks through items at a makeshift memorial for Michael Jackson on Friday, June 26, 2009, at the pop star’s boyhood home in Gary. (James Brosher/South Bend Tribune)

Remembering Michael Jackson

Fans and members of the media converge on Michael Jackson’s childhood home on Friday, June 26, 2009, in Gary, Ind. (James Brosher/South Bend Tribune)

Remembering Michael Jackson

A man holds a Jackson Five CD as fans pay their respects on Friday, June 26, 2009, in the front yard of Michael Jackson’s boyhood home in Gary, Ind. (James Brosher/South Bend Tribune)

Remembering Michael Jackson

Leticia Turner, of Gary, holds up Jackson Five albums as music plays for a gathering of fans on Friday, June 26, 2009, in the front yard of the childhood home of Michael Jackson in Gary, Ind. (James Brosher/South Bend Tribune)

Remembering Michael Jackson

Workers trim tall grass as television cameras roll on Friday, June 26, 2009, at the childhood home of Michael Jackson in Gary, Ind. (James Brosher/South Bend Tribune)

Remembering Michael Jackson

Wyatt Puryear, of Gary, holds a bottle of Michael Jackson cologne on Friday, June 26, 2009, in the front yard of the pop star’s childhood home in Gary, Ind. Jackson autographed the bottle when he returned to his childhood home in 2003. “It’s really hurting me right now,” Puryear said of the pop icon’s unexpected death. (James Brosher/South Bend Tribune)

Remembering Michael Jackson

Impersonator Anthony Wilson, of Calumet Park, Ill., pauses for a moment to mourn on Friday, June 26, 2009, in front of Michael Jackson’s childhood home in Gary, Ind. (James Brosher/South Bend Tribune)

Categories: News | Tags: , | Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.