Arts & Entertainment

Locals Remember Michael Jackson

Residents Get Candid on King of Pop

Pop sensation Michael Jackson died at the age of 50 after suffering cardiac arrest last Thursday, June 25. This Monday, the News-Press hit local streets to find out what out-and-about residents had to say about Jackson’s passing, which memories stand out most and what they’ll remember him for, as the music legend’s legacy continues to dominate national media coverage. nytMJ

Residents Get Candid on King of Pop

Pop sensation Michael Jackson died at the age of 50 after suffering cardiac arrest last Thursday, June 25. Once word broke, New York fans swarmed the famed Apollo Theater where a 9-year-old Jackson caught his big break, while hundreds flocked to the King of Pop’s star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame in L.A. with flowers, signs and song-and-dance tributes of their own.nytMJ

This Monday, the News-Press hit local streets to find out what out-and-about residents had to say about Jackson’s passing, which memories stand out most and what they’ll remember him for, as the music legend’s legacy continues to dominate national media coverage. Venturing out to the recently-relocated Falls Church City post office on West Broad Street, passersby volunteered their candid opinions.

Jacqueline Laurito, 47, of Falls Church described Jackson’s death as “sad,” calling him “a big part of our generation.”

Reiterating Laurito’s sentiment, 49-year-old F.C. resident Mary-Carol Sheard said it was terrible “[Jackson] died before his time,” noting the pop star “had problems, but was a talented musician.”

Those rumored problems Sheard alluded to — ranging from possible drug addiction, controversial child molestation charges and hefty financial woes — have resurfaced in the form of fever-like fodder for celebrity gossip blogs.

“Although I’m sorry someone has died, we must remember that this was not a good man, but a sexually-confused one. He is not in any way a hero,” said 45-year-old John Massoud of Strasburg.

Bobbi Beck, 66, disagreed, saying, “I personally don’t think he was a child molester, but he was very childlike himself. It really is too bad about his death.”

Josh Talley, 34, of Kensington, Md. neglected to comment on Jackson’s past controversy, instead focusing on the music. Talley told the News-Press “Smooth Criminal” was his favorite Jackson hit. Reports released yesterday confirmed Jackson went so far as to patent the gravity-defying dance move depicted in the song’s music video through legal measures in 1993.

Though an untimely death, 54-year-old Allan Mascarenhas of Falls Church said one thing that didn’t die was Jackon’s music, stating, “It withstood the test of time, and that is what made him truly great.”

• Andrew Sailer contributed to this article.

 

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