There are days that you’ll remember, maybe not your entire life, but at least for a while. Thursday was one of those days. Not a lot of things can make me feel old, but the death of two icons of my teen years is one of them.
I was never a big fan of Farrah Fawcett. Oh, I didn’t dislike her, just sort of “blah”. I followed her career/life in a periphery fashion, the little boxes next to the big story. But her fight against cancer caught my eye, and my heart. I don’t think there is anyone who hasn’t lost someone to cancer. And I’m not saying that your/my loved ones didn’t fight. But here was this always fragile looking woman saying “no, I’m not going” and giving her all in the fight. I grew to admire her strength and her determination. But, as often is the case, you can’t always beat that particular devil, no matter how strong you are.
And then there was Michael. I’m going to refer to the Michael Jackson of my teen and early 20s, not the bizarre figure he became in his later years. I was a Donny Osmond fanactic! But you couldn’t ignore the other family that dominated the preteen airwaves – the Jackson Five. And there was Michael, soul’s version of Donny, and I might add the better performer. You kind of knew that he was going places. Not that Donny didn’t, but wholesome Pat Booneism will only take you so far. No, Michael became the bigger star, culminating in his iconic “Thriller” album – which I think I might still have somewhere. Michael Jackson will have a place in entertainment history – and should be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame some day.
But I said three in the title. Ed McMahon didn’t make the big headlines that Farrah and Michael did when he passed less than a week before them. He’s most known for a phrase “Heeeerrrrreeee’s Johnny”, and yet his presence in our lives also made it’s mark. Few remember he was the host of “Star Search”, and that stars such as Sawyer Brown, Britney Spears, Brad Garrett, Drew Carey got their start on the show. Publisher’s Clearing House spokesman, as well as other commercials. Yes, Ed McMahon made his mark too, probably not as big of one as the other two, but a mark nonetheless.