A tribute to Michael…

R.I.P. Michael ‘Smitty’ Jackson*


His friends called him ‘Smitty’ after a fishing trip in 1939 when he was only 9 and fell thru the ice. He never could explain how his nickname had anything to do with the the incident but he smiled every time you asked. He was an Illinois native and a Cubs fan from birth. After a career in used car sales he returned to school and opened his dental practice in 1955. He was a member of the The First Baptist Church, where he volunteered every Saturday to teach underprivileged children to read. He frequented his neighbors homes offering his well honed handyman services in exchange for a cup of tea. He is preceded in death by his beloved wife Margaret and his twin daughters Millie and Janice, who all passed on together in a car accident in 1985. He visited their grave sites weekly; often doing his crossword puzzles as he visited. Smitty was well known to those in his area for taking in stray and sick animals and nursing them back to health before finding them permanent homes.  Mr.Jackson has also asked for his entire estate to be donated to Habitat for Humanity, since he has no known living relatives. In lieu of flowers please make donations to PETA in his honor. No services will be held.

Just wanted you all to know that a whole lot of other people died today.

People who did not sleep with monkeys or small boys. People who did not hire someone to create children for him.

People who paid their bills on time and did not require a court order for selling off possessions to pay back their debt owed.

People who did not hang their children out over a balcony. People who did not wear surgical masks and bizarre get ups in public.

Nope. Just ordinary good people, who push on thru life trying to leave it slightly better than it was when they found it.

I know Michael Jackson (the one you thought this post was about) made some really innovative, amazing, uplifting and astonishingly great music. And I appreciate that. But I challenge you to tell me about the rest of his life. I am fascinated that people feel so strongly about a man that was a social deviant incapable of a normal relationship with his family or associates. I am curious about the immense adoration and the sense of ‘loss’ people are talking about. WHAT LOSS? What did you loose? For the past several years he has been nothing more than TMZ content, and artistically silent.

Sure it is sad when someone dies.

But I want us to be sad for the good people.

Not just the famous ones.

And often.

Those are two very different things.




*This is a real obit. But the name has been changed to make my point. Creative license.

photo via

Previous post:

Next post: