You can not go anywhere and not hear about the untimely death of Michael Jackson. Many will wistfully remember his early days at Motown, and recall perhaps wearing a single glove to school. The later years of his career were obscured by public relation nightmares, that seem to have affected his reputation in the United States more so than the rest of the world. His lie served as a cautionary tale about lost childhoods, and also the loneliness that lurks at the top.
A little known fact about Michael Jackson is that he was also a shoe designer. He shares a US Patent for gravity defying loafers with Michael Bush and Dennis Thompson. You may recall incredible dance moves, where he tilted so far forward that you attributed it to his unworldly sense of balance and his slim frame. Actually, the moves were attributed to a special hinge that was an integral part of the shoe. There was a small slot in the stage where they could hook on, or maybe several spots. Since he choreographed things to a “T,” it definitely was not a problem finding the mark. The move was popularized in his early 90s Smooth Criminal video and subsequent performances.
There was an earlier patent that was for a personnel restraint tract which someone would attach work cleats too. This was something that was used for developing what was underneath the stage.
This little known trivia about his life may be one of those things, when the dust settles, and the jokes end, that he may be remembered as an innovator for.
Rest in Peace, Michael Jackson.
fashion history, Passings | Comments (15)
There will be one more name to add to the annual Academy Awards “Parade of People who have Died,” segment. Charlton Heston passed away Saturday at the age of 84.
Heston was a childhood favorite of mine. I spent many a Saturday afternoon, sprawled on the living room floor with my dog watching “Planet of the Ape” marathons. Or, Ben Hur for the 5,000 time. There was something about his delivery that was always teetering and threatening to fall over into “B”moviedom even when many of his films were clearly “A” list, big budget, Hollywood affairs. I think what worked in his favor is that he did not tackle roles with a nudge and a wink. All characters were approached with seriousness. In fact, many of his films, if not put in the capable hands of the right director, could have easily become disasters because of their grand scale and the subject matters they tackled.
He delivered the highest number of effective lines through clenched teeth this side of ventriloquism, inspiring thousands of impressionists around the world. Sunday school was never the same, when the idea in your head of what Moses looked like was replaced by the likeness of Heston Somehow it seemed very strange to see him in such films as “Towering Inferno,” where he was dressed like an everyday person, as one just had come to expect that he was more accustomed to astronaut’s gear, or lace up sandals.
Though we haven’t heard much from Heston since his last public interview when he announced that he had Alzheimer’s, he never left the mind of the public.
In his own words: “I have lived such a wonderful life! I’ve lived enough for two people.”film, Passings | Comments (4)
J. Russell Coffey has passed away at the age of 109. He was one of the last three remaining WWI veterans alive in the United States. According to an Associated Press report: Other known surviving American soldiers are Frank Buckles, 106, in West Virginia, and Harry Landis, in Florida, according to the Veterans Affairs Department. According to an AP report, John Babcock, 107, of Spokane, Wash., served in the Canadian army and is the last known Canadian veteran of the war.
According to a an April 12 St. Pete Times Article about Landis: Coffey, the oldest known survivor, enlisted weeks before the war ended and never got out of training. A retired college teacher from Bowling Green State University, he gave up driving at 103. He now lives in a nursing home, where aides sometimes hold his hand so he can sign his name for autographs.
Even though some may point out that Mr. Coffey never was sent overseas, it is the spirit of his willingness to serve that should be honored equally to his two fellow soldiers that he preceeds in death.
If you see a a vet today in your rush to purchase last minute gifts or to pack to go on a journey, please don’t rush by them. Thank them for serving in the spirit. Mr. Coffey would have approved.1910s, Passings, wwi | Comment (0)