In 1984, my family and another went on a 3-car road trip to Florida. In hindsight, I’m not sure how we accomplished it all — Walt Disney World in Orlando (when it was just the Magic Kingdom and EPCOT Center), Busch Gardens Tampa, Seaworld in Orlando. It was way back in the day, so my parents never booked rooms in advance. They drove from Days Inn to Days Inn (they really liked Days Inn) looking for vacancy.
I remember one night we drove in the rain, and checked into a Days Inn somewhere in FL. The kids and everyone were tired, and it was late. Someone flipped on the TV to MTV, and Thriller came on. That was the first time that I ever saw MTV, even though we had just gotten cable TV back home that year. I was young, so I had never beforehand watched Michael Jackson, MTV, etc. Wow, what a cool video.
Until this week, I had never watched Michael’s performance of Billie Jean at the Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever show in 1983, but it’s what I like to remember about MJ. The energy in his dancing, the earnestness of his singing, and the great music of his early career.