Channel 5 reporter fondly recalls school days with Jackson - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Channel 5 reporter fondly recalls school days with Jackson

By Ben Watson - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Name any album Michael Jackson ever recorded, and Action News Five's North Mississippi reporter, Chip Washington, has a copy of it.

"I didn't get the jacket and the glove and all that kind of stuff but, I was always a big fan of their music and his death has touched me deeply," Washington said Friday.

Touched, Washington said, because Jackson's death made him think back to first time he met pop icon and his brother, Marlon.  They were sitting near the bus stop on the first day of school in 1971 at Emerson Jr. High in Los Angeles.

"After the pandemonium that ensued on the bus, because of the girls screaming for the brothers, I got off the bus and actually went up to those two brothers and introduced myself and walked them into school," Washington said.

Washington said he and Jackson bonded instantly, which was when he learned the future King of Pop also had a king-sized sense of humor.

"He wasn't very athletic, but he like to play practical jokes, and some of the other guys, we used to thump each other in the back of the head and all that kind of stuff, but you know, he was a normal kid," Washington's aid.

The girls on campus adored Jackson, and it came in handy sometimes to be one of his close school buddies.

"My popularity gained a point-and-a-half because they knew he hung out with me, so they would ask me if he liked them, so I was the messenger," he said.

Washington said even in junior high, Jackson seemed destined for greatness.

"Jesse Jackson said something very prophetic last night he said we have lost our joy, but Michael has finally found his peace, and to me, that is everything there is to say about the man, the myth, the legend of his music."

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