Svea is retired. She was a new anchor for both CBS and ABC affiliates in Central Florida. She taught writing for 4 colleges
My Son's Babysitter
Michael Jackson a sweet gentle twelve-year-old boy,was my
son’s babysitter before he became the Michael Jackson Moonwalker. This memory came back vividly last night as news of his death was telecast all over the world.
This was in the summer of 1972 and my son’s ranged from ages 3 to 8. We were spending our last trip together as a family at the Playboy Club in Miami, which I thought was a crazy place to go with 3 young children. My husband had announced he wanted a divorce because he was feeling crushed by the weight of a family of four, mortgage payments, a job he hated. It was hard to concentrate on the boys because I was weepy and shaky for most of that visit. My boys were fascinated by the Playboy bunnies with their fluffy tails.
We were using the elevator going from our room to the pool or the dining room, I was surprised to see a young black boy acting as the elevator operator. In a very grown up way he asked each passenger “What floor please”? I was curious why he chose this seemingly boring task and I asked him why, smiling shyly he replied ”Something to do I guess”. He was the only other child besides mine that I saw at the club. “Why are you staying here?” I asked. “My brothers and I are performing here,” he answered. On one of our elevator trips he asked shyly.”Would you like me to take the boys to the kiddy pool?” I would be happy to.” So for the next two days
Michel Jackson watched my kids at the kiddy pool while my husband and I sat at the edge of the adult pool ending our marriage.
When I glanced at Michael with the boys he showed infinite patience with a sometimes squabbling six and eight year old and countless times pickiing up my three year old who was always falling down in the water. Michael was trying to show them how to swim although I was not sure that he himself knew how. I do remember him laughing and having a wonderful time, a child playing with other younger children, away from the limelight. Knowing his background that time must have been one of the few Michael had as a child that he was able to enjoy the company of other children without the spot light trained on his every move.
We left at the end of two days. One of my sons is now a professor and an award winning author, one a career military officer and the then three year old now owns a bar in Saigon and operates two web sites. They have only foggy memories of those 2 days. The marriage ended I went on to a twenty-five year career in television news and as a talk show host and producer for both ABC and CBS affiliates in Orlando. I interviewed more than eight hundred people in my career but one of the most moving glimpses into the life of a celebrity was a sweet lonely twelve year old who spoke in a voice barely louder than a whisper, but someone who clearly loved being with children and for a few hours was himself a child.
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Jan on December 27, 2010:
Svea thank you for your story please pass on these sources if you need to:
For those who wish to know the truth about Michael Jackson rather than the media sponsored agenda, respectfully I ask you to peruse these sources.
FBI files found no wrong doing: foia.fbi.gov/hottopics.htm
"Was Michael Jackson Framed?" by Mary A. Fischer buttonmonkey.com/misc/maryfischer.html
"Michael Jackson Conspiracy" by Aphrodite Jones (full book online):
Article by Deborah Ffrench: "The Making of a Myth" part 1
FBI Files support Jackson's innocence; Media Reports Otherwise: charlesthomsonjournalist.blogspot.com/2010/01/fbi-files-support-jacksons-\innocence.html
Charles Thomson One of the Most Shameful Episodes In Journalistic History:
Michael Jackson: It's Time For Outlets to Take Responsibility in Covering the Rock Star huffingtonpost.com/charles-thomson/michael-jackson-its-time_b_482176.\html
If Jordan had testified in 2005, Tom Mesereau was ready: vindicatemj.wordpress.com/2009/11/21/tom-mesereau-had-witnesses-that-jordan-lied/
Finally: The reality of Martin Bashir's duplicity:
william wagener and tom mesereau at you tube.
Jan on December 27, 2010:
There is an account on here from a former bodyguard I thought you might want to see:
Pamela Michele from Mississippi Gulf Coast on March 24, 2010:
WOW....Hardly have the words to speak about this..Thank you SO VERY MUCH for sharing this with us! I just came across your article by accident and am so glad I did. I am BRAND new to HubPages. HOW BLESSED you were to have this experience! Recently (within the past 8 almost 9 months)my 13 year old son asked me if I would have let him go to Neverland and stay with MJ...I asked him if he would have liked to go and he stated..."DUH! YES MOM!" I said "ABSOLUTELY, SON, WITH NO RESERVATIONS WHAT SO EVER", and I would have. Once again, Thanks so very much!
Rose Ella Morton from Beverly Hills, Michigan on December 14, 2009:
I really enjoyed reading a shared time with Michael Jackson. for a moment you brought him back to life. and for that moment, I thank you.
Svea (author) from Florida on July 19, 2009:
After all the media coverage about Michael, this is what I think. I don't think Michael had sex with underage boys. He made a point of seeking out children who were terminally ill so he could be-friend them. I do think it is possible that he was gay or maybe asexual. So what? I think he may have dressed up in women's clothes. So what? These do not make him a pervert. Remember the adage about consenting adults or the freedom to dress as you choose if you don't hurt anyone by doing so. I think he probably was an addict; from years of interviewing celebrities in the national and international spotlight I can tell you it is an unreal world fraught with insecurities, isolation and doubts.
It is very hurtful to have scandalous things written about you. At the same time,these people perform, love the spotlight on the stage and crave affection from fans.
And what about all those brave soldiers serving in two wars who died at the same time Michael did. There was no media coverage on their lives. Honorable, funny, loving human beings died on that same day and other than families and friends who cared or noticed?. I have been part of a media that goes way overboard on stories that capture the public's attention. Michael would have wanted people to grieve those brave young men who died for their country.
Svea (author) from Florida on July 15, 2009:
In my career as a TV talk show host and producer I interviewed hundreds and hundreds of celbrities including three presidents, Henry Kissinger, Tom Hanks, Larry King and on and on but the Michael Jackson story was before I was ever in TV. I have many many behind the scenes stories about celebrities but right now I am writing a book and getting ready to teach writing again for a college. It is tough to find the time to write all the hubs I would like to write. For Instance, I conducted the first TV interview Tom Hanks ever did. I left it saying that guy is a dud. He has no future at all. That is how wrong I could be, with the others I think I was pretty much right on.
KRC from Central Texas on July 14, 2009:
What a great story Svea! Thanks for sharing it. This is EXACTLY the type of story I like to read. This is a perfect example of the type of story that everyone has in them that I feel they should share with the world.
Julianna from SomeWhere Out There on July 14, 2009:
What a beautiful story and what wonderful memories, my parents used to go the the Playboy Club and then still have those mugs. :)
Svea (author) from Florida on July 03, 2009:
thanks dawei888, my sons have no memory of having been babysat by one of the worlds greatest - Oh, what a shame!
dawei888 on July 03, 2009:
hi svea, this is an incredible story! what are the chances of meeting a young MJ in the elevator? do your sons remember MJ babysitting them? Great Hub! dawei888