Michael Jackson memorial service at the Pratt
The Baltimore Sun's Mary McCauley, a regular contributor on Read Street, stopped by the Enoch Pratt library, where folks could watch the Michael Jackson memorial service on a large screen. Her report: There were about 50 people at the Pratt, watching a video projected onto a large screen. Initially, there were only about 20 chairs, but as the crowd grew, workers put out more. A few people apparently were attending the funeral on their lunch break, and snacked from styrofoam containers. Others chatted with their neighbors and formed new friendships.
"I came to the Pratt because I wanted to be surrounded by llike-minded people who really care about Michael Jackson," said Tiffany McDonald, 36, of Baltimore, who attended the event with her 12-year-old daughter, Nyah. "His music expressed his compassion and love for people."
Members of the crowd swayed in time to such songs as "I'll Be There" and to a musical tribute called "I Never Dreamed You'd Leave in Summer" written for the occasion by Stevie Wonder. Spectators wiped away tears -- and not just the women.
Regina Penton, 50, from Baltimore, was on the phone with her sister when she heard the news of of Jackson's death. "I dropped the phone," she recalled. "I couldn't believe it. My sister was like, 'Girl, are you O.K.? Are you O.K.?' I cried. I couldn't sleep."
So she made it a priority to come to the Pratt to watch the funeral. "Michael Jackson brought a lot of people together," she said.
Baltimore Sun staff photo by Tasha Treadwell