Happy 50th Birthday, Michael J. Fox!

Michael in his "life preserver" in Back to the Future

The other day, my father asked me what my favorite movie of all time was. Without hesitation, Back to the Future, I said. “But that’s three movies,” he told me. I shook my head. “No matter.” To me it was one magical joy ride of great lines, awesome effects (for the time) and lovely close-ups of Michael J. Fox.

And today just happens to be Fox’s 50th Birthday. Happy Birthday to my very first childhood crush! As Marty McFly in Back to the Future, his girlfriend’s name was Jennifer. And as Alex P. Keaton on Family Ties, his sister’s name was Jennifer. There was a connection, a reason for this I convinced myself at the young age of 8. I was meant to marry Michael J. Fox.

My little heart didn’t care if he was 16 years my senior. Miracles happen, I would tell myself. And I thought it was a miracle when my mother’s friend stopped by one day and told us she was going to vacation in California for a few weeks. “Oh my goodness you must get Michael J. Fox’s autograph,” I exclaimed. Geography wasn’t my best subject. The size of the state or where she was going didn’t matter to me. She said California, I thought Hollywood and instant thoughts of Michael’s face fluttered my brain.

And did I get that autograph? You bet I did. Was it actually Michael J. Fox’s signature? You bet it wasn’t. Although it took me until I was in high school to realize that the beautiful penmanship was actually that of my mother’s friend on a postcard of his face. I was duped. Now a funny story, then, not so much.

Although my crushes changed as I changed, I’ve always had a certain admiration for Michael J. Fox. I’ve always seen him as the good guy next door, the guy I wanted to roller-skate with and listen to music with. And after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1991, the guy with the heart. Through his foundation, Fox and Team Fox have been working hard since 1998, campaigning for increased Parkinson’s research. It’s just one more thing I admire about him.

So, hats off to you Michael! Now that you’re officially an AARP member, I hope we can help you live your life even better! And, when you’re ready for your close-up on the cover of the AARP Magazine, promise you’ll wear this:

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Photo credit: mademoisellerobot.com