"Ever time Michael Jackson met with me, he always hugged me and squeezed me and treated me like his own mother, Katherine. Michael was a very friendly, sweet person and he was so excited that we were looking for his ideal place he had dreamt about for several years (Neverland). On occasion we went alone to look at other ranches ; on another Mike Brando came with us but the rest of the time it was with Bill Bray along to drive.
Some people would recognize Michael and they immediately wanted an autograph. Michael usually gave an autograph unless we were in a terrible hurry to get to appointments to open up estates.
One day we stopped by a place that sells gasoline, food and snacks. The girl behind the counter, a very pretty, blue-eyed blond, stared at him and said, "Aren't You Michael Jackson?"
"Yeah", he replied.
She said, "Oh, I want your autograph, oh please". She gave him a sheet of paper and she said, "Autogpraph it to me and my baby".
So Michael signed it for her. "What's your baby's name?" he asked.
"My son's name is Darryl" she answered.
"How old is he?" Michael asked.
Michael got involved in talking to her about the baby, and who took care of him while she was at work, details like that. He was very pleasant.
One thing he would always be very strict about was that wherever we went, when people were nice to us, and opened up their homes to give us a glass of water or something to eat, we should always say "Thank You". His courtesy was always very evident. On one of the ranches we stopped at, they were growing grapes on a huge overhead trellis between the front house and the back house. When Michael and I asked for permission to pick some grapes, they were delighted!
Gloria Rhodes Berlin, from "In Search of Neverland"