Fans who visited the Los Olivos area relaying stories from the people who worked there about Michael visiting:
The Reluctant Dragon is an 1898 children’s story by Kenneth Grahame, which served as the key element to the 1941 feature film with the same name from Walt Disney Productions.
The story takes place in the Berkshire Downs in Oxfordshire (where the author lived and where, according to legend, St George did fight a dragon).
In Grahame’s story, a young boy discovers an erudite, poetry-loving dragon living in the Downs above his home. The two become friends, but soon afterwards the dragon is discovered by the townsfolk, who send for St George to rid them of it. The boy introduces St George to the dragon, and the two decide that it would be better for them not to fight. Eventually, they decide to stage a fake joust between the two combatants. St George harmlessly spears the dragon, and the townsfolk rejoice (though not all of them, as some had placed bets on the dragon winning). St George then reveals that the dragon is reformed in character, and assures the townsfolk that he is not dangerous. The dragon is then accepted by the people.
We quickly narrowed in on the antique store where I had previously met Dorothy, the owner of the Mole Hole who had met Michael several times.
Dorothy had also shared that Michael would take day trips out to Solvang, walk the streets, poke around and shop. He especially loved the book store, ‘Grand Tales’, which is no longer there but was on the corner next to the Mole Hole when Michael lived at Neverland. One day he was on just such a visit and entered the book store looking for his favorite book, ‘The Reluctant Dragon’ by Kenneth Grahame. She knew already from previous conversations with Michael this was his favorite book and made sure to keep them on hand. He would enter, she would greet him and then immediately smile and point him right toward the book. She said he liked to just stand in the store and read the books but also bought many. Dorothy was eager to share with me that Michael was a valued member of the community and gave generously to the local Rotary and also donated many items for auction to raise money for the town. You can always tell a true fan of Michael’s by the look on their face when they talk about him, and in Dorothy I saw that look of deep love and admiration on her face as she happily and freely talked about Michael Jackson. She shared that Michael was always polite, kind and generous. She jumped at the chance to share about one time in particular that clearly showed Michael’s sweet and considerate character. He clearly was just out shopping, looking for some quiet time and dropped into the bookstore. She had just pointed him toward his favorite book when suddenly patrons and tourists in town began to realize it was Michael Jackson. Soon he was surrounded by a crowd. Dorothy discreetly approached him and quietly offered to shut down the store so he could shop freely in peace. His response was an emphatic, “No, No this is your business!”, then stood there for hours, all afternoon, signing autographs and giving hugs. He never left once to take a break, get a drink or go to the bathroom. He just gave LOVE all day long. Yes, this was the kind heart of Michael Jackson.