“From Gary, Indiana to Neverland”
Earlier this evening, I hopped in my ride and made the 30 minute drive over to Gary, IN to visit the childhood home of Michael Jackson and the rest of the Jackson tribe…Something I’ve been meaning to do since his passing a few weeks ago.
Throughout my life I’ve driven past Gary many, many times while driving between Chicago and Indianapolis, but had yet to ever stop and drive through the city until now. At one point in time Gary was the second biggest city in Indiana, but after the Industrial boom popped, white flight, and a handful of other unfortunate situaions the city was pretty much left for dead. The crime statistics and murder rate soared, but one thing that could never be taken away from Gary, was that the true hometown hero, Michael Jackson, was one of their own.
When I pulled up a few blocks away from Jackson Street and Jackson Family BLVD, after passing countless ‘In Memory of Michael Jackson’ billboards and signs, I noticed crowds and crowds of people strolling up the blocked off street, as if this was some kind of block party. Neighborhood residents sat on their front porches and peaked from their windows at the droves of people who had no doubt ever stepped foot on that street, let alone any street in Gary…ever.
You could hear Michael Jackson hits blaring from speakers around the corner and could see young children in the middle of the street practicing their best MJ dance moves for the crowds to see.
It almost felt like you were at a fair or an amusement park the way people had retail booths on the street. Tents were set up selling everything from Michael Jackson framed portraits, to t-shirts, to DVDs and Michael’s entire music catalog. Now, I’m not sure if Michael will be seeing any of the proceeds from these sales, but I have a feeling the people of Gary probably need this more than he does at this point.
It’s just amazing to me how something so great came from such a small house on a non-descript block in the middle of Gary, Indiana.
So, walk with me and hit the jump to check out some additional pictures and commentary. It was a very amazing and memorable afternoon.
Countless posters, pictures and poems were plastered around the Jackson home, that is now roped off.