The ever intrepid peeps at TMZ have got a hold of what is believed to be 49 snaps of recently deceased Michael Jackson's once beloved and later neglected Neverland Ranch as it exists today. Mister Jackson fled the Los Olivos, CA property in the aftermath of salacious child molestation allegations and an even more lurid jury trial in 2005. Although he was acquitted of the charges, Mister Jackson vowed never to live on the property again.
None the less, it is widely rumored and frequently reported that a public memorial and viewing of Mister Jackson's dead body will take place at the ranch this Friday, a situation sure to turn into a damn circus and which will likely attract all manner of looky-loos, fans, fanatics and bizarrely obsessed kooks who rank Mister Jackson right up there with Jesus.
However, there are also reports and rumors swirling that talk of a public memorial (and viewing) at Neverland Ranch are just that, talk. Some recent reports indicate that the Jackson family has not yet decided on how or where to memorialize the man-child and bury the body. Whoever it is that gets to decide these things better get it together quick though because, as sure as we have toenails, there are probably already too many people hopping in their hoopdies and heading towards their own damn fool notion of the promised land.*
Anyhoo, the buildings at Neverland Ranch all appear to have been cleared of the kiddie crap that Jackson was known to collect and the grounds cleaned up and spruced up by the folks at Colony Capital who swooped in at the last minute to save the financially beleaguered Mister Jackson from foreclosure.
It's unknown what plans Colony might have for the 2,600 acre property. It would make sense to Your Mama's pea brain they would want to sell it for a profit (that is the bizness they are in after all) but given that ownership of the property has been reported to be a joint venture between Colony and Mister Jackson (now his estate), there could be a bit of a tug of war depending on who wants to do what with the property. Regardless of what happens to the property it will be, for better or worse, associated with Mister Jackson and is lavishly weird lifestyle.
There are, of course, all sorts of unseemly rumors and reports sliding down the gossip grapevine about Neverland Ranch becoming Michael Jackson's Graceland or it being where Jackson will lie in state (ew!). We'll just have to wait and see. In death as in life for Mister Jackson, Your Mama would bet everything we have a whole slew of people are going to try really hard to make boo-coo bucks from the endeavor.
The country-style mock Tudor mansion is said to measure around 13,000 square feet and features lots large rooms with beamed ceilings, wood-paned windows, brick walls and wood floors. The children will note that the notorious cedar lined "secret room" is included in the cache of photographs and also that it appears Mister Jackson had a party-sized spa tub in his window wrapped master bathroom.
There are also pictures of the games house adjacent to the tennis court, the swimming pool, the empty elephant cages, the giraffe house, monkey cages, Bubbles' cage, the forlorn looking carnival grounds, the refurbished railway station, the movies house and on and on...
*A decision has been made by the Jackson family that there will be no public viewing at Neverland Ranch so all you people making a mad dash for the Santa Ynez Valley can turn your automobiles around and go home. A public memorial (not, thank heavens, a viewing) is being arranged.
photo: Pacific Coast News