Friday, June 26, 2009

Gary's mayor has big hopes for Michael Jackson boyhood home

Jackson's modest home to become like "Graceland":
The mayor is calling Jackson's modest boyhood home the new Graceland, and others hope to use Jackson's name to raise funds for a museum.
But Jackson and his family, like so many others, left the northwest Indiana city behind a long time ago.
But Clay shook his head when asked if Neverland might be a better location for die hard fans to connect to the singer's legacy.
"No. No. No," Clay said. "If you're going to build a museum to Michael Jackson you should build it where the true love for him is."
The Jacksons moved from Gary after the Jackson 5 recorded their first album in 1969.
By that time, the steel industry, in which Jackson's father had worked, had started to decline. Over the following decades, the city's unemployment and poverty soared, crime increased and the population dwindled.
Nearly 200,000 people lived in Gary in the 1960s. By 2007, that dropped to 96,000 and one-third of residents lived below the poverty line, according to recent U.S. Census data.
Clay said he hopes Jackson's death will help energize officials to push for building a memorial, which could include arts center and museum, to the singer in his childhood hometown. Proposals also include moving the Jackson home near an interstate that serves as a main route for commuters heading to and from Chicago, Clay said.
I compiled some video links from my local CBS affiliate over at my other blog, The Sixth Ward. As for Gary, trying to get tourists to come is a great idea, but I think Gary needs more than strong love for a favorite son!

Pic of the Jackson family home is from Flickr!

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