Neverland Ranch was Michael Jackson’s home from 1988 until 2005 in the Santa Ynez Valley near LA. Its 3000 acres contain sacred
Native American sites, and once had whimsical signs, statues, fountains, vintage vehicles, a train, and flower gardens.
Jackson generously shared Neverland's magical
setting with underprivileged and seriously ill children, who were invited with their families by the busload to enjoy the amusement park even when he was away.
For years, thousands passed through the gates to experience joy
. That all ended when one family of known grifters tried to cash in by accusing Jackson of a heinous crime. A corrupt local prosecutor couldn't convince a jury that Jackson was guilty of anything other than too much generosity
and faith in people. The media circus was like a lynch mob after ratings, not Truth. Despite his complete exoneration during the famous trial in 2005, Jackson abandoned Neverland.
Many have noted that Jackson had shown a love and nurturance of children since he was one himself, and that he never lost his own childlike purity. If he had been a typical man-whore pop star, there'd have been no controversy. A spiritual, do-good, man-child who was sensitive to the needs of the young, weak, and marginalized was simply too good to be true.
To see how it looked in its heyday, see Larry Nimmer’s The Untold Story of Neverland; Living with Michael Jackson: The Footage You Were Never Meant to See; short films Moonwalker and Say Say Say.
I wish I could have experienced the magic and beauty of Neverland Ranch with my children while Michael Jackson lived there!