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Thread: Neverland FACT File. FOR REFERENCE ONLY! [No Discussion]

   
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    Default Re: Neverland FACT File. FOR REFERENCE ONLY! [No Discussion]

    Quote Originally Posted by MJ TinkerBell View Post
    :ciao: speechlesslove4michael

    So amazing , thank-you sooo much for sharing this Video with the Fans they would completely enjoy this fresh sighting of Neverland

    :give_rose::pray::pray::give_rose:
    You are very welcome.

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    Thumbs up Re: Neverland FACT File. FOR REFERENCE ONLY! [No Discussion]

    Cribs Exclusive Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch Tour

    Michael Jacksons Neverland. You will see Michaels 12,000 pluss sqf house and around the 2800 acres estate. He had a personal lake, train station, movie theater, mini theam park, mini zoo, and much more. Michael had bought the house in 1988 after shooing the " say say say " music video on the property which at the time was know as " Sycamore Valley Ranch " which is where he lived here till 2005.

    Part 1 of 2


    Part 2 of 2



    Michael Jackson Neverland Ranch Short Tour


    Last edited by MJ TinkerBell; 23-06-2012 at 01:20 AM.





    "My real goal is to fulfill God’s purpose." - Michael Jackson

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    Default Re: Neverland FACT File. FOR REFERENCE ONLY! [No Discussion]

    Inside The Neverland Ranch (The Today Show)

    In a TODAY SHOW exclusive, Matt Lauer tours the Neverland Ranch, Michael Jacksons fantasy-filled private compound in California where many fans hope to get their last look at the star before he is laid to rest.






    "My real goal is to fulfill God’s purpose." - Michael Jackson

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    Default Re: Neverland FACT File. FOR REFERENCE ONLY! [No Discussion]



    Thriller, Michael Jackson's tiger, dies of lung cancer
    Published Wednesday, Jun. 27 2012, 4:27 PM EDT



    Southern L.A - Thriller, a tiger that belonged to Michael Jackson when the entertainer lived at his Neverland ranch, has died of lung cancer at actress-activist Tippi Hedren’s wildlife preserve in California.

    The 13-year-old, 170-kilogram tiger died June 11, Ms. Hedren said Wednesday. A necropsy was performed and the tiger was cremated. Staff workers will hold a private service when the ashes are buried in a section of the preserve set aside for animals that die there.

    Thriller and her brother Sabu were born on Nov. 20, 1998, and lived with Jackson until May 4, 2006, Ms. Hedren said.

    When Jackson left Neverland for good, his veterinarian asked Ms. Hedren to take the cats at her Shambala Preserve in Acton, about 80 kilometres north of Los Angeles.

    Other Neverland animals, including giraffes, flamingos, orangutans, elephants and dozens of reptiles, were sent to other sanctuaries in other parts of the country.



    Shambala didn’t have a lot of room, but Ms. Hedren built a $79,000 habitat next to the preserve’s lake and there were trees and a hill and Thriller had a great life with Sabu, she said.

    “Thriller was a real piece of work, one gutsy girl. She ruled Sabu’s life. It was humorous to watch the whole relationship. She did things to him that male tigers would normally never allow. She would steal food from him. That’s unheard of. She ruled the roost, was very independent and tough,” Hedren said.

    Unlike many of the animals at the preserve, Thriller and Sabu arrived at the compound in excellent health physically and emotionally, Ms. Hedren said.




    There are 15 tigers at the compound, but Sabu is now alone in the habitat he shared with Thriller and he’ll probably stay that way, Ms. Hedren said.

    Tigers are loners in the wild, she explained.

    Because Thriller was a famous tiger, she was very popular with visitors and media, Ms. Hedren said. “She didn’t care. She was not a diva and didn’t mug for the camera. We all loved her for it.”

    Staff was trying to cope with Thriller’s death, Ms. Hedren said. “It’s very hard for all of us when these animals go away. Fortunately for Sabu and Thriller, they came in healthy and content. They had no problem with being in quarantine for 30 days. They adjusted so well.”

    Most of the animals at Shambala, which requires $75,000 in donations every month to stay open, have trouble adjusting because they have such abusive pasts, Ms. Hedren said.

    R.I.P ~ Nov. 20, 1998 ~ June 11, 2012
    Dearest Thriller you are and will always be loved




    Shambala Online:
    http://www.shambala.org

    The Source:
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/...rticle4374978/
    Last edited by MJ TinkerBell; 18-10-2012 at 08:31 AM.





    "My real goal is to fulfill God’s purpose." - Michael Jackson

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    Default Re: Neverland FACT File. FOR REFERENCE ONLY! [No Discussion]

    Seth Riggs' Touching Memories about Michael and stories of Neverland (June 25,2012)



    Thank-you so much mkgenie for sharing this with Us :pray::pray:
    Last edited by MJ TinkerBell; 30-06-2012 at 06:57 AM.





    "My real goal is to fulfill God’s purpose." - Michael Jackson

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    Default Re: Neverland FACT File. FOR REFERENCE ONLY! [No Discussion]

    Via the One Rose for MJJ Facebook Page:

    LOS OLIVOS and NEVERLAND JUNE 23, 2012





















    The Facebook Album Page:
    http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?s...9059827&type=3
    Last edited by MJ TinkerBell; 30-06-2012 at 10:16 AM.





    "My real goal is to fulfill God’s purpose." - Michael Jackson

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    Default Re: Neverland FACT File. FOR REFERENCE ONLY! [No Discussion]



    The Blog Article:

    Michael Jackson: In Search of Neverland....
    Real Estate Agent Tells How She Negotiated 'The Sale Of The Century'
    By DeBorah B. Pryor
    ..June 23, 2010



    JOURNALISTS’ NOTE: I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the difficulty of writing about this particular topic at this particular time – the 1st anniversary of Michael Jackson’s passing. To write about his dream home, his utopia, his Neverland, and know that he is gone from us forever remains, at best, a devastating blow. Yet, in remembering the spirit of Michael, we can never forget his unbridled sense of joy at the smallest things, his almost childlike innocence, and his love of children and animals. This book tells us about the fulfillment of one of Michael’s biggest dreams – straight from the mouth of the woman that helped make it come true.

    Just when you were probably thinking, “Oh no, not ANOTHER Michael Jackson book,” comes “MICHAEL JACKSON: In Search of Neverland” – a charming 98-page self-published paperback that details Jackson’s search for the home of his dreams. The book was written by Gloria Rhodes Berlin, the real estate agent who single-handedly shopped for, located and negotiated the transaction for what became known as “The Sale of the Century” in 1988. The sprawling 2,700-acre Los Olivos, California property; originally called Sycamore Valley Ranch; that later become known around the world as Michael Jackson’s NEVERLAND.

    Berlin recently spoke with EUR’s Lee Bailey, who asked why she wrote the book.
    “The book is because I found him the ideal paradise he wanted for himself and for his animals. When he was being cited by the animal regulation department continuously…at the family compound. They threatened to come and arrest him and impound all of his animals. They said they belonged at the L. A. Zoo, not at his home. He had llamas, giraffes, a baby elephant, [and] snakes. A python got out, went swimming next door in the neighbors pool; and it scared the neighbors and they called the animal regulation department (laughs).”

    MICHAEL JACKSON: In Search of Neverland takes readers on a delightful walk with Jackson as he nears his 27th birthday. He still lived with his parents, at least three of his siblings, and a menagerie of animals at the Encino family compound on Hayvenhurst Avenue. At the time, Jackson was working on The Wiz, preparing for the Bad World Tour and feverishly trying to move away from the family home. Oh yes, and he was bagging groceries at Gelson’s.

    But bear with me. I’m getting ahead of myself.
    “He was a bachelor and wanted to get married. All he ever wanted to do was have a home of his own, get married, and have children. A wife to come home to. He tried,” says Gloria Rhodes Berlin, a neighbor to the Jackson family at the time of the sale.
    Berlin had become friendly with Katherine Jackson and first met Michael at age twelve. She had been living in Encino for ten years when the Jackson family arrived from Gary, Indiana. Her book shares several sweet, little anecdotes that we have yet to hear elsewhere; and there is no doubt that the author is someone who genuinely cared for the entertainer.

    Michael Jackson & Gloria Rhoads Berlin

    “Michael Jackson and I had a very wonderful relationship… I always thought he was going to wind up being a box-boy at Gelson’s because he had a crush on a very beautiful young lady who was about 4 ½ feet tall who was working there. [She had] very white porcelain skin with big blue eyes; real red-haired, that she wore in little pigtails and he used to come over and act as a box boy for her; pack the groceries for the people who came through her aisle. I always came through there and he would say, ‘Hello Mrs. Berlin’. My son, Will, used to play with the Jackson Five, basketball, at their home.”

    “I think they hired him (laughs). He … would come [to the market] dressed up as The Wiz; wearing these shoes that were like on stilts…He came to see that pig-tailed, red-head girl….He loved her. He knew everyone that came to Gelson’s.”

    Prior to becoming his real estate agent, Berlin had contacted Jackson on another matter.

    “I wrote him a letter about a family that was losing their home. The man was 87-years-old, Black and married to a White woman. They had three children, young teens. The father had heart disease…and died, there was no burial money. Michael Jackson paid for the burial of that man he didn’t even know.”
    This exchange opened the door for Jackson, who had worked unsuccessfully with other realtors, to seek Berlin’s assistance in finding his dream home.

    Michael’s frame of mind during this time, according to Berlin, was to become independent of his parents – and for them to become independent of him. He wanted to be alone, away from prying eyes, street traffic and noise. He wanted a place where he could look out the window and see bluebirds, do his own farming and feed his animals. He specified the place had to be accessible to deer, so they could prune his trees.

    A former actor who once shared the same theatrical agent as Elizabeth Taylor, dated Frank Sinatra for two-and-a-half years, and had roles in movies like “Guys and Dolls,” “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,” and “There’s No Business Like Show Business”.



    Berlin lists some of her fondest Michael Jackson memories:

    * When he played ‘I Just Can’t Stop Loving You’ on the Boesendorfer grand piano in the living room of the main house.

    * When he ran along the top of a wooden fence on the Neverland property as if it were a balance beam.

    * Developed new dance steps on the stones in the middle of a stream.

    * Planted flowers in the flowerbeds around the main house at Neverland using different color schemes for each season of the year.

    * Slid down the banister and hid in the secret room inside the mansion.

    * Played “Ghost” using a Casper ghost costume in the playroom with moving walls.

    * Held my hand and walked with me throughout the entire ranch.


    Michael Jackson had actually been on the ranch before.
    “Paul McCartney had been a guest of Bill Bones,” said Berlin of the man who had originally developed and lived on the ranch with his family. “Then, without authorization, [McCartney] decided to start shooting video and invited Michael Jackson to come there and be in the video. And Michael Jackson had… been driven there…and then removed when they were kicked off after a manager phoned Bill Bones and told him they were filming and [had] brought film crews on the ranch.”

    Berlin says that she happened to locate the same ranch Jackson had previously visited, as a guest was a coincidence. He needed a ranch of that size. At the time of his visit there, it was not for sale. But after a divorce between Bill Bones and his wife, it was. Bones-a realtor, broker, builder and developer himself- did not list the ranch. In order to see the house you had to register. Berlin found out about the property – which had an original asking price of $35 million dollars - by contacting the Chamber of Commerce.

    But the transaction, says Berlin, did not progress without its share of drama from Jackson’s people.
    “John Branca wanted to offer them $9 million…He didn’t want to listen to me; and then he said $10 million…11…12 and finally we presented an offer. Mr. Bone went crazy and said if I had been a man, he would’ve punched me out!”
    After all was said and done, Michael Jackson laid down $17 million dollars and walked away with a ranch that housed part of the Los Padres National Forest in its back yard. He was there for 15 years.

    Lee Bailey asks Gloria Berlin her thoughts about what is going on with the estate since Michael’s passing.

    “My thoughts are that Mrs. Jackson is an amazing woman. She’s…a true beauty…I saw her about 2 ½ weeks ago and she told me the story about Michael and his death…For me it’s a heartbreak. I can’t even think about it without crying because I knew him since he was 12. But she is his mother. I told her Dr. Conrad Murray should be prosecuted for murder. She said ‘No, he can’t be prosecuted for murder he’s only going to be prosecuted for involuntary manslaughter’. She… was very calm, very polite. She hugged me and squeezed me.


    December 16th, 2011- ActorsE Chat with author and realtor Gloria Berlin
    (Michael Jackson: In Search of Neverland) and host Peter Allman


    ActorsE Chat with host Peter Allman and author Gloria Berlin




    Gloria Berlin Gets 2010 IRWIN Award for Best Celebrity Book Campaign
    for Book on Michael Jackson



    Gloria Berlin, author of Michael Jackson: In Search of Neverland, gets the 2010 IRWIN Award for Best Celebrity Book Campaign from Book Publicists of Soluthern California. Gloria Berlin knew Michael Jackson from the time he moved to Los Angeles as a young kid and she ended up finding him the Neverland Ranch when he bought it originally. Many of his people tried to push her out of the deal, but Michael Jackson stuck by Gloria and she loved him very much for all he did for her and many others during his lifetime.

    MICHAEL JACKSON: In Search of Neverland by Gloria Rhoads Berlin is available at Amazon.com. It can be downloaded, and is offered through Kindle and eBooks.
    DeBorah B. Pryor is a freelance journalist and consultant to ‘everyday people’ that aim to become better public speakers in daily life situations.
    Her CD,“Public Speaking for the Private Person” can be purchased via her website at www.dpryorpresents.com

    In Search of Neverland Website
    www.insearchofneverlandthebook.com

    :pray::pray:
    Last edited by MJ TinkerBell; 04-07-2012 at 08:33 PM.





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    Thumbs up Re: Neverland FACT File. FOR REFERENCE ONLY! [No Discussion]



    The Article:

    A slice of the Michael Jackson Dream: Rollercoaster from Neverland ranch is on the market for $50k
    By JILL REILLY .. UPDATED: 17:15 GMT, 23 March 2012

    A turtle rollercoaster from Michael Jackson's infamous Neverland ranch is up for sale, for an eye-watering $50,000.


    The popstar had the five carriage 'Turtle Train' constructed at his personal amusement park so his children could play on it.
    He instructed Italian company Zamperla to craft the ride so that it could be used inside his house if needed.

    Celebrity auction house, Gotta Have Rock and Roll, are now selling it for a cool $50,000 (£32,000.)
    It has a minimum bid of $30,000, but so far no bids have been placed. Jackson named the property Neverland, after the fantasy island in the story of Peter Pan, and the animal ride reflects his childish nature. Neverland was Jackson's home and private amusement park until 2005 when he closed it down.


    All aboard: As well as the turtle ride, the amusement park included two trains on railway tracks, a ferris wheel, carousel, a pirate ship and an amusement arcade to name a few.

    Spokeswoman Laura Carlucci said: 'The ride was sold under the direction of Michael Jackson himself roughly one year before he passed away.
    'He hired a representative to sell some assets from the Neverland Ranch when he ran into financial difficulties.

    Neverland in the past: Michael Jackson, singer and wife Lisa Marie Presley welcome 46 children from 17 countries as they arrive for the World Children's Conference at Jackson's Neverland Valley Ranch.

    As well as the turtle ride, the amusement park included two trains on railway tracks, a Ferris wheel, carousel, and a pirate ship and an amusement arcade to name a few
    Spokeswoman Laura Carlucci said: 'The ride was sold under the direction of Michael Jackson himself roughly one year before he passed away.
    'He hired a representative to sell some assets from the Neverland Ranch when he ran into financial difficulties.

    'We usually don't get items of this type because, as you imagine, such items are rarely up for sale.
    'We are thinking a museum or an amusement park or even a mega Michael Jackson collector.
    'It is valued at $50,000, but we think in the heat of the bidding it could possibly go for a lot more.
    'We are happy to ship it any where in the world, the postage should be pretty pricey.'
    For the hefty sum, successful bidders will get the green tortoise shell coloured ride - which measures 160ft long and can hold 10 thrillseekers at a time.
    And to make sure they begin using the priceless piece immediately, the lot comes complete with a control panel.

    The Source:
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...arket-50k.html
    Last edited by MJ TinkerBell; 18-08-2012 at 05:56 PM.





    "My real goal is to fulfill God’s purpose." - Michael Jackson

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    Thumbs up Re: Neverland FACT File. FOR REFERENCE ONLY! [No Discussion]


    Thank-you so much to qbee for Originally Posting this Story


    Larry Nimmer, the author of "Michael Jackson The Untold Story of Neverland"
    just Posted a few nice words on his Facebook about his recent visit to Neverland.
    He says its restored beautifully and even has some animals in the zoo.


    Yesterday, I was guest of Sébastien Brassard Simard at Neverland Ranch for a tour and lunch. Sebastien is a MJ fan from Quebec and he (along with his guest, me) was invited by Tom Barrack, the owner of the Ranch. Barrack reached out to Sebastian, after receiving communications from him. In this photo, Sebastien and I are below Michael's "Giving Tree".

    I found the estate to be well maintained with some things restored to their old glory. Part of the interior decorative gate has been reinstalled, many of the statues are back on the grounds, the train station is beautiful, and there were some animlas in the zoo. Apparently the staff are giving some sick animals a home. I have a few more photos posted on the "Being Mike-like" group page.

    I offer my thanks to Tom Barrack, and the kind staff at Neverland Ranch. Some of the staff have worked their for years and had fond memories of Michael... they were very Mike-like... gracious, modest, effective and kind. And thanks to Sebastien, it was fun seeing Neverland through his eyes and hangin with him. His parents left him when he was a year old and he was raised on Michael Jackson music and stories. He learned English to understand Michael's words and he has made a study of Neverland. In fact, the ranch manager said that he should give tours of Neverland as he knew about everything, and it's exact location.

    Best wishes to Michael's fans. I truly felt the spirit of Michael at Neverland and he has you in his heart.

    The Source:
    http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/p...type=1&theater





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    Default Re: Neverland FACT File. FOR REFERENCE ONLY! [No Discussion]



    Thank-you so much to catseyes21 for Originally Posting these Youtube vidoes

    Fans' Love & Support for Michael Jackson at Neverland (June 2005)
    ~ catseyes21 ~ Yes I recorded them!I was there at the trial with my camera!









    Last edited by MJ TinkerBell; 05-09-2012 at 11:50 PM.





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    Thumbs up Re: Neverland FACT File. FOR REFERENCE ONLY! [No Discussion]

    SYCAMORE VALLEY RANCH REAL ESTATE BROCHURE



    Sycamore Valley Ranch/Neverland Realtor Catalogue 1987

    An original professionally printed brochure promoting the sale of the Sycamore Valley Ranch that was purchased by Michael Jackson and named Neverland Valley Ranch in 1987. The full-color brochure features extensive photography of the grounds of the ranch, including aerial photographs giving perspective of the layout of the property. The brochure also includes photographs of the exteriors and interiors of the main house, guest houses, and offices on the ranch. Jackson purchased the home fully furnished, as it is documented in the photograph in this portfolio. As Julien's Auctions catalogued the contents of the Neverland Valley Ranch for auction in 2008, much of the home was still as it appears in these photographs. The brochure also includes a signed letter from Mr. William Bone, the man who designed, built, and sold the property to Jackson as well as a copy of the first and signature pages of the Agreement of Purchase and Sale for the home and a copy of the Michael Jackson signed deposit check. This Sycamore Valley Ranch/Neverland Realtor Catalogue was SOLD at Juliens Auction for $1,250.00








































































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    "My real goal is to fulfill God’s purpose." - Michael Jackson

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    Thumbs up Re: Neverland FACT File. FOR REFERENCE ONLY! [No Discussion]



    Restoration In Neverland

    I was diagnosed with a rare form of child bone cancer in 2000 at the age of fifteen. I was to start chemo therapy in August of that year. Not many people know this but Michael opened up Neverland several times each year for anyone to come and enjoy the park. Everything was free. Rides, games, food. A friend of mine who was a regular at Neverland called me one night and told me the park was going to be open for two weeks at the beginning of August that year. I asked my parents if they would take me the week before I was scheduled to start chemo. My doctors all advised against saying they feared I was too weak but I eventually talked my parents in to it. We had to drive what seemed like several miles after we went through the front gates of Neverland to get to where the actual park was with the rides. As we were driving down the winding road something came over me that I can't explain to this day. It was almost a feeling of peace.
    When my family and I stepped out of the car we weren't sure if we should check in with someone or really what to do. A man finally walked over to us and introduced himself and then explained to my parents how everything worked. We signed in with our names and other information and were given matching wrist bands and told we could ride anything we wanted, eat anything we wanted, play any of the games, etc. The man mentioned that on occasion Michael would come outside and say hello to everyone there. My parents thanked the man and within minutes I was at the top of the ferris wheel with my Dad. We rode it three times in a row and then it was on to the swings. We rode the rides for hours before getting in line to get some cotton candy and popcorn. As we sat down at a table with our snacks we noticed a crowd of children running all in one direction. I stood up on the seat of the table we were at but couldn't see anything. Several minutes later the crowd began moving towards us and it was then that I saw Michael. Standing under a huge umbrella and laughing as children were pulling at his arms, legs, and hugging him.
    My Mom then grabbed my hand and we made our way over to him. We introduced ourselves and my Mom told him what a wonderful time we were having. She then told him about my cancer and that I would be starting chemo the next week. When she said that Michael put one hand on my head and said, "God Bless you." When he touched me I felt the same feeling of peace and comfort that I did as I had when we drove through the gates of Neverland. He stood there and talked to us for a couple more minutes and then he left. I continued riding rides with my family and the other children but I couldn't stop thinking about meeting him. As we were leaving that night the man who we spoke to when we arrived stopped my dad and handed him a note. The note was from Michael and it was inviting the three of us to have dinner with him. Without hesitation my Dad accepted the invitation and the man then directed us to through another gate which led to the main house. I was surprised once we were in front of the house. I expected it to be this huge mansion but it wasn't. It wasn't small but it certainly wasn't huge. Several people who worked for him greeted us when we pulled up outside. We had dinner with Michael and his children that night and to this day it was the best night of my life. After dinner he asked my parents if it would be ok if he prayed with us and of course they said yes. I had never and still to this day have never heard anyone pray the way he did. At fifteen years old it made me cry.
    After he finished praying I opened my eyes and looked to each of my parents who were in tears as well. Michael was gracious enough to give us a tour of some of the things were weren't able to see earlier in the day. He showed us the arcade and the movie theater. The movie theater at Neverland was not your typical theater. Not only were there seats like a real theater, there were also beds for the children who were too sick to sit up. After showing us around we said goodbye to Michael and thanked him for everything. Imagine my Mother's surprise when she received a call from him several days later! We assumed he had obtained our number from the sign in sheet that we filled out upon arriving at Neverland. He asked her how I was doing and she told him I would begin chemo on Monday. He then gave her a number in which to reach him directly and asked her to please call him and let him know how I was doing around the middle of the week. She agreed. I went that Monday morning to the hospital prepared to begin chemo. When the doctor walked in the room he asked both of my parents to sit down. The three of us feared he was going to say the cancer had spread. They had run blood work and some more scans on me two days prior which is typical prior to beginning treatment.When the doctor began to speak he looked at my parents and said, "I don't know how to tell you this. I don't know how to explain this but Danielle no longer has cancer. There are no signs of it on any of the scans we just took." My Mom, my Dad, and I sat there and just stared at him and finally my Mom burst in to tears. We left the hospital and the first thing my Mom did when we got home was call Michael. I was embarrassed because she was crying on the phone but then she handed the phone to me to speak to him and it was obvious he had been crying as well. Through the years Michael remained in touch with my family and would call us several times a year on the phone to say hello. He would sometimes send us gifts and cards. I have been cancer free for ten years now. I can't explain what happened when I went to Neverland. It's defies explanation. I want people to know that I am not the only one who visited Neverland very sick only to become well after my visit. There are hundreds, if not thousands of us. Our stories were never made public because Michael didn't want that. He was a wonderful man. I have never met anyone who cared so deeply about not just children but people in general.

    Thank-you Swiftheart for Posting this :pray:


    The Source:
    http://www.truemichaeljackson.com/tr...-in-neverland/





    "My real goal is to fulfill God’s purpose." - Michael Jackson

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    Default Re: Neverland FACT File. FOR REFERENCE ONLY! [No Discussion]

    Michael Jackson's Beautiful Neverland Ranch


    Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch Part I


    Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch Part 2


    We recently came across these two beautiful videos that we feel truly capture the essence of Neverland Ranch and we wanted to share them with you. They reveal the stunning beauty inside and out; very moving videos that convey perfectly the joy that emanated from this place because of Michael.

    We hope they touch your heart as much as they did ours.

    Enjoy!

    The MJTP Tribute Team

    The Source:
    http://www.michaeljacksontributeport...article_id=273





    "My real goal is to fulfill God’s purpose." - Michael Jackson

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    Thumbs up Re: Neverland FACT File. FOR REFERENCE ONLY! [No Discussion]



    Building Neverland: Local contractor turned a cattle ranch into Michael’s Jackson’s unique estate
    By Raiza Canelon/Staff Writer/rcanelon@syvnews.com

    When the news of Michael Jackson’s death spread throughout the Santa Ynez Valley, where the “King of Pop” had many admirers, one local man felt a particularly deep sadness because he knew that his 20-year friendship with Jackson could never be rekindled.
    However, nothing can take away Tony Urquidez’s memories of the extensive construction he did to turn a cattle ranch into Neverland — from the gatehouse to the amusement park, train station and other elements — and even the piece of equipment he built for the “Smooth Criminal” music video.
    Recalling his first project in 1988, he said, “I was called by a local architect to bid a proposal for a gate house, but didn’t know at the time who it was for. We weren’t the cheapest, but we estimated to get it built faster than the other bids.”
    Urquidez, who owns Urquidez Construction in Los Olivos, came to think of his relationship with the late singer as more than just business as they often spoke on the phone and socialized in the years that followed.
    While he was building the gate house, he said, a limousine came down the driveway and he had to quickly move the truck that was blocking the ranch’s driveway. As the limo drove by, it paused and the window rolled down a bit so that he could just see two eyes looking at him before it continued on.
    That Sunday night after the project was completed, Urquidez received a phone call from a person claiming to be Michael Jackson. He hung up on him, thinking it was a joke. The phone rang again, and the person on the other end assured him it was in fact Michael Jackson. He asked Urquidez to come to a meeting the next week — and that was the beginning of Neverland.
    “We sat at this huge conference table, and when Michael showed up everyone got up to greet him. He immediately asked me to step outside with him, and we took off from everyone, even his bodyguards. We zoomed around the ranch on a golf cart and he explained his vision for Neverland, the amusement park, the large animal zoo, theater, train, everything. I just thought to myself, ‘This guy is goofy,’” Urquidez said.
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    The next project Urquidez worked on at Neverland was the theater, with a state-of -the-art sound system, a candy and popcorn bar, a dance room, seats that had beds, and a stage big enough to fit an elephant under it if need be.
    “He wasn’t the demanding type, but more of a little kid that wanted things immediately. We had crews working all hours of the day, and you could tell Michael was so excited. He put pressure on me, but it was a different kind of pressure, a fun pressure,” Urquidez said.
    Once the theater was completed, Urquidez would get calls in the middle of the night from Jackson, asking

    him to come watch a movie or just talking about ideas he had for the next project.

    “Michael gave me a mental visual of what he wanted, and I had the freedom to create. After several projects like the ‘Magic Walkway,’ the bridge to the treehouse, the pirate ship, and the water fort, we had a language to ourselves. I knew what he was envisioning and I made it happen,” Urquidez said.

    Urquidez’s son Aaron, now 28, said Jackson would call when he was a teenager and ask him about the latest trends in toys and games, then have him and his older brother Chris come out to test them.

    “My favorite was the water fort. It was made into ‘Old West’ buildings and we would have teams against each other shooting out of water canons and guns,” Aaron said.

    In researching all the amusement rides and games Jackson had on his ranch, Urquidez would go to conventions all over the country and even to amusement parks to test the rides in person.

    “Michael always had to have the biggest and the best. The upside to all the strange requests was that I was able to work on projects I’ll never get to do again,” he said.

    Jackson’s life started to go downhill after he was acquitted by a Santa Maria jury on child molestation charges and left Neverland for good. In November Jackson defaulted on a $24.5 million loan backed by the ranch and sold it to Sycamore Valley Ranch Company LLC for approximately $35 million, although he still retained an interest in the property.

    When Jackson bid farewell to Neverland for good, Urquidez said, he started hearing less and less from the pop star.

    “He would call me and we would have personal talks, but I can say in the amount of time I spent at Neverland I never saw anything out of the ordinary. Yes, he had sleepovers, but I never got a weird feeling.

    “He asked sometimes for my boys to spend the night, and the only reason I said no was because I knew they would be up all night eating sugar, and I didn’t want to deal with them like that,” Urquidez said.

    Urquidez still has a high opinion of Jackson, and thinks of him as a philanthropist. Jackson loved opening his ranch to underprivileged, inner-city and local children, he said, and when Urquidez built the steam-engine train that looped around the property, he had direct orders from Jackson to make it possible for bed-ridden people to ride.

    Shortly after the train layout was completed, a bed-ridden, terminally ill boy with cancer visited Neverland, and he died days after his visit. Urquidez heard that the boy was all smiles about the train ride, and died peacefully.

    As Urquidez recently sifted through the boxes of memorabilia he kept from Neverland, such as pictures of him working on the steam engine and the Time magazine from 1993 that showcased the ranch’s amusement park, he recalled instances of Jackson’s personality.

    “Working with him so regularly, you forgot how big he was. I got a rare glimpse into his life and sometimes he would just burst into song or dance and I would think to myself, ‘Wow, that’s Michael Jackson!,” Urquidez said.

    He also has throngs of items that Jackson personally gave to him, such as the original casting for the number 1 symbol off the steam engine, and the hat from the “Smooth Criminal” music video in which Jackson defies gravity.

    Urquidez built the hitch that Jackson could clip into the stage, allowing him to lean forward beyond his center of gravity.

    “He was always giving and so considerate. In the years we spent together he never once tried to buy my affection. Michael was brilliant,” Urquidez said.

    The Source:
    http://www.syvnews.com/articles/2009...ews/news03.txt





    "My real goal is to fulfill God’s purpose." - Michael Jackson

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    Thumbs up Re: Neverland FACT File. FOR REFERENCE ONLY! [No Discussion]



    Conversations In Neverland with Michael Jackson [Kindle Edition]
    Dr. William B. van Valin II MD (Author)
    Publication Date: November 1, 2011

    An insightful journey into the friendship between Barney Vanvalin, a rural farmland physician and music icon, Michael Jackson. You will read about the close friendship from their first meeting to the mysterious and sudden end of their long talks after five years. Michael spent countless hours away from the opulent Neverland Ranch inside the humble home of Dr. Vanvalin sharing time with his family. The books takes you inside Neverland Ranch from the dinner table to the extravagant game room, carnival rides, theater, to sitting in bed watching movies with Michael Jackson on one side and Elizabeth Taylor on the other.

    You will read of the absence of memorabilia in his home from gold records to photographs of world dignitaries and his candid view of such acknowledgements; the nightly menu at the Neverland dinner table; the origin of the Moon Walk dance; Michael's curiosity of the deceased that had him at Barney's mothers' death bed; and his candid opinion of his father and mother. A must read for any Michael Jackson fan.


    Original Cover

    Heartwarming stories of the friendship between Michael Jackson and his long time friend Dr. William B. van Valin II M.D. He was more than just the King of Pop. He was a father, friend, and host to many people. Famous or not.
    Listen as we hear charming and amusing tales of his creative, giving, funny ways as told by his close friend and physician.





    "My real goal is to fulfill God’s purpose." - Michael Jackson

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