Current location: Gary, Indiana
On my way home from Michigan, I finally made it to Michael Jackson’s childhood home in Gary, Indiana. What was intended to be a fun touristy visit instead became a sober trip through one of the most blighted cities in America. Gary is consistently ranked as one of the most dangerous cities in the U.S., but I didn’t think a rainy Thursday morning would be a particularly dangerous time to drop by.
The house isn’t hard to find, but I was confused the first time I drove past because I was expecting to see flowers and gifts all over the place, like they were after Michael died. Those have all been removed, and now the only sign that 2300 Jackson Street is not just another house is the police tape around the place. The house was very small. It’s amazing the entire Jackson family grew up there.
The neighborhood is pretty much a wreck. Here’s a house I saw that was missing the entire back half. Incredibly, when I drove around to the front, I saw that people were actually living in this place.
I’ve read that some people want to turn the Jackson house in Gary into an official tourist attraction like Graceland. Based on what I saw, that seems like a swell idea. Anything to pump up the economy of Gary would be a great idea because it’s in pretty bad shape right now.