Jacko fans still out in force

2010-06-23 10:34

Erin Jacobs once traded her brand new bicycle for tickets to see

Michael Jackson. Now, more than 25 years later, it’s her time, organisational

skills and gas money that she’s giving to the King of Pop.

As an organiser of two major fan groups, Jacobs is just one of

thousands of supporters keeping Jackson’s legacy alive – along with the pursuit

of justice for his untimely death a year ago this Friday.

Since then, the singer’s notoriously loyal followers have traded

vigils at the hospital and family home for pilgrimages to his tomb and protests

at the court where the doctor charged with killing Jackson will be tried.

Jacobs said: “It’s absolutely humbling that he has so much support

from fans.”

A travel agent who lives in Yorba Linda, California, Jacobs made

her first 80km trip to the Forest Lawn cemetery in Glendale, California, shortly

after Jackson was buried there in September. It was a personal trip.

These days, Jacobs has gone on to co-ordinate monthly pilgrimages

to the cemetery by the Official Michael Jackson Fans of Southern


Hundreds are expected at Forest Lawn on Friday to commemorate

Jackson’s death.

The singer’s tomb inside the cemetery’s gothic Great Mausoleum

remains closed to the public and Friday’s memorial won’t change that.

But through the efforts of Jacobs and others, it’s become a place

where Jackson’s international fan base comes to grieve.

Many who can’t make it in person send letters, poems, artwork and

other gifts so that Jacobs and others can deliver them to the cemetery, where

they are placed at the singer’s tomb until new items arrive.

Jacobs said: “A year later, it feels like it was yesterday.”

Another focal point for Jackson fans has become the downtown Los

Angeles court house where Dr Conrad Murray will be tried on an involuntary

manslaughter charge for Jackson’s death.

On hearing days, fans wearing sequined gloves and T-shirts calling

for justice wait for hours clutching signs denouncing Murray and shout at him

for the brief moments it takes him to walk from the curb to the front door.

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