I want to hear some Neverland stories please. I have 15 years worth from the other side of the fence but want to hear some fan stories.
Hi Big Al:
Thanks for sharing your memories of Neverland with us fans. We all so appreciate it and need to hear all of this cute & positive stuff. I just got back from my holiday stay in what I call "MJ Country" (Santa Barbara County), which is where I have spent alot of my married life. I was in Santa Maria, Guadalupe, Lompoc, Buelton, Solvang, Los Olivos, and a real brief drive to the NLR gate. Boy was that depressing. No Michael remnants left on the gate to even remotely identify that Michael ever lived there. On a more positive note, when we first touched down at the Santa Barbara Airport and walked out on the flightline via the plane's ladder, I said to myself, "Wow, Michael walked these same steps many a times!" As we drove out of the airport & headed toward Highway 101 North, I again said to myself, " Yep, Michael made this trip many times with his limo." I repeated that to myself several times while home in CA. When we drove to Solvang through Buelton, I could just picture Michael's stretch limo stopping traffic on Highway 246 when it was brought in for maintenance. Say did you ever take any of Michael's vehicles to the Ford dealership in Buelton? I would love to hear about that since I know what my brother-in-law (a mechanic there) has told me. He told me that he had dealt with Michael, the business man, verses Michael, the artist, and it sounded like a whole different Michael. I have also been meaning to ask MJ Bodyguards on FB if any of them ever took Michael's vehicles in for maintenance work. Anyway I look forward to your response to my questions and what you have to tell all of us fans. God bless you.
To everyone ... I am doing what is called a re-set. Which basically means 34 hours off. By federal law, after so many hours on duty in so many days, a person driving a semi truck must take 34 hours off. And let me tell you ... when I reach that point, I am ready for some time off. So ... on my re-set, the second thing I did is check in with you guys. Sorry, the first thing was go online and pay some bills. Anyway ... all is well ... so far no bad weather for me. Some of the other drivers that are a day behind me hit some bad weather. I have a lot to do today but will try to come back later and tell another story. I hit the road early Friday morning.
I really appriciate all the comments, questions and feed back ...
All my very best ...
**********moonwalks in and waves at Big Al*************
Let's keep Big Al in our prayers as he is on the road 12 hrs a day especially with all the wicked weather he needs our prayers. I pray for his safe return.
Thank you BigAl. I hope your Holidays were splendid as well. Wishing you a safe journey and a quick return. We will be waiting for you to share some more of your memories.
I hope everyone had a Happy and Safe New Years celebration.
I will be driving a semi truck between Phoenix Az and Houston TX for the next 6 to 8 weeks and may not get online as much as I would like to ... but as often as I can ... I will get on and check in with you all.
All my very best,
Yes Neverland was a place like no other. It is very sad that you did not make it when you were invited. Not sure what the plans are now for the ranch but I think it would be great to open it back up ... bring all the rides and animals back and start having events again. As far as how I got my job ... read the first question / answer in my inteview ...
All my very best ... thanks for the reply to my post,
Hi Big Al!!!
I also enjoyed reading your story in the Tribute Portrait Hope you had an awesome Christmas And Happy New Year Thank you for sharing all of your memories of Michael with us it just means so much
Hi Big Al!!
Hope you had a wonderful and joyous Christmas and thank you so much for sharing this interview with us, it was a joy to read and brought such a smile! I really appreciate your wonderful sense of humor and I have no doubt Michael did too. I can just imagine the shared hilarity at times.....
Thanks again and as always, would hope to hear more.
Happy New Year to you and yours! God bless.
Please check out the new online magazine at the MJ Tribute Portrait web site ... and the interview about my time at Neverland and with Mr. Jackson.
Scroll down the left side and click on my photo to read the interview.
Happy new Year to all and hope you all had a very Blessed Christmas.
Welcome to MJ.com Big Al Sending you welcome hugs ((((((BigAl))))
I love your stories of Neverland, no I was never able to go even though my children and I were invited once in 2000 but was never able to work it out too long of a story to tell here ; I've regretted it ever since but when I first heard of the restoration of Neverland I thought it was an awesome idea, Michael wouldve loved it
Thank you so much for the Christmas wishes that was so sweet of you. I know its got to be so difficult for you especially at Christmas missing Michael. I talk to his brother Tito on a regular basis on Twitter, and also Genevieve, the kids seem to be doing well .
Your such a sweetheart for sharing all of this with us.
How were you lucky enough to get a job at Neverland?
Hi Venay B Waving
Hi Big Al!
I can feel how much you miss Michael and the ranch, there's much to read between the lines. I know you must be feeling his absence especially hard during the holidays, thankfully you have so many wondrous memories and delightful stories to share from your time spent there. *hint* LOL.
Thank you for your Christmas wishes Big Al, and I return the same to you. May you and yours experience a most joyous Christmas and I echo your wishes for Michael's children, may they have a Christmas overflowing with blessings and I pray that God is with them always, but especially during the holidays when no doubt they are missing their father so much.
One of my greatest sadnesses is that I never got to meet Michael, but I hold on to the hope that one day, God willing, I may meet one or all of his wonderful children.
God bless you Big Al and thank you again for sharing your heart with all of us here. (((hugs)))
I know we still have a week to go ... but ... I wanted to take a minute and wish everyone a very Blessed Christmas. At my house we start out telling stories about previous Christmas' ... which leads to stories of 14 in a row in which I had to work at Neverland. We always worked our Christmas around my schedule at the ranch. We have no regrets ... we had a blast and plenty of joyful times each and everyone. My family would wait for me to get home and tell them about my day at Neverland and how much fun the day was ... how much Michael enjoyed the day. I miss those days ... I miss Mr. Jackson and the ranch ... I hope his children are doing well and have a Christmas filled with Love and Joy.
Merry Christmas to all,
All those years at Neverland I was very lucky to never get tracked down by anyone from the media. There were times ... everytime I read something very un-true and insulting aboout Mr. Jackson ... I wanted to tell someone, anyone ... one of my stories ... I wanted to expose the un-truths and let people know about the Real Michael. After the service at the Staple Center, in the parking lot, I spent some talking with some fans from the UK ... fans that had been to the ranch and who knew me ... I told them some Neverland stories ... it was healng for me and I am sure the fans enjoyed ... a win - win situation. Venay, thanks for your post ... it really meant a lot to me to read those words.
Big Al, thanks again for the link and for your insights on reopening Neverland. And I loved little Jeff's comment regarding Michael.....LOL, so endearing! So many stories have been written by and about the children who found healing at Neverland, if even for a short time. It's heartwarming to think that it could be reopened to continue this legacy but heartwrenching at the same time because it would be missing the main component...... Still, you were there, you talked to Michael and saw the passion in his eyes when discussing his mission for children, and so it would be comforting to think that the bright thoughts of again offering healing, joy and happiness to children could have eventually overshadowed the heartache.
Thanks for sharing this, I always look forward to seeing your posts!
You can also visit my VIP Dot page here:
In the General forum we were talking about how cool it would be to open neverland back up ... I posted this ...
In case anyone did not follow the link to my interview ... the question about opening Neverland again and my response follows ... it is very much on topic with your last post ...
KW: In your opinion, would you like to see Neverland Ranch become a place for fans to visit in the future to honor Mr. Jackson?
AS: Absolutely! I know there has been talk both good and bad about that possibility. There have been reports of Mr. Jackson saying he hated Neverland and would never live there again. Given the acts of the DA, the Sheriff and 'that family', I do not doubt those reports. I believe eventually Mr. Jackson would have re-opened Neverland. Why do I believe that you ask (?). During my 15 years at Neverland, sitting at a picnic table under a huge oak tree, I had several long conversations with Mr. Jackson about Neverland. Looking into his eyes and hearing his voice, there is no doubt that the charity work done at Neverland was one of the most important things in his life. In time, I believe the importance of those magical days for those sick kids and inner city kids would have found its way back into Michael’s heart. The letters from doctors and nurses from children's hospital and the letters from parents who hang on to the memory of their child and that trip to Neverland, make it very clear how important Mr. Jackson’s charity work thru Neverland was. I became very good friends with a kid with Cystic Fibrosis (number 1 genetic killer of children). Jeff visited Neverland once with Children's Hospital of Los Angeles and twice as my guest during the annual employee family day. One day after taking it (Neverland) all in ... he looked at me and said "I don't know if I like Michael Jackson the entertainer (Jeff was a Lollapalooza kind of kid) but I am sure I like Michael Jackson the person". Jeff truly understood Michael and the importance of Neverland ... and as I write this and hang on to those happy memories of Jeff at Neverland, I understand the importance of Neverland. If Neverland were brought back to its 'Hay Day' condition and opened to the public part of the time to support itself and part of the time for invitation only charity events ... it would be a win - win situation.
Oh man, Big Al, I LOVED your story! The way you described everything was a delight and just imagining Michael's bemused expression and his deep appreciation of the hilariousness of the moment is priceless, just priceless. Still have the biggest grin here....... I soooo would've loved to have been there but this is absolutely the next best thing so thank you again for sharing these wonderful memories!
Thank you Big Al for sharing that. I have seen Dpeed Demon and you are right comparing it to that video. I can just see Michael laughing so hard that he practically falls over. I bet you have so many more wonderful memories you can share with us and I am loving everything you tell us. Thank you very much for all the work you did for Michael. He really was the BEST there ever will be.
Time for a funny story. I just told this to a couple of people yesterday and I think most everyone in this group will find it very funny. If you cannot recall in great detail ... the music video 'Speed Demon', you need to stop reading this and go watch it ... the story will have a much bigger impact on you. One day while at work (at Neverland) I got a call from security that MJ was heading to the amusement park soon and wants 2 scooters there when he arrives. I jumped on my golf cart with my mechanic and headed to the train barn to grab 2 scooters. I need to insert some important information here ... they call me Big Al because I am 6'1" and weigh 330 ponds ... my mechainc is about 5'4" and weighs about 125 pounds ... now picture us riding on these little scooters ... see ... this story is already funny. As we approach the park ... I see that MJ is waiting ... I also notice that he is looking at me (my big self on this tiny scooter) and he is laughing very hard ... Speed Demon pops in my mind ... I ride right up within a few inches of his feet ... slam on the brakes ... look him in the eye and say ... hey mister, want to autograph my belly ... at this point I thought he was going to cry he was laughing so hard. Making Mr. Jackson laugh will always be some of my fondest memories.
Jenny, thank you so much for letting us know about our illustrious guest! Mr. Scanlon, thank you so much for being here! I echo the others in that, unfortunately, I was never able to visit Neverland; but would love to hear your stories - 15 years worth - of working with Michael and being at Neverland. What a great opportunity for you! I would be willing to bet that if you put in an appearance over at the General Forum that all of us would be sitting in a circle at your feet, like young children eagerly waiting for their favorite stories....even us "youngsters" in our 50s. LOL! What a wonderful treat for you to be here! Please....don't be a stranger! And make sure to stop by the General Forum.
Hi Big Al
I was fortunate to visit Neverland on Aug 26, 1996 with my parents and the Michael Jackson Observer Fan Club. I enjoyed every second at Neverland it was very memorable and unbelievable expeirence. The only thing that was missing was Michael himself but I was so grateful for him to open up his home to his fans to enjoy. The fans got to tour his house, visit his animals, play in the game room, ride the train, watch MJ short films in the theatre and enjoy all the rides and eat all the candy we wanted. I was so surpised when we even got departing gifts. Oh how I wish I could go back to that day and just live in the moment forever. Thank you Big Al for keeping Michael's memory alive.
Please feel free to put my post in the General Discussion area ... as a matter of fact ... after my last post, I asked myself why I did not post there from the start. Thanks to ALL of you SO much for the great reception and wonderful replies. I will try to get on here as often as I can. Thanks again ... Big Al
Mr. Scanlan, thank you so very much for the link to your interview, I somehow never saw it. Even after all this time and after reading so many interviews, stories, articles, blogs and posts....I still could not stop the tears from forming. I'll never tire of hearing heartfelt stories of the "real" Michael. About his humbleness, his respect for everyone despite their station or stature, his kindness.....I so very much wish I could've met him, just to be the momentary recipient of his "aura".
I hope it will be possible in the future for you to perhaps find a little time to come here and share more of your memories, I know everyone here would treasure them immensely. And as Jenny and 2M4MJ have mentioned, the wonder of your "Michael" stories would probably reach more members if posted in the General Discussion forum.
Thanks again and God bless!
@Jenny - that is a great idea. I hope so..
Big Al - Do you mind if I post this in the General Michael Jackson Discussion forum? I think more people would get to see it
Here is a link to an interview I did ... some insight to working at Neverland ... http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-704-Pop-Media-Examiner~y2009m9d29-All...
As far as answering questions here ... lets wait and see how this things on the MJTP web site goes. Its not that I do not want to ... I just do not want to overload my self. I travel 10 months out of the year and work long hours. I do not get online as much as I would like to and I do not want to be forced into not answering questions due to my schedule and lack of time online.
While Michael was alive..i wish i could've of seen Neverland..now if i ever visit Neverland Michael won't be there to greet me at the door. but Michael wanted to do Wonderland i wish he could've of done that.
Thanks for letting us know Big Al! Will you be answering any questions on this site?
Sometime in December ( I will get you the date as soon as I can) the Michael Jackson Tribute Portrait web site will have an online magazine. I did a Q & A and I think they are going to ask the fans to submit questions. Please check out the web site ... some real good people working on it. http://www.michaeljacksontributeportrait.com/home.php