The King of Pop is being laid to rest on Sept 3 in a cemetery as colorful as him—the Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, Calif. The century-old property features a life-sized replica of Michelangelo’s David, a reproduction of da Vinci’s The Last Supper that lights up every half hour and a museum that’s devoted its space to everything from the Crown Jewels of England to a celebration of 1950s American Tiki culture.
Credit Hubert Eaton, a manager of the property in the early part of the past century. A former mining engineer, he decided all the head stones should be flat bronze plaques. He coined the term memorial park because he thought the word cemetery sounded depressing. He encouraged weddings at the property—Ronald Reagan married Jane Wyman there. Eaton himself is buried in the main chapel—in Westminster Abbey-like fashion under the altar—next to a collection of VIPs that includes Gutzon Borglum, carver of Mount Rushmore.
Jackson will join many other celebs at Forest Lawn, although the cemetery doesn’t actually encourage star gazing. I can remember trying to find Humphrey Bogart’s simple marker. A friend and I jumped over a gated section of the property. I landed on Mary Pickford. There was classical music playing in the compound, although the gates were locked and no other living people were present. Who knows what they’ll play now that Michael is there?