PALM DESERT – Two of the local ticket winners for Tuesday’s Michael Jackson Memorial work at Palm Desert High School.
Palm Desert High School biology teacher Ron Paiz will call in a substitute for Tuesday. He’s one of the few chosen to go to the Jackson memorial at LA’s Staples Center.
“When I found out he died, I was just so surprised and really, really sad. I just wanted to be part of it,” Paiz said about the day the King of Pop died. “I just called right away. I called up in the first 30 minutes. I was really surprised that I got it.”
Paiz isn’t the only person working at Palm Desert High to get a ticket. Natasha Putter is a summer school teaching assistant here.
Putter explains, “We were driving to LA for the 4th of July and I was really bored in the back of the car. I had my iPhone. I went on to staplescenter.com, entered my mom, my dad, and me. They weren’t lucky. I was the lucky one. I was really happy. I was screaming. Jumping up and down, running throughout the house.”
The teenager admits she’s a little young to have enjoyed Michael Jackson’s music, but her family is heading to LA to redeem their online ticket, joining the thousands at Staples Center.
Ron Paiz is doing the same, having his wife drive him to LA.
“I remember when Elvis died. I was 10 years old. I saw my dad cry for the first time. To be part of this, just to be there, it’s going to be an experience,” says Paiz.
For those Jackson fans who didn’t get a ticket, the owners of the Elvis Presley Estate in Palm Springs will randomly select 100 people from hundreds who applied for a memorial viewing party.
Elvis Presley would have been Michael Jackon’s father-in-law through Lisa Marie Presley.
The Elvis Presley Estate here on Chino Canyon road is different from the Elvis Honeymoon Hideaway also in Palm Springs.
The viewing party here will begin just before 10 Tuesday morning.
For more information, go to www.pselvis.com.