OCHO RIOS, Jamaica - A small museum contains some of Bob Marley’s gold records and other awards, plus a guitar. The dwelling where Bob Marley was born doesn’t look the way it originally did – the government renovated it - but this is the place.
“Six months later, his mom take the baby up on the hill to Sugar Hill or Mt. Zion,” Fozzie says, leading the way to a two-room shack where he says Bob Marley spent the first 13 years of his life.
On the steep climb (this is not a tour for anyone with mobility problems), we pass by a tall steel wall where little fingers have dug a small hole, just big enough to reach through from the outside to the place where we are climbing. Holding a cellophane candy wrapper taped to a long stick stuck through the fence, a child begs, “Pretty lady, dollar, please.”
At the top of the hill, we see the Rasta-colored stone pillow on which a young Bob lay his head when seeking inspiration. Inside the tiny two-room shack is the “single bed” he sang about. A stone pile in the yard is topped by a flowerpot with a healthy marijuana plant.
Fozzie instructs us to remove our shoes before we enter two mausoleums – one is the final resting place of Bob’s mother, the other is where Bob is entombed. Two children halfway up a tree over the high fence near the mausoleum are begging for dollars.
“His mother die in 2008 at 82 years of age,” Fozzie says. “No sickness. It was just her time to die.”
Bob Marley, however, died far too early. And his death may have been prevented, some say.
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