I was a grubby little 18 month old Iowa farm toddler, eating dirt and tripping over cow pies when Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper augered into a frozen cornfield near Clear Lake, in northern Iowa. The date was February 3rd, 1959.

The pilot, 21 year old Roger Peterson, took off at 1 AM in light snow flying a 1947 Beechcraft Bonanza. A few minutes later, the aircraft impacted the ground at high speed a few miles from the airport, killing all aboard.  Tommy Allsup and Waylon Jennings, Holly’s backup musicians, were supposed to be on board the plane with Holly. But at the last minute they were pursuaded to give up their seats.

Last night, on the 50th anniversary of the untimely death of Buddy Holly, we went to a dinner theater production of the Buddy Holly Story. It turned out to be quite entertaining. I say “turned out” because in truth I’m not much of a 50’s music fan. Being a serial doofus in the area of music, I didn’t realize that Holly was such a prolific song writer. Wasn’t paying attention.

On a side note, a Beechcraft Bonanza has been flown underneath the Eiffel Tower. It is hard to imagine that permission was given, much less, an insurance policy.

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