Here are my dad's reflections on the "day the music died," when Buddy Holly, among others, perished in a plane crash outside of Clear Lake, Iowa 50 years ago:
Some people deride the attention given to Buddy Holly and his memory. For sure, he wasn't a saint; he was just a song writer and a singer. As it turns out, a talented writer and singer, and what he wrote and sang captured a generation. It was OUR music, nobody else's. I was 13 and in Gillette again when he died. We (the patients) heard about it on the TV and couldn't believe it. We always felt a little cut off from the world anyway because we were "inside," and we all thought it couldn't be true. Watching "American Bandstand" that day felt like being at a funeral. He was so well known and liked by young and old alike. How could it be true? He was "ours." And "poof," he, and the music, were gone.