My father passed away eight years ago to the day, the same day that, on the year of his birth, Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, and the Big Bopper died in a plane crash in rural Iowa.

That was fifty years ago.

At the time, the event was barely noticed by the mainstream media. Coincidentally, another plane crash in New York was headline news, and the deaths of three up-and-coming rock n’ roll musicians were resigned to the backpages.

A few years ago, I spent my first of two summers in Saratoga Springs, New York, attending a writer’s camp at Skidmore College. One night, a group of us, primarily fiction writers, wandered “downtown” and into a little pub called Tin and Lint.

I sat down in a booth overlooking a couple of pool tables and noticed that, up against the wall, they had mounted a golden plaque reading “Don McLean wrote the song ‘American Pie’ at this booth.” Or something like that. tinlint

Sometimes, life has a funny way of unwittingly reinforcing our individual touchstones.

By the way, the levee is supposed to be dry.

P.S.: Something I think my father had only dreamt about: Yusuf Islam rediscovering his own music:

5 thoughts

  1. The music did not really die that day. Lamar was born and I remember many wonderful times listening to your father singing for his friends. Regards, Greg

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