Bye, Bye Miss American Pie

Music fans make pilgrimage to Buddy Holly plane crash site in Iowa
Crash site memorial in Iowa

The plane crashed early in the morning of February 3, 1959 in a cornfield in Iowa during a bad snow storm. I awoke to the sad news that three young and famous musicians had died in the crash- Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens. I was ready to celebrate my 20th birthday and, as a music lover, this put a cloud over the day and was a sad topic of conversation among my 6th grade students.

At the end of the day I invited a couple of my teacher friends to my house for a small birthday celebration. When the phone rang I thought it would be another birthday wish so I was surprised by a deep male voice I didn’t recognize. He introduced himself and asked if I remembered meeting him at a wedding in December! Yes, I did remember him, especially as my Mom had predicted he’d call me. Here we were, two months later, and he finally called.

Happy Couple!

We chatted a bit about the sad news of the day, our love of LaBamba by Ritchie Valens and our current “status”. Was I free to go out with him? Would Saturday work? Yes and yes! And the rest is history! I married Jim Weise on August 15, 1959.

Why did he wait 2 months to call me? He lived in Chicago and did not own a car so he needed to buy a car (a 1959 Plymouth Hardtop) AND he needed to dump his girlfriend, Joann! Having accomplished those two things he picked up the phone and called.

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