February 9, 2020

Buddy Holly Weekend in Clear Lake, Iowa

Buddy Holly Weekend in Clear Lake, Iowa
Todd Swank's Diary Entry for February 9, 2020

I've been doing a lot of traveling for work lately.  In 2020, I've already been to Milwaukee twice, Philadelphia, and New Jersey.  I was also interviewing for a new job which took me back and forth to Atlanta in the same day which ended up being a really long day, but it was worth it because I got the job!  I will tell you all about it in next week's update.

Last weekend, Miss Sheri and I thought it would be fun to head down to Iowa for the Winter Dance Party at the Surf which commemorates the anniversary of the deaths of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper.  

A couple of years ago, we stopped by the airplane crash site of the singers which is just outside of my hometown of Clear Lake, Iowa.  It's on a nondescript gravel road so the glasses let you know where to pull over.

February 3rd, 1959 was the day the music died.  The Surf Ballroom in Clear lake, Iowa has been holding a celebration every year since then to help bring the music back to life.  I've never made it to the party before so we thought it would be fun to go down for the night and check it out.

I'm always fascinated driving by the windmills in North Iowa.  Some people think they are ugly, but I think they look pretty cool.

We arrived in Clear Lake just when the sun was going down which gave us a chance to take a couple of pictures of the lake.  I still remember when Clear Lake added the aerators to keep part of the lake from freezing back when I was in high school.  They use them to help reduce the winter fish-kill, but it also adds an interesting challenge for people who like to go snowmobiling on the lake at night!

I was pretty impressed with the number of people out on the town.  Almost all the bars had live bands playing 50's music and we had the chance to see a bunch of old friends.

I even saw one of my oldest friends, Ann Marie Legler, who I've known since the second grade when my family first moved to Iowa.  We haven't seen each other in decades, but had a great time catching up on the past 30 years or so.

We had dinner at Sevens which brought a lot of laughs and visits with more friends we hadn't seen in a long time.

Paul lives near downtown so we thought it would be fun to stop by his house for awhile.  It was.

This weekend we had a chance to go ice fishing with our old buddies, Jen and Dan.  We didn't catch many fish, but always have a good time sitting on the ice with them.

It was almost light outside because of the huge full Snow Moon staring down at us from the night sky.  Miss Sheri captured this shot which I thought turned out pretty amazing.

I drove by the pond near Mystic Lake Casino and was happy to see that the trumpeter swans were back.  It looks like they brought some friends with them this time.  

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