When the Beechcraft Bonanza carrying Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper crashed outdoors Clear Lake, Iowa, in the first early morning of February 3, 1959, it struck the bottom with such force that three passengers have already been killed instantly, and the plane’s wreckage was strewn across practically 300 yards of snow-covered cornfields. The death certificate issued by the Cerro Gordo County Coroner noted the clothing Holly was wearing, the current presence of a leather suitcase near his body and the next personal effects:
Cash $193.00 considerably less $11.65 coroner’s fees – $181.35
2 Cuff links, silver 1/2 in. balls obtaining jeweled band
Top part of ball point pen
Notably missing from the list have been Holly’s signature eyeglasses, probably the most distinctive visual legacy of a guy who influenced the style and sound of stone immeasurably. Those well-known glasses have been presumed lost forever before announcement on February 29, 1980, they had resurfaced in Mason City, Iowa.
The glasses involved had the appearance of 1 thing government issued, however they were, in reality, cautiously selected as component of Holly’s image-not by Holly himself, but by his Lubbock, Texas, optometrist, Dr. J. Davis Armistead. “Buddy was trying to wear the least conspicuous frames he could find,” wrote Dr. Armistead nearly 40 years immediately after writing Holly’s last prescription. “Personally, I was not happy with the frame styles we had been using. I did not think they contributed anything to a distinct personality that a performer needs.” It was while on trip in Mexico City that Armistead discovered specifically the frames he felt Holly needed. He cut back two couple of the heavy plastic Faiosa frames. “Those heavy black frames achieve exactly what we wanted—they became a distinct part of him.” In fact, they truly became an element of the essential spirit and iconography of stone. Before Buddy Holly, it could have already been impossible to assume a skinny, knock-want kid within an Ivy League suit and thick, heavy glasses getting considered “cool.” After Buddy Holly, the appear and attitude that could later be known as “geek chic” became a completely accepted option style for an aspiring rock star to embrace.
So how did the well-known glasses re-emerge? In the violence of the crash back February 1959, they are thrown free from another wreckage and buried in snow. They have already been discovered, together with the Big Bopper’s watch, that same spring, once the melting snow again produced them visible once. Though these were handed in instantly to the Cerro Gordo County Sherriff’s workplace, they sat filed away for the next 21 years in a sealed manila envelope marked “rec’d April 7, 1959.” That envelope was opened by Sheriff Jerry Allen with this day in 1980. The glasses were eventually returned to Holly’s widow, and will now be seen in the exhibit at the Buddy Holly Center in Lubbock, Texas.