During my lunch hour, I took a break to check out the local scenery here in Lubbock, Texas. It was a typical small town/ college town, of I am used to. I was heading to a specific destination, The Buddy Holly Center.
I did not know that Buddy Holly was born here in Lubbock, as I only could recall that he was from Texas. What I did know was that he was a skilled musician and a huge influence on the growing rock’n’roll scene. His life was cut short in a tragic plane crash along with musicians Richie Valens and “The Big Bopper.”
This museum was a tribute and legacy of his work in his hometown. Housed in a former train depot and restaurant, the Buddy Holly Center is now a art gallery, featuring a museum of Holly’s history and memorabilia.
The gallery was substantial with a trove of mementos and artifacts that belonged to the music legend. Along the walls were items that belonged to him in his youth. He was a bit of a craftsman working with wood and leather. From there, it expands into his interest in music and his early works. One of the main highlights is the work as the frontman for The Crickets.
The eliptical course brought us to other artifacts- records, one of his guitars, a meaningful tribute to Richie Valens and the Big Bopper. Near the center of the exhibit, was the pair of glasses that the singer wore on that fateful night. The lenses gone. A haunting reminder of how his life was cut so short.
In a side room was a theatre playing a short documentary about the life and times of Buddy Holly, spotlighting interviews with friends and family. The video showed its age as the loop had shown static lines on certain screens.
The rest of the gallery spotlighted the history of the depot and local artists. Some were graduates of nearby Texas Tech, where I was working. The art was quaint and in some cases moving and hauntingly beautiful. Scenes of urban and rural life, mixed with Native American and Hispanic influences made for a potent combination.
After leaving to return to work, I made a brief stop at a small park next to the Center, which had a large statue of Buddy Holly. Along the wall were other musicians who were well regarded and had some connection to Holly or to the locale. The park was small and fenced off, but was lush with a canopy of green grass.
The Buddy Holly Center proved to be an oasis and pays deft tribute to Holly and his friends, as well as makes for a perfect hometown shrine to the music legend. It is a place where you can truly learn more about the artist, and his contribution to rock’n’roll.