Earlier this year, I finally got the chance to visit Lubbock, Texas, Buddy Holly’s birthplace as well as his home for most of his short, brilliant life. In the depot district, with various cool little pubs and other shops to enchant Texas Tech students, a main sidewalk is made of bricks with the titles of Buddy’s biggest songs. And there are lots of other heartfelt tributes in town, too, if you know where to look.
Remember that art doesn’t have to be “good” if it’s done with love. That alone can make it beautiful.
This is a big deal because (some say) of the avarice of Buddy’s wife of 173 days when he died, Maria Elena Holly Diaz. Say what you will about the woman who has sued to get paid for anything with her first husband’s likeness on it, she has never flagged in keeping his memory alive. Also, Buddy loved her, so she can’t be all bad. But my point is that it’s hard to get a Buddy Holly anything going in Lubbock or anywhere else with Maria Elena always holding her pocketbook open.
In any case, a great exception is 62 bricks on Buddy Holly Avenue between 18th and 19th streets, each with a song title of Buddy’s solo hits or ones with J.I., Joe B., and Niki (sometimes known as “The Crickets” ☺). They are engraved bricks on a well-trod sidewalk, so the foot traffic and rain and gum have effaced some of them almost to unreadability, but others are as crisp as they must have been when they were set down.
Let’s see them all, shall we? (They repeat, so I’m showing only one of each.) But be careful: they made a 47-year-old man very nearly cry from happiness.
Next time, I’ll show you the various cars and the motorcycle Buddy Holly zoomed around in and on over the years. So ’50s! So cool!