Let me share with you a moving story about Buddy Holly’s mother, written by Spencer Leigh, which I read some time ago in the Independent:
On Valentine’s Day in 1959, just 11 days after the air crash that killed her son, Ella Holly wrote to the families of the other performers who had died, the Big Bopper and Richie Valens. They are beautifully composed letters, expressing her bewilderment and grief, and they reveal her conviction that they will be reunited in Heaven.
What makes the correspondence extraordinary is that she wrote a similar letter to the widow of the pilot, Roger Peterson. She did not cast any blame, although the accident occurred largely owing to his inexperience. She said: “We are crushed by this terrible tragedy and the loss of our son, and we know you are suffering the same…our hearts go out to you because we know what you are going through.”
More than fifty years on, this letter indicates how Buddy Holly had been raised and how his parents had shaped his personality. It is often said that rock ‘n’ roll was the music of rebellion, a response to the dull, conventional lives of the previous generation. There is none of that in the Buddy Holly story.
In these days when, after every news event, the media immediately look for someone to blame – that social worker with too many cases, a tired driver whose eyes closed for a second, the doctor faced with an emergency at the end of a long shift – how heart-warming to read about the forgiveness of Buddy Holly’s mother.
Have a very happy Christmas.