In Remembrance of Heroes and Icons, Prelude to Valentine’s and Of Course, Football

Feb 3rd

There are some days that just seem to be commemorating deaths more than celebrating life, but today is a combination of both the serious and the fun.  Well, fun for some.

The Day the Music Died Day – On a cold winter night,on February 3, 1959, a small private plane bound for Fargo, ND took off from Clear Lake, Iowa.  It never reached its destination.  That plane crash ended the lives of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, J.P. “Big Bopper” Richardson and the pilot, Roger Peterson.  Three of the most promising artists in Rock and Roll were gone.   It never ceases to amaze me how simple decisions we make in daily life can change things so suddenly, and so permanently. The story of the deaths of these singers shows this so clearly, and in such a sad way. Performing in concert was very profitable and Buddy Holly needed the money that performing would give him.  Buddy Holly would be the headliner in a winter tour that was planned to cover 24 cities in 3 weeks – from January 23-February 15).  Waylon Jennings, a friend of Holly’s from Texas, and Tommy Allsup would be his backup musicians.  Ritchie Valens, one of the hottest artists at that time, The Big Bopper and Dion and the Belmonts would round out the list of performers on the tour. Along the way their tour bus started having problems with the heating.  It was so cold that reports say that one of the drummers got frostbite riding in it.  When they arrived at their destination in Clear Lake, Iowa, they were cold, tired and fed up with the bus problems.  Buddy Holly had had enough of it and decided to charter a plane for himself and his guys.

Waylon Jennings gave his seat up to The Big Bopper (JP Richardson), who was running a fever and had trouble fitting his stocky frame comfortably into the bus seats. When Buddy Holly found out that Jennings wasn’t going to fly, he jokingly said, “Well, I hope your old bus freezes up.” Jennings responded, “Well, I hope your plane crashes.” This friendly teasing between friends would haunt Jennings for years.  Allsup told Valens that he would flip him for the last seat on the plane.  On the toss of a coin, Valens won the seat and Allsup won the rest of his life.

The plane took off a little after 1 A.M. from Clear Lake and never got far from the airport before it crashed, killing all on board.  A cold NE wind had given way to snow which had reduced visibility drastically.  The ground was already covered in snow.  They think the pilot may have not been very experienced with the instruments.

As Don McLean wrote in his classic music parable, American Pie, it was “the day the music died.”

Four Chaplains Memorial Day – On February 3, 1943 four heroes sacrificed their lives to save others.  Their sacrifice will never be forgotten.  Four chaplains, George Fox, Alexander Goode, Clark Poling and John Washington, gave up their life belts and lives when the SS Dorchester was torpedoed off Greenland during WWII.  The Four Chaplains, also referred to as “the Immortal Chaplains” were US Army Chaplains who gave their lives for other civilian and military personnel while their ship sank.  They helped other soldiers board the lifeboats, gave up their own life jackets when the supply ran out, joined arms, said prayers and sang hymns as they went down with the ship.
These men epitomize the word heroic, and the legacy of their sacrifice and the  way they lived their lives carrying out the work of God right to their last breath should inspire us all, every single day.  God bless them, and men like them.

Dump Your Significant Jerk Day (start of Dump your Significant Jerk week) – the timing of this particular celebration is perfect – 1 week before Valentines.  Pretty telling, right?  Someone, somewhere got sick and tired of their significant other, and decided that giving them the old heave-ho was a great idea right before the day of love we all either enjoy or detest!  It grew from there and became a recognized day and a week to clean house – so to speak.  So if you are with a jerk who doesn’t appreciate you, who you realize isn’t going to get any better as a boyfriend/girlfriend (or whatever they are to you) this would be the official time to let them go so you can move on to either peaceful solitude with no romantic expectations, or to finding someone you are truly meant to be with. Either way, life is too short and precious to be spent with someone who doesn’t love or appreciate you the way you deserve.  And same goes for them.  If you don’t love and appreciate them they way they deserve, then they are better off without you too.

Super Bowl XLVII (47) – This one goes without major explanation – especially to any football fans in the group.  I am not a sports fan per se, though I do enjoy the commercials and well, Puppy Bowl.  Alright, I admit it.  Puppy Bowl is my very favorite part of this day.  We will be eating healthy, low calorie treats tomorrow, watching puppies and maybe some football, and enjoying our day together.  However you choose to enjoy your day, and whatever you decide to munch on throughout – I do hope you do so with enthusiasm and joy.

Have a wonderful day, and may God bless your time with family and friends.  I’ll see you tomorrow!

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