An unlikely lost-and-found tale from “the day the music died.”
Mental Floss recounts what happened to Buddy Holly’s final pair of glasses he wore on the plane crash that killed him on Feb. 3, 1959, a lost-and-found story that resulted in the rock star’s trademark glasses changing hands multiple times before they found a permanent home.
The story begins with Sheriff Jerry Allen of Iowa, who, in 1980, was rummaging through a storage vault in a courthouse basement and happened upon an envelope which contained the black-rim glasses, among other knick-knacks. The glasses, he speculates, were flung from the plane and recovered by a farmer two months after the crash, once the snow melted. Following Allen’s discovery, a legal battle ensued that culminated with the spectacles being awarded to Holly’s widow. She sold them for $80,000 to Civic Lubbock, the nonprofit behind the Buddy Holly Center in Lubbock, TX, where you’ll find them on permanent display.