"Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life." ~ Berthold Auerbach
With dreams bigger than the wide-open Texan sky, nerdy glasses and fresh-face, Buddy Holly -- with his facade of smiling innocence and wholesome good looks -- became America's kid next door. This February 3rd marks the 50th anniversary of "The Day the Music Died," when Holly's brilliant potential was cut short at the age of 22, after the small plane he shared with Ritchie Valens (17) and the Big Bopper (28) crashed in Clear Lake, Iowa.
Born to Ella and Lawrence Odell Holley, on September 7, 1936, Charles Hardin Holley was born in Lubbock, Texas -- then a home to blinding dust storms.
The Dust Bowl or the Dirty Thirties was an environmental and human tragedy set off by decades of continued drought and land abuse (some fear another dust bowl could be around the corner). Devoid of crop rotation, endless over-plowing and without methods to end erosion, the virgin topsoil of the Great Plains -- Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Colorado and Kansas -- just blew away.
What didn't blow away, however, was the budding American singer-songwriter and pioneer of rock and roll -- considered one of the greatest musicians of all time -- Buddy Holly. Although his success lasted only a year and a half, his music was to be admired, interpreted, and even performed by The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.
Also not blown away but now probably gathering dust are the huge black horn-rims that made almost every girl or guy look like Buddy Holly as well. Corrective, safety, photosensitive, 3D, bifocal, trifocal, progressive, rimless, wacky like Elton John's or Dame Edna's or horn-rimmed like Buddy Holly's -- dusty or not, all spectacles need cleaning.
To do so, never use any soaps or anything that contains ammonia. Instead, run warm tap water over both sides of each lens to wash away the oo-and-goo that may have settled on them. Then proceed to clean them with a fifty-fifty mixture of white vinegar and distilled water in a spray bottle.
Also, never dry eyeglasses with anything that began as wood -- paper towels, toilet paper or tissue -- because they contain abrasives that'll scratch lenses. Instead, cut up an old t-shirt, or better yet, dry eyeglass lenses with silk from an old necktie. Remember to wash your homemade cleaning cloths often because the dust and dirt trapped within them will eventually scratch your lenses, too.
When we think of the fifties -- a world where teenagers greeted rock-n-roll as if it were a rainstorm in the dust bowl -- we think of Buddy Holly's clean-cut, nerdy yet iconic image, and a time when everything -- not just eyeglasses -- seemed so much simpler, and visibly crystal-clean.
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