Pat Shingleton: "The Big Bopper, Buddy Holly and Foreign Objects..."
Roger Peterson, an experienced pilot, did not have an instrument rating and piloted a plane on the fateful night of February 3, 1959. Weather conditions at Mason City, Iowa included: overcast skies, 6,000 foot ceiling, 15 mile visibility, a temperature of 16 degrees, south winds at 25 knots gusts to 32. At 12:40 a.m., with light snow, falling, an advisory from Kansas City warned of “moderate to locally heavy icing below 10,000 feet over most of Iowa.” At 1:00 a.m. the single engine Beechcraft Bonanza was airborne, climbing 800 feet and crashing into a farm field 5 miles north of Mason City. Wreckage was scattered over 540 feet. The crash killed musicians Buddy Holly, “The Big Bopper”- J.P. Richardson and Richie Valens. Another look back...George Seaman raised Beagle dogs for rabbit hunting in the woods of Pennsylvania. George designed a dog pen with enclosures at one end and an elevated open area that afforded a place where they could “do their business.” The meshed pen allowed the droppings to fall and collect on the ground below. Our snowball battles stretched between the Minnet and Sudano yards, criss-crossing George’s property. The rules of engagement stressed that no “foreign objects” could be injected into a snowball, such as stones or gravel. My brother Kevin abided by the rules but creatively inserted the frozen “do-do” from George’s beagles into the snowball. His direct hit on Johnnie Cornelius’ noggin’ met with the delight of many. Johnnie wasn’t a favorite in the neighborhood.