A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Friday, November 30, 2012

They Died in a Iowa Cornfield

Before we leave the Surf Ballroom, here are some facts about it.  Visitors have been listening to the sounds of the Surf since 1933.  Folk, country, jazz, bluegrass, polka, blues, pop, swing, rock and big band music the Surf has heard it all.  It is one of the last remaining ballrooms in the Midwest and has a capacity of 2100.  The entire facility is at 30,000 square feet with 6,300 square feet of hardwood dance floor. 

Outside stands a memorial stone.

We'll take a short 5 mile drive north of town.  Nope, they didn't get very far that cold February night.

There is no doubt when you have arrived.

Park along the road and walk in the cornfield about a quarter of a mile.

Then up ahead you see the place where no corn has been planted for over 40 years.

There stands a well-done memorial piece made from stainless steel

plus all the other offerings left behind by those before me.

Lest we not forget that someone else died that night too.

I didn't leave anything. 
Instead I took a short scrawny withered ear of corn from a stalk and it now sets on a shelf in the Little House on the Highway.

Time to head back.

Believe me, for the rest of the day driving through Iowa my head was full of all I had just experienced.  And for the remainder of the trip, anyone I met who was interested in where I was going and what I had seen, they heard all about my day in Clear Lake Iowa.


TexWisGirl said...

such a sad barren spot that still draws folks to it.

Cloudia said...

Excellent and fascinating post. You should link the the R&R Hall of Fame or something! (or at least the tourist bureaus of the town)

Aloha Blessings
from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral

~ > < } } ( ° >

> < 3 3 3 ( ' >

><}}(°> ~

Randy said...

Nice series.

Carole M. said...

I remember the news from way back then; a tragedy. Interesting post John.

biebkriebels said...

I like the monument just in the plain cornfield. You can really imagine what a tragedy took place there. It was so soon after they were in the air. The glasses of Buddy in the field are exact his trademark.

Sharon M said...

That's probably one of the best memorial sights I've seen. I'm glad they left it just a cornfield instead of putting up some weird-looking building with things to buy. The fact that you could just take an ear of corn is cool enough.

Fun60 said...

I like the memorial. It seems to be just right not to have built a tourist shop and shrine. Thanks for taking us with you on that special trip. It's amazing what you find when you're not really looking.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

I truly wish to visit this place now after your wonderful write-up on it. Great blog sir.

Janie said...

The glasses make a perfect Buddy Holly memorial marking.
So sad that so many performers die in airplane crashes.

EG CameraGirl said...

How interesting that there is still a memorial there after so many years!

RedPat said...

Wow! I still remember the news of this crash on the radio!

Anonymous said...

Very interesting post. A tad bit before my time, but still, it shaped all of our musical lives.

Judy said...

Goose bumps run up and down my spine!!!

Sandy's witterings said...

It reminds me of those little, all be it temporary, shrines that pop up on the roadside where there's been an accident, that make you drive carefully for a while. Something more poignant about it being where the accident occurred.