As I rode along in a small plane carrying a group of skydivers, I couldn’t help but think of Buddy Holly. I was on board the rickety aircraft to cover skydiving for a school project. 

No, I did not skydive myself, but I did sit side-by-side the pilot as he and I took a nose dive after the skydivers emptied out the back of the plane. This is where Buddy Holly comes in.

I’m 22 years old, the same age Buddy Holly was when his life was tragically cut short in a plane crash.

Obviously, I’m writing this, so I survived my plane ride. For all of the pilot’s eccentricites, he must have known what he was doing becuase we pulled in for a smooth landing.

I don’t mean to make light of Buddy Holly’s death by making the comparison. I only made the connection because of how the first 22 years of my life pale in comparison to Buddy Holly’s.

As I grow older, I realize more and more people have accomplished feats far greater than I can imagine in less time than I’ve been on this earth.

Holly had an 18-month career of nonstop hits. He was an lyrical genious and a master innovator. He was one of the first to take advantage of multi-track recording and was a lo-fi music pioneer.

This isn’t the anniversary of Buddy Holly’s death, but there is no time better than the present to reflect on his life and accomplishments and our own lives and accomplishments. Here’s a video that illustrates some of the subtle and not-so-subtle references in the Don McLean song “American Pie” about the Buddy Holly’s plane crash, “the day the music died.”