We had a fantastic stop early this morning in Clovis, New Mexico. I called a number last night for the Norman Petty Recording Studio to see if we could see it. The owner - a kind old man and a pastor in his younger years by the name of Ken said he would meet us there. He and his granddaughter gave us a personal tour. They usually only do groups but he gave us VIP treatment.
It is not a replica - it is the studio used my Mr. Petty and everything is as it was 50 years ago. Norman Petty recorded Buddy Holly in this studio with hits like the #1 song of 1963 - "Peggy Sue." Many other famous singers and hit songs were recorded in the studio. Ken even called a friend to come join us - a man named Dave who was a back up singer for the Fireballs. Ken played their hit song "Sugar Shack" for us - while Dave stood with us. We then realized it was Dave singing on the recording from over 50 years ago. Room after room we went, following Ken and hearing history. Ken started this venture as an act of love for his great friend Norman Petty who died of leukemia in 1984.
We reciprocated with a very long but rewarding good deed. He needed a heavy speaker, piano, and other equipment moved to be ready for some guys coming tomorrow who are going to haul off a lot of things to be appraised. It wasn't easy, but we wish we could have done more.
At noon we were at Cadillac Ranch in a field near Amarillo, Texas. There's a row of Cadillacs planted nose down several feet in the ground with tail ends sticking up at an angle. Cadillac Ranch has been featured in several magazines and TV shows, and now on this world famous blog. People come from all over to use the Cadillacs to write their own messages in spray paint. We added ours as well. We even good deeded a Hispanic couple. When we were painting our message I could read the man's mind that he wished he had a can of paint. So we finished early and handed our two cans over to him. The language barrier prevented much conversation, but smiles and handshakes and hugs were better than any spoken words.
From there we ended up on the east side of Amarillo at the Devil's Rope and Route 66 Museum in McClean, Texas. Devil's Rope means barbed wire, and every barbed wire tool, and every kind of barbed wire and every barbed wire story ever told is in the building.
The famous Route 66 Highway goes right by the museum, and we actually drove on it for 30 miles. It was THE highway from Chicago to L.A. from the 1920s until the 1980s, but is now a fragmented road, fragmented but loaded with memories, nostalgia, and history.
One more stop in Elk City, Oklahoma and our day was done. We stopped for an hour at an old west type museum, but it came in 4th place of our 4 stops today. At least the sign behind my buddy named West is fitting.
Staying tonight in Clinton, Oklahoma, it's 10:00 p.m. and we've been watching the news of the shootings in our country from the past two days. During these trips we stay off the radio and are unaware of goings on in the world. But tonight we see what has happened ... I think for now I'll try to focus on the loving demeanor of our new friend Ken and his granddaughter from Clovis, New Mexico. Good night.