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Hutchinson News (Newspaper) - February 5, 1984, Hutchinson, Kansas Buddy Holly Memories linger as his beat rocks on By Dan Wilinaky United Press InlernallonsI MASON CITY. Iowa - "I can't remember if I cried when I read about his widowed bride. But something touched me deep inside ... the day the music died." The words in Don McLean's classic 1971 song "American Pie" recall Fob. 4, 1959, when the tragic death of Buddy Holly shook the rock 'n roll world. Exactly 25 years after Holly's death - officials predict at least 2.500 people still "touched deep inside" by the late Holly and his music will take a special trek to the site of his final performance. It is an annual journey to northern Iowa, made every February as their way of paying tribute to the bespectacled rockabilly artist whose career was dramatically cut short by an airplane accident in Mason City. The owner of KZEV-radio, known only as the "Mad Hatter," organized the annual Buddy Holly Reunion six years ago at the Surf Ballroom in nearby Clear Lake, where Holly and his band, the Crickets, played their last show. Holly fans spend the weekend in Clear Lake, stirring up memories and grooving to '50s music provided by Bobby Vee, Tommy Roc and others. "It's a special event every year - the best thing I've ever done," said the Hatter. "This year, of course, is awfully special and it's sold out early. People are spending real money, coming from far-away places like England and Alaska to salute Buddy Holly and the special music of the '60s." On the night of Feb. 3, 1959, Holly and the Crickets held a concert at the Surf for 1,100 teen-agers and their parents. Joining the group on stage were two other popular acts: Ritchie Va-iens and the "Big Bopper," a Texas disc jockey, program director and singer known for the hit "Chantilly Lace." After the concert, a chartered airplane was to take the three singers to Fargo, N.D., for their next engagement. They never got there. The Beachcraft Bonanza crashed five miles northwest of the Mason City airport, killing the three singers and pilot Roger Peterson, 21, of Clear Lake. Authorities blamed bad weather for the crash. Buddy Holly's glasses and J.P. 'Big Bopper' Richardson's wristwatch are In a storage vault In Mason City Iowa. "It was a real shock. The memories are really vivid," said Niki Sullivan, 46, who quit as the Crickets' rhythm guitarist more than one year before Holly's death. "I'll remember Buddy as a unique individual - a shy kid from Texas with a dream," said Sullivan, now a Kansas City, Mo., businessman. "He tried to call me a week before his death but I wasn't home. He wanted to get the band back together, but we never made the connection. I often think about that." Carroll Anderson, former manager of the Surf, remembers driving Holly and the other musicians to the airplane, closing the plane door and wishing them good luck. "The years go by, but I can never seem to get it out of my mind," Anderson said. "The boys were in such Private arms outgun police weaponry i-to-l Loose machine gun regulations put automatic weapons in many hands By Jay B. Lewis United Press International DALLAS - There are nearly four times as many machine guns and assault rifles in the hands of private citizens as in the hands of police officers, all sold through a legal street market, according to federal officials. Keeping track of this skyrocketing market in sophisticated death weapons is an obscure agency of the Treasury Department that keeps its files manually, is hampered by conflicting regulations, and enforces laws that date back to the 1930s. All a private citizen needs to own a fully-automatic weapon is $200 for . a one-time tax, about $500 to buy the weapon and the patience to fill out one set of forms. He will not be photographed or fingerprinted, and local law enforcement agencies need not be consulted. One Dallas arms dealer, who asked not to be named, said the number of people taking advantage of loose regulations has grown into a problem - for dealers. "It's making business hard for people who want to operate a shop because everyone is a dealer now," the dealer said. "The big market isn't over the counter, it's out in the street." Gary Schaible, who heads the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms branch that deals with firearms regulation, said there has been a definite increase in the number of applications for licenses to own automatic weapons. "We can see it just in our total workload," Schaible said. "The total number of licensees who can engage in National Firearms Act activity has increased 185 percent in the last five years." Firearms are regulated under two laws: the National Firearms Act of 1934, which regulates automatic weapons; and the Gun Control Act of 1968, which regulates imports and interstate shipments. The 1934 law requires a $200 tax be paid before a private citizen can own an automatic weapon, one that fires continuously as long as the trigger is held down. That was a big enough tax to discourage buyers in the 1930s, but it totals about the same as a good stereo set when added to the cost of an automatic weapon today. They range from $500 for the Ruger Mini-14 assault rifle to $2,500 for the belt-fed German HK-21 light machine gun. In 1981, the last year complete figures were available, Schaible said law enforcement officers had 18.740 automatic weapons, compared with a total of 68,650 in the hands of private citizens. What kind of people buy machine guns? "My best customers are lawyers," said the Dallas gun dealer. "They'll get a guy off, then go home at night and say, 'My God, this guy killed eight people with his bare hands, and he's loose.' After awhile he'll come see me. "I'm seeing a lot of people nowadays who are making good money. but they're, like, machinists, blue-collar workers," the dealer said. "I think primarily the increase is in people who are just figuring out, hey, I can own a machine gun." The 1934 law permits a private citizen to buy a machine gun if he pays a one-time $200 tax on the transaction, but the application requires an affadavit from the local police chief or sheriff attesting to the buyer's good character. "If you aren't sure you want to go through all that paperwork, you can send off a form to be a dealer and they won't run a check," the dealer said. "You're supposed to get punched into the National Crime Information Center (computer files), but there's quite a backlog because of the volume." 18 E First St. prime-timer show (*) sen. citizens an SINGING VALENTINE By Sweef Adelines Send a song to your sweetie for Valentines Day For Only �io�� CALL: 9-9658> They won't stop til they get to the top. m. SAT.-(*S:M)-7<00-�!00 ^ SUN. THURS.-(**sOO)-a:00 IBI MAT. SAT. SUN.-itOO Hutchinson Public Library FREE FILAA SERIES Monday, Feb. 6 'Breaking Away' Showings at 1:30 p.m. & 7 p.m. Seating limited to 75. Reservations: �63-S44l Paid for by "Friends of the Library." 11 # p.m. Convention Hall Advance Tickets Att JoAnn Franke is it your Birthday agqin?j a jubilant mood after the show. The thing that gets me is that you could tell he (Holly)' was on the verge of something - he. was close to really busting out nationally." Holly's widow. Maria Elena Holly Diaz, is remarried with three college-age children and lives in Irving, Tex., where she still handles her late husband's business affairs. She said she would be unable to attend this year's tribute because of a trip to London. "I'm just happy he's stUI being appreciated and people are still enjoying his music," she said. "This is only a consolation to me. I still miss Buddy a lot. He'll never go away from my life as long as I live." Memories of Holly burn bright' for a generation stirred by such hits as "Peggy Sue," "That'll Be the Day" and "Oh Boy." Another generation grew up listening to rock artists influenced by Holly - most notably the Beatles, who borrowed their name from the Crickets. Holly, born Charles Hardin Hol-ley, started off as a country singer in 1956. The Lubbock, Texas, native recorded scores of rock songs from the summer of 1957 until his death in 1959 at the age of 22. Holly was an innovator: the first rock musician to double-track his voice on a record; the first white rock artist to use a background orchestra with strings and one of the first to use the four rock instruments that later became standard - lead, bass and rhythm guitars and drums. REVENGE HAPPY 29TH QUIMBY! (nwealth theatres GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS : Best Musical Picture i' Best Director BARBRA STREISAND YENTL_ um*i mmiissMiUJi s