Day One (continued)

Showered and shaved, but running a little late (my friends call this Mueller Time), I park the van and sprint into the BBQ joint where we decided to meet. Sitting and patiently waiting for me is none other than Larry Holley himself. I am . . . amazed. I instantly feel like giving him a hug but instead give a hearty handshake and apologies for tardiness. As it happens, Sherry and her husband, Tom, got a flat on the way over and will be late anyway.

Immediately, and I do mean immediately, Larry Holley makes you feel right at home. In fact all of the Holleys I met are gentle, straightforward and warm. I tell Larry that he and Travis (Buddy's other brother) are welcome to come onstage during our concert and sing any song they'd want to. He thinks for a moment or two and decides it might not be a good idea, as they aren't used to performing in front of large crowds and they do mostly old country, bluegrass and gospel songs. I tell him that I love that kind of music too, but understand if he's uncomfortable about it. They are all super nice, giving and incredibly humble people.

You can catch Larry and Travis singing a little together on the Paul McCartney documentary The Real Buddy Holly Story. I told him how much I enjoyed them on that video and he said, "Oh, they caught us a little off guard on that. We're a lot better than that now." About this time Sherry Holley and her husband Tom arrive and we all get down to some serious BBQ, West Texas style.

Sherry and Tom are a nice couple. Tom is an accomplished keyboardist who plays a lot around town in his own band and also has his own recording studio at home, where he's recorded a lot of Sherry's tracks for her albums. She has two out now that I know of: Looking Through Buddy's Eyes and Don't Say Hello, Say Hi-D-Ho! As well as a singer, Sherry is a talented artist. She creates drawings, paintings, pottery and some works in tile, some of which is on display at the Buddy Holly Center gift shop. I ask Sherry if she'd like to join us onstage, and I'm thrilled to hear her say "Yes."

She wants to do Send Me Some Loving. Sounds good to me, and I try and convince her to do a few more, but she doesn't want to take too much of our time (I told you the Holleys are very considerate people). I tell her that it's not every day people get to see a person named Holley perform, but she persists. Then I announce that the Fiestas Del Llano will be having an opening night reception for the festival at the Buddy Holly Center. I'll be playing some Buddy songs there for about 100 people---mostly event sponsors and city bigwigs. I ask the Holleys if they'd like to go and, to my surprise, they all say yes, except Tom who already has a gig planned that night. Even more surprising: I tell Larry that I'm supposed to sing and play acoustic guitar but only brought my electric on the plane, and I wonder if the festival has thought of this or what. Well, Larry says, "I've got one you could use." I've known this man for about an hour and a half and he's loaning me his guitar. I'm flabbergasted and accept his generous offer thankfully. We finish our meals and say our good byes. What a wonderful first day in Lubbock. I am deeply touched by the Holley hospitality and head back to my room for a good night's sleep.


Lubbock Journals