MASON CITY, Iowa -- Rock singer Buddy Holly's widow, Maria Holly Diaz, has been awarded a pair of her husband's thick-framed glasses -- one of the last mementos of the star who died in a plane crash 22 years ago.
Cerro Gordo County District Judge B.C. Sullivan ruled Friday Mrs. Diaz was entitled to the glasses, which were found at the scene of the Feb. 3, 1959, crash that killed Holly, Richie Vallens and J.P. Richardson, known as 'The Big Bopper.'
Their plane went down as they were returning from a performance at the Surf Ballroom in nearby Clear Lake.
The glasses were misplaced after the crash and just uncovered in February 1980 in a courthouse safe, along with other personal effects of the crash victims. The lenses were knocked out of the glasses.
Former Cerro Gordo County Sheriff Gerald Allen, who discovered the envelope containing the glasses, said he orginally planned to give the frames to Holly's parents. But the widow objected and the frames stayed at the courthouse.
Holly's parents did not appear at Friday's hearing and did not send an attorney to the 20-minute proceeding.
Most of the hearing was devoted to identifying the glasses as Holly's. Allen, who originally helped investigate the crash, was called to identify marks he placed on the frames when they were found last year.
The envelope holding the glasses and other effects, which had been misplaced after the crash, was found while some records were being moved.
Also in the envelope were four dice, a cigarette lighter and a watch belonging to Richardson. It was inscribed with a legend for a 1957 disc-a-thon.
A watch belonging to Holly was found in April 1959 at the crash scene. It was given to his survivors.
Allen, who resigned from the sheriff's department a few weeks ago, is now with the Iowa Department of Tranportation.