Faribault Co. Woman Has Last Pictures of Buddy Holly
16–year–old Mary Gerber of Walters couldn't believe whose concert she was going to see.
Buddy Holly, performing at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa.
A thrill of a lifetime.
Mary Gerber says, "My brother came home and told me Buddy Holly is performing at the Surf. I thought there was a slim chance of going, it was a school night, but my mom said yes."
The night was February 2, 1959.
Gerber says, "We didn't go to a lot of concerts like they do now days."
A special occasion that called for bringing her beloved Kodak camera.
Gerber says, "I always brought it with. This was my first concert. It was a Kodak, we always had Kodak."
"Everybody was having a good time."
That's when sweet, little, innocent Mary decided to capture a few moments in time.
"They were pretty big."
Trying to freeze in her memory the images of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper.
But little did Mary know, she had broken the rules of the venue.
Gerber says, "Not until I walked out."
And there was a sign saying "no photographs."
Gerber says, "I don't know why you'd post that, but I kept looking over my shoulder for someone to take my camera, but we made it out."
And as Mary was returning to her home in Walters, Buddy Holly's plane took off and crashed not too far from the ballroom....killing all four people on board.
Gerber says, "When you're 16 you don't think about those things. Sure never expected they'd be killed that night. I knew I had those pictures, but I never expected them to be a big deal."
Making those pictures...the very last from the day the music died.
Mary's pictures are now on display in Cleveland at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and in the Buddy Holly Museum in Lubbock, Texas.
No one else has come forward with pictures from that night.
-KEYC News 12