Lubbock In My Rear View Mirror

Today, as I was working in my shop, I was listening to Mac Davis on my iPod. I always listen to music as I work. It makes me happy. As the song, “Lubbock in My Rear View Mirror” was playing, it occurred to me that there might be a post in this.


I was born in Lubbock in 1942. Mac Davis was born in Lubbock in 1942. There is definitely a connection. But the fun doesn’t stop there. Buddy Holly was born in Lubbock in 1936, and went to the same junior high school as I did, only six years earlier.  Delbert McClinton was born in Lubbock in 1940. Waylon Jennings was born in Littlefield, Texas in 1937. Now, don’t start with me, Littlefield is just 15 miles from Lubbock, so the connection is still there. I never knew any of these performers, but I still feel some kind of connection. (Did you know that the Beatles actually selected their name due to the popularity of Buddy Holly and the Crickets at the time?)

220px-Buddy_Holly_&_The_Crickets_publicity_portrait_-_cropped   Waylon Jennin gs   delbert

My research revealed an interesting story connecting Waylon Jennings and Buddy Holly, that is somewhat disturbing. They were touring together (actually Jennings was in Holly’s band) on a tour called the Winter Dance Party Tour. That tour also featured Richie Valens and J.P. Richardson – The Big Bopper. One day in February 1959, Buddy Holly decided to charter a plane to avoid the harshness of the tour bus in the midwest, in the middle of the winter. Jennings gave up his seat on the plane to Richardson, who was suffering from the flu. Holly said to Jennings, “I hope your ol’ bus freezes up.” To which Jennings replied, “Well, I hope your ol’ plane crashes.” And it did. “The Day the Music Died.”

winter dance party

Wow, what a dark digression. I would apologize, but I still think it is an interesting lesson. Be careful with your words.

Now, where was I? Oh yeah, Mac was leaving Lubbock, Texas.  The essence of the song is the search for happiness, “I thought happiness was Lubbock, Texas in my rear view mirror.” The truth that is finally revealed through the song lyrics is that happiness has nothing to do with a place. I would add that happiness also does not come from things, people, or wealth. Some of those may make us feel happy, but true happiness comes from within us. No matter where we are or what we have, we are either happy or we’re not, and no one can control that but us.

The first time I left Lubbock, I was not looking in my rear view mirror. I was only 4 years old, and not allowed to drive. Through my life I would return and leave Lubbock two more times. My first return and departure happened when I was about 12 or 13 years old, no boy is happy at that transitional age. (Still not allowed to drive.) The second return and departure ended with a college degree and my first teaching job. I was most definitely happy. However, Lubbock has always been a great place to be from. I think I still have West Texas dust in my blood.



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6 Responses to Lubbock In My Rear View Mirror

  1. Wayne Barton says:

    Good history, great thoughts. Your analysis on the source of happiness is spot on. And I think all of us have bells we would like to un-ring. Acknowledging it is the first step to walking more gently.

  2. Aunt Beulah says:

    Wow, where to start. Next year my family reunion in Lubbock, Texas, where my brother raised his family and still lives and which I have visited several times. A week ago, thinking about it, I asked my husband, “Wasn’t there a popular song about Lubbock in the rear view mirror?” We googled it, listened to Mac Davis sing it, and had some fun. In addition, we have long been fans of Buddy Holly, Waylon Jennings, and, especially, Delbert McClinton, having heard him in concert several times.(Loved his old album cover; what a looker he was. I read your post to my husband who was patching a wall but still took the time to look at the album covers.) And finally, you are right on about happiness. Thanks for a great start to my day.

  3. nmrsdnsicl says:

    I love this song so much. When my daughter started going to Texas Tech, I thought about it and listened to it on iTunes. So many memories… They have a Mac Davis Lane near Texas Tech.

  4. JKSnyder says:

    Great post. All Texans seem to seek connections. Mine is my hometown which is also the hometown and classmate one year younger than me who is in George Straits band. As well as my other hometownhero, Paul from Paul and Paula fame, Ray Hildebrand.

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