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THE DAY THE MUSIC DIED! - Keith Trestrail's Blog

About Keith Trestrail
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I am an International Man of Mystery - born in Trinidad, raised in New Zealand, and living in Australia. My earliest influences lyrically were those of the Calypsonians of the 1960s, the greatest being old Birdie himself the Mighty Sparrow as well as the joyful songs of The Merrymen. Later in my teens I was struck by the power of words and language from the mercurial pen of Bob Dylan. The first poem I ever wrote was in 1975 at the age of 14 for a class assignment. I copied the lyrics from the Pink Floyd song "Money" and got a great mark from my teacher, Mrs Laird. She congratulated me on my effort and creativity (something I possessed very little of in school) and so I eventually came clean and had to re-write it. She did commend me on my honesty and choice of lyric though and did what good teachers do...engage and encourage. It could have been worse - I nearly chose a Frank Zappa song that would have been highly inappropriate! My poetry is very much like me - a work in progress! I often revisit and revise my catalogue as I grow as a writer and am grateful for any constructive advice. The real writer and talent in my family is my wife who is more an author than a poet, but she is far too sensible to bare her soul to the world. I, however, am not! I love my golf, my cricket and my Rugby League (that's a similar sport to Rugby for all my non-European/Australasian readers) and support Russell Crowe's team, the mighty South Sydney Rabbitohs and the North Queensland Cowboys in the Australian NRL (National Rugby League). Go the Bunnies and go the Cowboys!


Blog Posted:1/25/2017 8:31:00 AM


Tommy Allsup died a couple weeks ago at the age of 85 from complications of a hernia operation. For those of you not familiar with Tommy's story, he was a band member on tour with Buddy Holly back in February 1959. Also on tour was Richie Valens and the Big Bopper. Allsup famously flipped a coin to see who, between him and Valens, would get a seat on the ill-fated flight and who would have to take the bus to the next stop on tour. Fate intervened as Valens called "heads" and the rest is rock 'n roll folklore immortalised in Don McClean's classic American Pie. The plane went down killing them all.


It got me to thinking about our mortality and the twists of fate we all experience in our lives. My fellow Soupers, I want to know if any of you have a similar tale to tell? Was there a life and death moment where perhaps fate (or just dumb luck) intervened with you?  

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Date: 1/31/2017 9:58:00 PM
Just a footnote. Waylon Jennings was also on tour with Holly and gave up his seat to the Big Bopper because he had the flu and didn't want to take the long bus ride. Holly jokingly said to Jennings "I hope your bus breaks down" to which Jennings replied "and I hope your plane crashes!". True story.
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Date: 1/31/2017 7:28:00 AM
A spring morning some nine years ago, we get a call from my son that there's been an accident but everyone is fine. I drive to the scene, where my son had moved to far to the side of the gravel road to avoid an oncoming pickup and lost control of the vehicle. Car was a write-off but Tim and his friend were both unharmed. If the car had gone off the road five meters further on it would have hit a power pole and it could well be a different story. Cars are repair/replaceable, people are not.
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Keith Trestrail
Date: 1/31/2017 9:48:00 PM
I love a happy ending!
Date: 1/27/2017 2:06:00 AM
Last year, I had gone to the bank to renew my credit card. As I jumped out of the public service vehicle, I met face to face with a speeding motorcycle. I still wonder where the motorcyclist got those kind of brakes, or maybe a miracle happened in the motorcycle, lol.
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Teddy Kimathi
Date: 1/27/2017 6:08:00 PM
Hehehe, thanks Keith.
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Keith Trestrail
Date: 1/27/2017 6:38:00 AM
Teddy, if the motorcyclist doesn't kill ya, the bank fees and charges will. Nice to see you lived to tell the tale! Cheers.
Date: 1/25/2017 9:27:00 PM
October 1976 - my younger brother and I, along with one of his friends and one of mine, go out joyriding, vandalizing, being nasty teenagers. My buddy was driving us in his pickup truck, all 4 of us in the cab, and on the way home the suspension failed - possibly a ball joint breaking - and the truck went off the road and hit a guy wire for a telephone pole, bringing the pole down on top of the truck. Killed my brother's friend, broke my friend's neck. Not a scratch on me or my brother. If there would be one thing I could change in my life, we would not have gone out that night.
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Andrea Dietrich
Date: 1/26/2017 3:39:00 PM
you are so lucky to have escaped a bad fate, Doug!!
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Keith Trestrail
Date: 1/25/2017 9:55:00 PM
So often we hear of road accidents where one or several are killed and one is unharmed. Perhaps you were preserved for a reason. I, too, was a teenage rebel rouser in 1976. I've been in that pick-up with you many times and, like you, I survived many a close encounter where others did not! Thanks for the story, mate.
Date: 1/25/2017 9:10:00 PM
I, myself, have had a few incidents that could have ended badly. The most recent was about 15 years ago on a dark stormy night driving home from work. The gale force winds and heavy rain felled a gum tree narrowly missing me but I managed to break in time. It was blocking the road so I had to warn traffic from both directions as visibility was very poor. I put on my hazard lights and tried to remove as much debris as I could. A guy stopped to help me and most cars saw us except for one which ploughed through at speed colliding with the tree. I dived out of the way with about a second to spare. I didn't stop shaking for a week. I think I used up two of my nine lives that night! Meeow!
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Andrea Dietrich
Date: 1/26/2017 3:42:00 PM
It's incredible to live through things like that!
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Keith Trestrail
Date: 1/25/2017 9:41:00 PM
Yeah, there was Doug, but I wasn't sure if the fates were conspiring to harm me that night or keep me from harm! It could easily have been so different!
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Doug Vinson
Date: 1/25/2017 9:29:00 PM
Shakes, no doubt, Keith. Was there a sense of exhilaration right afterward - when you realized you were totally unharmed?
Date: 1/25/2017 3:46:00 PM
Late 70's, my two sisters loved this one disco in my Iowa hometown. (I was in college and heard this later). A DJ there liked my youngest sister but one night my middle sister went for a ride with the DJ . He stopped and talked to her and showed her hunting knives. It creeped her out and she asked to go home. Next day he saw her on sidewalk and tried to get her in his car. She said no and ran to hide behind a house. He kept coming back looking for her on the street and she stayed hidden behind houses. next night, he called the younger sister asking her for a date . Middle sister told her, "something is strange. DON"T do it" My sisters escaped death. He killed a woman that night with knives!
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Keith Trestrail
Date: 1/26/2017 7:21:00 PM
Women very often pick up on things that men might miss. My wife has a finely honed built-in "creep alert censor" that is usually spot on. How I got through it is still a mystery to me!
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Andrea Dietrich
Date: 1/26/2017 3:44:00 PM
those women are smart to stay away from him. Many people get those vibes from serial killers. (stuff I learn watching ID tv. haha)
Date: 1/25/2017 3:46:00 PM
Late 70's, my two sisters loved this one disco in my Iowa hometown. (I was in college and heard this later). A DJ there liked my youngest sister but one night my middle sister went for a ride with the DJ . He stopped and talked to her and showed her hunting knives. It creeped her out and she asked to go home. Next day he saw her on sidewalk and tried to get her in his car. She said no and ran to hide behind a house. He kept coming back looking for her on the street and she stayed hidden behind houses. next night, he called the younger sister asking her for a date . Middle sister told her, "something is strange. DON"T do it" My sisters escaped death. He killed a woman that night with knives!
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Andrea Dietrich
Date: 1/26/2017 3:41:00 PM
God gifted us with "instincts" (having bad vibes) and maybe in some people it is just stronger than for others. Maybe for some, it's simply there time to leave the earth because God has other plans for them. There certainly is no other explanation for random acts of violence leading to death! And accidents for which a person is totally blameless and yet they die. It's a sad thing that one day we will all understand when we get to the other side.
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Keith Trestrail
Date: 1/25/2017 8:47:00 PM
Whoa! That was a close call. Was it just the randomness of the universe at play or was it divine providence I wonder? A cautionary tale for all parents of young families to instill self-awareness and a healthy scepticism in their kids when making life decisions. Impulse choices can have devastating and irretrievable results! Thanks for your contribution, Andrea. I wish you good health.
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Andrea Dietrich
Date: 1/25/2017 3:47:00 PM
true story. I never even heard this story until I went back after Xmas and learned it years later!!
Date: 1/25/2017 3:43:00 PM
I remember so well that Buddy Holly story and how he switched with Valens. So eerie to have that happen to a person! I have been hit by semi trucks on the freeway and had a few major blowouts and I always escaped from them unscathed. I am hoping it's my guardian angel. I will write about my sisters' story next.
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Andrea Dietrich
Date: 1/26/2017 3:45:00 PM
haha. The one semi sent my car to the front of his truck. My car was perpendicular to his cab as he pushed me down the highway. I drove out on the other side and to my relief had no car coming on the freeway to hit me as I exited to the side of the freeway.
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Keith Trestrail
Date: 1/25/2017 8:36:00 PM
Hit by a semi - yikes! An unstoppable force meets Andrea, the immovable object!

My Past Blog Posts

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