Saving the Surf

Trials and triumphs of the last 50 years

“Well, how about it Clear Lake?” begged Editor and Publisher Joe Roth in the Feb. 11, 1970 edition of the Clear Lake Mirror-Reporter. 

Roth penned a column hoping to catch the eye of someone—  anyone in town to save the Surf from becoming anything but a ballroom.  The days of hosting ballroom dancing were waning and the current owner had closed the venue twice. 

One of the owners over the course of Surf Ballroom history reached out to us this week with his memories of partnering with others to keep the building afloat for 25 years and eventually selling to others who have now reached their own 25-year milestone of keeping the ballroom in business.

by Robert Halford

Last week’s Clear Lake Mirror-Reporter had a couple facts that stirred my wanting to write another story. The facts that caused my action appeared in the story about the Surf Ballroom. It told about Buddy Holly’s plane crash and the story about Snyder’s spending $500,000 to repair the Surf.  Mr. Olson told about his visiting the crash site with Carroll Anderson and how they identified the bodies. It is factual that the Snyder’s have done a sensational job of re-doing the ballroom and deserve all the credit in the world.  I also want to say in the beginning that the Mirror does a good job of reporting both the news and adding interesting articles about our school and community.

I want to add some facts about the Surf.  On the night of the crash, I was at a Junior Chamber of Commerce meeting.  We met above what is now Starboard Market.  That upstairs was at one time the office of the Clear Lake Telephone Company in about 1954 and before. After the meeting, Jerry Dwyer called Roger Peterson, who was at the Jaycee meeting.  We were playing cards.  Roger came back and said that he was going to have to fly a group that were playing at the Surf that night.  Roger was a pilot for Jerry Dwyer. We continued the game. The weather was very cold and it was windy

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