Jacksonville, FL – “Nobody Stepped Up To The Plate!!” – The Landing – May 29, 1999

The horizon looked ominous as we pulled up to our outdoor venue. Huge black thunderheads loomed, threatening to crack the sky. Surprisingly, the promoter remained optimistic, though he refused to meet our eyes when we approached. “This’ll clear. It’s not supposed to rain,” he said, casting a doubtful glance at the menacing sky. But from my experience, you don’t simply wish those kinds of clouds away, so we discreetly tucked our instruments under the stage and covered the electronics with jackets. Miraculously, his weather prediction held. Despite dark clouds that hovered close, the sky remained intact as we took the stage at 7:30.

We had an impressive backdrop. A white-capped river flowed behind us flaunting white sails and beefy motorboats which seemed to sway in time to the music. In the crowd, jugglers, balloonists, and clowns entertained children who skeptically clutched their adult’s hands.

I made an unfortunate decision to wear my hair down. The wind whipped off the river and my medussa curls were taken hostage, at the mercy of every gust. I inhaled a mouth full of hair every time I tried to sing and nearly choked on my own goldilocks.

Sally wearing Jacqueline’s balloon hat

A sweet tiny girl approached the stage after our first set to compliment me: “You have…uh…a pretty voice,” she said.
“Why thank you. You have…uh…pretty dress. What’s your name?”
“Jacqueline,” she replied.
“Jacqueline, I need your assistance. Will you help me get people dancing when we start our next set?” She promised she would do her best and, when she approached the stage later, her face was painted like a beautiful butterfly. In her tiny fist, she held a balloon hat for me shaped like a flower. I put it on my head immediately and wore it for the rest of the show. It actually helped tame my hair which was a relief. We still have the balloon hat in the van, somewhat deflated now, but I cherish it because it was a gift from sweet little Jacqueline. She made me realize just how much I want my own baby someday.

Jacqueline and Sally at the end of the show

After checking into the inn, Brian, Soucy, and Dellucci ventured back into the night, following a lead from a few girls they met at the gig. What they found was the following:

  1. A warehouse filled with men.
  2. That Jacksonville is the break-dancing capital of the world and
  3. That when you get a chance to link up with some cute girls at a gig you better damn well take the opportunity then and there.

Kenny scolded the boys for missing their chance. “Nobody stepped up to the plate!!” He said, and now we’ve got our new catchphrase.

We’re in Savannah on our day off, and I’ve chosen silence to preserve my faltering voice. It’s beautiful here. Trees don majestic, flowing gray beards, and the air carries an alluring charge that’s intoxicating to stroll through. Our hotel pool hosts a sea of joyful, uninhibited children, creating a high-pitched soundtrack to our stay. We kick back with Cool Ranch Doritos, a six-pack of Milwalkie’s Best and fight over the room’s limited pillows. Kenny, Brian and I glue ourselves to the Discovery Channel’s special on rollercoasters while the Chrises plot our next adventure on the map.