For college students across the land, Spring Break means it’s time to take a trip to some fun, warm destination that you’ll remember for the rest of your life. For a bunch of northeastern ultimate frisbee geeks, that means a trip down south for a tournament or two. In 1998, my ultimate team had a pretty great itinerary lined up: tournament in Gainesville, FL followed by a week at a beach house in Destin, FL, capped off with another tournament in Columbia, SC before we headed back to Syracuse.
The trip started off well enough with a fun first tournament, highlighted by the single best vegetarian meal I’ve ever had. I’m not even sure what it was, and maybe it was only so awesome because I had it on the fields right after we were done playing for the day, but man was it good. Now we had excellent weather for the tournament itself, but things had been a little rainy and tornado-ey in that general area. In fact, it was just two or three weeks earlier that Florida experienced its deadliest tornado outbreak on record, just south of Gainesville.
So after the tournament wound down Sunday night, we piled into our cars and headed off for the panhandle, keen to the knowledge of what kinds of weather had been going on. As we drove, the sunny skies darkened and before too long, we were driving through torrential rain, ominous lightning and heavy winds. Now I’ve certainly driven through worse weather, but conditions were pretty bad and given the history, the folks in my car were willing to exercise a bit of caution. At the same time, our collective macabre sense of humor led to a search for the music that would most taunt Mother Nature.
First, we threw in the soundtrack from Twister and then we followed up with the classic TMBG album, “Flood.” While “Twisting” isn’t the highlight of the album that “Birdhouse in Your Soul” or “Particle Man” might be, it’s still a strong, solid track and one that will always remind me of that night driving across the Florida panhandle.