hanky envy

You might say former Twins manager TK and I shared a certain special vibe in 1987.

A high vibe — so to speak — that brought us both to the floor of the HHH Metrodome for the opener in 1988.

TK with his reigning World Series Champs and me with my Class AAA State High School Danceline Champs.

Him in the third base dugout with Hrbek and Puckett and the likes — me off to the side of the first base dugout with a swarm of dancers formerly known as the Bravettes.

My stomach fluttered.

And I couldn’t tell you why at the time.  But looking back —

It was definitely an omen.

The Burnsville Bravettes were the main event in the home opener’s equivalent of a halftime show.  They would be performing their State Championship dance to “Hearts of Fire.”

But first — the plan was for us to stand by and watch the 2nd and 3rd place lines perform.

Since it was my practice to keep them from watching other lines before performing in competition, this felt ominous — like breaking a ritual — and contributed to my growing unfounded-at-that-time angst.

So here we stand, watching the Skipperettes make their perky little entrance, move into an opening formation and begin their performance.

Nothin too impressive to start.  A bit over bouncy in places, perhaps — but nice kicks, I’ll give ’em that.

Oh, what’s that they’re doing?  Looks like something borrowed from a spirit squad.  A pyramid — now how flippin clumsy looking is that?

I wrinkle my nose, catch the eyes of the captains.

And then —

One brave Skipperette, ten feet above the rest of her line, feet in the hands of two of the strongest on the top tier, begins her ascent.

And we are spellbound.

She gracefully unfurls her body until she is poised perfectly atop a throne of royal blue and white.

Proud.  Magnificent. Beaming.

The crowd is clapping hard now.  My line is clapping with them.  And I’m moving my hands politely, thinking ‘we can still top this.’

Then the little bitch whips out a homer hanky and waves it like she’s Courteney Cox pulled on the stage by Springsteen in 1984.

The dome roared.  Our jaws hit the Astro Turf.

Had it not been for the equalizing force of my physical proximity to The Bad Boy of Baseball (1988 AL MVP), I would have died of envy.

Damn, I wish I woulda thought of that.

Author: Julie Ann Stevens

My art flows from the patterns & paths of my lived experience which ⏤ like yours ⏤ are at once deeply personal and entirely universal.

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