Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

Home · Articles · News · Music · Familiar Waters... Tom & Chris...
. . . .

Familiar Waters... Tom & Chris Kastle play maritime music

Sandra Serra Bradshaw - May 19th, 2005
Just about anyone in the maritime community from here to Chicago and beyond knows nautical musicians Tom and Chris Kastle. The couple recently released their 12th recording, “Familiar Waters,” a collection of maritime shanties from around the world.
The Kastles combine singing, sailing and songwriting in a weave which has become internationally acclaimed for their interpretations of traditional material as well as their original works. They have performed at festivals, concerts, and on radio and television throughout the United States, Canada and Europe.
“In 1985 we started to pursue sailing as a way of life and have experienced, first-hand, the traditions and cultural diversity of life at sea, serving as crew aboard tall ships and other traditional sailing vessels,” Tom says. He was asked by the designer of Chicago’s tall ship “Windy” to sail along as first mate. “Once you sail on a schooner, you just can’t stop,” he says.
“We just got back from a month in the Pacific,” Tom adds. “We visited the waters and shores of Fiji on the way to New Zealand and attended a traditional meke performance as well as visited some undersea creatures off the coral coast of Viti Levu.
In New Zealand the couple performed at the National Maritime Museum in Auckland and were featured at folk clubs on both islands of the country.
“We got to tour quite a bit and saw glaciers, penguins, albatrosses, mountains,” Chris adds of their New Zealand trip. They also sailed aboard a 60’ ketch that once belonged to Errol Flynn, saw the oldest square rigger in the world, and took a trick at the helm aboard a steamship from 1899 on the Wanganui River. This was the couple’s second trip to New Zealand and they plan on going back many more times in the future.

It was Ted Kamanski of the Chicago Maritime Society who steered Tom and Chris into discovering maritime songs of the Great Lakes. Kamanski told them about the Walton Collection at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. There they fell in love with the old ballads.
“We truly enjoy our Great Lakes heritage,” Chris says.
“It touches, not just here in our region, but throughout the world,” Tom adds. “In fact, in New Zeeland we found out that it is the only place in the world that still uses the Great Lakes scow (a vessel suited for shallow water). While in New Zealand, the couple played aboard the “Ted Asby,” a replica scow.
The Kastles also serve as directors of the Chicago Maritime Festival. Held in February, the event features musicians from all over the States as well as England, Scotland, France, Poland, and Canada. Participants from Northern Michigan include Tom Kelly of the Inland Seas Education Association, the Michigan Maritime Museum, Traverse City maritime artist Remy Champt, “Friends Good Will” (a new tall ship at South Haven), and the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association.
This summer, the Kastles will be sailing local waters with the “Inland Seas” and the “Manitou.” Tom on occasion has been captain on the schoolships. They will be aboard May 17-20 and 24-27. Tom will also be captaining aboard some tour boats on the Chicago River and Lake Michigan. In Chicago, the couple is often aboard the “Windy” and the “Windy II”.
On Saturday, May 21 the Kastles will perform at Horizon Books in downtown Traverse City. “The Kastles have been playing here for a number of years,” said Christopher Carlson, advents coordinator at Horizon. “They have tons of information on the Great Lakes maritime history and its songs. It is always great to have them. A lot of people in our region are really interested in the history of the lakes. And that interest makes the Kastles very popular around here.”

For more information on the Kastles and their new CD, “Familiar Waters,” write to PO Box 56474, Chicago, IL 60656-0474, USA; Phone (773) 774-7216; or visit their website at www.kastles.net.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5