My Dearest WIMA Members, Family and Friends,
Many of you know right before Labor Day, we found out my mother's cancer had returned. My sisters, her sisters and our family have been with her during the past few weeks. We thought we would have more time when the doctor told us the news. It wasn't the case. At least we were able to be together for her to say good-bye. She was ready to go and she went in peace. For this we are all grateful. One thing is for sure. Mom knew. Ever since she was diagnosed two years ago, she said, "I'm ready. I have had a great life. If God wants me. I'm ready to go."
She did go to UCLA to get a tumor removed from the right lower lung and after the surgery, the doctor said they got it all. She didn't want to follow up with chemo and radiation and the doctor advised her to come in for regular check-ups so that in if the cancer came back she could decide at that time what course of action to take.
Well...Mom told me she was getting her check-ups. She did go in for blood work and nothing showed up, or so she told me. What she wasn't doing was going in to get the x-rays every few months and when I asked, she just told me what I wanted to hear. That's what mothers do some times, right? Tell us what we want to hear.
It was her life and her choice as to how she lived it. I accept that. It's not easy in a way, because I have always felt it was my responsibility to take care of Mom. And I have. Whenever she would let me, that is! Especially, in times when she really wanted me to. It's still not easy.
As one of the nurses, Dan, told us in the hospital when it was apparent my mom was in the final stages and letting go. "Dying is a part of Life."
My half-brother, Steve, came to visit while Linda and I were staying in Hospice with Mom. He said that someone told him this a long time ago, when he lost his mother.
"When a ship goes to sea there are people standing on the shore waving good-bye and crying because they are going to miss the people leaving. Then as the boat leaves port and gets further and further away it finally disappears. What people don't see is that there are people waiting on the other shore to greet them as they arrive at their new distination."
Each one of us has our own belief system about what lies ahead when we leave this world. I know Mom always felt a personal connection to God. In these past few weeks Mom and my family have laughed and cried, looked at photos, shared stories, played the piano, played a game of Yatzee, made some discoveries, healed wounds, and recorded interviews that will live on in our hearts and through the scholarship fund we are creating in honor of our mother at WIMA Women in Music and Arts.
Here is a little excerpt from one of my interviews with Mom:
SK: "What advice do you have for aspiring artists as they are starting out? What would you tell them?"
WK: "Don't let anybody ever discourage you from doing your art, even if it doesn't look good to you or them. Keep doing it. Don't let anybody put you down. If they put you down, walk away. You don't need them. They are not your friend. They are not your friend and it ruins... it hurts your own life. Follow your own dream, because you've got to realize they are only human and subject to error. Forgive them for what they said." She breaks down and cries, "Let it go."
I guess I really am "my mother's daughter." And Mom's a funny woman. She kidded around a lot and really never acted like she was "giving advice" in a serious way. Her's was a more subtle teaching. So to hear her give voice to the feelings I've always known in my heart is a little surprising, very profound and really amazing!
Her "advice to aspiring artists" mirrors the very feelings that inspired the lyrics for one of my songs:
Don't Tell Me I Can't
Lyrics by Sandy Kastel
Music by Jimmy Haslip & Jeff Lorber
Don't Tell Me I Can't
Don't Tell Me I Won't
Don't Tell Me I Never Will
'Cause You'll Be Sorry When I'm Gone
Don't Tell Me It's Way Too Late
Don't Tell Me I'm Past My Prime
Don't Tell Me I Don't Fit the Bill
'Cause You'll Only Waste My Time
How lucky am I? Very! Is it any wonder I've been so driven and passionate about creating this new organization to honor the women who've inspired me? Women like my mother, my aunts and my grandmother? They are all Women in Music and Arts!
Thank you all so much for being supportive of my family during this time.
Your friend and fellow artist...Sandy Kastel
Here is the information for my mother's service:
Visitation will be from 12 – 2 p.m., followed by Services at 2 p.m., Saturday, October 1st, at Palm Mortuary, 7600 S. Eastern Ave., Las Vegas
Donations may be made in Wands’s name to:
WIMA-Women in Music and Arts
Fund Designation: Wanda Kastel Scholarship Fund
9101 W. Sahara Ave., Suite 105-129
Las Vegas, NV 89117
WOMEN IN MUSIC AND ARTS PRESENTS
“Singin’ & Swingin’ at the E-String”
Bright Eyes – Band Feature
Polka Dots – Band Feature
Lullaby of Birdland – Sandy Kastel
When I Fall in Love – Dolly Coulter
Imagination – Band Feature
Flight to Nassau – Band Feature
All That Jazz – Marchand Melcher
Black Coffee – Kellie Wright
Pretty One – Band Feature
Things Ain’t What they Used to Be – Band Feature
Sinatra Medley – Sandy Kastel
Carmelo’s by the Freeway – Band Feature
BeBop Charlie – Band Feature
Warm Breeze – Band Feature
Why Don’t You Do Right – Sandy Kastel
Georgia – Ann Parenti
It Had to Be You – Dolly Coulter
Moon Shot – Band Feature
Summertime – Joi Jeffries
Birthday Song – TayParis, Skyy & Kandyance
Blue Moon – Kellie Wright
Bunch of Blues – Band Feature
Just Friends – Band Feature
All Right, You Win – Sandy Kastel
Groovin’ Hard – Band Feature
THE JIM HEMMING’S ELDORADO STREET BIG BAND - Many of these musicians have worked in the industry for over 40 years. They have played with the biggest stars in major hotels in Las Vegas and around the world. WIMA is fortunate to perform with such and amazing group of musicians: Dick Kastel, Uli Geissendoerfer, Ben Williams, Howard Agster, John Asti, Roger Hall, Ron Brandvik, Jim Lewis, Curt Miller, Jon Klokow, Neil Maxa, Paul Munger, Dan Michler, Tony Crapis, Lou Gonzales & Steve Filippini.
ARTIST TERRY RITTER performed in many shows including “Folies Bergere” at the Tropicana and “Pinups at the Movies” at the Sahara (with Sandy Kastel). She was a featured singer with “Winchester Cathedral” and stared as “Reba” with Legends in Concert. Alongside her career as an entertainer for over 30 years, Terry has been painting portraits, celebrities and Las Vegas Showgirls. Terry’s newest installation “Folies in Flight” is scheduled to be unveiled at the Las Vegas International Airport June 6th, 2012.
MARSHA ROSS, a singer, artist and new member of WIMA has created a wonderful opportunity for the community by Hosting shows at the E-String with Las Vegas Jazz Conversations. As she said in her interview with Michael Lyle for the “View,” "Everyone has something to say. When someone says something, the bass will answer and say its comment. The sax hears (what the bass) says and has a comment, too. But then the trumpet wants to talk, too. It's just musicians talking to each other."
“Empowering Artists Of All Ages
Through Education & Mentorship”
The Women in Music and Arts Foundation
Is A Non-Profit Organization
Comprising Of Dynamic, Influential Women
In The Performing, Visual And Literary Arts
Raising Awareness In The Global Community
Preserving The Legacy Of The Feminine Influence
Within These Industries Worldwide
Providing Educational Seminars, Workshops, Conferences
Community Outreach Programs And Scholarships
A SPECIAL THANKS TO...
All our WIMA Members and Sponsors Janet Robbins, Beverly Hurley, Anita Alderman, Dolly Coulter, Terry Ritter, Roberta Shefren-Baskin, Tanja Nikolic, Cindy Davis, Judi Moreo, Susan Haller, Ann Parenti, Amy Frost, Rungano Mashapure, Videographers David Taylor, Dale Sweetland & Rhett Nielson, Janice Marie Wilson, Diane Clough, Scott Taylor, Mark Taylor, Hair Stylist Jayne Mock & Vivian G. at Lakeside Salon, Grace Ferreri at Suite One Salon, Lissane Forrello at Salon Dushons, Joe Lake founder Children’s Miracle Network, Kirk Ryder with Miss America Pageant, James Canfield & Cindy Fox at Nevada Ballet, my family and friends and many more who support
Women in Music and Arts
THANK YOU TO OUR HOST MARSHA ROSS
Marsha Ross, a singer, artist and new member of WIMA has created a wonderful opportunity for the community by Hosting shows at the E-String with Las Vegas Jazz Conversations. As she said in her interview with Michael Lyle for the “View,” “Everyone has something to say. When someone says something, the bass will answer and say its comment. The sax hears (what the bass) says and has a comment, too. But then the trumpet wants to talk, too. It’s just musicians talking to each other.”
To Become A Member
Make A Donation or Become A Sponsor
Contact: Sandy Kastel
9101 W. Sahara Ave., 105-129
Las Vegas, NV 89117
Visit our Website
Life is precious...we take it for granted. Cherish you friends and family every day. We never know when they will be gone. A few moments can make a big difference.
A smile, a friendly gesture, a postcard, a letter, a call to say "I'm thinking of you" when a person is feeling alone, lost, depressed or struggling with the weight of the world.
Personal touches...remember not everyone is on facebook. Our parents, grandparents, relatives...some of them are missing that one-on-one connection.
Remember the joy of hearing your mother's voice, your father's advice, your lover's touch, your child's laughter?
When you have a few moments, pick up the phone, write a note, send a card, bring a smile to someone you love. Let them know you care.
It will make you feel better, too.
I'll be performing at LIFE CHOICES: The Event
March 23-25, in Las Vegas!
EXPERIENCE THIS ONE-OF-A-KIND EVENT
At-the-Door Registration Price - $750
Register by December 31st & SAVE $400
1 Person/$350- 2 Persons/$275 Each-5 Persons/$225 Each
ENTER MY SPEAKER CODE: 2LCSK
Receive MY GIFT TO YOU:
"Indiana Rain" CD, Poster & 2012 Calendar - A $50 Value
(Registration Confirmation Required-Forward Confirmation to:
When: March 23 - 25, 2012
Where: The Tropicana Hotel & Casino
3801 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas, NV 89109
Visit www.lifechoicesevent.com and see what everyone is talking about!
"As an author in the Life Choices Books - Navigating Difficult Paths &
Pursuing Your Passion, I am excited about being a featured author and
performer at Life Choices: The Event in Las Vegas at the
In one of my chapters, “It's About Time” I talk about the "5 Steps to
Pursue Your Passion" that have inspired me as a performer, singer
songwriter, author and Miss America Pageant talent winner.
This will be an amazing event with several of the Life Choices Authors. I
hope you will consider joining us here in Las Vegas March 23-25!"
If you are looking for a totally fresh way to improve your life…
If you would like to learn how to build your self-esteem...
Organize your time, solve your problems, create abundant health...
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Life Choices: The Event is a must attend conference.
For full event details and registration information, please visit:
Look forward to seeing you there!