Keldsen Summer Vacation to the Big Island – Part II October 2007

The Keldsens in the Sweet, Sunny South…South Greenland, the Qooroq Ice Fjord. For most travelers “The Big Island” conjures up memories of warm tropical sunsets in Hilo. While many of you were sweltering at the Summer NAMM Show in Austin Texas, we headed north to the real Big Island — Greenland!

The sea voyage down the West coast from Sisimiut to Qaqortoc took three and a half days with stops at small towns along the way. Many of these settlements don’t have a harbor large enough to handle the draft of a ship the size of Sarfac Ittuk so a small launch was hoisted over the side and passengers “walked the plank” and were zipped to shore. Our target: the banana belt… Southern Greenland. It is all relative though… even Southern Greenland is above 60 degrees North — at about the same latitude as Whitehorse in the Yukon Territory. It was in this area that the first European settlements were founded by Eric the Red in 982. Eric would have been a great marketing director, for it was he who gave Greenland its name. Eirik the Red’s Saga goes a little bit like this, “…as he said, people would be attracted there if it had a favorable name.” We visited the farms of Eric and his cousin Thorkell Farsek and snuck into the Qooroq Ice Fjord in a small boat where 200,000 tons of ice from the polar cap are pushed daily down into the ocean, calving into thousands of icebergs, which at times completely clog the upper reaches of the fjord. Eric’s spirit is there and the stone foundations of the houses constructed by thousands of Viking colonists are too. His farm in Southern Greenland, Brattahlid was the base camp for the first European discovery of America by his son Leif Erikson.

So it was a great adventure for me and two of my sons to walk in the footsteps of our ancestors and to dig for the roots of our family’s tradition. In Families and in Music Companies it is important to look for those roots and to study the work of those who came before us. We do that everyday here at Saga and as you turn the pages of The Retail Music News you will see the results. Thanks for joining us in the quest!

Richard Keldsen
San Francisco
October 2007