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Tammy Halsted takes a break at the Touch Corporation office on St. Armands Circle.
Longboat Key Wednesday, Jun. 27, 2012 5 years ago

Neighbors: Tammy Halsted

by: Mallory Gnaegy A&E Editor

Tammy Halsted is in the process of moving into an apartment on St. Armands Circle — it happens to be the exact apartment she lived in for three-and-a-half years before she moved to Texas for a job opportunity in 2006. She returned to the area in March.

“I love the beach, I love the theater, I have wonderful friends here … business owners on the Circle to my family on Longboat — it’s just, it’s home!” she says. “I really missed it!”

She even has what she calls her “Cheers Bar” — Lynches Pub and Grub. It’s a place she goes where everybody knows her name. And when she first moved back, the sisters gave her a temporary job waiting tables until she found something more permanent. They were her lifelines.

The first time she lived here was after Sept.11; she was living in Tampa but layoffs in her retail-entertainment district moved her south to Sarasota “to start over again.” Plus, her family (the Christensens, of Harry’s Continental Kitchens) lived on Longboat Key.

After her move, Halsted got her real-estate license and a place in the historic Village on Longboat Key. She was selling real estate for Andrew Vac, until 2006 when she accepted a marketing position in Texas.
Moving is something Halsted is used to: She has moved a total of 34 times in her life.

“This is my last one and I’m not moving again,” she asserts.

Some moves were because of her marketing and sales job for Marriott, but many happened when she was a young girl. Her father worked for a beverage company and his position relocated the family frequently.

Moving could be responsible for the travel-bug in her: Halsted has visited 49 of the 50 states. She has ventured all over the Caribbean and every resort destination in Mexico. She has been to Uganda in East Africa twice, on mission trips working with orphans. The orphans would teach Halsted songs in their native tongue and she would trade them American songs such as, “This Little Light of Mine.”

Halsted has never been to South Africa, but it is next on her bucket list. The itch has been especially strong since she has been working for Touch Corporation, a retail company and travel agency that specializes in South African destinations.

“I try to keep my passport from getting dusty,” she says.

Besides travel, her other passion is theater. She came out of her shell at a young age.

“As a young child, I went to six grade schools in six years. I had the choice to be the wallflower that no one remembered or be the girl that no one forgot,” Halsted says. She chose the latter.

Halsted has been acting since she was 12 but has been singing “since the moment I came out of the womb,” she says. She has performed numerous shows with the Sarasota Players, including “Mousetrap,” “Dracula,” “Showboat,” “Oliver” and “The Full Monty.” She has been rehearsing for the Summer Sizzler “Stay” that will play from Aug. 9 to Aug. 12.

And, sitting in the audience, just like at every other show, will be her Sarasota family: The Christensens, Chris and Ethna Lynch, Andrew Vac and her co-workers at Touch Corporation.

“I am finally home,” she says.

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