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April 4, 2005 // UPDATED 1:53 pm - April 26, 2007
By: Jeremy Stratton
Jeremy Stratton

East Bank

Ever dreamed of flying off to inhabit the world of your favorite fiction? Now there's a travel agency for you. Book It! Travel, 215 E. Hennepin Ave. in Kramarcuk's Deli, is booking general travel and specialty tours based around popular novels and historical fiction.

Business partners Carrie Caldwell and Darleen Mongoven are doubly credentialed as certified travel agents and book-club enthusiasts. The two avid readers met in travel and tourism school, Caldwell said.

Caldwell has made two book-based tours: to Gasparilla Island in Florida, the setting for Randy Wayne White's mystery "Mangrove Coast;" and to Savannah, Georgia for a survey of John Berendt's "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil."

She said, "We had a fabulous tour guide who knew the local people" upon whom characters were based.

The guide even had "some outside-the-book sort of gossip," she said.

A 10-day tour is planned for October to follow the life of post-Renaissance/Baroque artist Artemisia Gentileschi, as profiled in "The Passion of Artemisia" by Susan Vreeland. Gentileschi, who lived during the early 17th century, was the first woman admitted to the Academy of Design in Florence, Italy.

The tour costs $3,500, which will include transportation, accommodations, daily breakfast and dinner, and entrance fees.

Caldwell said that the agency is open to suggestions for book-based tours.

If you'd like to know more about the company and its offerings, see www.bookittravel.com or call 253-3383.

East Bank

Wanna get stoned? Tom Heywood of Heywood Gallery "can cement virtually anything," including body parts, according to a sign that hung in the window at 17 SE 4th St.

However, Heywood's month-to-month lease was discontinued in March to make way for the May opening of Rag and Bone Books.

He was in the East Bank space for 11 years. Heywood said he now hopes to sell pieces at garden stores and as custom pieces.

The artist makes sculptures out of mortar or concrete, ranging from freestanding sculptures to functional art such as custom stone tables and garden benches. One bench featured multicolored bottle bottoms set in the seat.

"I like what happens to things outdoors," Heywood said. "Time, weathering. I try to emulate that."

Other pieces are a mix of abstract and industrial, like a woman's torso supported by and sprouting thick, rusted rebar. He advertises that he can cement "wood furniture, walls, clothes, fabric, anything." He can make molds and cast cement, as well.

Heywood doesn't have another gallery yet, but he isn't moving far; he'll work as best as he can out of a nearby apartment until he finds a suitable space.

The 4th Street space, which served as studio, store and living area, "can't be duplicated for $900 a month," he said. "I've got to find the right person with the right place and the right pocketbook."

Those interested in Heywood's pieces or in custom work can contact him at 331-2051.