state award for building restoration
to be at Village Lights
Lela Jane Bradshaw
(December 2009) When Nathan Montoya explains
the thought process that lead he and his wife, Anne Vestuto, to open
the Village Lights Bookstore, he has to laugh. We wanted to move
on to another life as it were. We tried to choose between raising goats
and selling books, he explains, then continues in a more serious
tone. Weve both been surrounded by books and learning all
Happily for downtown Madison, Ind., the books won out.
This decision led not only to a new chapter in their own lives but that
of the historic building that came under their care.
Village Lights Bookstore recently celebrated its first anniversary in
a big way. In addition to a local party that included readings by Indiana
Poet Laurete Norbert Krapf and musical performances by Greg Ziesemer
and Kriss Luckett-Ziesemer, Montoya and Vestuto attracted statewide
attention with an award for the restoration work done on the building
that houses the bookstore. On Nov. 13, the Village Lights Bookstore
was named 2009 Indiana Main Street Best Historic Rehabilitation Project
in an Indianapolis ceremony presided over by Indiana Lt. Gov. Becky
Skillman. Madison Main Street Design Committee Chair and member of the
board of directors Rhonda Deeg assembled the successful nomination packet
consisting of current and historic photos and newspaper articles documenting
the buildings past, which included an appearance in the 1958 film
Some Came Running.
When I met Nathan and Anne, they were in the process of restoring
the building. They were so meticulous and caring in what they did,
When restoration began, Montoya, 57, faced a surprising reminder of
the stores brush with fame. For the film, the exterior of the
building had been painted black, and that included the tiny panes of
the large prism glass window. These panes were made with a ribbed inner
surface that helped bring light in from the outside to brighten an otherwise
left, Rhonda Deeg, Nancy Gruner,
Indiana Lt. Fov. Becky Skillman,
Annette Vestuto and Nathan Montoya
are pictured during the awards
ceremony in Indianapolis.
It took me two weeks by hand scraping the paint
off the prisms, recalls Montoya. As a reminder of this task, he
left the paint on one small pane, and with a bit of imagination, visitors
can imagine the work that went into the now beautiful window.
The Village Lights Bookstore is currently building a reputation as a
showcase for area talent. We try to feature local artists,
says Vestuto, 53, of the frequent art shows and musical performances
that take place alongside the shelves of books.
On Saturday, Dec. 19, the store will play host to Bloomington, Ind.
author and musician Tom Roznowski from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. for a book signing,
stories and song. During his visit, Roznowski will sign copies and give
readings from his new book, An American Hometown, Terre Haute,
Indiana in 1927. The book was initially inspired by a series of
photos Roznowski saw of the town, taken during the early to mid-1900s.
The entire appearance was epic to me, he relates. Upon his
first visit to Terre Haute, Roznowski discovered the many changes that
had taken place in the life of the town. I was wondering why something
that had been so appealing had disappeared, he says.
The author will also be performing songs from his CD, This Place
in Time Tom Roznowski, with the Americana musical
group, The Living Daylights. What well be doing is taking
some of those songs and connecting them to the stories in the book,
he says of the upcoming performance.
Montoya and Vestuto agree that it is a sense of community that has made
their venture so rewarding. Montoya highlights the many people who have
been instrumental in giving Village Lights its unique character including
staff member Nancy Anderson, weekly guest pianist Leonard Miller and
woodworker Matt Hicks.
Weve met some wonderful people here in Madison, says
Village Lights Bookstore is located at
110 E. Main St. in Madison. For more
information, visit: www.VillageLightsBooks.com.
Learn more about Tom Roznowski at: http://TomRoznowski.net.
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