As faithful “Heard it from Hoard” readers know, this blog is usually about baseball in general and the PawSox in particular, but today I’m venturing off the beaten path after reading about Stanley Dudek in Wednesday’s Boston Globe.
Stanley is from Mansfield, MA and made a trip to the New Bedford Public Library this week to return an overdue book.
It was overdue by 99 years, 7 months, and 4 days!
The book had been in the possession of Stanley’s mother, and he found it while going through her stuff after she passed away. After reading a story about an Ohio man returning a book that was 60 years overdue, he decided to act.
“I have 40 years on that guy,” Dudek told reporters, after bringing the book back.
The name of the book is “Facts I Ought to Know About the Government of My Country.” It was written by William Bartlett and published in 1894. The book will be placed in the library’s special collections department as a historical artifact.
I know what you’re wondering – how much was the fine? At the time the book was loaned out, the New Bedford Public Library charged a penny a day for overdue books, so the fine came to $363.78. Fortunately for Mr. Dudek, the library waived the fee.
This story has inspired me to come clean. I’m fairly certain that there’s a copy of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” at my parents’ house in upstate New York that I checked out of the library in approximately 1973. If our local library waives the fee, I promise to return the book the next time I visit my folks.
Shoot, it’s only been 36 years.
I’ll get back to baseball on Friday.
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