Oh, sure, blame it on Mom

Sue Zubiena, who was on duty last Friday, looked up from her work at the public library in Hancock, Mich., to see Robert Nuranen standing there with a book in his hand. But not to check out; he was bringing it back. Well, so what? That happens in libraries every day. Yes, but this was a bit more unusual than most returns. For starters, Nuranen had come all the way from Los Angeles to bring back "Prince of Egypt" by Dorothy Clarke Wilson. Moreover, he wasn't just holding the book. He also handed over a check for $171.32 – the amount he figured he owed for keeping it past the due date. He'd borrowed the volume in May ... 1960, when he was in ninth grade and at work on a school project. Sometime later, as his mother was cleaning house, the book was misplaced, he explained. It resurfaced from time to time but ended up in a box in the attic. Meanwhile, his fascination with Egypt led him to visit there and then on to a job teaching language arts and social studies in California. On his latest trip home, he found the overdue volume and decided "I'd better get it back" before any more time went by and the library demanded even more money. He needn't have worried, as it turns out. Any record of who borrowed it had long since been lost. By the way, Nuranen said he read only about half of the book.

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