Sunday, September 17, 2006

Man Returns Library Book After 60 Years

In the summer of 1946, William Vassily, age 9, checked out The Baby Whale, Sharp Ears by John Y. Beaty from The Portland Public Library. On September 8, 2006, at 11:00 AM, he returned it to the Children’s Department and current Library Director Steve Podgajny, with a check for $440.16. The check represents his overdue charges at two cents per day.

Vassily lived on Parris Street in Portland from 1940 to 1946, where his father was part- owner of Tom’s Lunch on Preble Street. When his family moved to New York, The Baby Whale, Sharp Ears was packed and moved with them. Vassily soon forgot about the library book. He went to college, married Helen in 1961, became an insurance executive in New York, had two sons and retired in 1990.

In 1994, Vassily’s parents passed away, and he inherited several boxes of possessions. One box contained The Baby Whale, Sharp Ears.

“I knew right away I wanted to return it to the library, and I wanted to pay my overdue fee,” said Vassily. “The book is 60 years past due. I would like to make a contribution to the Children’s Section of the Library in the amount that would coincide with the overdue charges from June 7, 1946 to September 8, 2006,” he said.


Post a Comment

<< Home