Forty-seven years long enough to write book

Published 8:31 am Tuesday, January 23, 2007

By Staff
Can you imagine something you did in ninth grade making statewide news 47 years later?
At least now all of Michigan knows Robert Nuranen got an A on his paper.
That's where the Los Angeles man found himself after returning a book he borrowed in northern Michigan in 1960 along with $171.32 for late fees.
Nuranen checked out Dorothy Clarke Wilson's "Prince of Egypt" from the Hancock library.
To say current librarian Sue Zubiena was stunned is probably an understatement.
She was probably glancing around for the hidden cameras of a "Punk'd" prank.
Nuranen told The Daily Mining Gazette that his mom misplaced the book while cleaning.
He found it recently at the bottom of a box in the attic while looking for the family archives.
"I figured I'd better get it in before we waited another 10 years," he told the Houghton newspaper. "Fifty-seven years would be embarrassing."
Nuranen became fascinated with Egypt in sixth grade, even though he admits he never got more than halfway through the long-lost volume.
For a class assignment on where he wanted to be in 2000 he picked the pyramids.
Ironically, he became a teacher himself, of seventh grade social studies and language arts.
Like Dowagiac District Library, the Hancock library doesn't keep such records.
Any log of late fees kept 47 years ago had long since vanished.
"I'm going to use it as an example," Zubiena said. "It's never too late to return your books."
Nuranen really did ring in the new millennium at the pyramids with his sister.
He also has been to all 50 states and to 55 countries.
I asked DDL Director Evelyn Holzwarth how close she has come to a 47-year return.
She conferred with her staff, whose collective lore recalled a patron's mother bringing back books her daughter checked out in high school that were discovered as they cleaned out her room after college.
The Dowagiac library staff also recalls a young man who wrote in enclosing $50 because he felt guilty about swiping some magazines in his youth.
Burned out: Fire destroyed the uninsured Flint-area home of Question Mark, known for his hit "96 Tears" with the Mysterians. He suggested in the Flint Journal bouncing back with an all-Michigan benefit concert at the Palace of Auburn Hills with Bob Seger, Mark Farner of Grand Funk Railroad, Kid Rock and Eminem.
Security really shaping up: Semaj Booker talks his way onto Southwest Airlines flights with a boarding pass and travels from Seattle to Phoenix to San Antonio, Texas. He's a 9-year-old fourth grader.
Democratic time: Back when I went to school, 100 hours was roughly four days with four hours to spare, or 4 p.m. Jan. 9.
Not anymore. If you're a House Democrat, you don't start the clock Jan. 4 when the 110th Congress was sworn in and voting begins or even the next day when a package of measures reaches the floor.
You fire the starting pistol on Tuesday, then freeze it whenever minutes ticking by don't relate to debate of six designated bills.
So while the House had been in session 56 hours, the clock on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's Web site suggested that only 23 hours, 34 minutes, had elapsed by the close of business Jan. 12.
Even time passes differently in Washington than in the real world beyond the Beltway.
Baseball's coming: The Detroit Tigers caravan visited Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo Jan. 18. Representing the 2006 American League champions at Miller Auditorium were Manager Jim Leyland, coaches Gene Lamont and Lloyd McClendon and players Justin Verlander, Brandon Inge, Craig Monroe, Placido Polanco, Chris Shelton and Vance Wilson.
The team has added Gary Sheffield's bat since losing the World Series to the St. Louis Cardinals. "It's going to be a lot different this year," Verlander said. "We're not going to sneak up on anybody."
Bend it like Beckham?: $250 million to play soccer for the Los Angeles Galaxy? I was surprised that for Real Madrid Posh Spice's husband David Beckham, 32 in May, scored all of 19 goals – about one every eight games.