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Man returns Bob Dylan album to library 48 years later

Man returns Bob Dylan album to University Heights library 48 years later
Man returns Bob Dylan album to University Heights library 48 years later((Source: University Heights/Heights Libraries))
Updated: Jun. 1, 2021 at 8:35 AM EDT
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UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS, Ohio (WOIO) - A man who grew up in University Heights has finally done something that was long overdue.

Or, should we say, he returned something that was long overdue.

Some 48 years after Howard Simon checked out a copy of Bob Dylan’s album “Self Portrait” at the University Heights branch of the Heights libraries, he finally returned the vinyl- with a note of apology.

“As a recent retiree, I am taking the opportunity to turn my attention to some of the many vignettes of life that by dint of career and family have been neglected these many years,” Simon wrote in a letter that accompanied the record he finally mailed back. “In that context, I am returning with this letter an overdue item (by my count, approximately 17,480 days overdue as of this writing)….it’s quite late, and I’m quite sorry!”

Simon, who now lives in San Francisco, checked out the album when he was in the eighth grade at Wiley Middle School in Cleveland Heights.

Recently, he found it mixed in with his personal record collection, in between two other Bob Dylan albums.

Simon said the record followed him across the country throughout the past almost five decades, as he moved to Chicago, Santa Fe, Los Angeles, Berkeley, back to Chicago, then again Berkeley, then another stop in Chicago, Sacramento, and finally to San Francisco.

Along with the record itself (which University Heights branch manager Sara Philips said is in “great shape”), Simon included a $175 “replacement fee.” He also threw in a copy of one of his own records, titled “Western Reserve.” Turns out, the same musical inclination that made Simon want to hang on to the Dylan record has also served him well in his own music career, leading him to record several albums.

“We’re grateful that Mr. Simon returned the record. I’d said we can now call it even,” Philips said.

She also noted that the University Heights branch of the Heights Libraries stopped charging late fees years ago.

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