APPROPRIATED PRESS - “I thought it was a prank,” confessed Paige Turner, director of circulation at the Crystal Lake Public Library. The estate of Mr. Finneus T. Fishbottom contacted the library in December asking a representative to be present at the reading of the will. “Don’t quote me on this, but Mr. Fishbottom was a generous patron of the library so we naturally assumed he left us a parting gift. No one suspected anything like this.” Instead of a check, the executor of the will, Mr. Reed Moore, handed over a locked steel box. What wasn’t provided: a combination, instructions, or any indication of what might be inside.
“At this point, it’s anyone’s guess,” says Ms. Turner who recently contacted the local media for assistance in opening the box. “Of course, we may eventually have to cut it open--or at least have it x-rayed--but first we would appreciate any help the public can offer.” Patrons are invited to inspect the mystery box located between the copy machine and the conference room in the northeast corner of the first floor. “We’ve exhausted all the obvious solutions. We need novel ideas and out-of-the-box thinking.”
Finneus Fishbottom (1912-2009) was heir to the StarKist fortune and was a close personal friend of fellow philanthropist Ima Hogg. His list of charitable contributions could fill a book, but suffice it to say anyone who would call Mr. Fishbottom stingy would be truly spineless. Some have compared his considerable, and partially missing, wealth to that of early Crystal Lake resident Charles Sidney Dole.
“It just burns me up that I can’t figure it out – I’ve tried about 451 different combinations on that lock,” admits library patron Johnny Gutenberg. “Those numbers and letters on top of the box must be a clue.” The library hours are as follows:
Fri & Sat 9am-5pm
*Closed on holidays
*Closed Sundays June-August
*Closed until Noon the 1st
Friday of every month
Also in the news: Mr. Dewey has retired.
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