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“My conscience finally got the best of me”: Man returns Catawba County high school book overdue 43 years

It’s a story of his own - the cautionary tale of a young man in love with muscle cars and a girl who lost sight of his goals.
Brett Allred finally broke down and returned his library book. It had been overdue since 1979.
Published: Feb. 2, 2022 at 8:33 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 3, 2022 at 3:10 PM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Brett Allred finally broke down and returned his library book. It had been overdue since 1979.

It’s a story of his own - the cautionary tale of a young man in love with muscle cars and a girl who lost sight of his goals.

Now, the library book is back where it belongs in the Bandys High School Library in Catawba County. Brett sent a letter along with his return.

The book, Basics; Clutches and Transmissions, looks like something from a time capsule with its black and white muscle cars and photos.

“I loved it so much I kept it. I ended up not going to my senior year. I met a girl. I was a little over-eager to start my career. One thing led to another and the years just went on by,” Allred told me from the H-VAC business he owns with his wife in Florida. “My conscience finally got the best of me and I had to do something.”

“If there was any advice I’d give my 17-year-old boy self it would be to plan the future and finish what you start. Be on time and return your library book”

Brett Allred's letter to Bandys High School

We met Bandy High students who take Brett’s message to heart. They understand what it means to miss your high school experience.

“Just making it through the pandemic. Getting past everything with that and school. It was hard especially when it came to band. I’ve been in band for four years and we weren’t able to do a lot... or really anything. It made it really hard to learn,” Austin Bissette said, recounting the last two years.

Bissette is making sure to savor every moment of in-person learning during his senior year.

“It’s the year that pays off for everything you’ve worked for. When you get to your senior year you get to look back and think of how much and where you have come. And where you are going in life.”

When asked if Brett now feels a sense of relief knowing the book is back in the proper hands his answer is simple.

“I do! And knowing that I’m not really the same guy. I feel the Lord has led me to be a different person.”

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