Texas man will pay $1 parking ticket -- 58 years later

A Houston Army veteran is expected to pay a delinquent parking ticket Wednesday. Normally, such an event would merit little media coverage -- but this particular ticket was written more than 58 years ago.

Dale Crawford, 79, received the ticket Feb. 3, 1953, the day he was inducted into the U.S. Army at age 21.

He left his green 1946 Nash at a parking meter near the induction station in downtown Houston and boarded a bus to Fort Sam Houston at 4 a.m. When his father picked up the car hours later, it had been ticketed. His father tucked the ticket into Crawford's belongings. Crawford found it in 1995 after his mother died, but forgot about it until recently.

When Crawford unearthed the ticket among keepsakes, he sent a letter to city officials. They notified him that so much time had passed, the traffic violation had been expunged.

He said he wanted to pay it anyway.

The cost? One dollar.

Crawford told Houston’s Fox 26 this week that he needed to clear his conscience by paying the debt, even though it's a negligible amount.

“It’s only a dollar, but it is still a debt and I think the Bible says something about us paying our debts,” Crawford said.

A spokeswoman for Houston Mayor Annise Parker told The Times that she plans to accept Crawford's payment after Wednesday’s City Council meeting, which was streaming online, and to thank him for setting an example for others who owe debts to the city.

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-- Molly Hennessy-Fiske in Houston

 
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Rene Lynch has been an editor and writer in Metro, Sports, Business, Calendar and Food. @ReneLynch

As an editor and reporter, Michael Muskal has covered local, national, economic and foreign issues at three newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times. @latimesmuskal


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