Gary Peacock has been to Athens, Ga., once in his life, but the Tempe resident recently discovered he has been evading the law there for 38 years.
While riffling through boxes last week at his home, Peacock discovered a $1 parking ticket issued March 16, 1965, that he never paid. At the time, he had gathered a $1 bill and a 5-cent stamp, but he forgot to mail the envelope.
As the son of an Internal Revenue Service employee, Peacock can understand the importance of a debt, even if it is almost four decades old.
"I thought I might as well go in and send it to them," Peacock said.
So the 63-year-old attached a 32-cent stamp and mailed it to the Athens Downtown Parking System along with this message: "I forgot to send this dollar back in 1965. I added a 32-cent stamp to the envelope. Sorry, Gary Peacock."
The dollar bill was a dated "Series 1963."
Parking and security director James Doster was so happy with Peacock’s honesty that he framed the ticket and dollar bill to put in his office.
"He may be 38 years late, but he does have a conscience," Doster said.
Peacock said he was in Athens to visit a clock factory owned by Westclox, the company he worked for at the time.
He said he wasn’t surprised that the ticket is still among the boxes in the home he has lived in for 11 years.
He still keeps his parents’ report cards from the 1920s.