Parking ticket from 1953 sends Bradenton PD back in time

rdymond@bradenton.comJune 26, 2013 

BRADENTON -- The Bradenton Police Department has retrieved a piece of its history back through the U.S. Post Office.

A North Carolina woman going through her father's old files came across a BPD parking ticket issued 60 years ago in 1953.

The violation was for parking too long at a meter.

The family sent the red ticket to the BPD along with a note from a relative: "You all might enjoy this."

"It's been the talk of the police department all day," Bradenton Police Chief Michael Radzilowski said Tuesday. "To receive a historical artifact like this is not an everyday thing. We don't have immediate plans for it, but we will do something with it."

The BPDt has no idea if the ticket was ever paid, but Radzilowski took care of that Tuesday.

"We have voided the ticket," Radzilowski said.

Elizabeth Lynes was cleaning out some files belonging to her father, Paul Thure Brorstrom of Dania, when she found the ticket.

Why was Brorstrom -- a tomato farmer, crop duster and mechanical engineer -- in Bradenton in 1953?

"He may have had had tomato-farming business in Bradenton," Lynes said. "I wish things could talk."

The ticket is a time machine, taking anyone who reads it back to what life was like in the city of Bradenton 60 years ago, said Jacob Zaagman, BPD's park

ing and property supervisor and a 30-year veteran working for Bradenton.

"It was the honor system back then," said Zaagman, who was born 11 years after the ticket was issued. "There is no tag number on the ticket. It was simply, 'I will give you this and you will take care of it.' Back in the good old days, this is how things were done."

Zaagman estimates the parking fine would have been about 15 cents.

"Way less than a dollar," Zaagman said.

Inflation has affected Bradenton parking ticket costs drastically over 60 years. Parking too long at a meter in Bradenton city limits today will cost $15 with a late fee of $10 after 10 days, Zaagman said.

The meter probably took pennies in 1953, Zaagman guessed. Now, it takes quarters.

The 60-year-old ticket gives no hint of reprieve for those who abuse the honor system. The ticket reads: "Failure on your part to make the proper disposition of this ticket within 48 hours will result in your arrest."

Radzilowski laughed at that one.

"Now, it's a civil fine," Radzilowski said. "We don't arrest anyone for parking tickets anymore."

The ticket instructs the holder to report to police headquarters, 815 Eighth Ave. Drive.

The ticket comes with two additional mysteries.

It doesn't state where the infraction occurred. Where meters were in 1953, Zaagman doesn't know.

"Maybe the Post Office or Manatee Avenue West," he guessed. "We also don't know what the parking meters looked like back then."

One final mystery: Lynes sent the ticket to the Bradenton Police Department on Oct. 22, 2007. It landed on Radzilowski's desk Tuesday.

"I have no idea where it's been for six years," Radzilowski said. "I received it today."

Richard Dymond, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-748-0411, ext. 6686

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