Decades-old debt finally paid off

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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) -- A woman in Bismarck, North Dakota says a boy, who is now chief of police of the Bismarck Police Department, asked her for money more than four decades ago.

Photo courtesy: Dan Donlin

The debt was only for a dollar and Darlene Olmsted never seemed to forget. She would joke about it to her family every time Chief Dan Donlin was on TV.

After 44 years of owing her a dollar, Donlin finally paid her back.

"Paying you back the one dollar you loaned me when I was 10 years old, running around terrorizing your neighborhoods," read Olmsted off a letter Donlin wrote.

She is the mother of three boys who used to ride bikes and play ball over four decades ago with Donlin.

Her son, Mark, told Donlin about the countless times he came up in family conversations because of a debt.

"Decided it was time for me to pay that one dollar debt, so I can save Kent, Monte and Mark the headache of her bringing this up at every family gathering. It was more an act of mercy for Mark and the brothers," said Donlin.

Olmsted clearly remembers the day 44 years ago.

"He was on his bike and he came and he asked if he could have a dollar and I said sure. He took off and that was it. He didn't know why he needed the dollar. He said he probably bought candy," said Olmsted.

But there's another theory.

"Possibly to pay off the neighborhood kid to not beat me up," Olmsted reads off the letter.

Donlin paid her back this year while she was bowling in late October.

"We hugged and I told her why I was there and before I could really get out, she goes, 'This is about the dollar,'" said Donlin.

"He paid me back. Yes, I'll say, PLUS interest," said Olmsted.

Along with the letter and the dollar, she received a small badge and a $20 gift card from Donlin.

After doing the math, Donlin paid her more than double in interest for his debt with the dollar plus the gift card. If a dollar is compounded at 5 percent for 44 years, the total sum owed would be $8.78.

Donlin says at the end of the day, she deserved all of it for putting up with him and all the neighborhood kids.

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