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Saying ‘so long’ to my license plates

March 20, 2013 - Pam Rodgers

With this year’s car registration, I received brand new license plates in the mail. Apparently my plates were old enough that they needed to be replaced, and with some rust showing in certain places, I can’t say I’m surprised. Therefore I was forced retire the license plates that have been in the family since 2002.

I genuinely liked my plate number — obviously or I wouldn't have taken the time to memorize it. It’s a silly thing to reflect on, but I feel like I need to say good-bye to them. To do this properly, I will dedicate this blog to them.

Now for a brief outline my license plates "life" and the three cars to which they have been attached.

We received the plates when my dad purchased a 1998 Ford Contour for my brother as he neared his high school graduation. James used the car throughout his college career, and he eventually passed the car down to my sister and I for our college days.

We all went to Wartburg so the plates were in Waverly for a total of seven years. They were driven to many places in Iowa and some in Minnesota in that span of time. They have seen the terrain between Garwin and Waverly far too many times to count. They went through the muddy mess that was the throwing venue parking lot and survived major snow and ice storms — and that was just when I was in college.

I inherited the Contour when I graduated, but it didn’t last long. After my first few days of employment, the transmission fluid reservoir sprung a leak making it impossible to drive. Instead of fixing it right away, I looked into buy a different car.

And so began my ownership of my 2001 Buick Century. Changing the registration is really easy to do, so the plates came with me. The plates and I faithfully drove the to and from work every day. They even got some more sight seeing in when I drove to Illinois for a college friend’s wedding. (Just so you know, this is rare because I usually choose to use other people’s cars in a carpool situation and just pitch in for gas.)

After two and a half years with the Buick, I was looking to join my family’s seeming obsession with Ford Fusions. After a little switching with my sister, I acquired my current car, a 2006 Fusion. Naturally the plates came with me. By this point, they were known as mine.

After 10 years of little trauma, I subjected them to the worst fiasco of their “life” — hitting a deer. Along with the rest of my front fender, the front license plate experienced its fair share of “injury.” But the Ford garage bent it back to (mostly) normal form, and it was reattached to my car like nothing had happened.

I guess it’s a sort of fitting that a little less than two months after living through the collision, they can now be retired as a fond memory. The pack-rat in me just can’t seem to send them to the county office for proper disposal. Guess I’ll just have to figure out if they can be a decorative piece somewhere in my house. :)



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