Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Fine Art of License Plates

Last week I wrote about picturesque state flags.  My husband suggested a blog about license plates.

Plates have come a long way since this typical 1960s example:

Well, EXCEPT for Virginia.  Here's their current plate:

Plates are free billboards to advertise the magical bounty of a state. I'm pretty sure Virginia has history and beauty that should be on their plate. Even if they don't, they could at the very least follow Montana's example of putting their state outline for all to see (dull as it is):

Or they could do as New York and a few others do: add a teeny tiny outline of their state. Well, maybe not. That messy inkblot would never inspire a person to say, "Hey I absolutely must visit New York!"

Now for the best plates.  Hard choices . . . out of 50 state plates I would say over half of them are scenic tableaus that attractively encourage us to visit their state.

easy on the eyes, dreamy beautiful colors

you can count on Wyoming for a dynamic plate--they've featured the cowboy on his spirited bronc since time began

a little busy with the 50th seal, but towering snow-clad mountains and long-light days says: Alaska!

two colors, one graphic--Rhode Island's perky plate lets us know it is all about the sea

one of the famed arches of Southern Utah--plates never lie--Utah is a spectacular stunning state

you can almost inhale the freshness of Maine's fragrant pine forests and sweet meadows

as with their state flag, New Mexico has gone simple . . . and effective

Here's two plates with a little history:

New Hampshire's famous symbol, The Old Man of the Mountain, appears on its state quarter, license plate, route signs, etc. The mountain collapsed suddenly in 2003, devastating the folks of NH. It would be like Utah's arches crashing down, or Maine's forests burning up.

And, Oregon, My Oregon:
Not a bad plate, now. When it first came out 20-some years ago you could have heard the outcry from the bottom of Hell's Canyon.* The tree was a languid lime green, the mountains were a pale lavender-gray, and the sky was a smoggy brown.  Brown sky??  Yeah. The state didn't react fast enough to the criticism, and people took the law--and colored sharpies--into their own hands to brighten and true up the colors. The state fixed the palette. We're sort of happy with it now.

*a spectacular mile-deep canyon in NE Oregon


  1. Yeah, "smoggy brown" is not how I think of the Oregon sky! :)

  2. Why the state came up with that wacky color scheme in the first place, is beyond me . . .

  3. You didn't ask, but IF you were looking for blog topics for this year or to consider for the future, I would enjoy hearing how you met your husband (and when you two knew you were meant to be together.) Also, what was your degree in college, what kind of jobs have you held, where did you get your love of adventure and travel (were your parents this way as well?), did you serve a mission for your church, how many countries have you been in (and which are your favorite/least favorites), how do you find the locals in different countries (are you able to "stereotype" them based on the ones you met)?

    What is your birth order, and did you find you are typical of characteristics usually assigned to that number?

    I read this article today, and wondered what you could write in reverse. "Things I Could Not Believe of the World Until I Traveled So Much."

    You could also tell me what you are known for: do you have a special dish you take to potlucks that is your signature dish? do you do creative projects?

    What about names? Did your children's names have family significance or were they just ones you liked? I'm thinking of Bridget and how her children's middle names have some connection to where they were born. Anything like that for you?

    What was your most exciting find while researching your family tree? What has been the most difficult and/or disappointing search? From which country were you most successful in gaining information?

    Do you watch TV? If so, what are your favorite types of shows? Do you enjoy movies?

    Do you enjoy cooking? What are your favorite dishes to prepare? If someone took you out for supper, where would you love to go?

    You may have talked about these in the past. If so, I apologize for forgetting or not reading that long ago. These just came to mind a few minutes ago as I was unloading the dishwasher and as I started typing.


  4. By the way, I got to thinking this morning that maybe I overstepped my bounds,and came across as not enjoying the topics you chose for your blog. I didn't mean it that way at all as I really do enjoy the different topics that you come up with. It's exciting reading about crime in your neighborhood, state license plates and flags, and ice storms in Oregon. I mean that sincerely. So, please forgive me if my suggestions came across in a wrong way. I just remember how last year you shared about your conversion to Mormonism (which I enjoyed reading), so I thought IF you ever wanted to share more about such topics, well, I would like learning more about you. That's all.

    1. Whoah, Susanne, what deep thoughts you have! I tend not to dive too far into the close and personal, and that may or may not be a negative. My bias in blog posts is usually toward the observed, the world around me. You have listed some intriguing ideas so look out. We still have half the month left! Thank you for your comments.

    2. Yeah, now I remember it took you a year or two before you shared your conversion story. I respect that people don't always want to reveal these things. Some folks do, some don't. These just came to mind yesterday for some reason and I thought I'd mention them.

      I guess I'm a curious person and that's not always a good thing. But, then again, how do you get to know people without asking questions? Especially when you don't see them in real life.

      You can imagine how my Syrian friend and I got to know each other pretty fast. I was curious, and he was more than willing to have an American listen to his point of view and learn more about his religion and his culture and his people.

      I realize Americans (and many others) don't really like that though.

      So...I will enjoy whatever you decide to share about yourself - or not.

      Have a great day!

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