Earlier this week, I was working my way east on Maine Street when I managed to hit just about every red light possible.
During those stops I started noticing the creativity of some license plates, either on those vehicles I found in front of me or parked along the street.
Eventually, at about the fourth red light, I was reminded of some of those "Favorite Vanity Plates" columns I used to do -- and feel compelled to do again. (Which reminds me, there is always a bright side if you choose to see it, even in a long string of red lights.)
The following list represents a handful of the license plates I found interesting or amusing -- or some combination of both -- over the past few days.
The last time I put together such a list, back in 2017, I asked readers to email me if they saw their plates listed in this space and include the story that led to their particular choice of letters and numbers. The response was much greater than I anticipated, with all but two of the plates attracting some sort of a response.
So, if you see your plates listed here, please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My 10 favorites this week from the streets and parking lots of Quincy:
º ME LORD: This has to be a reference to the old Kris Kristofferson song, "Why Me, Lord?" ("What did I ever do, to deserve loving you?")
º S-EVAN: The more I thought I about this one, the more I liked it. I'm assuming this is a take on the driver's lucky number -- seven.
º QU HAWK 1: Just a guess here, but I'm pretty sure this car owner has something to do with Quincy University athletics.
º NATO 3: Do we have someone from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization living among us?
º TACO: Sometimes, one word simply says it all.
º JAYS 06: A Toronto Blue Jays fan, commemorating a favorite season? (For the record, the Jays finished second in the American league East in 2006.)
º JFEVA 15: Why does this make me think of the old TV show "Dance Fever," hosted by Denny Terio?
º 007 EXE: I've always been a big James Bond fan, so this one naturally caught my eye.
º KLOC DR 2: Time waits for no man.
º LVN RED 2: If this were my plate, it would have to be LVN BLUE 2. (Or would that be one too many characters?)
Illinois No. 1
º Speaking of vanity and personalized plates, Illinois leads the nation with about 1.3 million, according to published reports.
º Percentage-wise, however, Illinois is only No. 3. Virginia has the highest percentage (16.2) of its drivers with vanity plates, followed by New Hampshire (13.9) and Illinois (13.4). Texas has the lowest percentage (0.5) of plates that have been vanitized.
º Pennsylvania was the first state to authorize a vanity plate back in 1931.
º Idaho had the honor of using the first graphic on a license plate. (If you guessed a potato, you were correct.)
º The size of license plates did not become standardized until 1957.
º All but three states (Alaska, Hawaii and Oregon) have their license plates made in correctional facilities.
º New York was the first state to require vehicles to have license plates. That occurred in 1901.