June License Plate Report

2014 june license map

An excellent haul for June: Delaware, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Hawaii (!!), Nevada, and Utah, bringing the YTD total to 42. Nine to go — I include D.C., last colony and my onetime home, so the goal is 51.

Arkansas was at the West Tisbury post office. The top of the plate was obscured by the plate holder so I had to get really close to make sure it wasn’t Alabama. Speaking of Alabama, I’ve spotted it several times this year, on at least three different vehicles. What’s up with that?

Driving home from Oak Bluffs late one afternoon, I found myself heading toward Vineyard Haven instead of down Barnes Road. Once I realized what I was doing, I kicked myself. The Barnes Road route is a little longer in distance but usually shorter in time, especially in summer, especially during rush hour, which this was: about 4:45 p.m. Nothing to do but stop-and-start my way down the Beach Road and enjoy the view: Vineyard Haven harbor on the right, Lagoon Pond on the left, sailboats and other watercraft here, there, and everywhere.

Rolling toward Five Corners I was going slow enough to spot Oklahoma in a small parking lot. Who-whee! So that was why Malvina Forester took the Vineyard Haven route! (My car has a mind of her own.)

As it turned out, that was only part of the reason. Having made it through Five Corners, Malvina and I proceeded up State Road. The traffic coming into town was heavy, cars were backed up on the Edgartown–Vineyard Haven Road, and no one was going faster than about 15 mph. What should I see coming toward me but the distinctive rainbow plate of — Hawaii!!

More than once I’ve seen Hawaii on the front end of a vehicle but Massachusetts on the back. It’s the back end that counts, so I watched my side-view mirror as the car rolled past me. Hawaii on the back too!

That was more than enough excitement for the month, but Nevada and Utah both showed up in the last week. June was a very good month.

Of the AWOL states, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Wyoming aren’t uncommon, and most of the rest are possible. North Dakota, on the other hand . . .

Funny thing about North Dakota: Two guests joined the Sunday night writers’ group a couple of weeks ago. He’s doing research at WHOI (pronounced “who-ie”; the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, which is — you guessed it — across the water in Woods Hole). She’s working on a mystery set in and around Woods Hole. When they’re not in Woods Hole, they live in — wait for it — Fargo, North Dakota.


This is the last North Dakota plate I spotted. As you can see from the 1997 expiration date, it’s been awhile.

Be still, my beating heart. Had they brought their car over? No, their car was in North Dakota. Of course I had to explain the license plate game, and why North Dakota looms so large in it. It seems some friends of theirs from Fargo who also have a WHOI connection occasionally drive to Woods Hole. “Let me know if they ever decide to bring their car to the Vineyard,” I said.

Could the sighting of bona fide residents of North Dakota be a harbinger of things to come? Here’s hoping . . .


About Susanna J. Sturgis

Susanna edits for a living, writes to survive, and has been preoccupied with electoral politics since 2016. She just started a blog about her vintage T-shirt collection: "The T-Shirt Chronicles." Her other blogs include "From the Seasonally Occupied Territories," about being a year-round resident of Martha's Vineyard, and "Write Through It," about writing, editing, and how to keep going.
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4 Responses to June License Plate Report

  1. tyalaska says:

    I just moved here from Alaska; you’ll have a few weeks before I change to Mass plates… 😉


  2. Shirley says:

    Yesterday I saw a Tennessee plate – do you have Tennessee?


    • Yep — the eastern third of the country is solid purple. 🙂 The easternmost states that are still missing are Wisconsin (which shouldn’t be hard to find) and Mississippi (which is more of a challenge.


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