August License Plate Report

When July ends, I damp my expectations way, way down. Pickin’s are always slim in the last five months of the year, and in a few years they’ve been nonexistent. So spotting Nebraska! and Kansas! in the first week of August was a big wow. Two big wows. Anything was possible!

The following weeks didn’t measure up, in large part because I stayed off the roads as much as possible. The traffic was terrible. Not terrible by urban standards, of course, but our roads aren’t urban roads either. One Saturday Farmers’ Market morning the traffic coming into West Tisbury was backed up on the Edgartown Road almost all the way to the airport. That’s more than two miles, almost two and a half.

Then one afternoon the last week of the month I parked at Ocean Park to do my grocery shopping at Reliable Market. The Reliable lot is very small, so when I can’t squeeze in there I head over to Ocean Park. The four-hour spaces are almost always taken, but if I can grab one of the 15-minute slots, I can always get back to the car in time. An unusual plate caught my eye. I crossed the street to check it out. South Dakota!

Strange but true, while selling books at the Labor Day Artisans Festival, I got into a conversation with a couple who were from, I kid you not, South Dakota. I quickly ascertained that theirs wasn’t the car I spotted on Ocean Park that day. There must have been at least two South Dakota cars on the island at the same time.

Well, I’ve got hopes for the rest of the year. Not high hopes, but hopes. Utah and Nevada are definitely possible, Mississippi and Montana maybe. We’ll see.

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 August License Plate Report

  1. Wow… so THAT’S where everybody went!


  2. Wow! You are getting so close to get there. The missing ones are quite far. The western states are dealing with the wild fires, so maybe no travels plans for them. Is Mississippi a frequent state that’s missing?

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s very satisfying to see the country’s midsection filled in so nicely. Usually there’s a blank stack right up the middle, but with Kansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota it looks solid. Except for North Dakota, of course . . . Mississippi is one of the top 5 “hard to get” states. My theory is that the likelihood of spotting a state depends on the size of its population, its distance from Massachusetts, and its relative affluence. Mississippi is relatively poor, modest in size, and not exactly next door. In recent years Alabama has become more common, but not Mississippi.


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