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As members of the human race, sometimes our imperfections make us more lovable than our best attributes. I found that many people are quite happy to share their little lapses with anyone who wants to read about them on their vanity plates.

MOV OVR 1 (move over one), on a silver Chevrolet SS, tells a little about Ms. M.F. Gricius. She says, "Bottom line - Move over one 'moma' coming through". She said that this plate is appropriate and fitting for the personality and the mindset of the driver. I would suggest that if you are in the left lane and you see Ms. Gricius in your rear view mirror, you take her advice. She sounds serious.

The black 1991 Corvette belonging to twenty-four year old Dave Hartman has essentially the same message. It has the Illinois plates OTA MY WA (out of my way). Dave says it means look out, I want to get through. With that Corvette, I bet it doesn't take him long to get past.

IAML8 (I am late) says it all. Yours truly, your traveling expert, ferreted out this rare plate find on a recent trip to Cincinnati, Ohio. These Kentucky plates are on Michael Wayne Phillips' red Honda Prelude. Michael is a 22 year old who admits that nine times out of ten, if he's in the car going somewhere, he's late. It doesn't matter where he's going - his girlfriend's, work, a lunch engagement - he's probably late. He said, "Just ask anyone who knows me". He pointed out that it also explains to other people on the highway why he is driving at speeds up to mach 40!

Back in Chicago, I found ONTYME (on time) on Ed Horak's wife's white 1992 Mustang. He has ALWYSL8 (always late) on his. It seems that she is always on time, but he is always late.

FREVRL8 (forever late) is on a blue Toyota Previa belonging to Sandra Hammontree. Sandra says she too is always late...just like Ed and Michael.

WER AM I (where am I) on the Ohio plates on the 1993 black Mustang belonging to Ryan Gough tell the whole story. He said that he gets lost pretty often. He chose this license because he doesn't know where he is most of the time. I wonder if that makes him late a lot like Michael, Ed and Sandra?

Shirley's blue Ford Tempo has MIXTUP 2 (mixed up too) on her Illinois plates. Shirley said she is just as confused as everyone else. Her son has WARPT 2 (warped too) and it describes his sense of humor. Shirley said everyone needs a sense of humor to help you get through everything.

GETACLU (get a clue) is the choice of Jennifer Cozzitorto. She has it on her red Pontiac Grand Am. She said everybody kept telling her to get a clue so she put it on her license plate. A business associate of mine, Joe Proctor, found this terrific plate for us.

Twenty-one year old Tracy F. Gengler has AIRHED 7 (air head seven) on her dark purple Chevrolet Beretta Z26. She chose the plate because she thinks it's cute. She said she can be an airhead. She just admits it more that other people.

Do you remember the scene in "Mr. Mom" where Michael Keaton, who is impersonating an electrician, is asked by his wife's boss, "Is that a 220 line?". Michael Keaton, as the self-appointed, completely uninformed, expert electrician, said, "Two twenty, two twenty-one, whatever it takes." Well, that scene reminds me of the situation that I found myself in outside the Dayton Mall in Dayton, Ohio one evening.

I saw the plates FLY 749 on a white Buick Century. I said, "I'll bet that car belongs to a flight attendant on a 747". I guessed that the person had asked for FLY 747, and gotten FLY 748 or FLY 749, whatever it takes.

Not so. Catherine Wohlrab wrote to me and said that the license had no meaning whatsoever. It was given to her out of pure coincidence! Her parents were given FEY, and they would have received FLY if they were ahead of her in line. She just happened to go first and she got FLY 749.

So why, you ask, is she in the book at all? It's because we self-appointed experts are quite arbitrary and capricious, and I decided to include her story. Besides, she wrote me a nice two-page letter and she managed to come up with a connection to the license that she didn't select.

She wrote (in part):

"I was amused as well as inquisitive when I found your card on my dashboard at the Dayton Mall. At first I wondered, why would this man want to know this kind of thing? But as I thought about it, driving home, I realized that there is sociological significance to researching it.

I have never been in a book before...I received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree on June 9, 1979, and I have been a practicing Registered Nurse since then. I now work in a Convalescent Center, as it is the only type of nursing I like. ...

Interestingly ...I am terrified of flying. I flew twice in my entire life and will never fly again. I also have vivid dreams about major airline jets crashing very close to me - but I always get away soon enough not to get hurt.

I will always remember a story about a man who lived in Poland all his life and all his family moved to the U.S.A.. He wanted to move to the U.S.A. to be near his loved ones - he was not a young man. But, for years and years he was terrified of flying and would not get on a plane. After much coaxing and reassurance by his family (I think all daughters) he was finally convinced, but with reservations. It took years to be convinced to fly to the U.S.A. So when all his moving arrangements were made, he boarded a major airline jet bound for the U.S.A. The plane took off, but there was extreme trouble with the plane. The plane crashed in less than three minutes, and all aboard were killed instantly.

Good luck with your book

FLY 749
Ms. 'I'll never, ever, fly again.' "

The thirty-nine year old woman with the Nissan Maxima with DLICAT 1 (delicate one) said that she was the youngest of five children and the only girl. Of course she was a little overprotected by everyone, but especially by her father. Consequently, whenever she was teased or "roughed up" by her older brothers, they were always reminded to leave her alone, because she was delicate. As she grew older and wiser, she knew just how to get "the boys" in trouble! This has always been sort of a joke (the fact that she is so delicate) so her husband thought it appropriate that she have DLICAT 1 as her license.

Fifty year old Gay Gelman has a pearl grey 1994 Toyota Camry with HAPBDAY ("Happy birthday to me") on it.
She had a traumatic birthday when she was young. The trauma had to do with the gift of a car. The car was canceled because of a fight with her parents. She hated all her birthdays since. Then she bought her own car for her birthday. She says it was very healing.

The fifty year old woman with RELAX 40 on her burgundy Taurus said her kids are always telling her to relax. Finally she told them she would put it on her car. The forty just happened to be the next available number. That means that there are at least thirty-nine other people that either want to relax or want everyone else to relax. In this uptight world, I think that is good advice.

USOBER 2 (Are you sober too?) is on the Illinois plates belonging to Allisa. She has a 1990 white Dodge Daytona. She is twenty-seven years old and she has a hopeful message for all people. She said that after a battle with an addiction she is five-and-a-half years sober and sobriety is very important to her.

Not only does she boast her sobriety on the plate, but it's a message to all drivers. If they answer "No" to her question "Are you sober too?", then they should ask themselves what they're doing behind the wheel of an automobile.

BRAT 575 is on a 1993 Hyundai Exel that belongs to nineteen year old Margret. She said all her friends call her a "Brat"; she must not mind it. She was born on May 7, 1975, so the 575 represents her birthday.


©1994 by Dennis R. Cowhey
All rights reserved.
Library of Congress Number: 94-96301 Guest Post