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Our daily lives are filled with activities that keep us busy, offer us pleasure and make life worthwhile. Many of us like to advertise which activities are our personal favorites. Sometimes it is rooting for a sports team, while other times it's a hobby or skill that we have developed.

Carol Mensinger has her message emblazoned on a dark green Toyota Camry. It is REC REE 8 (recreate) as in recreation. It seems that she is in the field of public recreation and she is promoting its concept every day.

HOMEPL8 (home plate) is a reference to the grand sport of baseball. The twenty-eight year old man who has this on his blue Oldsmobile Cutlass chose this plate when he was coaching Little League. He also cleverly used the eight to finish his word.

HWKS SK8 (Chicago Black Hawks skate) belongs to Tony, who used the eight to finish his statement, too. He has it on his maroon Pontiac Grand Am. He is a big Chicago Black Hawks Fan.

WAY NUF 8 (weigh enough eight) is on the beige Saturn belonging to twenty-nine year old Jim. He said that "way enough" or "weigh enough" is a rowing command meaning "stop the boat" or "stop rowing". When he coached crews during and after college, he often used the command "all eight way enough" or "way enough eight" when commanding an eight-oared boat.

He said that "other popular rowing license plates would be 'POWER 10' or for clever Ivy League types 'PPP' (Greek - get it?)" No Jim, frankly I don't. Perhaps our readers will.

While we are on a roll with eights, we must include XXONLO8 (two times on low 8). Bob has this plate on his Ford Explorer. He said if you shoot a perfect round of Skeet, you take two shots at Station 8, low house. He chose this license because only another Skeet Shooter would get it. He is right. Even though he explained it, I am still mystified.

SURF RON is on thirty-four year old Ron Miller's silver Toyota 4-Runner. He windsurfs. He got this nickname from a good friend, James Dean.

TK A HIKE (take a hike) is on a forest green Ford Explorer. The twenty-six year old man with this vehicle said he and his wife enjoy hiking, although I'm sure the message could be interpreted differently. His wife's plate says PLAYX 92 meaning play time ninety-two. Ninety-two is the year of her car.

STNLY CP (Stanley Cup) is owned by thirty year old Joel Arreazola. He has it on his black Mazda Protoge. He said, "The Stanley Cup is awarded to the National Hockey League Champions each year. It's something every hockey player dreams of. The plate was my idea. Hockey is a large part of my life and I wanted to let people know that. Half the fun of having a plate like this is knowing you've mystified some and made a clear connection to others. Those that don't know about hockey won't get it but those that do...".

NOMAD 10 is on Mark Weinberg's Toyota Celica GTS. He reports that when their softball team was first formed back in 1982, they didn't have a sponsor. They had no one specific bar that they would go to after the games. They would have to wander from bar to bar after every game. So, they came up with the name Nomad for the team. Mark has been playing softball for several years. The number is his jersey number on the team.

I HOOPS 2 (I hoops too) belongs to a twenty-six year old woman who is an avid basketball player. It is on her grey Ford Probe. She was a high school and collegiate player and she still plays through city and suburb park districts. I wonder if she is in one of Carol Mensinger's leagues?

Twenty-nine year old A.J. Jakubiak is a volleyball fanatic. She has I DIG 26 on her red 1990 Grand Am. She said to "dig" is to make an outstanding save of the volleyball, hit by your opponent on your side of the court, before it hits the floor. She chose it because she loves to play defense and make a save some players would think is impossible. She has had the uniform number 26 since she played softball in high school.

WRSTLE (wrestle) is on an Iowa plate. It's on a maroon Dodge Shadow. Twenty-five year old Doug Streicker, its owner, is a University of Iowa alumni wrestler. After being an All American and a member of two National Championship Teams, he is just trying to get the word out that the Iowa wrestling program is the best in the world.

WE RND (we are N.D.) is on the Missouri plates of the blue Cadillac that Terry Walsh drives. He said you can hear this cheer at every Notre Dame football game. He is a big Notre Dame fan. He has only missed about three home games since 1960. When he moved to St. Louis, Missouri in 1975 he wanted a plate that had something to do with Notre Dame. He must have submitted fifteen different choices for a license. This one was finally approved.

I'll say he is a big fan. South Bend, Indiana - where Notre Dame plays their home games - is about three hundred fifty miles from St. Louis, Missouri, where Terry has lived for the past nineteen years.

G. Roger King, on the other hand, has IM4MU (I am for MU) on his Ohio plates on his blue Mercedes 300 SD. He is for Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. He added that Miami University is in Ohio, not Florida.

BADGER 3 is on a red Pontiac Grand Am. It was a gift and it stands for a college mascot.

MCKTRK 7 (Mack truck 7) is an Illinois plate on a grey Chevrolet Blazer. The driver, seventeen year old Andy Thome, says he is a very strong defensive soccer player. His friends gave him the nickname "Mack Truck". I guess he really is strong.

Gregg Powers is bragging a little on his Illinois plate. It is on his white GMC Jimmy. It says MANY 300 and it refers to perfect bowling games that he has played. Good job, Gregg.

He knows of another plate that says MISTBY 1 (missed by one) describing its owner's 299 game.

LOST BY 1 (lost by one) on William Soo Jr.'s blue Pontiac Firebird tells the story of his bowling team, as well as his softball team. They always lose by one. His girlfriend Reanee thought of the plates because he always tells her how his team seems to lose by one run or one pin.

CHECK 18 is on nineteen year old Dominic John Carso's silver 1989 Mercury Tracer. He plays hockey. In hockey, you "check", or bump into your opponent. He was the hardest "checker" on his travel league team. Eighteen was his team number. (...and I thought it was going to have something to do with golf, or maybe even chess!)

Another young man who is not exactly timid when he plays hockey is eighteen year old Dominick Scorzo. He has
HI STKN 9 (high sticking 9) on his red 1990 Ford Probe. He said he plays hockey and he always gets penalized for high sticking the other players.

Twenty-six year old Keith Hediger has PLA HRD (play hard) on his grey Chevrolet Z24. He wanted something unique.

NITRAIN (night train) is thirty-three year old J. Daniello's nickname from his softball teammates. He has it on the Illinois plates on his Chevy Blazer. They gave him the nickname because he works nights and he runs the bases like a train.

BLK DIA on the black Nissan Altima is not a "Powerful Car" plate as I first thought. It refers to a difficult ski run called Black Diamond. It belongs to a thirty-seven year old woman, but it was her husband's idea. The whole family skis.

IBLIFTN (I be lifting) is on a blue Jeep Cherokee Limited owned by thirty-two year old Ernesto Calderon. He spends a lot of time in the gym lifting weights and he wants the world to know. I wonder if he knows DUMBEL?

If you are a sports fan and you want to show your support for your team it can get tricky or expensive sometimes.

The only way to get GO GO SOX was in a lottery. Jesse Felix is a Chicago White Sox fan. He got this plate in 1984, the first year that Illinois offered seven-letter plates. He had to enter a drawing to get them from the Secretary of State. He pointed out that "it looks good in 1993". The White Sox are Division Champs as of this writing, and their chances to go all the way look good.

We take our sports seriously in Chicago. I just read in the Inc. column in the Chicago Tribune that ten thousand Chicago Bulls license plates will go on sale in early October 1993 for $100 each. Secretary of State George Ryan hopes to raise $1,000,000 for Little City (a local home for the mentally handicapped) from the sale of the plates. Inc. said "So who gets No. 23?" "We'll find out who wants to pay more," said the ever practical Ryan. The plates will be in the Bulls' colors and will carry the team logo.

Not all sports plates cost extra or are difficult to get. I found many "garden variety" sports plates. We experts categorize "garden variety" plates as plates that anyone could buy with no surcharge or special requirements. That is, other than the normal extra cost of a vanity plate.

YES SOX4 is on a white Ford Taurus belonging to Richard Battalini. There are two broadcasters - Harrelson and Pacorick - and they have a saying whenever the team does something good - "Yesss Sox!". Richard loves the Chicago White Sox. He calls himself a diehard fan. The "4" is just there to save money.

Michael McDonald submitted two plates. He has PACFAN (Green Bay Packers fan) on his Honda Civic and MLBWSOX (Major League Baseball White Sox) on his white Ford Escort. He likes the PACFAN because of the rivalry between the Chicago Bears and the Green Bay Packers. He is a true White Sox fan. He tried for the plate CUBSTNK (Cubs stink), but it was taken.

BEAR DWN (Bear down) is on a white Camaro Z28 that a twenty-eight year old woman drives. She said it stands for the Chicago Bears football team fight song, "Bear Down Chicago Bears".

CUBS 22 is on a blue Ford Mustang. The forty-five year old man who has this plate said it is in honor of his favorite team and his favorite player. The Chicago Cubs are his favorite team. Bill Buckner, his favorite player, played with the Cubs from 1977 to 1984.

CUBPWR 4 (Cub Power 4) is on Dipesh Patel's red Plymouth Laser. He is a diehard Cub fan. He said that over the years they have had a powerful batting lineup. A few years ago he had four favorite hitters from the Cubs. The 4 represented his four favorite hitters. They were Andre Dawson, Mark Grace, Ryne Sandberg and Shawn Dunston. Now that Dawson is gone, he loves Sammy Susa.

CHI BLS 3 (Chicago Bulls 3) is on an '88 Dodge Shadow. J. Anderson said she chose this plate because she is a big Bulls fan, and the Bulls won their third championship last season. Her boyfriend has CHI BLS 2 (Chicago Bulls 2). I wonder where she got the idea for her license?

BLZ WIN 3 (Bulls win three) is on a 1993 black Grand Am. The thirty-two year old woman with this plate said this is in honor of their three championships. Her husband's plate is ILVDBLZ (I love "da Bulls"). They are both huge Bulls fans.

DAA BULS is on twenty year old Bob Sieverding's blue Buick Regal. He got them after the Bulls won their first championship.

BK HWK 24 (Black Hawks 24) is on Dan's black Chevrolet Camaro. He said it is for the Chicago Black Hawks and for Doug Wilson, former number 24, who isn't around anymore. Doug Wilson was Dan's favorite player. He played defense. Dan played defense and his number was also 24 on any team he played on.

MTL BSBL (Montreal Baseball) is on the blue Acura Legend that Alan drives. He said that hope springs eternal for the Montreal Expos.

LA FAN 13 (Los Angeles sports fan)...When I saw this on Tim Schumacher's black Chevy Cavalier, I knew what it meant. I'm still perplexed as to whether to classify it as a pastime or a passion though.

Tim says, "Los Angeles...Raiders, Dodgers, Kings and Lakers. I feel I am the number one L.A. sports fan living in Illinois." Then he went on to say, "It was my idea made possible when I found out it would only cost eleven dollars if there was a number at the end. I wanted number one (#1 fan) or nine (my favorite number) or 13 (my birthdate)." He had to settle for number thirteen - so, while he may be the number one fan, he certainly wasn't the first to think of the plate.

The reason I'm perplexed as to how to classify his plate is because he said that he did see a plate that said BEAT LA. When he saw that he wanted to sideswipe the car. Sounds a little on the passionate side to me.

My son, Dennis, reported on a plate that is not attached to any vehicle. He is a skydiver and he frequents Phoenix Skydiving, Inc. in Hinckley, Illinois. There, attached to the wall of the hangar, is an Illinois plate that says WUFFO. It is a skydiver joke. At the "drop zone", they say there are two kinds of people: those who jump out of the planes and those who wonder what possesses them to jump out of planes. The latter are called "Wuffos", i.e. "Wuffo (what for) you jump out of a perfectly good airplane?"

JUVE 23 is on an Illinois plate in a silver Dodge Caravan. It belongs to Sal Meschino. He said it is short for Juventus, the most loved soccer team in Italy. Twenty-three will be the next number of the championship won by the team. Juventus is for soccer what the Cowboys are for football and he has been a loyal fan all his life, and he still is.

FLYHAF 1 (flyhalf one) is on a black Acura Integra. This is the name of a position in the sport of Rugby. It is similar to a quarterback in football. The thirty-three year old woman who has this plate plays this position for the Chicago Rugby Club. She has played Rugby since she was seventeen years old. She likes the name Flyhalf . She also plays for the Women's National Team and has been ranked number one in that position. People ask her what it means all the time.

Bob Harris, formerly a defensive back on the New York Giants (1969 and 1970) has X JOCK 48 on his plates. He has a simple reason - ego.

Joe Unger, one of my employees (at my day job) found HOAL IN 1 (hole in one) on a grey Mercury Sable. Twenty-six year old Dave Walker reports that his wife thought of this plate. He said he plays lots of golf. He was pretty sure that he had already seen HOLE IN 1 on someone's license, so he asked for the unusual spelling to be sure he would get it.

I SLICE 3 (I slice three) isn't a pizza reference, of course. It's Dean Clause's complaint to the world about his golf game. He generally hits a slice. He has the plate on his red Toyota Celica.

Another golf entry is TEEUP 27. It's on a black Jeep Cherokee. Jerry Anderson said he believes that you should play twenty-seven holes of golf instead of eighteen.

IM REDI 2 (I'm ready too) is on George Babich's black Chrysler Le Baron. He said everyone always used to say are you ready to get out of here and play golf? His answer was "I'm ready, too".

Tom Nading has achieved a multi-dimensional effect in the hidden meanings on his license. He has the plate PAR TN 1 on his black Lexus LS400. Par is for golf; T.N. are his initials; and if you put it all together it says "partying one". Very clever.

TRVLRS 3 (travelers three) is on a white Ford Explorer belonging to a young woman who likes to travel. There are three people in her family. She adds that her husband is the real traveler in their family and their other car has FQTFLY1 for frequent flyer one.

WRK DVR1 (wreck diver) is on a gold Honda Accord. It belongs to a forty-nine year old man who scuba dives shipwrecks.

While we are in the water let's look at NAUTKL1 (nautical one). It is on Chris's Hyundai Excel. She chose it because of her love for water sports, boating, etc.

We use our license plates to brag about our skills or capabilities. In Cincinnati, Ohio, I found DR CUE on a black Pontiac GTA parked outside of a pool hall. As a pool player myself, I assumed that Dr. Cue was probably hinting to us about his prowess on the nine foot green table. I was pleased to find out that I was right...

Kelly Simpson, (no relation to Bart) said, "I'm a pool player. When I play, when I am on the table I operate like a surgeon, 'precision'. I tell people I have my PhD in 8-ball". He tries to be overconfident in his game. He feels that a license like his can sometimes help to intimidate his opponents. He said he never saw another license even remotely like it.

Speaking of sports "doctors", [DRC2]DR NHL 1 on the red Ford Explorer is thirty-eight year old Robert Livingston's pride and joy. He is such an avid hockey fan, historian and statistician that his friends call him Dr. NHL. He knows everything about the game. His friends also call him Dr. Livingston (no explanation needed). He says the one represents the fact that he is the number one fan.

"Dr. NHL" has a friend who likes the Blackhawk goalie, Ed Bell. Her plate is EDBELL 4.

WAVRNR 1 (Waverunner 1) is on a white Ford Escort. The owner said she has a Yamaha Waverunner, which is a personal watercraft. She chose the plate because she owns and tows the Waverunner. She ought to talk to Yamaha about getting paid for her endorsement, don't you think?

Christine Perry, on the other hand, plays the cello and she has CELLIST on her white Honda Accord. Her husband gave her the plates for her 42nd birthday.

I SEW TOO is on Elaine Scott's blue 1993 Dodge Dynasty. Her hobby is sewing. She loves to sew her own clothes. She even does a little sewing for others for their special occasions.

I was sure BDWSR 11 (Budweiser eleven) was a beer plate. To my surprise, the twenty-eight year old woman that has this on her white Mercury Cougar is expressing her interest in her favorite Indy driver. She said Scott Pruett, her favorite driver, doesn't drive the car anymore. However, there is a car in the NASCAR Series driven by Bill Elliot who drives Budweiser 11, so she kept it.

CART FAN (Champion Auto Racing Teams fan) is on the Illinois plates of a white Lincoln Mark III that Alice Somodji drives. CART is an acronym for Champion Auto Racing Teams. The Indy Car World Series used to be known as CART. She and her husband are big Indy Car fans. She chose this license because they love auto racing. The Indy is her favorite. It was her idea and her husband liked it too.

When I saw PEPSI 4 on fifty-one year old Sue Heckelsmiller's white Nissan Maxima, I was sure that it was going to fall into the "Professions" category, and it was going to belong to a Pepsi salesperson of some type. Wrong!

Actually, Sue loves to drink Pepsi-Cola. She even collects anything old or new that has anything to do with Pepsi. She and her husband Larry tried to get PEPSI, but it was taken so they asked for the next available number. It turned out to be number four, so she points out that there must be at least four others. By the way, the Heckelsmillers also belong to the Pepsi-Cola Collector's Club.

Speaking of collectors...


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