I LOVED road trips as a kid. It was (barring any annoyances from my older brother) uninterrupted reading and writing and play time. I'd always bring a stack of books (starting early on with Peanuts and Family Circus, moving on to Baby Sitters' Club and Judy Blume, followed by R.L. Stine and V.C. Andrews). I still have a stack of journals from road trips, documenting exhilarating details like the contents of our lunch and what unconscionable thing my brother had done that day. But perhaps my favorite part of road trips were the car games we'd play. A penny for each flag you saw, popcorn/paper bag basketball, hold your breath as you go through a tunnel, I Spy all the letters of the alphabet.
Maybe this is where my love of license plates began. The surest way to win at the alphabet game was to watch the license plates. Road signs were great for finding the R-S-T-L-N-and Es, but not so much for the Zs and Qs. For those, you sought out the license plates.
Why do license plates hold such meaning? Do they remember the stories of the passengers they carried? The stories of those who, thanks to the plates' generous selection of letters, won bragging rights for the year in the alphabet game? I still have the license plates from my first car. Minnesota CMY 950. There's no concrete reason I can find for holding on to them, but I love them.
I created every image of vintage license plates with love and a heart full of nostalgia; I hope that travels with each piece I send off into the world.