In my October 23 post about my license plate project I wrote that I was satisfied with having seen 49 out of 50 state license plates.
I also mentioned that perhaps I’d have to go to California to see a car with a Hawaii license plate, the last one on my list. But now that won’t be necessary. Let me explain.
Today on my way to church.I stopped at the Shell Station on Main Street about a mile from my house. It’s the place where I usually pick up the Sunday edition of the local newspaper.
I pulled in and parked to the left of the pumps; perpendicular to the bagged ice storage unit. That’s when I saw a red Mitsubishi Eclipse (very similar to the one pictured at the beginning of this post) sitting next to the pump closest to the store. As had become my habit, I looked at the license plate on the back of the vehicle. It read “Hawaii”.
My heart skipped a beat. I couldn’t believe my eyes. That was the last state license plate I needed to find to really complete my license project. I checked again and sure enough. I wasn’t dreaming.
I was so excited. I looked around to see if anyone was in the car. I just had to tell whoever it belonged to what seeing their license plate meant to me.
The driver was a woman in the car by herself. She looked like she was counting money and talking on a cell phone at that same time. I probably should have just left it alone but I couldn’t help myself. I knocked on the hood on the passenger side as I crossed over in front of the car to the driver’s side.
As I got to her door the woman opened it, put the cash she was counting on the passenger’s seat (from what I saw they were just $1 bills) and ended her phone call. It was at that point that I stepped outside my enthusiasm and realized just how “creepy” I must have seemed to her.
Realizing this I began to be apologetic and reassuring at the same time. I quickly said I was sorry for interrupting her. She said it was okay she was just talking to her dad.
I then told her why I was bothering her. I told her “thank you” for bringing her car over from “the big island.” I never would have ever thought I'd see a Hawaii plate in Kentucky.
After I had explained myself a bit and told her why I had approached her she became a little less guarded. She told me that when she first moved to Hawaii from Kentucky she took her car with her then as well. She said that the people in Hawaii were amazed by the her Kentucky plate. They were even taking pictures of it.
Well I thanked her once again for bringing a Hawaii license plate to Smiths Grove ; then apologized one final time for being so forward and sounding kind of strange. I then went in to get my newspaper.
In the time since my last post about my project I did find out from my friend in California that it was possible to see a Hawaii plate in California. All I could do was hope that someday I could get out west to look for one. Little did I know that a Hawaii license plate would practically come to my door step on the back bumper of a Mitsubishi Eclipse. Talk about serendipity.
So even though it came as a complete surprise, now my License Plate Project is officially and completely finished. In a little over 4 years I have seen license plates from each of the 50 states. If for some reason my dad happens to be looking down from heaven today. I know he is smiling.