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Turkey day message in 7 spaces?

Posted on November 15, 2013 | Comments

This Thanksgiving column message began with my first job out of college.  Really.  I worked as an account representative for a yearbook company.  I had nine salesmen with nearly 300 schools.  We used three-letter codes to track all the submitted photos and text.  Yes, this was before the digital age.  Those codes stuck with me long after I left the job, and they showed up in two other jobs—as airport codes in my travel business and on license plates when I had nothing better to do while commuting from Manhattan Beach to Orange County in 1993.  I said this went way back.

It was on one of those commutes that I noticed a license plate with numbers and the letters, MYT.  As a wordsmith, I started playing around with mighty man, mighty mouse and finally, mighty lady.  That’s how I arrived at my license plate which I have had ever since—MYTLADY.

I have a lot of fun with personalized plates.  Some are easy to read while others make me want to pull the driver over and find out what their combination of letters means.  Just the other day I saw a Range Rover with this plate:  LABS KAB.  Now given it was an SUV, was the plate referring to the vehicle as a taxi cab for Labrador Retrievers?  Or was the owner of the car someone with the initials LAB?

One of my favorite personalized plates was clear as a bell.  I was just getting on the 5 freeway north at El Toro when I found myself behind an “RV” with the license plate 47 WSTWD.  My heart started pounding at the sight of this beautifully restored, vintage “fifth wheel.”  After capturing a photo (I won’t tell you how), I easily changed lanes and gave the driver of the truck pulling the Westwind an enthusiastic thumbs up. Wonder where he was going?  What are all the stories behind those two numbers and five letters?

Ah yes, after all these years, I am still in awe of what we can say in seven spaces.   With less than a hundred words left in this column, it’s about time I got around to my Thanksgiving message.  Unlike some license plates, the inspiration behind Thanksgiving is pretty obvious. It was a time for people to come together, share a meal and express gratitude and appreciation. It wasn’t fancy back then and it doesn’t have to be any different today.  Meister Eckhart said if “thank you” is your only prayer, it is more than enough.  Hopefully my message is too: B G8FUL


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