1936 Oklahoma License Plate ~ 1 page fiction (short story)

Oklahoma 1936 License Plate #134-651      By John Bolton

I was made in late 1935 in the Oklahoma State Prison at Mc Alester. I was black with yellow letters. I was issued in Goodland County in 1936 and bolted on the rear of a gray and black 31' Ford coupe with a rumble seat. I couldn't see where we were going, but when the dust wasn't too bad, I could see where we'd been.

The Ford belonged to Gibson. He had a place in the country with hogs and cattle and he ran the Texaco station in Corley. The Ford's rumble seat was fun. Little kids rode back there and laughed and sang songs and waved at people. I saw a lot Goodland County and once made a trip to Tulsa. That was a big town. The Ford had two flat tires on that trip and Gibson was angry.

My time on the Ford went too fast. Gibson nailed me under the eaves on the cow shed. There wasn't much to see but the weather, the livestock, birds and wild animals. I hung there a long time. The sun peeled my paint and the damp put rust on me. Every year or two a newer license plate was nailed on the wall with me.

51' was the last to join us. We hung there until the cow shed caved in. A man came along with a hammer and pry bar. He saved what wood that he could and put every license plate but me into a cardboard box. He held me and looked at me and I knew he thought I was in bad shape. Then he threw me in with the others.

We went to a store with all kinds of old things. People would pick me up and look at me and then put me back in the box. Most of the other plates left with people. One day a man picked me up and scraped my rust with his thumb nail. I was still solid, just missing my paint and rusty. That man bought me and we took a long ride to a place called Nebraska.

One day that man took me to a cabin along a big river. I later heard people calling it the Missouri. I was given to a man named Patrick. I hoped he would put me on a car, but no, he put me on a shelf . I saw deer and turkey on the far side of the river and many ducks, geese, eagles and other birds. On hot summer days, there were boaters and big boats pushing barges. Patrick would look at some of the boaters with binoculars.

Pat would come in and work with tools. I saw him cut a hole in a Nebraska license plate and mount it on a stick and box thing. Pretty soon, he was making music on the stick, box and plate. If it weren't for the hole he cut, I thought that would be a good purpose for me. I liked the music.

One day Patrick took me to a bucket of soapy water and scrubbed me. He had a process to make me look good and to preserve me. He put me on a guitar, but he didn't cut a hole in me. He did drill a few small holes and mount something on me that I later heard called an Elmar. Then he made music on me and got a big grin on his face. I felt happy and useful.  Pat put a label on the stick that read 'Maddog Guitars'.

I had a new purpose and I hoped Patrick and I were going to make a lot of music. But no, I hung from a hook with lots of other guitars. One day a man with long hair came and talked with Patrick and sampled guitars. Pat called him Justin. Justin picked me up, plugged me in and played. Wow. Patrick is good, but Justin is a wizard. I was sad when he put me back down.

The next day, Patrick and Justin came back. Justin played me again and three of the others. Then he and Patrick shook hands and carried me out to a small motor home with North Carolina license plates. A pretty lady named Nikki was there too. Justin put me inside on a cushion and we drove away.

Now I live with Justin and Nikki. We travel all over in the Gypsy van camper and Justin plays music on me in front of lots of happy people. I have to say, I really like where I am in life right now.

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Comment by Uncle John on January 14, 2017 at 8:52am

Thanks, Kigar.   I kind of wish now that there had been no holes drilled.  But using an Elmar pickup is pretty cool and I see in the 'Likes' that Elmar himself clicked 'like'.

Thanks, Derek.   A new license to live~ !   Pretty good.

Comment by Derek Rose on January 13, 2017 at 10:51pm

Love the story John! And appreciate he didn't get any piercings and received a new license to live! :)

Comment by Kigar on January 13, 2017 at 9:54pm

Another good story, Unc. I feel the same as that plate, I hate to cut a hole in them, haven't yet.  Maybe that way after the guitar falls apart one day there can be another story.

Comment by Uncle John on January 13, 2017 at 1:57pm

Thanks, Andries and James O.   Yup,  that plate could have a lot more good years. 

Comment by James O Lunsford on January 13, 2017 at 1:34pm

Well now that plate found a good home indeed a Happy ending  loved it

Comment by A.D.EKER on January 13, 2017 at 11:50am

Mighty fine angle to site the story from John, it brought a smile to my face, you tell a fine story, it whoed not misfit on a leaflet of the MadDog, or a Albumcover from the Wizard! you let a dead thing live! you genius you!  More where that came from ! Greeeeeetsszzz A.D. 

Comment by Uncle John on January 13, 2017 at 9:42am

THAT is a gypsy van, Erasmo.

You are too kind, PIck and Gary.  But my hopes are up and my goals are set.   Gonna try to do a collection.  

Me too, Be.  Some old things, it seems like they may have seen a lot.

Comment by bemuzic on January 13, 2017 at 8:59am

love it!! When I find an object I often wish I could know it's whole back story....

Comment by gary herget on January 12, 2017 at 10:44pm

You should put together a collection of your stories and put them in a book. I would definitely buy one or two!

Comment by the anonymous pick on January 12, 2017 at 6:24pm

You  sir , have  found your calling  , i  hope you pursue  the writing / story telling  links another member sent you  .  this  is  gold . ;-)

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