Friday, October 31, 2014

He/She is #1!

It's been a long, long time since I've posted. I intended to write some book reviews for, among others, Greg Olear's novel about a day in the crazy life of a stay-at-home dad, Fathermucker; Bill See's rock and roll memoir, 33 Days: Touring in a Van, Sleeping on Floors, Chasing a Dream; and David Roberts's Devil's Gate: Brigham Young and the Great Mormon Handcart Tragedy, a riveting non-fiction book that puts into a very harsh light the man who engineered the Latter Day Saints' emigration to the Utah Territory.

I gave up on them because as much as I love reading, I don't really enjoy writing book reviews, although I've posted several here over the years.

I've put a lot of my writing energy lately into my road trip memoir, which I'll post about here in the near future. I also put some energy into launching a for-profit photography site recently (check out Dave Brigham Photography).

Other things have gotten in the way of my posting here, as well, but I don't feel the need to get into that. Finally, though, I've been inspired to revisit the old blog, breathe some life into it, with just a little nugget of interest.

This week I was driving through Needham, the next town over. Owen, as he often is these days, was riding shotgun. He was plinking around on his phone as we pulled up to a stop sign. I looked at the white pickup truck in front of us and took special notice of the license plate. I asked Owen to snap a quick pic with his phone, and he did his best. Not sure if you can see what it reads:

The plate reads:



"That's amazing!" I said to Owen. "Whose plate is that? Shouldn't the governor have that plate? Or one of our senators?"

Within 20 seconds, he'd looked up the owner of the license plate. We were like a finely tuned investigative team: wheelman and photographer/researcher.

"It belongs to a relative of Frederick Tudor," he told me, as though I was supposed to know who he was talking about, as though Frederick Tudor's name would ring as familiar a bell as "Edward Kennedy" or "David Ortiz."

I asked him who Frederick Tudor was, but Owen was back into checking flight radar on his phone, or doing Minecraft or whatever.

So today I looked up Frederick Tudor and his special license plate. Here's what I found out.

From the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles web site:

"Massachusetts first began issuing licenses and registration plates in June of 1903 as a result of Chapter 473 of the Acts of 1903. The public had until September of that year to comply with the law. The first plate, featuring the number '1' printed on it, was issued to Frederick Tudor in 1903 and is still held as an active registration by a member of his family."

How cool is that? The family has held onto the plate for 111 years! I love that the plate isn't on the governor's black Escalade, or whatever he's driven around in, or zipping around the Cape on an environmentally friendly car driven by a member of the Kennedy clan.

It's on an ordinary pickup truck. The Tudor family probably could have sold the plate and the truck to Scott Brown when he was tooling around Massachusetts in his barn coat and pickup when he ran for Senate a few years ago.

I hope the family passes that plate down for the next hundred years. Now, to find out who owns plate #2....