5th Annual Puget Sound License Plate Meet

Everett, Washington: Saturday, April 19, 2003

About 50 collectors turned out to attend the fifth annual Puget Sound license plate meet at the Everett Labor Temple in Everett, Washington, on Saturday, April 19, 2003. Everyone seemed to enjoy the six hours of fellowship and plate swapping, and we're already looking forward to the next event in the area, which Paul Petrinovich will host in Hoquiam, Washington on October 4.

Most attendees were from Washington, but British Columbia and Oregon were also well-represented, as usual. Special thanks to Earl and Dorothy Jenson, and Gale Miller, all from Montana, who drove over to join in the fun. The long-distance award was presented to Joe Koehler (from North Dakota/Manitoba) who managed to make it all the way to Washington following his visit the previous weekend to the Albuquerque, New Mexico plate meet. Thanks to everyone who came.

Here are some photographs taken during the meet. We hope to see you at another event soon!

About half of the attendees were present for the afternoon group photo outside the Everett Labor Temple, 2812 Lombard Ave. (click photo to enlarge)

Tim Herman pauses from looking at plates just inside the main door of the Labor Temple. Due to space constraints, a couple of collectors had to set up in the long hallway leading from the street to the main meeting hall. (click photo to enlarge)

Gale Miller of Ronan, Montana explores some boxes in the hallway. (click photo to enlarge)
Activity in the main trading hall around 10:00 a.m.
Another view of the action.
Jim Dowell of Spokane, WA (baseball cap) chats with Alan Betts of Portland, OR (plaid shirt) at Alan's table.
Matt Klahn of Portland, OR flips carefully through some of Jack Hanson's (Bellingham, WA) plates.
Dave Hollins of Surrey, BC sorts through one of the dozens of boxes of plates brought by Roger Lang of Dayville, OR.
Dorothy Jenson passes the time with a newspaper while husband Earl (Polson, MT) talks to Alan Betts on Saturday afternoon.
(click photo to enlarge)
There were many outstanding displays at the meet competing for several awards. Ted Fellows of Seattle, WA took home three awards, including People's Choice (Best of Show), for his excellent assortment of older Washington exempt license plates. Earl Jenson was recognized with two awards, including Best Special Theme display, for his Montana type set. Pete Madsen's two varieties of 1937 Washington sample plates were quite popular with voters, as was Paul Petrinovich's large board showcasing nearly all of the categories of 1987-1998 Washington State Patrol plates. Somehow I missed getting a photo of Paul's display, but it is definitely something to see. Thanks to everyone who took the time to bring displays, a few of which are pictured here.

Ted Fellows' display of Washington exempt plates. (click photo to enlarge)
Earl Jenson brought this very nice type set all the way from Polson, Montana.
(click photo to enlarge)

Pete Madsen showed us these two varieties of 1937 Washington passenger sample plates. Aside from the differences in spacing and numbering, note the different "WASHINGTON 1937" dies used. Nearly all passenger plates issued in 1937 used the state name/date style shown at the bottom, rather than the one shown at the top.
(click photo to enlarge)
During the awards presentation after the donation auction, Pete Madsen addressed the crowd to recognize a particular member in attendance for his role as a "pioneer" in the license plate collecting hobby, Al Clausen. Pete and Al both joined ALPCA in 1956 and received membership numbers 126 and 127, respectively. On receiving his first newsletter after joining the club, Pete was astonished to discover that there was another collector in Washington, and promptly wrote to Al. The first time they met, in 1956, Pete recalled, "I was sixteen, and Al [then 48] seemed like he was a hundred and thirty three ... Al's been collecting plates longer than most of us have been alive, and was saving plates and even getting special numbers reserved for use on his car as early as the 1940s ... I'm sure he still has all those plates, and their original envelopes." Al is 94 now, and we were very glad he was able to join us for this year's meet. He brought a few plates to sell and went home with several new ones, too. We were proud to recognize him with an award for his role as a pioneer in the hobby and for his longevity.
Pete Madsen of Olalla, WA (ALPCA #126) presents the "Pioneer Award" to Al Clausen of Bellingham, WA (ALPCA #127). Both gentlemen have been members of the club for 47 years.
(click photo to enlarge)

On Saturday afternoon, Jeff Anders showed us his new website, PlateTrading.com.
(click photo to enlarge)
Gale Miller of Ronan, MT (left) talks with Al Clausen of Bellingham, WA.
(click photo to enlarge)

Time to go home... Fred Prinzing of Everett, WA helps Mike Sells (with vacuum, also of Everett) clean off a table. In the background, Alan Betts looks on as Mike Meyers of Winthrop, WA (kneeling) packs up some plates.
(click photo to enlarge)
Some terrific plates turned up at the meet. This "United States Exempt" plate went home with Alan Betts. Its exact usage is uncertain, but later plates of a similar type were used on some border patrol vehicles.

I managed to pick up some good items for my collection, as well. The top item is an early Washington trailer plate, indicated by the "C" letter designator. The lower plate was for a stage (bus).
Paul Petrinovich of Hoquiam, WA was offering a couple of nice state exempt plates with an unusual "exempt" sticker that the state used for two or three years around 1970-1972.

All material © 2003 by Ian Slade.
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