Saturday, August 7, 2010

My Life On A Plate


No, I didn’t move back to Ohio right after moving to Minnesota. But since I was still covered by my parents’ car insurance, it was preferred that I have the Granada registered in Ohio. So I got the title changed and got Ohio plates. Since I wasn’t living in Ohio at the time, they sent me a set of plates that were nothing but numbers with no county code, unlike the example above.

Because Ohio was still on the cycle of renewing plates in the March-April window, these plates had a renewal sticker on it that said “75” three months into 1976. Apparently the word didn’t get around to the local constabulary in St. Louis Park, Minnesota, because one afternoon while driving home in rush hour traffic, I got pulled over by a patrol car. The officer asked for my license, registration, and insurance and wanted to know why I was driving around with expired plates. I showed him the registration that stated the plates expired in April 1976… and this was February. He was skeptical, but with a check on the registration, he let me go. He told me to get the plates renewed, but since the new plates wouldn’t even go on sale for another month, there was nothing I could do. But rather than argue with him, I nodded, smiled, and went home. Slowly.

This week’s trip to Stratford reminds me that for most of the time that I was in Minneapolis, I lived about three blocks from the original Guthrie Theatre. Built in 1963, it is, in many respects, a U.S. version of Stratford. Many of the people who were instrumental in starting the festival in Canada were present at the creation of the Guthrie, including the man the theatre is named for, Sir Tyrone Guthrie. Designer Tanya Moiseiwitsch, who helped craft the stage in Stratford, designed the stage in Minneapolis, and for years the companies shared cast and artistic companies. In 2006 the new Guthrie was built after the Walker Art Center, the leaseholder of the property, refused to extend the contract, and the original Guthrie was demolished.

In 1976 my parents bought me season tickets to the Guthrie and I saw all the shows, including some that included some of my fellow University of Minnesota theatre students. And since it was a close walk, I never had to worry about finding a parking space.

Photo by David Nicholson.

The rest of the series is here.