Well, I finally did it. I now have a personalized license plate for Sophie. Some people call them "vanity plates". Whatever you call it, I got it. On a whim I called into DMV to see if the plate was taken. Since it wasn't, I took that as a good sign.
I can't tell you why I did it. It has never even been on my radar. Even Clinton was surprised when I told him what I'd done. Maybe it was because it was Sophie's anniversary of joining the clan. I'm pretty sure it wasn't anything to do with a mid-life crisis. I mean, I'm already a dedicated rider so I didn't go buy a bike like so many do. There's no sporty convertible. The only great looking blonde hanging on my arm is Katie. I hardly find myself in need of attention. Whatever the reason, there's a shiny new plate on the back. See for yourself the results of work by the Oregon State Corrections System's finest inmates.
Now people will know who they're dealing with on the road. Will they be impressed? Will they be intimidated? Will they even notice or give a dang if they do? One thing for sure is that it will be much more difficult to remain anonymous when Sophie's parked outside a bar! I'm only joking, you realize? Of course, bikes in front of a bar aren't that humorous. Maybe I shouldn't have gone there. See what having a vanity plate does to a person?
By coincidence, I noticed another vanity plate at the hotel where the business dinner was last night. When I showed the picture to Katie she told me this one suited me a little better.
What's she trying to tell me, anyway?
Actually, the nickname itself didn't come from my own vanity. It was bestowed upon me by my oldest boy and then adopted by the rest of the kids. Here's what started it all.
There was a time when I was a very ardent follower of the "iron" discipline. The gym was a second home and I'd take the family along. One time on a bet from a state cop friend I ran a mile with Clinton perched on my shoulders. That was 19 times around the indoor track. He was probably about three years old. I remember he complained about his butt hurting and I had to talk him into a few more laps to finish things. Anyway, the statue is an art project. My oldest son, Dustin, was in middle school. He's 25 now. They were required to make a clay item, fire it, and glaze it. I had no idea what he was up to. One day he brought this thing home and presented it to me. It's fashioned after the Mr. Olympia statue. On the base is inscribed "Iron Dad".
Every father wants to be a hero to his children. How can I not bear the title proudly? My son also unwittingly gave me something to live up to in a positive way. Like all personalized plates there's a deep meaning for me that most others will never know.
So if you see me out out there with my "vanity plate" please wave. Use all your fingers and try not to laugh!
Miles and smiles,