2004 - Volume #28, Issue #5, Page #22[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
License Plate "Forest"
He and his wife, Jean, collected many of the plates while exploring North America in a motor home, their winter pastime. Others have been sent to them by fellow travelers.
The license plate that got Hammel started on this hobby was from his very first car, a 1957 Chevrolet that he bought in 1958.
Displayed on a hillside above Hammel's convenience store/gas station, the collection makes a popular point of interest for customers and passers by.
Hammel's forest consists of 14 and 16-ft. posts.
His inspiration to erect the forest came from a similar idea û the famous Sign Post Forest in Watson Lake, Yukon, where Alaskan Highway travelers stop to post "we-were-here" messages.
Much of Hammel's enjoyment of license plate collecting comes from the variety of artwork and endless color combinations used to make each one unique.
"I think the most attractive one is from Alaska because of the bear on it," he says.
He also loves meeting new people on the road, often trading one of his many surplus West Virginia plates for something he doesn't yet have, and then adding it to the forest upon returning home. He and Jean actively seek out-of-the-way salvage yards in their travels, hoping for some exciting finds.
Hammel enjoys showing people around the forest, pointing out the highlights.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Fred Hammel, R.D. 4, Box 379, Cameron, W. Va. 26033 (ph 304 845-0437; email: email@example.com).
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