Dick Story knew something was in the air when, several days before his recent 75th birthday, when he found 15 birthday card greetings in his post office box.
The next day, there were 25 additional cards in his box. And then more than 50. By the time he celebrated his birthday on August 7, nearly 270 cards had arrived. Now the cards, mostly from the many business and real estate associates he had met and formed relationships with during his more than 50-year career, line the walls of his home office.
Little did Story know at the start of this effort that his daughter, Karen Cherry, had come up with the idea because she knew of Dick’s daily ritual of driving each morning to the Betterton (Md.) post office to check his mail. So the Howard Hughes Corp. executive asked the commercial real estate community to help flood his mailbox with birthday well-wishes.
And, since one of Story’s hobbies is stamp collecting, Cherry also requested the senders to hunt down unique offerings to add to his collection.
“I suspected something was up when the initial volley arrived, about one week before my birthday,” said Story, who worked as head of the Howard, Baltimore and Howard county economic development groups. “The real estate community responded to Karen’s request quickly and impressively, and I was humbled to read the personal messages. In addition, I received thousands of new stamps.”
He also received citations from Maryland Governor Larry Hogan and Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger, as well as several hundred well wishes via Social Media.
For many years, Story served as the “Ed McMahon” of NAIOP-Maryland, as well as master of ceremonies for numerous industry events, thanks to his quick wit and radio-friendly voice that he honed while working in the radio business, most notably at WTTR, in Westminster.
Now retired from Howard Bank, his humor remains in full display.
“Unfortunately no money arrived with the cards, but the messages received from the people that I formed relationships with were invaluable,” he said.