August 20, 2020 – Dick Story knew something was in the air when, several days before turning 75 years of age, he found 15 birthday cards in his post office box. The next day, there were 25 additional ones waiting for him. And then more than 50. By the time he celebrated his birthday on August 7, nearly 270 cards had arrived, mostly from the many business and real estate associates he had met and formed relationships with during his more than 50-year career.

Little did he know at the start that his daughter, Karen Cherry, had hatched the idea because she knew of Dick’s ritual of driving to the charming Betterton, Maryland post office each morning to check his mail. So, the Howard Hughes Corporation executive asked the real estate business community to help flood Dick’s mailbox with birthday well wishes. Because one of Dick’s hobbies is stamp collecting, she also requested the senders to hunt down exotic and unique stamps to add to his collection.

“I suspected something was up when the initial volley arrived about one week before my birthday,” explained Story, who worked as head of the Baltimore, Carroll and Howard counties’ 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 functioned as the “Ed McMahon” of NAIOP Maryland with his role as Master of Ceremonies for numerous industry events, thanks to his quick wit and booming voice that he honed while working for several radio stations.

Now retired from his position with 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 added.