Sunday, January 1, 2017

For the Past 37 Years, the Droz Family Has Taken a Picture in Front of a Numbered Highway Sign for Their Annual Holiday Card

Well, that takes a lot of motivation. I can't even get motivated to mail out holiday cards at all.

At WSJ, "Every Year, the Droz Family Scours America for the Best Road Sign to Make the Perfect New Year Card":

Dan Droz went for a drive one day last month. He stopped near rural Carlisle, Pa., about three hours from his Pittsburgh home, at his destination.

The junction of Route 17 had been on his radar for a while. Mr. Droz wanted a picture in this particular location this year, and only this year, for his annual holiday card.

Every year for almost four decades, like millions of families around the world, the Drozes mail a holiday card to hundreds of their friends. That’s where the similarities between their card and other cards end.

Their card isn’t a Christmas card or a Hanukkah card. It isn’t even really a holiday card. They call it a New Year’s card.

It’s what’s on their card that makes it curious. The Droz clan’s New Year’s card is more than a mere family portrait. It’s a family portrait underneath a sign that represents the road junction that corresponds with the coming year—like Route 17 for 2017.

Their epic pursuit of the perfect card requires years of scouting, months of planning and hours of driving. For many years it forced them to wake up at 6 a.m. the morning after Thanksgiving. It has taken the Drozes to several states, one town called Eighty Four, Pa., and a few places where they should not have been.

Their quests began in 1979, when Mr. Droz was a single father with a young daughter, Lani. He picked a spot near the intersection of Interstates 79 and 80 where signs for both roads could be in one shot. They were soon apprehended by a skeptical cop with a sensible question: Why are you stopped by this seemingly random sign on the side of the road?

“We’ve had to explain that many times,” Mr. Droz said.

It wasn’t long before there was another problem. The people on his mailing list weren’t used to receiving this type of card. They had the same question as the unsuspecting police officer: What exactly is this?

Mr. Droz, who runs his own marketing agency, made sure there was less confusion the next year. He chose a convenient intersection of Interstate 80 and Interstate 81 and replaced the words on the I-81 sign with “New Year” to help his friends understand why he was waving from a busy highway. “I’ve made it more vérité since then,” he said.

That card worked in ways he never could have imagined. At a holiday party, Mr. Droz happened to meet a woman named Cathy, who worked as a producer for “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.” He called her for dinner but never heard back. He called her again about a drink—still nothing.

And then he tried one last trick: He sent her his New Year’s card. She responded by sending back a postcard with Fred Rogers’ face.

“Nice card,” she wrote. “Let’s get together.”

They were married by the time the next card was sent.

Ms. Droz made her debut in the 1982 card. She also gave Mr. Droz a white sweater as a gift that has survived the elements—and ketchup stains—and appeared in every card since. They had three more children who have been in the New Year’s cards from the years they were born...

These people are more than nerds. They're full on geeks, but obviously the lovable kind. Ben Droz, whose tweet is posted above is "a hemp lobbyist and event photographer in Washington, D.C., who also runs a hemp bolo-tie business."

See what a mean, lol?