Like a daily Detroit fortune cookie, a Woodward Avenue car wash's message board has for years offered succinct messages of advice and wisdom to passersby.
This week, amid a crushing Christmas covid surge in which many could use an uplift, the man behind messages like "Design Your Life" and "Let Go Let God" shared his inspiration with the Free Press.
Julian Hill, the owner of Celebrity Car Wash & Detail Center, says the two-sided message board is designed to connect with people who need hope.
“I post the messages for that mother or father that may be raising their children alone, or for the parents that are worried about their children’s education,” Hill explained. “... I try to think about what people in our area are thinking about as they are driving or walking, and then post a message that people can feel. I never did this for any notoriety, but we all need to do a better job of connecting with people, and this is how I try to do that.”
Proof of how impactful Hill’s messages can be appeared just minutes after “Trusting God’s Plan” went up on the message board, as 65-year-old Detroiter Sharon Hicks pulled up on the curb in front.
“I have been taking pictures of his signs for five years since I came back home, and he always has words of encouragement on there and I put them up on my Facebook page,” said Hicks. “I’ve always wanted to meet him because that little bitty thing he is doing gives so much encouragement and I’m not the only one who has noticed.”
Other messages Hill has posted in the 18 years since he began populating the marquee include:
Prioritize Your Peace
Trusting God’s Plan
Be a Servant
Let Go Let God
This Too Shall Pass
Get up Show up Prayer
Are Your Words True?
Sowing and Reaping
Design your Life
Harbor No Hate
RIP J Dingell