It was early one morning when Chris Ferry of Linwood got a text message from a phone number he didn’t recognize, wishing him a happy birthday.
He replied with “who is this?”
Here’s how he said the conversation went after that:
“You don’t know me.”
“Well how did you get my number, how did you know my birthday was coming up?”
“I saw it on a billboard.”
After that last text from Nick, Ferry knew something was up, and quickly suspected his sons were responsible for this.
He was right.
Ferry’s two sons, who live in Florida, wanted to do something special for their dad’s 62nd birthday, which is on March 16.
So when it came time for his birthday, his sons, Christopher Ferry Jr., and Michael Ferry, knew they wanted to do it big for his 62nd birthday. Like, billboard big.
On Wednesday, a billboard on the side of Black Horse Pike in Atlantic City debuted featuring Ferry’s head, his phone number, and the message “WISH MY DAD HAPPY BIRTHDAY – Love, Your Sons” along with his phone number, 561-307-4879.
Since then, Ferry has received thousands of calls, from local buddies in Atlantic City and Florida, to strangers in Nepal. The father of five even changed his voicemail inbox to a thank you message to anyone calling for his birthday.
He found out his sons had created the billboard after receiving a happy birthday text from a man named Nick, nearly two weeks ahead of his birthday on March 16. Ferry Sr. demanded to know how the stranger got the number, only to find out his sons thought of the ultimate gift.
The brothers were nervous the Ventor City native could take it the wrong way and get annoyed, but he was a good sport about it, Ferry Jr. said.
“He’s enjoying it, he’s getting a kick out of it, and we live our lives to make our father proud,” Ferry Jr., 30, said. “I love him so much, so to see a smile on his face means everything.”
They shelled out $2,000 for the billboard space, which they have until April 6. While it cost them a pretty penny, Ferry said this birthday present takes the cake.
“It’s really, definitely 110 percent worth it,” he said. “I don’t think we can top this one. With the laughs we got, we could never outdo this one. And it’s not even his birthday yet.”
Make sure to call!