Our first Steez Drop happened on December 1, 2013. While driving across the Upper Peninsula we stopped in downtown Marquette, carefully picked a location, and dropped an Upper Peninsula hoodie on a bench with a note, “Finders keepers”. 22 minutes later it was gone. Since then we’ve had fun making drops from Ironwood to Mackinac Island, giving back to customers, fans, tourists, and a few random passerbys with packages of Steez. We always include a hoodie or sweatshirt, t-shirt, and a random assortment of other goodies. But on July 5th, we were caught entirely off guard.
We were on our way back from the annual Mackinac Island Stone Skipping Tournament. It was time to make our first Steez Drop in St. Ignace. That morning we made our way down to the boardwalk scouting out a few places to make the drop. This one came complete with mosquitos! The package was dropped along the fence and behind a small bush. The waiting game began.
It’s customary to stake out the location and wait for the lucky person to pick up the Steez. It gives us an excuse to meet some new people, say thank you, and snap a photo of the winners. As you can see, it typically takes only about 20 minutes for someone to either stumble across it or rush to the location.
We’ve seen people dash through the snow, run to the location, and others who were just two minutes too late. On this particular occasion in St. Ignace it took approximately 19 minutes. It was Lucy who spotted the package while on her morning run. I was able to stop her for a photo, and this where things got interesting.
We like to get the first names of the lucky winners to follow up on social media. But this particular time Lucy volunteered her last name – Evashevski. My jaw nearly hit the floor, errr boardwalk. For most of my life there has been just one family name I’ve known well, the Evashevskis.
Shocked at the odds, I asked, “Do you know Michael Evashevski?”
“He’s my son!”
At this point there was elation, jumping, and probably a high-pitched shriek (from me, not Lucy). Michael has been a close friend of mine since meeting at Camp Michigamme when we were about 10 years old. My first year there, scared and homesick, it was his brother Forest who befriended me right away. Every summer since then we looked forward to spending a week together, and seeing each other sometime throughout the year if we were lucky.
Lucy followed up, “Meet us at end of the boardwalk, Michael will be there in 10 minutes, he just got back from NYC last night.”
“Are you kidding me?!” I’m a numbers guy, and the sheer odds seemed unbelievable.
Here is a close friend I hadn’t seen since 2007, and I could hardly comprehend the chance that his mother would stumble across a random package I left behind a bush. So we (my parents and I), surprised Michael at the end of the boardwalk. Michael was full of confusion, his mother did an awesome job of keeping the surprise until we arrived. He had been back in St. Ignace no longer than 12 hours, where he came straight from Isle Royale, a visit to Camp Michigamme, and on his way to a new career in San Francisco.
With each Steez Drop has been a new adventure, a lot of fun and smiles have been shared. But never did we imagine that someone I know, or an old friend, would stumble across one of these random drops. It was exhilarating and remarkable. If Lucy hadn’t mentioned her last name, a moment of happenstance would have been just that close, and nobody would have ever known. Makes us wonder, how many times have these moments been near misses?
I have a theory that when we lead active lives like little electrons moving all around, we’re more likely to have this amazing coincidences. So get out there, keep exploring, and say hit to a few strangers.
We’re inspired to make many more drops across the Upper Peninsula. You can now subscribe via text message to receive a hint and photo of the latest Drop. Subscribe today for a chance to get your Steez Drop, or text “Drops” to (906) 629-0039. See you out there!
Check out Michael and Forest’s design work at Roo Kee Roo and send them a nice comment.