For more than a decade, Detroit's Celebrity Car Wash has been known for the uplifting messages on its sign at 8651 Woodward Ave., so it's no surprise that it's stepped up during the coronavirus pandemic, the viral outbreak which has caused mass disruptions around the world.
This week, the sign has a simple reminder: "This too shall pass." Originally a Persian adage, the phrase was popularized in English by the poet Edward FitzGerald and President Abraham Lincoln. It comes from a fable about a king who asked his sages to create a ring that will make him happy when he is sad. The sages had a ring inscribed with this message.
The man behind the words of wisdom at Celebrity Car Wash is owner Julian Hill, who bought the building about 20 years ago. He told Metro Times in 2015 that he started putting spiritual messages on the sign after he went through a tough time in his life:
I was going through this very dysfunctional relationship. And that was the first time I changed the sign. I was so fed up with what was going on that I put on the board, "Love and insanity are closely related." Something like that. And then my friend, who's married, he was just like, "Man, I had to stop on Woodward and literally just think about that for a minute. You are so right!" And then when I went through challenges, I would just put up things that gave me strength and hope and inspiration. I just realized that it did more to inspire other people, and, at the same time, it really increased business, because people were so drawn to the messages.
I think that we all need inspiration, and I think that we all have challenging times. I think that even a billboard once in a while saying you are loved, I think we all need to know that, to feel and understand that. This world can be so lonely, and it can be so challenging. We need inspiration and support from as many people as are willing to give it. That's kind of where it all kind of stems from. If I'm feeling a certain way or I need something, I'll change it. And that's just how it kind of works.
Stay safe out there, Detroit.
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