CHICAGO - A Chicago man went all out on a massive message to his girlfriend working on the 37th floor of a skyscraper: "MARRY ME."
Bob Lempa had big plans for Valentine's Day this year; specifically, he wanted to propose to his girlfriend Peggy Baker with a message she could see from her office window in the Blue Cross Blue Shield building.
A WGN-TV reporter noticed the message written in the snowy grass while inside a traffic helicopter, but she wasn't the only one.
Many workers and residents with a view of the Maggie Daley Park saw the message, too.
Don't worry, Baker said yes.
Lempa and Baker have been together for nine years. They met at a party for a mutual friend.
"I had been by Maggie Daley Park a number of times just getting the feel of where I could do it, how big it would have to be, because Peggy’s on the 37th floor so I knew it had to be big to be seen," Lempa said.
Lempa's original plan for a Valentine's Day proposal encountered a big problem: there was no snow on the ground Feb. 14. Undaunted, he decided to wait until Tuesday, when the snow would be thick enough to pop the question. The letters were 45 feet tall and 31 feet wide, and the whole message took six hours to make.
Despite the highly-trafficked area and the sheer size of the text, Baker said she was completely surprised.
"Other people had noticed it earlier but I hadn’t noticed it until I saw a few other people looking out the window, so I knew something was going on but I really didn’t know it would be for me," she said. "It was so huge, and a big and bold statement."
The reaction from onlookers was just as big as the proposal.
"It has been exciting, to say the least, Lempa said. "We have been overwhelmed by it."
Neither Lempa nor Baker expected the proposal to draw the attention of news crews.
"I’m definitely surprised by the response. Of course, my co-workers would say congratulations and that’s wonderful, but I had no idea that radio stations or the park district would want our picture and wish us success and congratulations," Peggy said.