After suffering from weeks of cabin fever and having self-quarantined from all of society in Southern California, we had to do something. Sara Pelly had just cancelled Mike Pelly’s massive 60th birthday celebration. Sara’s new idea was to do a drive around Orange County. As an elementary-school principal, Sara was very specific: We had to do this correctly, and by the book. Here’s the invitation:

belly invitation
After a quick planning meeting, we had ensured that the invitation and instructions would pass inspection at the Center for Disease Control. Details included that this would be a fully compliant Covid-19 social-distancing event:

  • No Cake
  • No Gathering
  • No Gifts
  • No Food
  • No Traffic
  • No Chit Chat
  • No Lambos (Orange County suffers from extreme cases of poor driving behaviors, frequently from Lamborghini owners.)

The invitation made it clear: No one exits their car, full masks, etc. Just roll down the window, wave at Mike, and yell, “Happy birthday!’’
It worked. As it turned out, everyone on the E-Vite was available! At precisely 7:30 a.m. we all did a drive-by in front of Pelly’s house, each taking turns yelling, “Happy Birthday!” out from under our face masks. Windows were quickly rolled back up and nineteen cars started the 30-mile loop of the best roads Orange County has to offer.
Never one to miss a good photo op, Doug Park helped in organizing a five-minute Covid-19-compliant flash mob along the route. Part of the instructions included how and where to park at the shopping center:

Santa Margarita shopping center Parking lot

At 8:15 everyone filed into the parking lot. One minute later, Doug Park had the ladder up and the event was documented.

Sara and Mike Pelly keep a safe 28 feet from their friends. Pictured are Tim Chinen (E3), Ryan Danco (2002), Shawn and Chris Macha (E9), Tom and Missy Rakestraw (E9), John Laporta (Neue Klasse era) and Chris Geer (E9). The back row included many of the Pellys’ non-BMW CCA friends, all maintaining a six-foot distances between all participants, except members of the Pelly household.

Twenty cars started the drive; nineteen finished. The only casualty was Rob Edwards and his monster stroker Porsche 928 GTS that would not restart and had to be hauled away on a gurney.—Paul Cain

[Photo courtesy Doug Park.]



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