What happened at the end of De Laurenti Court in Walnut Creek last Friday was not unique. It was the kind of thing that happens all over the Bay Area these days: families finding a way, in the middle of a pandemic, to celebrate life's milestones.
In this case, it was Ed Coble's 95th birthday. Or, as Coble likes to put it, "the 55th anniversary of my 40th birthday."
Years ago, Coble's daughter, Alette Coble-Temple promised her late mother that she would always make a big deal about her father's birthday.
This year, of course, that was not going to be easy. Large gatherings at home or in a restaurant are seriously frowned upon, if not outright banned.
"I had to figure out a way to make it extra special," Coble-Temple said.
So, she sent word that there would be a drive-by parade for Coble. She even got the local high school choir to come sing "Happy Birthday" to her dad. And, knowing Coble loved getting mail that wasn't junk, Coble-Temple posted on social media asking for cards with interesting stamps to be sent to Coble.
He has received more than 200 cards and more are still coming in.
Coble-Temple even discovered and developed old negatives of Coble and his father, who passed away when he was just a baby.
Coble had never before seen a picture of the two of them together.
"I'm 95 years old, I've never seen a picture like this of my father," Coble said.
As special as all this was for a World War II veteran, retired engineer, and six-decade 49er fan, Coble's celebration mirrors so many happening all over the Bay Area in the time of COVID-19 — a reminder, that when it comes to letting those we love know it, creativity beats contagion every single time.