Minding Social Distancing, Palisadian Laura Brau Planned an 80th Birthday Celebration to Remember
By JENNIKA INGRAM | Reporter
With Safer at Home orders in place, Alphabet Streets resident Laura Brau knew her father’s 80th birthday was on the horizon and was looking to find a creative way to safely celebrate on April 15.
Her father, Brooke Temple, and mother, Susan, are longtime residents of El Medio Bluffs.
Due to COVID-19, Brooke could no longer celebrate his birthday with a trip to Myrtle Beach to golf with his buddies and then reunite with his old school pals in Virginia as previously planned.
Little did they know, their daughter hatched a secret plan to mark this special occasion. All she told her parents to do was dress up, alluding to her father that an old friend would be dropping by.
“So we dressed up in some fancy sweats,” Susan said to the Palisadian-Post with a chuckle.
On the big day, Brooke saw Brau, her husband, Evan, and their two children, Jameson and Peyton, arrive at the house dressed casually and wondered who the mystery guest would be.
Around 4:30 p.m., Brau suggested her dad move toward the front of the lawn. She had arranged for her friend, Maryanne Roberto, to be the point person, organizing a celebratory parade of cars to start at the right time from down the road.
Soon, more than 20 motorists—decked out with balloons, ribbons and birthday signs—began honking as they rode down the street passing the Temple house.
“It was a wonderful surprise,” Brooke told the Post.
One neighbor, who didn’t know about the parade prior, even jumped in his car and took a spot at the back of the line-up just to join in the festivities, Susan shared. One friend rode a bicycle decorated with pom-poms.
As the cars passed, some yelled birthday wishes, another blasted The Beatles “Birthday” song and several threw birthday cards out of their windows for Brau to pick up and deliver. Cars had birthday banners and signs taped to the doors or were waving red, white and blue windmills.
Several people brought along their dogs, who looked out of their car windows.
“It was all Palisades people,” Brau, an associate partner with Compass, said to the Post.
Brooke admitted he was in shock.
“All these people came by,” Brooke shared. “It was a big parade … it was a really nice thing she did for me and I really appreciated it.”
Brau’s brother Brooke, his wife Dana and daughter Ella also kept their distance but joined in the festivities.
“All of us were sort of transfixed and it was amazing,” Susan added.
The Temples moved to the Palisades in 1969 and have not gravitated toward using social media or smartphones. Brooke is a self-proclaimed big sports fan, and with events on hold during the pandemic, he had been a little sad and bored.
“Brooke saw his friends,” Susan mused. “He didn’t have to talk much and he didn’t have to clean up.”
“My kind of party,” Brooke shared with a laugh.
“Afterward, we were just stunned by the organization,” Susan said, “and everybody laughed at the end and said it was a perfect 80th birthday.”
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