Monday, June 1, 2020
Birthday Parties Go On, Coronavirus or No Coronavirus
The birthday girl, Leslie Silva, couldn’t embrace any of her friends. But she was touched, nevertheless.
Sunday, April 26, 2020


It was a surprise birthday party. But no one hid in the corner behind the couch. And no one hung around to eat ice cream and cake.

Instead, revelers turned out to cheer David Lipman on with a drive-by birthday party.

About three dozen vehicles—a dozen of them from Lipman’s Clearwater Landscaping—rolled by his Hailey home Saturday evening.

The teenagers taking part in David Lipman’s drive-by birthday party thought it was pretty awesome.

Teenagers stood through the sun roofs of their parents’ cars waving Happy Birthday signs. Dogs peered out of vehicles festooned with balloons. And everyone honked as the surprised Hailey man, decked out in shorts and a facemask, waved at his friends.

“It’s a new way to celebrate,” said Kim Alley.

The moment the cars began rolling by, Lipman’s children Lizzie and Winston sprung into action, opening the rear door of the family SUV and pulling out bags containing chocolate cake and cans of lemonade handing them to those in the cars as they drove by.

Each bag featured a picture of the Lipman family with a notation: “Thanks for Celebrating Dave’s B-Day.”

David Lipman waves at well-wishes as they get a bag containing lemonade and birthday cake.

“Spending this past week working on this was fun,” said Lizzie. “It gave us something to focus on.”

For some, the drive-by birthday part was the biggest social occasion they’d had in six weeks since the governor ordered Blaine County residents to shelter in place to stop the spread of coronavirus in Sun Valley.

For others, like Mardi Shepard, it didn’t appear her social life has been put on hold.

“I have to get home by 5:30,” she said. “I have a Zoom party to get to. We’re dressing as if we’re in France tonight.”

Winston, Lizzie, and Teresa Lipman pulled off the birthday surprise for David.

David was clearly overcome by the show of his love from his friends, especially from his workers whom he and his colleague had worked hard to keep paid during the shutdown.

“We thought maybe my Dad thought something was up, but I don’t think he knew what,” said Lizzie.

Further north in Sun Valley, 13 of Leslie Silva’s friends surprised her with a birthday party on Saturday, as well. They pulled up in front of her home at 9:30 in the morning, while Leslie and her husband were still enjoying their morning coffee.

In a jiffy they laid out several vases of flowers, accompanied by balloons, gifts and, yes, a roll of toilet paper—what every birthday gal or guy should have in the year of the coronavirus.

Leslie and Tim Silva reveled in the birthday surprise before climbing up Bald Mountain to the Roundhouse with their daughter and her fiancé.

Standing six feet apart they sang “Happy Birthday” and blew on party favors. There were no hugs, no kisses, not even a fist bump or elbow bump.

But they beamed, knowing they had had a chance to create a festive occasion and spread some positive energy in what will surely be a most memorable birthday for their special friend.

“Coronavirus or no coronavirus, there was NO WAY I was going to miss my friend Leslie’s birthday,” said Marie Gallo.



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