A little over a year and a half ago Ben purchased NorCalBMW. Before he bought it he told me that he wanted a way for all the cool people he met at Bimmerfest two years ago to continue to talk and get to know each other better and get to discuss their common obsession.
I was skeptical. My only real experience with car forums was Bakersfield Street Racing and various domestic forums. It was about this time that I’d made my last visit to BSR. After having moderated it, and gotten verbally beat down every day by ego’s bigger than life, I was pretty much DONE with any car related forum. I have thick skin so it wasn’t so much the idiot’s non stop spewing of verbal garage in the direction of any moderator that got to me… It was that they sucked out all the enjoyment I used to get out of racing.
I certainly didn’t expect NorCal to be like BSR. Ben is a better judge of character than that. And it wasn’t going to be a bunch of Honda driving 16 year old boys that piss on themselves when they see a girl. I knew it would be an older crowd. And being Bimmer drivers, I knew that they’d be a bit more… grown up?
But. I certainly never expected that NorCal would grow into what it is today.
There are at least 25 members of that forum that I consider GOOD friends. More that are just damn cool people. I wish I could find the right words to explain it. That I could eloquently describe just how much I truly care and love every one of my NorCal family members.
Recently we learned that one of the members was not going to be able to make it to Bimmerfest this year because work had been slow and he just didn’t think he’d be able to swing it financially. Ben immediately said to me, “Are you okay with us helping Moe get to The Fest? Like giving him a ride and a place to stay and paying for dinner?” And my immediate response was. “YES!!”
Moe has towed Ben’s car to the track. Just because. He was the only one that drove out to the track when it was POURING DOWN RAIN and gave us his easy ups to use. That saved me. I melt if doused with water. He went to Lagna Seca with Ben one day and was able to give Ben some very good advise on the proper line and how not to run his car into a tire wall on turn six. Just because. He brought his truck and trailor with him that time. Just in case somebody needed to use it. He left his Playstation at our house so that Ben could be entertained while recovering from knee surgery. He’s climbed under fences and over walls to get video of Ben’s car on the track.
Ben and I were prepared to fully foot Moe getting to The Fest. Just because! But the rest of the forum members are just like Moe. So before we knew it the troops were rallied and he had offers of places to stay, rides there, offers to pay for dinner, etc.
This is what I’ve come to know from the NorCal members. These acts of selflessness. This genuine caring for people. Best of all, I really enjoy just BEING AROUND them. I think for the last two months not a weekend has passed without us getting to hang out. It’s like a big extended family.
NorCal has taught me what real friendship is like. Seeing Ben care so deeply for it’s members and their happiness and wellbeing has made me love him more. I NEVER expected that a forum, online, would play a part in my becoming a BETTER person. But it has. I just hope that someday I’m able to return that favor to every one of them individually. And to make them feel as lucky and as fortunate as I have.
I LOVE YOU GUYS!!!! :buttrock