I was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. My wife and I moved here in 2007 from Austin. I moved to Chicago to play . . . I'm a musician, I'm a bass player. I play with Joel Paterson every Monday at the Green Mill, and I also tour and record with JD McPherson.
I was in the middle of recording; my wife called me and said, "You have to see this house!" So I drove over there and a bunch of neighbors were outside. I met maybe five people from different households. And they had all lived there a long time.
Here there was a real community feeling…We moved here and it hasn't let us down. I think the only REAL community I've ever lived in is on our street. It's lovely.
We have these get-togethers on our street every Friday. During the pandemic, I was getting musicians to play. It was great! And I had been thinking for a while, it would be really cool to get a bunch of musicians in the neighborhood together to play.
We always celebrate birthdays. We have this thing . . . where everyone comes outside and sings "Happy Birthday." It's not, nothing's perfect . . . on our block, we've had challenges. And people have dropped everything that they're doing to help us in any way possible. We have each other's back.
A neighborhood school is important to a community, too . . . and I do think that Peterson is a necessary presence. The more neighborhood kids that go to the neighborhood school the better. It adds a feeling of camaraderie.
I think this is definitely the most diverse neighborhood I've ever lived in. And I mean, it can be hard, too, because of [the neighborhood’s] diversity. There are challenges that just kind of come with the territory --- like sometimes, trying to figure out how to relate to so many people from different cultures and backgrounds.
I used to have this idea that was maybe pie-in-the-sky . . . I used to think, wouldn't it be wonderful if we had a co-op grocery store that everybody went to? More and more I've been trying to think small, you know, like being a good neighbor and building a good neighborhood means everybody doing little things, you know, and that's the most direct way you can go about it.
Even just telling someone you're there for them . . . just letting them know that, "Hey, I'm here for you." You know, it's amazing how far that goes.
Beau Sample was interviewed by a neighbor in October of 2022. You can see a sample of his music here.