CHICAGO (CBS) — In one neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side, it appeared an annual block club party would have to be cancelled because of the coronavirus.
A lot of seniors live on that block. But as CBS 2’s Jim Williams reports, a young neighbor and DJ organized a festive gathering while keeping everyone safe.
Before the music, before the seniors came out of their front doors, there was the handwritten invitation that Quenton Lee placed in each mailbox.
It said “we will not be having the annual block club party this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“I have had a passion to make sure I take care of my community for a long time,” Lee said. The note continued “However, this is Memorial Day weekend, I am going to play a little music in front of my house from noon to 4:00. You are welcome to sit on your porch and enjoy some relaxing music.”
“So I thought it would be a great idea because our seniors have been in the house for the last couple of months,” he said.
In the 8700 block of South Elizabeth in Gresham, Quenton Lee played the music his neighbors would like.
“A lot of them love the old school music that I play. And they get up and dance. Well, they used to dance, some they kind of bob their heads and have a good time.”
Lee grew up here and recently moved back to look after his parents who are in their 80s.
“Thank god for him. And I look forward to having him many, many years with him,” said Elton Lee, Quenton’s dad.
And Quenton Lee’s watchful eye extends well past his childhood home.
“The seniors have paved the way for us. We, meaning myself, my generation, has to work to continue what they’ve started,” Lee addded.
On this Memorial Day, Quenton Lee and his neighbors partied. Separated by caution, but united in spirit, tradition and gratitude.
“Well it makes me think back and remember when I was younger and enjoy some things that I still enjoy,” said one neighbor. But what does Lee get out of a gig he’s not getting paid for?
“The pleasure out of knowing that I made some people smile. And be happy.”