a lesson in history + community

This week was plagued with sadness for many. The Godfather of House, Frankie Knuckles, passed away at the age of 59. Frankie Knuckles first performed at Smart Bar four years before I was born so I'm not going to even pretend that I was shook to the core this past week by this news like so many were. Although his death didn't hit me personally the ripple effects during this past week have been astounding.

Frankie's passing has opened my eyes to a whole new history of Chicago. Of course house music originated in Chicago. Most everyone knows that. What I didn't know was some of the details surrounding those first warehouse parties -- Who was attending? Where were the held? Did they really not serve alcohol? I've read a few really interesting articles this week about the 1980's house music heyday. I've even heard one of his sets from Chicago in 1986, the year I was born. You would get me moving to this on any modern day dance floor. I come from a long line of history nerds so seeing this side of Chicago + the house music scene is so cool to me. It really was a revolutionary period which is pretty crazy to wrap your head around.

The second thing that has really blown me away is the sense of community that forms following the passing of a great man. I saw two amazing communities form -- the various producers/DJs who honored a legend + Chicago's music lovers who lost one of their own. I got about halfway though a book called "A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster" this past year. Essentially, this book focuses on the strength + societies that form following a natural disaster but the same concept is relevant here. Not to get too philosophical, but real life can be isolating. Especially in a big city, especially with this digital focused lives we live. It was under unfortunate circumstances but Chicago came together this past week. Hearing about his last birthday at Smart Bar was just about the coolest thing ever. It is all so incredible + heartwarming to see. I'm sure something similar would happen with any other community but I really think there is something special about music lovers. I'm biased though, I know.

Sometimes something bad happens + it results in something great. This phenomenon blows my mind every time.

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