By Kristin Boza
The Rainwaters have only been in Beverly/Morgan Park for a month, but they are already making friends and finding ways to get involved.
Anslee and Adam Rainwater, along with baby Cecilia, moved here from the West Loop, where they lived for the past seven years. Southerners by birth — Anslee from Alabama and Adam from Arkansas — they met while out and about in downtown Chicago one night and chose to build their nest here.
Before purchasing their home, the couple wasn’t aware of our neighborhood. Anslee is a singer and sang at West Loop’s Old St. Pat’s Church, where she met Father Tom Hurley, now working at his alma mater, Marist High School. He asked her to sing at Marist and began telling her about Beverly/Morgan Park.
“Fr. Hurley knew we were looking for a house, and encouraged us to take a look,” Anslee said. “We drove down here and immediately knew it was exactly what we wanted. Beverly/Morgan Park felt like a community where we could let our baby play in the front yard and get to know her neighbors. It seems like a really special place.”
Adam is a chemical engineer working in East Chicago, Ind., and he moved to Chicago specifically for work.
Anslee studied vocal performance at Indiana University and moved to Chicago to perform. She also earned a teaching degree and spent 10 years teaching music, musical theater, and theater to kids from kindergarten to high school seniors. She was recently cast as the lead in this winter’s Beverly Arts Center production of “The Christmas Schooner.” running Dec. 8 through 11. Anslee also sings at St. Barnabas, St. Cajetan, and Marist High School, and is directing the spring musical at St. Barnabas School this April.
“Being cast in ‘The Christmas Schooner’ has been a wonderful way to be introduced to the arts community, which is really important to me,” Anslee said. “The Beverly Arts Center is truly a state-of-the-art performance center.”
The Rainwaters are big sports fans, cheering for Auburn and Arkansas college teams. Adam is looking forward to exploring the bike trails in the area, which was one of the many draws to the neighborhood for him.
The couple also loves food and are eager to explore the restaurants in Beverly/Morgan Park. During the pandemic, Anslee took the downtime as an opportunity to develop a cookbook, “From Mother to Daughter,” which chronicles all of her family’s special recipes.
She and Cecilia love to explore the local libraries for the story times. “My hope is to find a group of young moms who want the same things that I do for Cecilia, that idyllic childhood that I think she can get here,” Anslee said.
While they’ve only been here for a short while, Anslee is already a big fan of Root Consignment Company, where she’s found many treasures for their new home. “The owners are so sweet, and we’ve been able to find many wonderful pieces at fair prices,” she said.
“A few days after we moved in, our block had a block party. It was so nice to see all of the kids playing together and meeting people who’ve lived here 40 years and others who are new like us,” Anslee said. “It reminded us why we moved here: for community and a neighborhood feel.”