So this past Monday, I started going to these addresses to see what condition the buildings are in, and to ring some doorbells and talk to the residents to find out if any CBL members are still living or if their families are still living in the same homes that were bought on contract in the 50s and 60s. I didn't really know what to expect. It started out pretty discouraging; 4 of the first 5 addresses I went to are now vacant lots. There was hope though. I talked to the residents in the one house still there and explained the CBL to them. They did not know anything about it, but the last name of the CBL resident for that address is the name of their landlady, so they were going to tell her about our interest and plans for an exhibit.
I made it to about 30 addresses that afternoon. I came across a few more vacant lots and a few vacant, boarded up buildings, but many of them are still standing and have someone living there. I talked to one man whose mother was in the CBL, another woman said her in-laws had bought their house on contract and were a part of the CBL but are now deceased, and a teenage boy who was going to relay the information to his 82-year-old grandmother.
Here are some photos of CBL homes that were owned with pride. More to come...
|(All photographs by John Wolf.)|