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Susan Straight


Susan Straight was born in Riverside, where she still lives. Her latest novel is "Between Heaven and Here." She teaches at UCRiverside and works with photographer Douglas McCulloh to document the Inland Empire.


Green Hornet, Canteen, Foxhole: The Smiley Villegas Story

He died the day before his 21st birthday fighting in World War II. Today, Riverside continues to honor him.
Mikey Diaz. | Photo: Douglas McCulloh

A Bushwhack Wedding, an Ambush Reception: A Vietnam Vet's Love Story

I unexpectedly spent the afternoon at an "Ambush Wedding Reception."
Photo: Douglas McCulloh

Drumlines and Tassels: Black History as Everyone's History in Riverside

Chicano and Mexican-born and white and black and Asian and Muslim young people performed in drill teams and bands and cheerleading displays, from Riverside Poly, JW North, from Bryant Park and from churches and social clubs. It's not only Black History...
My dog, Fantasia. | Photo: Douglas McCulloh

Thorny the Snowman: Home, Heroes, and Merry Thanks from the Inland Empire

Sometimes we look up at the same sky and branches we've seen for decades, and we wonder if we were not adventurous enough, because we chose to stay in the same place.
Hannah, Miles, Steve, and Regina Louise. | Photo: Douglas McCulloh

American Sons & Daughters: Mixed Race, Identity in Southern California

This is how we began. I looked out at the 300 faces before me and said, "How many of you in this classroom are often asked, in a bar or a store or at a party, What are you?" Maybe a hundred young people raised their hands, and they couldn't believe t...
Susan Straight and her dog walks among tumbleweeds along the Santa Ana River in Riverside, CA. | Photo: Douglas McCulloh

Tumbleweeds: Perfect Engineering, Class C Noxious, and Autumn Beautiful in Southern California

The tumbleweed. Even the name is round and rolling off the tongue. We are not meant to think they are beautiful. But right now, they are unique explosions of hidden beauty, growing lush and abundant in the vacant lots and roadside acreage and not-ye...
Geoff Gouveia behind an espresso bar made from a Cessna wing. | Photo: Douglas McCulloh

Lift Brings the 'Third Wave of Coffee' to Riverside

The intensity required to open your own business in 2013 forces you to think creatively.
Ming Ming, Nga Pham, and Anna Nguyen toward the end of a long Friday. | Photo: Douglas McCulloh

Memorial Day and Nail Spa: From the Green of Vietnam to Toenails Painted with Nirvana

They came here because of war, though no one might think of it that way when sitting down to get a massage or their nails painted.
Dell Roberts | Photo: Douglas McCulloh

The Heroic Hours: Men Who Changed Education in Riverside -- and America

This year I spent time with four men who changed education here, back in 1965 when de facto segregation was the norm in California, when violently-enforced segregation was the law of the South.

Riverside Tamale Festival Honors Californio Roots for Trujillo Adobe

There are a few other tamale festivals in California, but this one has a unique purpose.
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