My article on Doug McCulloh's exhibits Sight Unseen and Dream Street went up on www.instantriverside.com if you want to check it out. McCulloh loaned me a copy of the just-released book, Dream Street, and I find I need to post just one more time. His writing and photos pull me into a place I've never been and make me think about where frenetic development has taken us.
He opens with a man, Eric, splattered with blood and holding a bandage on his right eye. Behind him is a scrubby field where McCulloh found feral dogs, a map of Oklahoma, a used condom and smashed shopping carts. Eric, peering through his one good eye, declares the coming housing track will look nice.
As the story progresses, we meet sign guys, the grader, the promo photographer. Each has a nugget of a tale. Frank, a framer had been shot and knifed before turning to rehab and construction. A woman with a tool bag on her hip was one of a few females, mostly divorced, trying to dig themselves out with physical labor. Her job as a baseboard installer paid ten cents per foot.
In the afterword, McCulloh writes that even after the final family moved to the street, which he got to name when he won a charity auction, he kept going back to visit. If you are observant, he says, there is a story everywhere.
If you want to hear a panel discussion about the dream streets that fill our lives, there will be one 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 19, at the Riverside Art Museum, 3425 Mission Inn Ave. Among the panelists are novelist Susan Straight and author/editor D.J. Waldie. www.riversideartmuseum.org