The Contributors

Buford Crites spent 30 years as a Professor of Communication at College of the Desert, and 20 years as a council member for the City of Palm Desert. He and Russell Kaldenberg write about Corn Springs, where Crites returns each Christmas season to decorate the gravestones of prospectors Gus Lederer and Tommy Jones.

Chris S. Ervin assisted with the Susie Keef Smith photo collection. He is Archivist and Librarian for the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation and has managed the Publications Program for the Mojave Desert Heritage and Cultural Association since 1999.

Russell L. Kaldenberg, co-author of the chapter on Corn Springs, is an archaeologist who spent 32 years in federal service including five years in the Palm Springs area where he was the public lands manager for the Bureau of Land Management. His job took him to incredible places throughout eastern Riverside County, including Corn Springs.

Steve Lech is a native Riversider who has been interested in the local history of Riverside County for more than 40 years. He has written ten books on various topics related to Riverside County history. In Lech’s essay, he discusses Susie and Lula’s postcards in the context of better-known postcard photographers Stephen Willard and Burton Frasher.

Ronald V. May, RPA is President and co-founder of Legacy 106 Inc. in San Diego. Since 1968, May has been involved in a broad spectrum of historic, archaeological, and general environmental studies in California and northern Baja California, Mexico. May writes about his rescue of the Susie Keef Smith collection from a dumpster.

Robert B. Smith Smith’s 20 years of researching and writing articles and books on Idyllwild and its surroundings have made him the area’s leading local historian. Susie Keef Smith was his father’s cousin. Smith writes about his personal acquaintance with “Cousin Susie”.