Friday, January 11, 2013
On Monday, we learned of the passing of Huell Howser, creator of the California Gold television series on PBS. He was just 67.
I'm not sure why his passing is affecting me as it is. Maybe it is because for years he was a regular in our home ... sharing his stories and introducing us to places we've never been. Maybe it is because his TV series was home-grown and full of down-to-earth dedication. Maybe ... it is because I actually got to meet him and within a few moments I felt that he was a long-time friend. Whatever the reason, I feel fortunate to have met and chatted with him.
Without Huell Howser in our lives, I would not have known about Broguiere's Dairy and their amazing egg nog. I would not have seen the top of Half Dome in Yosemite, heard the inside story about the Fire Fall or 'met' Tom Bopp, the music historian for Yosemite. My son would still be struggling to find something that began with 'Z' for his 4th grade ABC report (All 'Bout California). It was Huell who introduced us to the California Zephyr ~ a train that traveled the coast of California. Thanks to Huell, Whitney wrapped his report with an amazing story!
Huell took us to Oceanic Arts in Whittier, where island themed movie props and decor can be rented or purchased. He was particularly amazed to see the many Tiki items that were available!
We got to see the inside operation of Ferguson's Marine Specialties in Wilmington, one of the oldest seashell wholesalers, where seashells are collected, cleaned and packaged for sale.
When the episode about the Tear Drop Trailers aired, we were immediately intrigued about how compact they were...perfect for the nomad who was ready for a endless road trip.
Huell was invited to Hearst Castle by a group of people who had won the opportunity to swim in the majestic swimming pool. Twenty lucky people were interviewed as they swam while the sun began the decent to the horizon. We watched with anticipation as Huell kept the suspense going right up to the end of the story...would he jump in the pool? As the show was just about to end...after a little more hesitation, he finally jumped in!
Wherever Huell went, we were right there with him, never knowing what was in store but confident that we would enjoy the ride.
Thank you, Huell, for sharing the stories as only you could. You made us feel truly welcome to come along as you traveled in search of California's Gold. I know that each time we hear the word 'amazing', we will fondly think of you. God speed, Huell. ♥