Honoring Huell Howserby Representative Janice Hahn
Posted on 2013-01-14
in the house of representatives
Monday, January 14, 2013
Ms. HAHN. Mr. Speaker, last week, California lost one of its most
beloved individuals, Huell Howser. Huell was known to so many
Californians as the friendly host of California's Gold, the long
running public television program from which he retired late last year.
Huell's southern accent made it clear that he wasn't a native Californian. He was born in Tennessee but moved to Los Angeles in 1981 to become a reporter for KCBS. He fell in love with his new home and created his own television show dedicated to life in California. The premise was simple. He, a cameraman, and a hand-held microphone traveled across the state, visiting everything from national parks to little known mom-and-pop shops, in search of California stories. He found them.
His folksy charm was disarming and his impromptu interviews were lighthearted and friendly. He talked to nearly everyone he met and found the most incredible stories ranging from tragic and touching to obscure and wonderful. But regardless of where he was visiting, his genuine enthusiasm stole the show. He was known for his ``gee-wiz'' demeanor and being completely fascinated with everything he stumbled upon, often exclaiming ``That's amazing!'' The LA Times once called him ``magnificently unslick.'' Many Californians have mastered their own impression of him, with love of course.
California's Gold ran on public television for 19 years. It became many Californians' ``comfort television.'' Huell Howser was always a pleasure to watch. Each episode would show you everything you ever wanted to know about a place, and perhaps a little more.
He was a personal friend and I will always have fond memories of our Thanksgivings together at my brother Jim's home in San Pedro. I will never forget listening to Huell and my mother Ramona share stories of Nashville where she attended high school.
Since his passing, there has been an outpouring of tributes from his fans across the state who remember him for his optimism and sincerity. He is truly irreplaceable.