Reading Huell Howser [Updated]

This story was originally published on Jan. 7, 2013.

As the world learns of the death of beloved KCET icon Huell Howser, endearing tributes and praise for the incomparable cultural figure have flooded social media platforms, online publications, and television. Huell's passing reverberates in the minds of all those who were enchanted by his charming and curious enthusiasm for spotlighting the diverse people and places of California. Coverage of Huell's life and reactions to his death may be found below:

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About the Author

I grew up in the San Gabriel Valley and enjoy exploring Los Angeles and learning about its origins.
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I am deeply saddened by the much too soon loss of my TV friend Huell Howser. I wished that I could tell him how much I enjoyed each and every one of his visits. It was through Huell that I discovered the nearby golden nuggets and the nuggests throughout California. I enjoyed looking back at visits from the past and meeting all of the wonderful people that came with each and every visit. Huell will be missed and remembered fondly. Semper Fi, Huell - Amazing!!

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When I was little, my father would take us on Sunday drives from our home in Palms one street over from my father's 1920 birthplace. One tank of gas and a packed lunch took us to missions, roadside museums, historical landmarks, tidepools, swamps (currently Marina Del Rey) and anywhere else that seemed remotely interesting to my father - on his one day off. My father was interested in everything. As a boy he travelled with his grandfather all over California translating for him, working combines and tractors and helping with the horses and crew that went from farm to farm. He remembered everything - until he didn't.
I took over the driving when a series of strokes slowed him down.
But Huell allowed him to once again travel his beloved state. Many a time he would recognise a place or area although remembering it from 1930 instead of 1990. Now they are both gone. So Huell when you look around heaven and notice how amazing everything is - look for the man in the corner with a map of California historical landmarks, wearing a Marine Corps uniform. Semper Fi Huell and God Bless you forever.

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This Huellogy comes in the form of 2 Odes (sung to familiar tunes):

(To the tune of "Davy Crockett") -

RAY'sd with an AKsent out of TEN-a-SEE
NICE green STATE but not SO a-may-ZEEN
GOT him a JOB where he WORK'd on tee-VEE
be-CAME our FAY'vrit HOST on kay-cee-ee-TEE
HU-ELL, HU-ELL HOWSER
KING of CAL-i-FOR'nyas GOLD

(To the tune of "The Marine Corps Anthem") -

from the CLIFFS a-LONG the NORthern COAST
to the FLATS at SAUL-ton SEA
he has BROUGHT us CAL-ih-FOR'nyas GOLD
in its RICH dye-VER-si-TEE
WITH a SENSE of WON-der-MENT and AWE
ALL-ways CHEER-full, KIND and CLEAN
we'll ree-MEM-er that HUELL HOWSER saw
"OH MY GOSH!" in EV'ry-THING

- Mike Coppi, 1/18/2013, mjcoppi@att.net