Where's Huell 5/10 - 5/16


The Hollywood sign dominates Los Angeles both literally — looming from the Hollywood hills — and figuratively — quietly representing a very specific dream. This week Huell takes a look at the history and future of an image that has become inextricably linked to the city.

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Monday - May 10, 7:30pm: Ablitt House - Huell visits a unique house, built upon a 20x20 sq. ft. lot in the heart of Old Town Santa Barbara. Here is a quick tour (sans Huell) by owner, Neil Albitt.:

Tuesday - May 11, 7:30pm: Dune Buggy - Back in 1863, in a Southern California garage, something amazing was happening. 37 year-old Bruce Meyers was building a car that would later become an icon, the Meyers Manx (better know as the Dune Buggy). This simple car springborded the "off-road" racing phenomenon, cutting more than five hours off the previous Baja 1000 record in its first try. Soon, the speedy machine found itself in Hollywood: Elvis, Lucy & Desi, Scooby-Doo all had to have one.

Join Huell as he gets many smiles per mile with Bruce Meyers, and a bunch of Meyers Manx owners as they trek through the SoCal landscape.

To quote Road and track from 1976, "The Manx has to rank as one of the most significant and influential cars of all time. It started more fads, attracted more imitators... and was recognized as a genuine sculpture, a piece of art." Even Sesame Street is a fan of the dune buggy. This stop-motion film clues us into how dune buggies are built and teaches young people that a functioning whole is made up of a bunch of interrelated parts.

Wednesday - May 12, 7:30pm: Getty Garden -The Central Garden, created by renowned artist Robert Irwin, lies at the heart of the Getty Center. The 134,000-square-foot design features a natural ravine and tree-lined walkway that leads the visitor through an extraordinary experience of sights, sounds, and scents.

Huell gets a special tour from Jim Duggan, the Curatorial Advisor for the Central Garden, as well as some of the gardeners who keep this living sculpture alive and beautiful for everyone to enjoy.

The Getty's decision to have an artist design The Central Garden, rather than a landscape architect, is significant. This green space is more than a garden; it is a work of art. Here is a piece by Irwin that departs drastically from agricultural design. He explores light, space, and how perceptions of space can be both modified and generated.

Thursday - May 13, 7:30pm: Vernon Light and Power Update - Travel to the Vernon Light and Power Plant, which has provided the city of Vernon with power for over 60 years. This beautiful Art Deco building and it's five huge diesel motors rumble back to life after being shutdown for a long while.

Friday - May 14, 7:30pm: Wild Horse Sanctuary - Huell’s off to Shingletown in Northern California for a visit to a remarkable Wild Horse Sanctuary, which gives a permanent home to these magnificent horses that have been forcibly removed from our deserts and plains. Here's footage of a band of wild horses making their way across a plain:

Saturday - May 15, 7:00pm: Hollywood Sign - Check out this special one hour look at the world famous Hollywood Sign. Huell gets special permission from The Hollywood Sign Trust to actually climb up to and even on the sign. While perched on this landmark Huell learns its full history -- from 1923 till now -- from the people who work so hard to preserve it. Here's some vintage roll of when the Hollywood sign was known by an elongated name, the Hollywoodland sign.

After looking at the sign's early history, Huell talks with Raiden Peterson, a member of the construction crew that literally rebuilt the sign in 1978. Raiden has great memories and stories to tell, but also an incredible bunch of artifacts that he found when working on the sign. Huell then talks to a few pranksters, one of whom helped change the sign to read CAL TECH. Another prank once left the sign reading 'RAFFEYSOD'.
Today, the sign has undergone yet another temporary transformation, a takeover resulting from the growing risk of development in the surrounding hills.

Sunday - May 16, 7:00pm: Movie Beach - Huell meets up with Harry Medved, author of Hollywood Escapes, a book about movie locations in California. Harry tells Huell about the long history of Leo Carrillo State Beach, one of the most frequently filmed beaches in the world.

Then legendary filmmaker Roger Corman joins Huell to talk about some of the many films he's shot at the location, including one of his earliest Attack of the Crab Monsters.

(The crab monsters, not being a species of crustacean native to California's beaches, were brought in for the shoot.)

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