California is a little less golden this week because of the death of Heull Howser. His name won’t mean anything to those outside our state, but for Californians who love this state he’s the guy who showed us why our state is so spectacular. 

Heull took us to places we’d already been and made them new again. He took us to places we’ll never go to and made us sorry that we’ll miss them. And he took us to places we then traveled to and made us feel like we were walking in his shoes, discovering the place for the first time with his voice in our ear saying, “Oh my gosh! Isn’t that amazing?” even if it was just a view of a river canyon or an old house. Just last fall I finally visited the Fern Canyon in Humboldt County because of the show he did about it.

I had been thinking of sending him a letter about the photo I purchased of the camel in the cavalry. I could imagine him doing a show from the little museum in San Pedro near where the photo was taken and then traveling to Benecia to see the camel barn where the camels were housed before being sold. I can hear his voice getting excited just by the idea of the history of the camels.

I’m saddened by his passing. He was one of those people who was genuinely excited by the little things in life. He had a smile that brightened the entire sky over the state. It really is very sad that he’s gone.

For those people outside California who choose to stick with their one dimensional view of the state I recommend you take a look at the archive Howser has left of the people and places in this state that prove how wonderfully interesting and diverse it is.

Huell Howser Productions

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