We have all lost a friend with the passing of Huell Howser. He died in Palm Springs on Jan. 7. He was 67.
As the producer/narrator of “California’s Gold” and “Videolog” for KCET, he came into our living rooms nightly.
A frequent visitor to the offices of the Larchmont Chronicle from his home at the El Royale on Rossmore Ave., Huell’s booming voice signaled his arrival. A reporter on the Larchmont scene, he wrote for our publication for several months.
Rudy Gintel, Hancock Park, recalls Huell’s video visit to his family-owned Brothers Collateral store. “He was friendly and cheerful with no axe to grind. He really enjoyed his work and showed it in his enthusiasm.”
Lisa Nahabedian of Larchmont Cleaners remembers Huell as her customer and friend. He taped a segment at her home, filming how an Armenian family celebrated Christmas. “He was a real southern gentleman,” she said.
Steve Cohen, proprietor of Village Pizzeria, recalls how Huell was fascinated by the fact that he still prepares the dough daily, the old-fashioned way. Huell accompanied Steve to the pizza expo in Las Vegas. “Huell was a kid in a candy store witnessing for himself an entire exhibition hall featuring only pizza related products.” Of his 850 shows, the pizza story is among the 150 he wanted to preserve, Steve told us.
“His programs introduced us to people we never would have met, and took us to places we would not have otherwise traveled,” said Al Jerome, president and chief executive of KCET.