I have been contemplating my quest as of late, and I realized I could not do this without enthusiasm. It gives you that extra spark and energy to go forward. Ever notice when you are around enthusiastic people it spreads like a California wildfire. There is a reason cheerleaders are present at football games, everyone loves to be cheered on and to join in on the enthusiasm of the moment.
Yesterday I worked out with my trainer and friend Mike and today I have to say I am so sore this morning…. but in a good way. He helps me keep my enthusiasm up even when I find some of the exercises challenging or awkward. My ankle feels completely good as new. Exercising in the outdoors is a completely different experience and I love it. I will improve, I love a challenge and I am so enthusiastic about getting stronger as time progresses. Enthusiasm inspires, and keeps us moving in the direction of success.
I started thinking of one of the most enthusiastic people I have ever seen on television. I was first introduced to Huell Howser on PBS when we moved from NYC to Los Angeles. His enthusiasm was so electric, we were hooked. Now when I think of everything I am trying to accomplish, I look to people like the late Huell Howser for inspiration.
I wrote this tribute to a man I would never have the honor of meeting, but he impacted my views of life here in California. I will go forward with My Change For A Ten with the same enthusiasm as he displayed in his wonderful television shows.
TRIBUTE TO CALIFORNIA’S GOLDEN BOY HUELL HOWSER
Moving from New York City to Los Angeles, California has definitely been a whirlwind of an adventure, but it happened so quickly that I hardly had time to process the magnitude of the move. One morning in late September 2010 I had breakfast in my beloved big apple, and in just a few hours I set foot in the City of Angels. What made it even more interesting was the fact that I was moving to a state I had never visited, not even once.
My husband and I, along with our two cats made the trek from LaGuardia airport to L.A.X. and lastly to our new home in West Hollywood, C.A. The move went off without a hitch, we had rented a furnished apartment so we were able to just unpack and settle in with ease. The swiftness of the move didn’t give me much time to think about what I left behind, that would come later when the newness of my adventure had worn off. I had left N.Y.C in the wake of the jet stream, and embraced L.A. full speed ahead. It was like a snow globe had shook up my world, but I would not feel the after effects til much later.
We soon started exploring this blissful state of the magnificent Pacific and we were in love. Eventually though, the brand new feeling would subside and the realization that everyone we knew and loved were three thousand miles away would start to take its toll. I started to romanticize about the life I left behind. The Manhattan lights, the energy, the amazing vibe that fueled my poetic soul. I started to compare and I am ashamed to say I began to take my majestic new home for granted.
I began spending time looking back at my life in N.Y.C. instead of looking forward to all the riches my new home offered. I would see N.Y.C. on television and openly complain I wished to move back.I felt that feeling when you leave a lover behind. NYC was like that lover, too fast and dark for my own good but there really isn’t anything sexier than a lover who never sleeps.
In the midst of wallowing in my woes and missing the life I once led I was given a gift. Yes, N.Y.C. is a special one of a kind place, but I was living in another equally special city in arguably one of the most beautiful states in the continental U.S.A. This gift would be given to me from a man I would unfortunately never have the opportunity to meet.
When we moved here we discovered a local celebrity Huell Howser, an American television personality best known for California’s Gold, and Visiting…With Huell Howser, his travel shows
based in Los Angeles at KCET for California PBS stations. The archive of his television shows chronicled the history, people, and diverse cultures of California, and his enthusiasm was unparalleled. We first saw his show months after the move and we were smitten from the first episode we watched. My husband and I loved his unpretentious way of showcasing all of the gifts California offered; the people, the places, the unsung heroes of small towns to the glorious city attractions. He visited landmarks as well as little lesser known spots that were popular amongst locals. Hollywood, Palm Springs, San Francisco, as well as smaller cities one may have never known existed. Huell Howser put these people and places on the map, and he did so with such a genuine reverence that one could not help but to smile, especially when he said the word amaaazing. I can never say it again without hearing his melodic Tennessee twang. The way he loved California was contagious, and I had caught the bug. My days of looking behind at once was would be replaced with the present I was given by an unlikely source. My future was looking as sunny as the California skies above, Huell Howser had opened my blind eyes to the lovely illumination right in front of me.
I started taping his various television shows, and keeping a log of my favorite episodes. I wanted to see what he saw, visit what he visited.My husband and I are planning our Anniversary dinner at the famous Musso and Franks restaurant in Hollywood, an interest we found after we saw the replay of the 1995 episode of Visiting… All of a sudden I realized I was living in paradise, a place most people dream of visiting let alone calling home. Huell Howser to me was more than a television host; he was a kindred spirit, a storyteller, a historian, a teacher. He was the epitome’ of a true Californian, a role model of appreciation of the beauty of the everyday gifts of life as well as the grand. He loved sharing the human aspect of his visits, he was a humble human fascinated with the people of California and the untold stories of their lives. Every time he appeared with his microphone and camera person people seemed to come out of the woodwork to meet him. I wish I could have been one of those people, unfortunately that would not come to be.
It was November of 2012 that Huell Howser had announced his retirement and the fact he would no longer be shooting new episodes. We were shocked at the news that he decided to stop future taping, we had become such fans of his work in the short time we lived here. In early January 2013 we were extremely saddened to hear of his untimely passing. He was a mere 67 years young, but his legacy and his shows would live on forever. His entire body of work has been donated to Chapman University, and they established the Huell Howser Archive, when digitized will offer free public access to the collection of his life’s work.The collection will be available through the university as well as the Internet.
Inspired by a person I would never meet, I plan to visit many of the places he chronicled and to keep a journal or a blog of my California adventures. I am now a proud resident of Los Angeles, C.A. and I owe my new found love and enthusiasm of my new home to Huell Howser. Living in the golden state is truly amaaazing, as amazing as Huell Howser was as a human being. He was truly California’s Golden Boy and forever my California inspiration.
(c) Rose Bruno Bailey