the north Pacific gyre
Originally uploaded by marymactavish.
A geographile is someone who really likes geography.
I learned to appreciate southern California from him, and that's saying a lot, and I learned to appreciate places and people I hadn't considered beautiful or interesting before.
Looking for a picture of him on flickr for this post, I come across a mention that someone tried a small halal market after he mentioned them. And the caption here, sadness.
But it's not just that.
Cal Humanities said on facebook, "With wonder and warmth, he illuminated spots familiar, obscure, and magical across California through his public TV series."
He was full of wonder. He overflowed with wonder and delight. He had the kind of wonder that made people -- that made me -- want to pay attention to what
we were at risk of losing, in California, if we didn't protect our environmental and cultural heritage.
And he really loved people, so many different kinds of people were interesting to him, it's like he knew that the world takes all types and that any given person probably has a lot to share if you ask the right questions. Sometimes I look at how judgemental I can be about people who see the world differently than how I do, and I'm ashamed of that, thinking about how he related to others.
He was just plain decent people. Period.
Here is perhaps the most touching comment I've read in social media, so far:
"They used to show California's Gold on Armed Forces Network when I lived in Japan and I recorded all the episodes. And when I was feeling homesick, I'd watch them sometimes." (She says I can attribute this to "Roxanne Cooper --5th generation Californian." Maybe it's that so much of California seems ethereal or transitory, but we long-timers like to point that out.)
I hope Huell somehow knows about Roxanne watching him in Japan to soothe her homesickness for California.
That says most of what needs saying, right there.
LA Times, "Huell Howser dies at 67; TV host profiled California people and places"
His YouTube channel has a lot of video, check it out and see for yourself
Our next door neighbors are renters who have lived here for a long time. They really never go in their backyard, which is overgrown with random yard stuff including a couple of citrus trees and a big apple tree planted by the previous renters a long time ago.
Our neighbor across the street moved into his house when it was built, when he was a boy in the mid-fifties. He worked in local orchards, some in this block, for pocket money, but they're gone now.
Today I went out back to see why our guard-dachshund Fritzy was losing his head and found the across-the street neighbor in the next-door neighbor's yard (with permission) harvesting apples. He called me to the fence and gave me as many as I could hold.
They are so crunchy and sweet and huge.