If you watched one of Huell Howser's many, many travel shows on public television -- and we all did, pretty much, with joy and enthusiasm, right? -- then you know that our own state treasure was known for his impeccable timing.
Not with just delivering a "that's amazing!" -- his much-homaged trademark phrase -- at the right moment. But he arrived in small towns across California on the day of their founders' parade or summer celebration or accordion festival. Huell? The man was always right on time.
Thus it is no surprise that the opening of a new permanent exhibition devoted the the travelogue host and champion of quirky homespun charm is perfectly timed as well. "That's Amazing! Thirty Years of Huell Howser and California's Gold" opens on Saturday, March 29 at Chapman University, and the end of March is just about the time that the weather is truly warming up and people are planning their summertime road trips.
Springtime just feels like Huell season, right? Or does every season belong to Mr. Howser, who passed away in January 2013? We vote the latter, as many devoted fans might.
The exhibit details many of the host's visits to Golden State spots and his lasting legacy (which definitely includes shining a spotlight on locales, businesses, and artists who came to be known through his series). Some of those figures'll stop by the opening on March 29, as will a bevy of food vendors featured on "California's Gold."
Free tours of the exhibit and a new "California's Gold" map from AAA will be available, too. Can we put some exclamation points here, all in a row, to convey our excitement that AAA is putting out a Huell-inspired map? Oh heck, we're doin' it: !!!!!!
But exclamations are pretty Huell Howser. He was a man enthusiastic about our state and its hundreds of interesting towns and thousands of fun and talented and sweet denizens. He's missed, but devotees can visit with his memory now at any time in Orange.
That is, indeed, amazing.