The final day of the year possesses a good amount of uncynical aspiration, and can-do-ness, too, especially when compared to the other days on the calendar. For it is on the 31st of December when we set our intentions for the 365 days ahead, and what we'd like to do, and who we will strive to be in the new year.
And if your resolutions involve A) travel and B) keeping a positive outlook — two common and commendable New Year's Eve vows — then turn the ol' television dial to KCET, which can provide you with inspiration on both admirable fronts in the form of the admirable Huell Howser.
The cordial travelogue host, a friendly fixture on Southern California's small screens for decades, easily epitomizes both the longing to get out on the road and to keep an upbeat outlook as we steer our ship, and meet people, and learn how others live, work, cook, paint, and do what they do best.
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And some of the best of the best of those shows will air on KCET, the longtime home of the host, on Saturday, Dec. 31. Fans of Mr. Howser can expect 15 shows in all, favorites drawn from a trio of his popular series: "California's Gold," "Road Trip with Huell Howser," and "Visiting with Huell Howser."
The New Year's Eve marathon is something of a sweet tribute to the popular traveler. Jan. 7, 2017 will be the fourth anniversary of Mr. Howser's passing, a day that's been touchingly observed over the last few years with a Griffith Park gathering.
The "15 back-to-back viewer favorite episodes," which begin airing at 10 a.m. on Dec. 31, will include a Solvang sojourn, an exploration of the USS Midway, and a jaunt to the Golden Gate Bridge.
Chapman University in Orange is the headquarters of the Huell Howser Archive, a comprehensive and colossal well of travelogue gems (the host recorded over 1,000 shows during his impressive 30-year run making a number of different series for public television).
The institution and KCET have come together to make this holiday treat a reality for the many fans who continue to regularly re-watch Mr. Howser's many shows.
Shows that frequently inspire Californians to finally head out to that tiny desert outpost they've wanted to see, or the vintage candy store their own grandfather used to frequent, or our beautiful state and national parks.
So consider the New Year's Eve Huell Howser marathon your inspiration for 2017. Not only to venture onto the highway to experience the pleasures of discovery, but to do so in the positive, generous-of-heart way Mr. Howser traveled around the Golden State.
How are those two resolutions, SoCalers? More travel, more Howserian happiness? They're two aspirational goals with gumption, and achieving both in the year to come should be as breezy as Huell Howser's inimitable approach to making conversation with someone he's only just met.
Hold on. Wait one darn minute. Did we reach the end of this, with all the necessary information shared and all due respect paid to Huell Howser, without actually typing his most beloved catchphrase?
Let us correct that oversight at once: "That's AMAZING!"