Viewing the Huell Howser Archives at Chapman University
If you live in California, chances are you’ve heard of Huell Howser. With his many PBS shows (particularly California’s Gold) he traveled far and wide throughout our state highlighting the amazing people, places, and things it houses. He played a significant role in my life. I watched his show voraciously and used it as my personal travel guide for the area. If I hadn’t watched I wouldn’t be the explorer I am today. I was lucky enough to meet Mr. Howser before his untimely passing in 2013 and I can attest that he was just as friendly as he appeared on TV.
Upon his passing Huell Howser donated his archive to Chapman University in Orange. On Saturday, the archive along with the permanent exhibit “That’s Amazing! Thirty Years of Huell Howser and California’s Gold” opened to the public.
I knew it was a can’t miss even so my family and I arrived bright and early Saturday morning. Even so we waited in line for about an hour before we could see the exhibit. It was nice to see there are still so many admirers of his.
The Huell Howser Archives and exhibit are located on the lower floor of the Leatherby Library on the Chapman University campus. It’s fairly small but packed with much information about Huell’s life and career.
There was a timeline of his life on the wall and I came across some interesting facts. Did you know his first name is a combination of his parent’s names – Harold and Jewell? Or that in one of his early broadcasting jobs he interviewed many celebrities and notable figures including the fabulous Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn?
You’ll also find a replica of his office and some of his personal memorabilia.
And then there’s the archives themselves complete with a welcoming seating area for those who wish to study them.
Awe, there’s one of his signature shirts!
As much as I loved visiting the exhibit I must admit it was bittersweet as it wouldn’t exist if Huell were still with us. I’m sad he’s gone but happy that his archives went to a good home and are available for all to see. He may be gone but his legacy lives on. Just as it should.