The best remembrances of the late Huell Howser are the ones that remind this Tennessean had not a single thing to regret, no missed opportunities to ponder. While Howser checked out far too early, it was on the wings of a bountiful and joyful life force.
A KCET blog post shared by the station’s VP Bohdan Zachary is one such fitting tribute. There are great anecdotes about crossing Howser during a pledge drive and running into him years later at a popular Palm Springs Mexican restaurant. There’s also this startling memory from just a few days ago:
Huell appeared in my dream. Out of the blue, for no reason. I’d not watched his show for weeks nor thought about him. In my dream, I realized I was in New York City with Huell and he was asking me about the place I called home for a decade before moving to California. Huell had lived there for a bit as well. In the dream, Huell drew me into a conversation about the Manhattan I knew and loved. There were no short snappy soundbites. Just one continuous shot.
Huell asked about what mattered to me most and what made me the happiest. I told Huell he was interviewing me. I caught him. He showed me that big smile. The last thing he said was “I’m going along now. You be well.” He embraced me, shook my hand and then we parted.
I awoke from that dream struck by its intensity. And now it’s all crystal clear. Goodbye, dear friend.
Like Andy Rooney and Andy Griffith, who passed away in the fall of 2011 and summer of 2012 respectively, Howser bespoke an authentic folksiness. In dreams and in real life. RIP.
Photo courtesy: KCET