The late Southern California public television personality Huell Howser was remembered fondly today by Riverside County Board of Supervisors Chairman John Benoit.
"His was a face everyone in California knew," according to Benoit, who spent a moment at the outset of the board meeting sharing recollections, including his first encounter with Howser at a 2006 event outside the capitol building in Sacramento and later in the Coachella Valley.
"He was a part-time resident of my district, with a home in Palm Springs," Benoit said. "He was always being called upon to help nonprofits with fundraising efforts of all variety."
Benoit said his wife and Howser attended an event together at the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens in Palm Desert several years ago.
"He told her, 'If I lean over and talk to you a lot, maybe people won't bug me,"' Benoit said. "That didn't happen. They were seeking him out all night long. He was a very popular guy."
Benoit expressed sadness that Howser's life ended at "way, way too young an age" but said the more than two decades the native Tennessean spent documenting California's historic places and unique features as the host of "California's Gold" made him a "wonderful representative for this county and the state."
Watch the attached video to view Howser's segment on Temecula, and click on this link to read a local tribute to the television personality.
Howser died Monday at age 67. No public or private memorial services are planned, according to a family spokesman.