Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Crowell Library Gets California's Gold

Thanks to a generous donation from the San Marino Historical Society, Crowell Public Library now has 74 California’s Gold and other Huell Howser series available on DVD for checkout. Originally from Nashville, Tennessee, Howser came to Los Angeles in 1981, working at KCBS, Channel 2. He moved over to KCET in 1987 and began to produce what would become a body of 443 shows, highlighting a very wide variety of people and places in California. With an outsider’s eye, he became a California insider as he explored the state, letting people tell their own experiences. Viewers were captivated not only by the stories and interesting places right here in our backyard, but also Huell’s enthusiastic style. His work was cut short by his untimely death in 2013, but the shows still entertain and educate viewers about the fascinating people, places and things, many of which were little known until Huell’s shows brought them to our attention.

When the San Marino Historical Society donated $4000 to the Library to buy local history materials, the Library staff felt that spending part of this gift on offering these DVDs would bring the stories alive once again and make them accessible for all. Programs covering many aspects of local Southern California history and culture were selected, ranging from Anaheim to Whittier, going as far off as Joshua Tree and Death Valley and as local as Old Pasadena and Clocker’s Corner at Santa Anita Racetrack. They range from the beaches of Malibu to the observatory atop Mount Wilson and down to the Salton Sea. One series covers each of California’s Spanish missions, from San Diego to San Francisco Solano. Howard Rosenberg, former television critic for the Los Angeles Times, once described Huell as "intimate, magnificently unslick, utterly charming, absolutely irresistible..."

People only need to apply for a library card at San Marino’s Crowell Public Library to bring these stories home to enjoy!