Huell Who?

I arrived in Gallatin, TN on a late Saturday afternoon. Gallatin, for those who don't know, is the birthplace of my idol, Huell Howser.

Unfortunately, many of the shops were closed at that time, as was the visitor's center. I wanted to inquire about Huell-related celebrations, or suggest they hold some if none were currently planned. The 'Welcome to Gallatin' sign on the highway advertises this as the home of football champions; I'd also like to suggest they include 'Birthplace of Huell Howser.' Kansas has several highway signs 'Blank-blank, birthplace of astronaut so-and-so' and, while Huell's never to my knowledge been to space, I'm sure he'd draw at least a few people.

I wandered around a bit asking people if they'd ever heard of Huell; a few had, but most hadn't. I didn't have a video camera with me, but I did have a tape recorder; I briefly considered conducting a Huell-style interview there in Gallatin, but I decided against it. Maybe next trip.

Pictured above is Laura, who owns Antiques and Uniques on Main Street in downtown Gallatin. Despite being a native, she had never heard of Huell. The ladies at Antiques on Main down the street had heard of Huell, but didn't have any juicy Huell gossip to report. They did, however, thankfully provide me with the names of two residents who had known the young Huell. I spoke with Walter Durham, who is the author of Volunteer Forty-Niners: Tennesseans and the California Gold Rush and other books. Unfortunately, he was headed out of town so I wasn't able to interview him.

It was bad timing on my part not to arrive there earlier in the day on a weekday, but, now that I have a few local contacts, my next trip should be a lot easier.

As mentioned in the previous entry, I bought and had later donned a polo shirt, and I was trying to acquire a cheap hand-held microphone. Why, you ask? Well, I was considering making something for the L.A. Cacophony Society's upcoming tribute to Huell. They went to the Gold Line and conducted interviews in Huell-style. I really should have done something more here, but, you know, I'm a bit road-weary, South-weary, knackered, impoverished, tired, and all the rest.

Yes, that's a bad picture. I should have used a tripod and not used the flash, or, if I was going to use the flash, put something over the flash to disperse it a bit. But, I didn't want to take up too much of her time.


As a fellow conservative I disapprove of Huell's newer series called "California's Green." It promotes land preservation and all that tree-hugger stuff we conservatives hate. Don't let that good ol' boy twang fool you. Huell's a liberal greenie.

As we good Republicans know, life is short so make a buck off the land any way you can while you've still got time! Forget those endangered species. Yeah, we conservatives are real big on conserving things, ain't we? Anyhow, like my dad said, if land ain't got a price tag and people can't take something from it, it ain't worth a damn.

Hmmm, Huel Howser?
He's a hunka hunka burning love looking for gold looking for gold in California.

We're three Sonoma County, CA
woman who watch Huell's
"California Gold" on PBS.
Its a great show and we
are big fan's of Huell.
Lillianna :)

My wife and I watch California's Gold but remember seeing Mr.Howser on a local station while living in Arkansas. The video documented the short lived business of the regional soft-drink company "Grapette". Did he spend time in Arkansas?