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Huell Howser, RIP

Vahan, Ara, and Khechig Manoogian with Huell Howser, c1990.
Vahan, Ara, and Khechig Manoogian with Huell Howser, c1990.
LA Public Library

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Huell Howser — the longtime California TV personality and host of "California's  Gold," who died early Monday — was an icon, and — as he told me in 2011 — something of an iconoclast.

"Whatever success I have found in this business," he said, "I have done it without doing any of the things that people said I had to do in order to be successful." No agent, no manager, no public relations staff, no private parking space.

His TV shows were essentially Huell with a mike and a camera ... you traveled with Huell as he met the Lint Lady, as he shouted over the noise at the only drag strip in the city of LA, and as he wowed over a dog eating an avocado in an avocado grove (view the video below). You can hear him say it: "I've never seen a dog eat avocados before."

Read the rest of John Rabe's essay on Huell Howser at this link, and check out videos and an interactive map of every place in California Howser trekked.

Share your favorite memories of Huell Howser and his TV shows on KPCC's Facebook page.

Related: Off-Ramp Producer Kevin Ferguson on Huell Howser's passing

Related: AirTalk: Remembering Huell Howser 

Related: Huell Howser is retiring: An Off-Ramp remembrance

Related: Simpsons creator Matt Groening on Huell Howser

Related: Huell Howser's golden moments: The lessons Huell taught Southern Californians