Bob Emery: Nyack is back and a fond farewell to Huell Howser

Bob Emery
Bob Emery

By Bob Emery

We had the joy of having our grandson, Nyack, and his mother with us for a full week over the New Year holiday. I have written about this 7-year-old before and his exploits in and around Poway as he delights his GrandZanne (Grandma Suzanne) and Papa Bob. This visit was no exception.

On Sunday, Dec. 30, Krysty, Nyack’s mother, wanted to take him to church at the Community Church of Poway, where our family has attended for many years. Now Nyack has attended before, but his attention span ranged to about 10 minutes and usually resulted in a walk with Papa or a nap on someone’s lap. But not this Sunday.

As he does each Sunday, the Reverend Glen Larsen asked for all children to come down front for a story or discussion before going off to Sunday School. Well, Nyack was off in a flash and assumed a prominent position next to Reverend Glen. The Reverend started out by asking the children what special gift they had received during the past week. Without hesitation, Nyack launched into a description of a molting chicken that he had at home that had been sick and needed help.

After describing this chicken in some detail he paused for a second at which Rev. Glen looked out at the congregation and good naturedly asked “Is there any way to salvage this?” At that point Nyack saved the day by summarizing that he had “prayed every day” for the chicken and it was getting better and that was his gift.

All was well with the lesson, sort of, and the Reverend sent the children off to Sunday School, but not before telling Nyack that he should be a politician like his Grandpa, or maybe even a preacher.


On a much more somber note, a sad farewell to Huell Howser, the public television host of “California’s Gold.” Howser, with his home-spun narratives of out-of-the-way California highways and byways, little towns, rest stops, orange groves or the home of Roy Rogers’“Trigger” will be truly missed. Huell was a Tennessee native, but except for his Southern twang, you would have sworn he was a native son of the Golden State through and through.

We always record “California’s Gold” so we can watch them for resource material for our own wanderings around this magnificent state. Our greatest fun is to visit little known corners of this state, eating in greasy spoon diners, visiting antique (read junk) stores and either camping nearby or staying at a “quaint” (read run-down) motel.

Huell Howser brought those kind of experiences into California homes even if you couldn’t hit the road. His good natured “Gawwwlee” or “Oh my gosh” or “You mean to tell me,” expressions were so genuine that he captivated those whom he interviewed as well as his viewers.

One of my favorite shows had Huell and a crew of Californians cruising down the Mississippi River on the paddle wheeler Delta Queen. The Queen had been built in Stockton, California, and plied the Sacramento River for decades. It was later hauled through the Panama Canal, restored and put into service out of New Orleans. Huell tracked her down and with his trusty band from out west cruised on the Mississippi River singing “California Here I Come” accompanied by a calliope. We’ll miss you Huell, gawwlee dang.

Reach Emergy at Powaybob@cox.net.

   
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