Twentynine Palms remembers TV personality Huell Howser

Huell Howser owned a home in Twentynine Palms since 1997

POSTED: 07:17 PM PST Feb 10, 2013    UPDATED: 09:22 PM PST Feb 10, 2013 

Friends, fans and desert folks in Twentynine Palms played music and shared stories at the 29 Palms Inn about the longtime TV personality, Huell Howser, who at 67 lost his battle to cancer. A neighbor they say so many cherished.

"Huell Howser didn't want a memorial, but everybody wants to remember him so it's called the 'Huell Howser Remembrance.'"

"The community needs it. It's for us. We need this," said Howser's friend Jane Smith, the owner of the 29 Palms Inn.

Millions tuned into Howser's show "California's Gold," which introduced viewers to the history of hidden gems across the Golden State.

His excursions led him to Twentynine Palms. The Historical Society's Ginny Salisbury invited Howser to film the move of the Old Schoolhouse in 1992 introducing him to the desert he soon called home.

"Here's a man who has traveled to every town and restaurant in California. He chose Twentynine Palms and eventually Palm Springs," said Waite.

Vickie Waite says what she'll miss most is his voice and how we loved to learn everyone's story.

"He would work the room and say 'I'm Huell Howser. What's your name? Where are you from?'" said Waite.

The celebration wouldn't be complete without some of Huell's favorite things to eat including hot dogs, chili and a little something sweet to drink.

"He'd always come in and have a lemonade. Always," said Smith.

Neighbors also jotted down thank-yous and goodbyes.

"We're going to miss him. Everyone in this state, this Golden State he loved so much," said Waite.