I was in Palm Springs last Friday (It was a 118 degs!) having dinner with an art dealer and collector when, to my surprise, in through the door came Huell Howser, Hollywood Icon and host of the TV series California Gold. How long has that program been on the air!!!? Talking about staying power!
It was good to reconnect with Huell after so many years when he did an hour long feature program on the discovery, uncovering and conservation of the Globe Lobby murals by Hugo Ballin at the Los Angeles Time Building. It was our company, Fine Art Conservation laboratories (FACL, Inc. www.fineartconservationlab.com) that did the work. He was great to work with as he stuck his nose into every little detail of the project, interviewed me and commented to his viewers with his Southern folksy style about the discovery of these very interesting long lost paintings. His whole program was dedicated to our efforts.
Later, he told me that he had never, at that time, ever had so many requests from his public to replay a program. It was by far and away the most popular program he had ever done and he ran it over and over again for a couple of years.
Now after many years have passed, Huell still remembers the mural project, the discovery of the murals with some pride and affection (he was the one that brought it to the attention of the LA Times Admin that there were murals behind aluminum siding), the popularity of his program and it was a pleasant reconnect with him. He’s looking good… although, you still can’t see him through his shades.
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