HSUMD to host Huell Howser’s cameraman June 19

HSUMD to host Huell Howser’s cameraman June 19Fans of Huell Howser’s “California’s Gold” series won’t want to miss the chance to meet Luis Fuerte (as in “Louie, take a look at this!” — one of Howser’s catch phrases from the series) at the Historical Society of the Upper Mojave Desert’s Tuesday, June 19, meeting, 7 p.m. at the Historic USO Building.

Fuerte, who served as the sole cameraman for the first 12 years of the popular series, wrote a book, “Louie, Take a Look at This: My Time With Huell Houser,” detailing his adventures.

Growing up in San Bernardino, Fuerte served in the Navy before attending San Bernardino Valley College, where he fell in love with television camerawork. His first TV job was at KCOP, Channel 13 in Los Angeles, where, among other interesting shoots, he was involved in live commercials with used-car super salesman Cal Worthington and his famous “dog,” Spot.

Fuerte moved to public television channel KCET, where he learned many aspects of television production, preparing him for his legendary stint with the beloved Howser.

Howser himself hailed from Gallatin, Tenn. After serving in the Marine Corps and attending the University of Tennessee, he embarked on a career in television, spending almost 10 years at WSM TV in Nashville before moving to New York and, eventually, to Los Angeles, where he worked at Channel 2, KCBS and finally KCET, where he was one of the hosts and producers of “Videologs,” each of which was a short filler segments requiring only a three-man crew — host, cameraman, and a sound engineer.

Howser’s and Fuerte’s paths first crossed on one of these shoots, a particularly poignant one involving an elephant and her trainer being reunited after 15 years.

The two men collaborated on many more Videologs, and eventually Howser developed the “California’s Gold” concept, a series of half-hour programs that focused on various aspects and areas of California. Impressed with Fuerte’s work, Howser hired him as his sole cameraman for the series. Fuerte’s book gives a behind-the-scenes look at the great teamwork involved in “California’s Gold” — Howser’s talent for spotting and telling stories, and Fuerte’s skill at translating that vision onto video. The book also tells about many of their individual shoots.

Fuente will sell and sign copies of the book at the meeting. Admission is free, and the public is invited.

For more information, call HSUMD at 760-375-8456.

Pictured: Luis “Louie” Fuerte (right) and Huell Howser. — Courtesy photo

Story First Published: 2018-06-08