California Characters
Charles Hillinger

Book cover image

Narrated By: Dennis McKee

Duration: 10 hours and 41 minutes

What to expect

For forty-six years, Charles Hillinger journeyed around the world writing human-interest stories for the Los Angeles Times. He also helped to create and produce special features for the popular NBC television show Real People.

From this work comes California Characters, a collection of stories of intriguing, eccentric, or simply amazing individuals profiled by Hillinger. Many of these people have strange occupations, live solitary lives in remote locations, or collect, build, or design an assortment of odd things. Characters like Down the Road Dugan, Sweetwater Clyde, Dr. Tinkerpaw, Spaceship Ruthie, and Warmly Ormly will delight, amuse, and perhaps inspire the listener with their tales and reasons why they’ve chosen to live the lives they do.


Biography: general, Travel and holiday, Travel and holiday

Listen to a sample

“Climb aboard and join Chuck on his incredible odyssey throughout the Golden State as he revisits this wonderful cast of colorful characters. Take my word, you will be enchanted with every story that follows.”

Otis Chandler, former publisher of the Los Angeles Times

“Dennis McKee’s pleasant voice gives entertaining variations and accents to the California characters, and becomes beautifully appropriate for a couple of poems.”


“In the very best tradition of oral historical preservation, former Los Angeles Times reporter Hillinger has searched California from top to bottom (pausing mostly in the remote desert regions) to find some of the colorful kooks who bring a special flavor to our state. Every state needs a Hillinger, a ‘people laureate’ who is able to capture the unique, the different, and the oddballs who bring a love of life that most of us only dream about.”