Following basketball star Magic Johnson up the red carpet outside Sacramento's Memorial Auditorium this evening, Gov. Jerry Brown was asked what the Hall of Fame event meant for California.
"It means we have a lot of famous people," he told a bank of photographers, "and we're going to make them even more famous."
Brown and first lady Anne Gust Brown are preparing to present the hall of fame awards at a ceremony tonight at the auditorium. The Democratic governor cast the event as a celebration of California's innovative spirit.
"This is where a lot of people have come," Brown said. "They've been coming here for hundreds of years, and many of them create what wasn't."
Politicians and political advisers mixed with celebrities on the red carpet. Brown executive secretary Nancy McFadden had some fun with the scene, and with the governor's frugality:
Buzz Aldrin, the lunar astronaut, chatted briefly with the media:
Chuck Yeager, the legendary test pilot and former Hall of Fame inductee, was on hand, too. He said the distinction meant "nothing," suggesting the first man to break the sound barrier takes a lot in stride.
Johnson's entrance was cheered by onlookers shouting "Magic, Magic." He had this praise for California:
For Brown, it is a rare event at which photographers call him "Jerry" and ask him to pose.
"How about you and your wife together?" one of them called out to him.