Years ago, I was sitting with my boss who had flown East from his California home location to work with us. In the middle of the meeting, a friend walked in with a Fax and handed it to him.

He looked at it, and handed it around, saying, "You're never going to believe this..."

It was a single sheet of legal size paper with two things. In the very center were the words, "The rain falls in the valley", and at the bottom a place for him to sign the paper. The instructions were to sign it and fax it back.

He was in the process of selling a home in San Jose. It seems that someone earlier that month had purchased a home in the area, decided that they didn't like something and then in court successfully backed out of the contract by claiming that they were not told that it rained in the area. I kid you not.

That kind of permanently established the image I carry of California and the way people think there...