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Something fishy about Gov. Jerry Brown's new office decor

August 29, 2013|By Anthony York
  • Gov. Jerry Brown has had this marlin, caught by his father, former Gov. Pat Brown, hung in the lobby of the governor's office.
Gov. Jerry Brown has had this marlin, caught by his father, former Gov. Pat… (Anthony York / Los Angeles…)

SACRAMENTO -- Gov. Jerry Brown has yet to announce whether he will seek a fourth and final term next year, but there are signs that the 75-year-old governor is still just settling back in to the executive office.

Brown, whose office is known for its spartan furnishings, eclectic collection of books and an oversized picnic table, has retrieved an old tchotchke from the bowels of the state parks’ inventory of California artifacts.  

The governor, who did not marry until he was 67, brought a bachelor’s sensibility to his latest decorating flourish -- a 9-foot marlin caught by his father decades ago -- that now adorns the eastern wall of the lobby of the governor’s Capitol office.

Before being summoned by the governor earlier this summer, the fish hung on the wall of Pat Brown’s third-floor office in the governor’s mansion, which is now a state museum. It was donated to the state Parks Department by Pat Brown’s estate in 2002.

Brown spokesman Evan Westrup said the fish is unnamed, and he did not know exactly when the pelagic predator was caught. But he did say the governor personally asked for it to be brought under the Capitol dome.

“The governor decided it was time to take it out of storage and put it on display,” Westrup said.

Brown is not the first governor with a penchant for animal decor. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger purchased a bronze grizzly bear from an Aspen, Colo., art gallery in 2009, and placed it outside the governor’s office, where it remains to this day. Visitors have to step into the lobby to see Pat Brown’s marlin.


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