Lou Ferrigno on his first trip to California in 1976 for a paid guest posing exhibition:
As soon as the plane touched down in California, I knew that this was where I wanted to be. This was where I belonged. Here there were opportunities for me to be successful in the one thing I cared about — bodybuilding. It didn’t matter that I didn’t know a soul. It didn’t even matter that I was broke and had to sleep on the beach for two weeks — none of it mattered because this was going to be my new home.
I found out from some of the local bodybuilders where Joe Weider’s office was and, after having fulfilled my guest-posing duties, traveled up to Woodland Hills to meet with him and tell him my story. “Look,” I said, “I want to stay in California to train for your Mr. Olympia contest. I know that you gave Arnold a contract when he first came out here; could you please do likewise for me? I’ll clean toilets at your office — anything — just give me a source of income out here.” Joe knew I was sincere and, being a bodybuilder at heart, empathized with my plight. To make a long story short, he gave me a contract. I got a car and an apartment, and I never went home again.