August 15, 2012. May we all take one minute to remember my cousin, Julia Child, The French Chef. She is 100 years old today.
None of us would have known of Julia, except that she appeared on television. We loved her instantly - in spite of her middle age, plain looks and oddly high-pitched voice that crackled. We knew nothing of French cooking and she made cooking appear enjoyable. So, we bought her book, tho only a few of us ever learned to make even one entree from Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I didn't realize Julia Child was my cousin until I saw her family tree in Noel Riley Fitch's biography, Apetite for Life, pub. 1999. Julia and I have a mutual great, great, great... grandfather from about 1600 - the era of Mayflower and Plymouth Colony.
Julia's height genetics (she was 6'2") is especially interesting as one of her (not my) great, great... grandfather's is listed as the red-haired Captain Myles Standish, who stood just 5' (an maybe an inch more) and was sarcastically called "Captain Shrimp" while he was responsible for the militia at Plymouth, Massachusetts. But, everyone was shrimpy short in those days. It took 200 years and ten generations before Julia's grandfather grew taller than 6'. Although height was one of Julia's outstanding characteristics, she was the shortest of her siblings.
Did you see the movie "Julia-Julia" with Meryl Streep? I found the portrayal of both Julia and Paul, her husband, as a loving, supportive couple to be delightful. People are still asking if she took any military secrets to the grave with her as both she and Paul worked for the OSS (later CIA) during WWII. As I heard it, she took an oath never to speak of her OSS work - and she never did.
100 hugs and kisses to you, Julia.... HAPPY BIRTHDAY ! ! !
~ nancy yTe~