Friday, August 13, 2004

Farewell, Julia Child

About 3 years ago, my daughter and I were waiting for a flight, and the other flight departing from the same gate was headed to Santa Barbara. As we waited, someone behind me was reading something aloud from "The New Yorker." The voice was so familiar, that I had to turn around to see who it was. Remarkably, it was Julia Child, traveling with an assistant! At that point, a few admirers came up to her and said hello. She later went to the bathroom, herself, slowly, with the aid of a cane. I asked the assistant if she minded when people asked her questions. She replied, "only in the grocery store when she is shopping for herself. People will come up and ask how to pick the ripe cantalopes."
When she came back, I approached her and told her that she was my husband's role model for cooking and that he would be awed to meet her. She said to wish him her very best, and then, headed to her flight. I did wish him her best, and he was very touched!
The only other time a familiar voice made me stop and turn around was during a visit to the Farmer's Market in the Fairfax part of LA. I heard this voice, stopped in my tracks, and turned around to find Dustin Hoffman talking to someone. I was such a rube that, since it was very early in the morning, I got a cup of coffee and sat across the courtyard to stare and soak it in. It was memorable.
I told my daughter that Julia Child had died. She said, "that old lady?" What was probably more appropriate was, that classy lady that pioneered cooking shows and made cooking accessible to everyone. She wasn't even afraid to televise her mistakes and faux pas while in the kitchen. I also admired how she continued to watch over her ill husband, even after he went into a nursing home.