Today's entry is a vacation from the usual fare. Yesterday I saw the wonderful movie "Julie and Julia" and have been thinking a great deal about Julia Child. As aside: if you are at all interested in Paris or food or cooking, this movie is a must see. I adored it. The very limited connection to this blog is that Julia had breast cancer.
Meryl Streep does a magnificent job of becoming Julia. It must be hard to portray a person whom many in the audience "know" and she nailed it. Every facial expression, every gesture, every booming sentence was perfect. If you, like me, have watched many episodes of "The French Chef" and made a visit to Julia's kitchen at the Smithsonian (where you can sit on the floor and watch the most famous episodes play in an endless loop) and own a food-stained and dog-eared copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, you will have to remind yourself that it is not the real Julia in the movie.
This is all background to my one personal story about Julia Child. More than twenty years ago, we were caring in our Unit for a young man with leukemia. When he was well enough, he worked as a delivery person for the Harvard Coop (for those of you not in Boston, the Coop is a university book store on steroids; the main one is almost a department store). One day, he made a delivery to her home. When he told us the story, he reported that she, wearing the usual apron and pearls with even larger in life than she seemed on television, opened the door and greeted him warmly, saying: "You have cancer. (he was bald) I've had cancer, too." And then invited him in, sat him down at her famous kitchen table, and gave him a marvelous lunch which they shared over a bottle of wine.
How great is that?