Friday, August 15

In Other News: Mata Hara Wasn't A Spy, The Titanic Hit An Iceberg, And The Pope Professes Roman Catholicism



[In case that's not legible, "After she was graduated from Smith College she joined the OSS..." begins the second sentence of her flyleaf bio in my hand-me-down Book Club 1968 edition.  If we'd been as eager to publicize what she really thought of Emeril Lagasse ("my garage attendant really enjoys his show") we'd be much better off as a nation.]

8 comments:

Kia said...

I don't get this one at all. I mean, everybody knew about it, not in that urban legend everybody knows kind of way, but because she said so, for years, it was like the big other thing about Julia Child besides cooking. So why all the fuss about it now?

Oh, and by the way, years ago, I was deep in the back of my favorite bookstore in Santa Barbara when I heard a booming voice in the front of the store and I thought, "That is the wickedest Julia Child impression I have ever heard. I must see this artist." And there was herself. She was enormous!

Oh and she sort of gave the sunshine of her countenance to some sort of Institute of Food and Wine established under the UCSB chancellor, Robert Huttenback, the one who was eventually convicted of embezzling nearly $200,000 which he spent on home renovations after moving out of University housing to the Santa Barbara Riviera. The kitchen, where most of the money went, came to be known as "Cap'n Bob's Bitchin' Kitchen."

Memories...

arghous said...

Mata Hari was a spy, in the sense that she tried to use intimacy as a means to gather information for her own patriotic reasons, encouraged (allegedly) by one of her French Intelligence lovers.

Not that she was a good spy, for she was very obvious, and was dropped (quite literally, by bullets) by the French.

Still, I'd rather be barter whored than water boarded...

joel hanes said...

We used to love to watch Julia's show because of her numerous, easy-to-imitate verbal and behavioral tics. In a favorite show, she lined up on the counter all the grades of whole chickens: fryers, broilers, roasters, stewing hens, capons -- and slapped each one as she introduced it. After that, we became observant, and sure enough: almost always, at least once, usually several times in a show, Julia slaps the meat for emphasis.

So now, every time I prepare a whole chicken, I slap it a good one, and I hear in memory that halting, breathy, stagey voice hectoring : Save the liver!

Grace Nearing said...

I'm also surprised (or maybe not) about the media's astonishment that baseball catcher Moe Berg was a spy. Heck, several books (including children's books) have been written about Berg's exploits, and there are several ESPN and A&E documentaries about Berg too.

Mo MoDo said...

Biggest non-news of the year. Along with the revelation that we invaded Iraq for the oil.

unclemike said...

I was a little curious about all the sudden hullabaloo over this aspect of her life.

Unless they're trying to warm us up to the idea of sending Rachael Ray or Bobby Flay behind enemy lines.

Actually, I'd be behind that idea 100%.

Rightwingsnarkle said...

Hey, I love Julia Child. I've always loved Julia Child.

In her autobiography, My Life in France, Julia elaborates a little bit on her OSS responsibilities - she did clerical work, she says, mostly of the filing type, though that appeared to include a pretty heavy dose of the kind of setting up and organizing that we now look to computers to help us with.

Julia Child rocks. Julia Child kicks ass.

DBK said...

Lagasse? He's good with the customers, but he can't cook.
His NOLA, though, was an excellent restaurant the last time I was in NO.