Follow Julia and I

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Between the Lines: Julia and Paul

Julia and Paul met in Ceylon, in China. They befriended each other instantly, probably because Julia "made friends as naturally as she laughed". Although they quickly became friends, Paul wrote in a letter to Charlie that "I have considered the matter carefully, ... but I believe that the lack of worldly knowledge, the sloppy thinking, the wild emotionalism, the conventional framework, would be too much [for me].... Her mind is potentially good, but she is an extremely sloppy thinker. She says things like, ... 'I don't see why the Indians don't just throw out the British' and 'I can't understand what they see in that horrid little old Gandhi". One major difference between them was their backgrounds. Paul's early life was something of a "boys' adventure story', compared to Julia's well-coushined, wealthy up-bringing.

Paul Child was born on January 15th, 1902, in Montclair, New Jersey.  When he and his twin brother, Charlie, weren't even a year old, his father died. His mother, Bertha Cushing Child (who was a vegetarian), packed up the twins and their sister, Meeda, and moved back to her hometown of Boston. She earned enough money to keep the family together; Bertha was a singer (a contralto, to be exact) and she performed withe the Handel and Haydn Society and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. All her children took music lessons; Charlie and Paul both on the cello and violin,  their sister the piano. Music was the first of many careers. Having completed high school, he learned to cut and glaze stained glass. In Hollywood he was a waiter, in Italy a tutor for an American family, in Paris a woodcarver (he also learned to speak perfect French), and in New England a private-school teacher. He was also very interested in Photography, painting, gardening, poetry, and judo, which he had a black belt in.

Julia came to love Paul fairly quickly; one reason was that she'd already fallen in love with her new life at the OSS, and Paul represented everything about it she valued. He was sophisticated, talented, well-traveled, and loved food. It would take eighteen months for Paul to love Julia as well. 

♥ ♥ ♥
Although Paul wasn't considering Julia for marriage, they were fast friends, and spent a lot of time together. They traveled a bit, went to movies, and went sightseeing together, but most of all they talked about food. Even though Julia had been raised on overcooked meat and stewed vegetables, for the most part, she loved and appreciated the conversations about recipes, flavors, and the culture of food she shared with Paul. In turn, he wrote his brother Charlie that "[s]he is a gourmet and loves to cook and talk about food", and over the months, as they became closer, Paul came to love Julia as well. They were married on September 1, 1946 in Washington, D.C. 


Katherine said...

I love the picture you put! So was it Paul who sparked her love for food and cooking?

M. Gabrielle said...

Thanks! Basically, but then as you'll see in the next post, the "spark" found a pile of wood soaked in gas-- Paris.

Flavsi said...

Did Paul play both the violin and the cello or just one instrument??

M. Gabrielle said...

Flavsi- I don't know. That's a very good question, but I couldn't find the answer. I hate it when that happens. I did find out that Paul's sister was named Meeda and his mother was a vegetarian, though. :)

THING 1 and THING 2 said...

That picture is so adorable! They do the cute paper heart thing in the movie, Julie and Julia, but I didn't know it was true... so awesome!