My A to Z challenge theme is people who found public success later in life. J is for Julia Child.
– During World War II, Child found she couldn’t join the Women’s Army Corps or the Navy’s WAVES because she was too tall. She signed up for the Office of Strategic Services(OSS). She started as a typist but quickly was moved up to be the top secret researcher working directly for the head of the OSS. She received the Emblem of Meritorious Civilian Service as head of the Registry of the OSS Secretariat.
– While working for the OSS she spent a year as an assistant to developers of a shark repellent needed to ensure sharks would not explode the ordnances targeting the German U-boats.
– In France, she joined the women’s club Le Circle des Gourmettes and met the two women she would spend the next 10 years working on the cookbook which would become her legacy.
Route to Success:
– Child and her two friends were rejected from the first publisher they signed with because the publisher felt the book was too much like an encyclopedia. In 1961, Alfred A. Knopf published the 726-page cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume I: 50th Anniversary. It was a best-seller. Child was 49.
– On February 11th, 1963, The French Chef television show debuted. It ran for 10 years and won Peabody and Emmy Awards.
– Child’s last book was her autobiography, My Life in France, published posthumously in 2006 and written with her grand nephew, Ales Prud’homme.
– Her last meal was Frend onion soup.
“thinking back on it now reminds that the pleasures of the table, and of life, are infinite – toujours bon appetit!” – Julia Child, My Life In France
My Take Away:
My opinion on Julia stems from the fact that both of us suffered infertility and the lack of being able to give birth. This type of pain is devastating and can leave a woman who had hoped and planned for a child feeling lost. Child found a passion in cooking. Life is difficult. Finding your passion is essential to not simply surviving in life but thriving.
Affiliate links included. I linked to the works mentioned on Amazon to make it easy for anyone who wanted to check them out.