Autograph Hound's Blah Blah Blog

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Julia Child – sometimes they watch back

I already admitted I’m a people watcher. And if you ask the wife, she’ll tell you I’m only watching the ladies in the short dresses.
Not true.
But I must admit my head turns quicker for a female than a guy – unless the guy is in a short dress.  I’m pretty sure that might give me rip lash.
About 20 years ago Julia Child was in town for a book signing. It was at a neat bookstore called Taylors.  Taylors was part of the Taylor publishing company and a prototype for B&N and Borders.  The store was huge.  They often brought in big names for signings.
I wanted to get Julia Child’s autograph for my mom.  So I got in line a few hours early and already a 100 or people were waiting outside.
As you would expect, the majority of the waitees were doughty looking housewives that watched Julia for decades.  There were a few younger women and a rare guy or two. The guys never seemed to leave the wives side. Those guys looked so hen-pecked it was pitiful. Think sweaters and comb-overs.  I kid you not.
Over time, I got asked a once or twice why I was there. I would politely answer to get a gift for my mom. The conversation would fail and the ladies around me would go back to their gossip and I would just embrace my Inner Cow and people watch.
Julia was behind a table with a stack of books. The employees were allowing personalization so they were moving along the line and keeping things on track.
When the line started moving it moved fairly fast. The book most people were getting signed was a massive tome of 10 pounds or so.
Julia Child was very open and friendly and she did her ‘ohh’ that always reminded me of a pigeon’s coo. Everyone was reverent and polite. You would hear ‘Bon Appetit’ now and then as people left the table which I thought was funny as it should have been ‘Merci’ or ‘Au Revoir’. But we are in Texas and sometimes you take what you can get.
Julia Child is tall. Even sitting she was looking a lot of people in the eye as she signed for them.  I’m tall and I was standing head and shoulders over most of the people there.  I got to the table and she looked up and then looked up higher.  She looked around me to see if I was with someone else. She smiled because I didn’t fit the ‘norm’ of this event.
I’m sure I mumbled something about how I grew up watching her because mom always had her on the TV.  Which thinking back was really saying – wow, you must be old because I’m an adult now.
She smiled and handed the book back to me and I walked away. 
I’ll always remember how she did a double take when I stepped up to the table.  It was funny and proves they do watch back.


1 comment:

  1. That's very cool! And what a great thing to do for your mom! I loved Julia. One of my college classmates moved to Boston after we graduated and used to see her shopping in the local grocery store, which I always got a kick out of. I'd have followed her around and put the same stuff in my grocery cart!