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 Post subject: The 6 Degrees of Johnny and Julia
PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 10:45 am 
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I have recently been reading My Life in France by Julia Child, and am amazed at who she knew and how many 6 degrees there are in that book to ONBC.

Basically, she was friends with Hadley and her husband after Hemingway, was acquainted with Alice B. Toklas and Sylvia Beach, referred to at least one restaurant mentioned in A Moveable Feast, lived in Provence and described it quite nicely, touches on the Cannes Film Festival, talks about hunger (are all people in France hungry?), and her brother-in-law was friends with Lawrence Ferlinghetti (the guy who published Howl & friend of Jack Kerouac). And she even likens something to a pirate ship. Who knew? Here are the most interesting excerpts in the book referencing the above:


This was brought home at Thansgiving, when we went to a cocktail party at Paul and Hadley Mowrer’s apartment. He wrote a column for the New York Post and did broadcasts for the Voice of America. She was a former Mrs. Ernest Hemingway, whom Paul had first met in Paris in the 1920s. Hadley was extremely warm, not very intellectual, and the mother of Jack Hemingway, who had been in the OSS during the war and was called Bumby. At the Mowrers’ Thanksgiving party, more than half the guests were French, but I could barely say anything interesting at all to them.
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On June 25, Bumby Hemingway married Puck Whitlock. Bumby was twenty-five, short, with a square, muscular body, stiff blond hair, and a clean-cut, outdoorsy look. During the war he had parachuted behind enemy lines for the OSS to form teams of agents, and although the Germans captured him a number of times, he’d always managed to escape. Now he was in Berlin, working for U.S. Army intelligence. The wedding was held in Paris because he didn’t have enough leave-time to fly home. Besides, his mother and stepfather lived there. And it was Paris.

Puck was tall, dark, and slim, a strong and attractive Idaho girl, who had once worked for United Airlines. She had been married to Lieutenant Colonel Whitlock, a pilot killed in action over Germany. She and Bumby had met in Sun Valley, Idaho, in 1946, and he had been pursuing her ever since. They hardly knew a soul in Paris, so I acted as her matron of honor, and Paul (Julia’s DH) and Dort (Julia’s sis) escorted people to their seats.

The wedding was held in the American Church, on Rue de Berri, where Paul had made his reputation as Tarzan of the Apse. The offician was Joseph Wilson Cochran, an American who had married Charlie and Freddie in that very space, in April 1926. It was a perfectly natural and unpompous ceremony, just like the Mowrers themselves. There was quite a crowd at the reception, including the writer Alice B. Toklas—an odd little bird in a muslin dress and a big floppy hat—and Sylvia Beach, owner of the famed Shakespeare & Co. bookstore. (Papa Hemingway did not attend.) The weather was heavenly: clear blue sky with high, wispy clouds, the landscape bright green and yellow, with roses abloom in the Tuileries. By the end of the afternoon, I was thoroughly marinated with strawberries and cherries, champagne, brandy, Monbazillac, Montrachet, and Calvados, and speckled by tidbits of grass.
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That evening we held our party, an informal group of about twenty people, at our apartment……Another visitor that night was a fleeting, wrenlike person in a tan pongee-colored hat. She was so small that the hat hid her face until she looked up and you noticed that it was Alice B. Toklas. She always seemed to be popping up in Paris like that. She stayed only for a glass of wine before dinner.
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After the war, his navy friend the poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti—who called himself Larry Ferling—convinced Ivan to join him in Paris to “cool out.” In Paris, Ivan roomed with Ferlinghetti and joined the expat swirl.
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Paul took to calling the kitchen my “alchemist’s aerie,” and me “Jackdaw Julie,” after the slightly mad bird that collect every kind of stick, trinket, tidbit, and fluff to outfit its nest with. The fact is, I had been making regular raiding trips to Dehillerin to stock up on all manner of culinary tools and machines. Now our kitchen had enough knives to fill a pirate ship.



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 Post subject: Re: The 6 Degrees of Johnny and Julia
PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 3:26 pm 
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Very interesting, Liz. Thanks for posting this.

When you mentioned Lawrence Ferlinghetti, I immediately thought of his poem Underwear that was in my high school poetry book. It's stayed with me all these years! I thought I would mention it if anyone is interested in his poetry.




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 Post subject: Re: The 6 Degrees of Johnny and Julia
PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 4:14 pm 
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Thanks Liz, what a nice read.
When we read Hemingway I always liked Hadley and it's nice to read more of her life after Hemingway.
Hearing about Bumby, Alice B Toklas, and Sylvia Beach are like rereading a bit of A Moveable Feast.
Thanks Joni, Ferlinghetti's Underwear was great. He seems like the type of fellow in a bit later era that would have went commando. :biggrin:



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 Post subject: Re: The 6 Degrees of Johnny and Julia
PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 11:13 pm 
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Joni, you must have had a very progressive high school. Kudos to them. Thanks for sharing that.



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 Post subject: Re: The 6 Degrees of Johnny and Julia
PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 11:43 pm 
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Liz wrote:
Joni, you must have had a very progressive high school. Kudos to them. Thanks for sharing that.


The book is called 20th Century Poetry & Poetics. After thinking on this a bit, I remember that it was my older brother's book from university. I remember reading it when I was in high school though, and my brother gave me the book when he was finished with it. I had it for years but lost it during one of my moves. As luck would have it, I found the exact same edition in a used book store so I grabbed it of course!

My copy is the second edition, published in 1973. It's up to the fifth edition now, with many more poets added. The cover was quite psychedelic -- it's the second cover from the left:




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