This Old House meets The French Chef

julia and ken sound system upgrade

OK.  There is a link between my knowing Julia Child and the work being done at the theatre right now.  Here goes…

A few weeks ago our Technical Director let me know that our sound board was once again in need of repair.  It wasn’t a horribly expensive project – maybe a couple of thousand – but we were concerned that it had been “repaired” so many times over the years that it was really on its last leg.  What would happen if it went out during a show?  And while we were on that subject, what about those aging speakers that were beginning to overshadow the otherwise superb acoustics in our theatre?  $50,000 later the scaffling is up and the new sound system is going in.   If you love music at the Paramount, you are in for a real treat.  Please accept my sincere apology for not realizing the issue sooner.

At 93 years old, the Paramount is beginning to show its age.  Peeling paint, failing plaster, broken light fixtures… and it is never a simple trip to the Home Depot to fix the problem.   Like an old house there is always something to do.   And speaking of this old house…

Russell Morash produced This Old House for PBS.  He also produced The French Chef starring Julia Child.   I met Julia back in 1996 when she came to Atlanta for a charity event I was coordinating for Project Open Hand.  I got to spend some quality time with Julia and I can say that Meryl Streep’s portrayal of Julia is near perfect.

I have a funny story about my time with Julia.  Every Chef in Atlanta begged us to bring her to their restaurant for lunch or dinner  while she was in town.   I am not joking when I say every Chef.  The sky was the limit.  When we picked Julia up from the airport I let her know that we could dine anywhere she wished.   She picked McDonald’s… the drive-thru.  No joke. 

At the event that day she was asked by a reporter where she had lunched.  The room gasped when she responded that she had a hamburger from McDonald’s.  When asked to explain, she laughed with that wonderful laugh of hers and said that it was not only a good little hamburger as far as hamburgers go but even more important to her was the consistency.  She traveled quite a bit and knew that no matter where she was she could count on that good little hamburger being just as good in this city as it was in that city.

I got to spend several hours with Julia and I have fond memories.  Too bad I didn’t think to call this blog Julie Ken & Julia.  And too bad I no longer look as young as I did in that picture…

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4 responses to “This Old House meets The French Chef

  1. Jonathan Harmantas

    My friend Ken is still handsome and smart as ever!!

  2. You do look amazing in that picture! You’ll always have the great smile and dimple . . .

  3. I would love to visit with you about Julia Child. She and I had a mutual friend on the East Coast.

  4. jay manwaring ferguson

    Ken, you look great still. That was a very interesting story. You’ve met so many amazing people. I will now check out the movie. Jay

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