Rite of Passage Fifteen –All At Sea –
1959 I am twenty-five years old
Q. It’s like the hand pressed into a memory foam mattress; it leaves a clear impression…for a moment…then it’s gone. I gave the impression I had been there and done that; was that a lie?
The need to be accepted…is not that a perfectly natural human need?
I certainly felt that as an immigrant to New Zealand; add in the new job as the overall ‘senior officer’ of the food services branch of the Royal New Zealand Air Force and the ‘normal need’ became a major concern!
When I was asked to contribute to the Woman’s Hour Program or radio I was flattered and frightened but finally I agreed because of my need for acceptance…perhaps being on the public airwaves would help?
It took me nine months of regular monthly rejections to finally wind up with an acceptable script for A Cooks Tour –that was back in 1959.
After a truly awful initial recording experience I was ‘accepted’ and began a series of programs based on my past experiences with food and wine in England and Europe.
It didn’t take many episodes for my pool of actual memories of past meals…dried up!
Somehow I came across an old secondhand cookbook titled The Esquire International Cookbook –in which several authors provided elaborate details of well-known eateries around the world, complete with recipes.
It was just what I needed but how could I use it and escape telling a lie?
So…what about now?
I was told by the producer to use the material but drop my reference to having been there. This I did…and it seemed to make no difference since I had started out on A Cooks Tour with known places. My listeners assumed this was more of the same!
Eventually, much later on, as you will learn, this led me to the almost impossible (and expensive) burden of insisting on visiting each actual location on film for the Galloping Gourmet series and other series’ that would follow.
This need for early acceptance had been met, in my present day opinion, by a falsehood –albeit not expressed directly; it had been understood that I was a well-travelled ‘gourmet’ whose travels had justified his claim to know his stuff.
To have access to others through the public media is to be a person ‘set apart’. It’s not something that everyone can do and yet, if it is based on a falsehood it may fail to achieve the level of acceptance that is the ‘human need’ of the performer.
It was my first foot on the ladder of media success –and because of my ‘source’ of information –I was robbed of that satisfaction.
Better by far is the phrase: HUMILITY is being known for who you are! Therefore PRIDE could be being known, back then, for who I was not!
I’m so grateful I learned that important lesson so early on.
This week I read Treena’s poem Jerusalem.