Monday, April 04, 2011
We got thru the work week feeling better every day. On Friday nite we went out to dinner with Larry, our boss, and his wife Barbara. Went to a good seafood restaurant in Columbus and had a good time.
On Saturday we drove to Plains, Georgia. When Barb saw it was so close, about 45 miles, she said we should go see. We both feel that Jimmy Carter has done some great things since he was president, one of which is Habitat for Humanity.
Just outside of Plains we came to a sign for his boyhood home so we swung in there. It is part of the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site. The house is at it was in the 1930’s and there are farm buildings and the farm foreman’s house. It was interesting that all his young boyhood friends were black, even tho the south was still very segregated. We enjoyed listening to many recordings of Jimmy describing his upbringing.
We drove into town, we didn’t know what to expect since we were told that it was a blink and you miss it place. However we felt otherwise. There is a one block downtown of old brick buildings and very nice old homes line the main street. I parked the truck on main street and when we got out we saw a group of college age students standing on the edge of the street. We heard a very distinctive voice and we both said “that sounds like Rosalyn Carter.” Sure enough there she was with a microphone talking to the students. When I parked I wondered why this big fancy car was parked cockeyed in a parking place. And when we walked to the group a 30ish woman really stuck out. Aha, the Secret Service are keeping their eyes peeled. I took some photos and didn’t get hustled out so that was good. We were told that they make their home here and that Jimmy still teaches Sunday School several times a month and the public can visit the church while he teaches. They all walked across the street and we wandered down main street. We went into an old fashioned store and were offered some peanut samples like boiled and green and Barb’s favorite, chocolate peanut brittle. We had a nice conversation with a woman in the store who told us a lot about Plains. There was a lot of Carter memorabilia such as empty cans of Billy Beer for $5. After that we went to his campaign headquarters which was the old railroad depot. They could do things simpler back in 1976. There was a lot in there about the campaign. After that we went to the old high school where Jimmy and Rosalyn graduated that has been turned into the main visitor center for the national historic site. It was full of stories about the south, his presidency and the Carter Center which Jimmy and Rosalyn started “to advance human rights and alleviate human suffering.” There was also a good display about Rosalyn’s life and experiences at the White House.
After a bite to eat at Grandma’s we decided to walk down the street to where the Carter’s live. We watched a video on the only house they have ever owned and we knew it wasn’t visible from the road but decided to hike down there anyway. There was a split rail fence that Jimmy said he had built along the sidewalk and a “U” in the fence where a couple of interpretive panels describing the “compound” as it is called on the map. They own 12 acres and 4 acres are fenced in with the fencing that used to surround Nixon’s property in Florida. The panel tells also about the Secret Service protection they are given.
So anyway, I took a couple pictures and then we saw a couple of people walking out the gate. We both said “that looks like Rosalyn” as they walked out. We were walking back to the sidewalk and turned to walk further toward the main property when the couple turned down the sidewalk walking towards us. There was no doubt that it was Rosalyn and a secret service agent. Barb whispered back to me “should we say something or what?” When we got near Rosalyn stopped, put out her hand and said “Hi, I’m Rosalyn Carter.” Talk about stuttering and stammering, we’d never met anyone who lived in the White House. We exchanged some pleasantries, she said she was walking to a friend’s house and I asked the agent if he would take our picture. He said that was up to Mrs. Carter. She was not pleased with her hair but said ok so I gave my camera to the agent who graciously took our picture. Well that gave us something to talk about since we had never done anything like that before.
On Sunday we went to Fort Benning and toured the National Infantryman’s Museum. This is an almost new museum and has some very unique displays. Barb enjoyed the section on WW II since her Dad had spent a long time in Europe in the Army infantry. We killed the whole day there.
Today was another day at the salt mine pounding nails. Got hot today, 86, only one degree from the local record for the day. Now we are listening to tornado watches being posted in our area and keeping our fingers crossed. Check back in a few days and see if we survive.