Here's how we got our picture taken with Jimmy Carter and his wife.
Our son and his wife and daughter live in Columbus, Georgia. We were there on Easter weekend, I believe it was in 2004. Somewhere I had heard that President Carter sometimes taught Sunday school in Plains, and I got one of those harebrained schemes of mine: We would go to church with the former president!
I googled Maranatha Baptist Church, Plains, Georgia, and found out they have a schedule on their website that lets people know on which Sundays Mr. Carter will be teaching. There's even a list of frequently asked questions, which is how I found out we could get our picture taken with Jimmy and Ros. No autographs, though.
Secret Service fellows were outside the church, did a brief search of purses, and scanned our bodies with a metal detector of some sort.
Before Mr. Carter entered the sanctuary, a lady stood up before us and said, "When Mr. Carter comes out, please do not applaud; he doesn't like that."
What we didn't know was that there are two Sundays in the year when the church isn't over-crowded with tourists: Easter Sunday and Mother's Day. If we had gone any other time, we would likely have been in the fellowship hall watching the service on closed-circuit television. So we really lucked out, going on Easter Sunday.
While we were in Plains, we went through Carter's boyhood home, which was especially interesting to us because on the way to Georgia, I had been reading aloud from his book, "An Hour Before Daylight", which relates stories about his growing-up years. I love that book, by the way, and heartily recommend it.
So, if you want to brush shoulders with a former president, there's your chance. He's 87 years old, so don't delay too long.
Honestly, that was one of the more memorable experiences of my life. I'd go again in a heartbeat if it weren't so far away. And, as with most of my harebrained schemes, Cliff enjoyed it too.