Thursday, November 03, 2011

Jimmy Carter

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.  

I nabbed this photo off the church's website to show you it's normally standing room only in the sanctuary; there were some empty seats the day we were there.  The actual church membership is very small, I believe; the choir consisted of no more than a dozen people.  I'm sure the revenue brought in by tourists is considerable.  We bought a VCR tape of the class that day.  
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.  


BlueRidge Boomer said...

I spent the first three years of my life in Columbus.....small world!

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

What a wonderful experience for you. I'm glad Cliff chooses to go along with you. Your life is never boring .

patsy said...

JIMMY Carter's time in office was not a great 4 years but I have decided he was just to good for the job since he left office he has done so many good deeds.
I remember Pat very well and his church. He got into a scrap with his church and started holding meeting in his back yard and babtisting people in his swimming pool which some members of his church didn't like and if I rememberr right they kicked him out of the church.

Jon said...

That's a great story! I was never exactly a Carter fan, but I applaud him for being so incredibly active at his age!

School Time said...

Jimmy Carter is a cousin to the Sisters is why is he so awesome! Just wanted you to have the rest of the story, Donna! His roots go back to the Powells of Caswell County, NC. We are one family!

Lindie said...

Very cool! He is a good man even if I don't agree with him politically.


So there was more to this story than met the eye. You actually plotted and planned your BIG moment in time. How exciting. Makes it even more interesting. LOVE it. Take care.

Margaret said...

That is awesome! I love Jimmy Carter, although he wasn't the best president. He was too nice a man for that job!