As we add days, months, and even years to our lives, we forget many things… but, it’s amazing the things we remember.
With the news of former President Jimmy Carter’s illness and his choice of at home hospice care, it brings forth a memory of when I worked for The News Journal. An unknown individual arrived in the parking lot in a very impressive automobile.
I saw the car parked in front of the entrance and began asking questions. It was obviously someone of importance, though I had never heard of Jimmy Carter before.
We were one of his early stops around the country for Carter to become acquainted with and share the fact that he would be running for President of the United States.
Needless to say, as we were watching his climb to presidency, we were aware that (like Truman) this man was different from most of the predecessors. He was the hometown fellow from Plains, Georgia who treasured his family, his home, and his church.
After finishing high school, Jimmy Carter worked toward earning admission to the Naval Academy in 1943. While at the academy, Carter fell in love with Rosalynn Smith, The two married shortly after his graduation in 1946.
From 1946 to 1953, Carter and Rosalynn lived in Virginia, Hawaii, Connecticut, New York, and California, during his deployments in the Atlantic and Pacific fleets. In 1948, he began officer training for submarine duty. In 1951, he qualified for command, and served in several positions, to include executive officer.
In March 1953, Carter began nuclear power school, a six-month non-credit course covering nuclear power plant operation. He planned to be on the second U.S. nuclear submarine. His plans changed when his father died. Carter obtained a release from active duty so he could take over the family peanut business. Rosalynn said that returning to small-town life in Plains seemed “a monumental step backward” when Carter left active duty October 9, 1953.
I checked to see the many things of interest he had and it would require a large book to cover Carter’s life. One thing that he has supported and worked at throughout his civilian lifetime is Habitat for Humanity.
It is amazing to realize that our 98-year-old, 39th president, Jimmy Carter has lived more years than any other president.
Throughout his time in office and even to this day, President Carter’s demeanor has been of a fine man in the neighborhood who is true to his country, home, family, and friends.
We remember when he came here one day, a stranger in a fancy car.
Kitty Maiden is a staff writer for Seniors Today.