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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

My Presidential Weekend

About a month ago, 3 friends and I headed down to Plains, Georgia to see Jimmy Carter teach a Sunday School lesson.  One of the friends and I have been discussing doing this for 2 years now and we have never gotten around to it and we decided it was time to go!

However, when we arrived that Sunday morning at the church, we found out that Rosalynn Carter had to have emergency surgery and was in Atlanta (where we had come from).  Of course her husband Jimmy was by her side and rightly so.  We were disappointed but totally understood.

We decided to try again this past weekend and fortunately, he was there this time.  He told us that Rosalynn was doing better and that she was almost 91 (he is 93).

Our weekend started out with a stop in Juliette, GA.  This is where the movie Fried Green Tomatoes was filmed.  I have been here a few times before but I always appreciate a good meal here.  Their food is outstanding!!  Good southern food cooked from scratch and using fresh (not canned/frozen) vegetables.  Of course we had to get some Fried Green Tomatoes - they truly are the best I have ever had!!



I usually get the country fried steak when I visit here but this time I tried the chopped steak, which was topped with homemade mashed potatoes and gravy and onion rings along with speckled butter beans.  

I didn't finish my meal (lots of food) but if you ever visit - try and save room for dessert - the pecan cobbler is DELICIOUS!!



 On the first weekend, we paid a visit to Andersonville, which was a Civil War Prison Camp.  There is a P.O.W. Museum there and it is so worth taking the time to go through.  It is a National Park so it is free of charge.  It is a sad place but an important part of our history.


We also took some time, the previous visit, to ride around on the campus of Georgia Southwestern State University where Jimmy and Rosalynn both attended college.  Here I am in front of the library with her statue.


 
We spent the night in Americus, GA and the next morning we headed to Maranatha Baptist Church. We got there about 6 am and we were the 60th car to arrive - there were already 150 people ahead of us!!



We were let into the church at 8 am and received an orientation on how to act around a former President and not to clap and such as that, security and such. We met the preacher - a young man of only 23.  During this time, they passed around 4 collection plates so we could look at them.  They were hand made by President Carter (you can see his initials on the bottom).  Of course during Sunday School and during Church services they were passed around for the offerings but they wanted people to get a look at his handwork first.


He has made many things for the church (bookcases, tables, chairs and such) - he even made this beautiful cross that hangs in the sanctuary.



Between Sunday School and Church, we had a small break and I went to the ladies room.  While standing in line, President Carter came walking by with the Secret Service.  He looked me right in the eye and said "Good morning, thank you for coming" - I said "Good morning, Thank you!".  I get chills now thinking about it - we right there less than 2 feet from each other and he spoke directly to me.  How awesome is that?!

He gave a wonderful Sunday School lesson and we stayed for church and heard a good sermon.  Afterwards, we got to have our photo with him - what a gracious man!


After church, we went to the only resturant in town for lunch (very good).  The previous weekend we were there we went to the old High School he and Rosalynn attended, which is now a museum.
We enjoyed that so much that we went back there again (also a National Park so free of charge)



We didn't go there this time, but the last weekend we were there we also went to his childhood home.


Along this road is the famous Haunted House of Sumter County.  Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter along with their family lived here for 6 years.  You can see more about the haunted house HERE.  This video includes the the wonderful Ms. Jan, who I was very happy to meet since she is a church member at Maranatha Baptist Church.  She also runs the only Inn in Plains, GA.  We love Ms. Jan!

After seeing all the National Historic places in Plains, I had to stop and get my photo by the big peanut.  I had a photo taken with the same peanut (although it was at the depot then) in 1976!!
(I'm the taller one in the photo)




We ended our day in Plains by enjoying some homemade Peanut Butter Ice Cream - yummy!!


If you are in Georgia and it happens to be the weekend that the former President is speaking - take the time and go - get there early to ensure they don't run out of seats (there are fire code laws that allow only so many people in the building).  You will be so happy you had this experience!!

NOTE:  While there, CBS was filming for CBS Sunday Morning.  We saw the film crew at the church, we ran into them at the High School/Museum, at the train depot/campaign headquarters and at his boyhood home.  I can't wait to see the show when it airs - who knows, maybe my friends and I will be on TV!!








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