A leader you can respect

The reporter's notebook


Last updated 3/1/2023 at 1:03pm

Jimmy Carter is in the news.

At 98, Carter has entered hospice care. He has been counted out many times only to resurface with a hammer in his hand, building houses for other people.

While having a lackluster one-term presidential record, he has distinguished himself in many other ways.

If you wonder where all the true leaders and men of virtue have gone, Mr. Carter has been here all the time.

I first met Jimmy Carter while in Atlanta for a Suburban Newspapers of America conference. Carter was keynote speaker and helped kick the conference off.

When he was through speaking, I noticed that he was near the stage and no one was around him, so I decided to go up and meet him.

He was very friendly, and we visited for a while before anyone else came up to meet him.

He invited me to come out to the governor’s mansion the next day, so I went out by bus.

I was impressed because he remembered my name and where I was from.

We had a good conversation, and he told me that he planned to run for president and said he thought he would win.

Mr. Carter was president of the national governor’s organization, which was going to meet in Seattle a couple of months later. He said he planned a get- together while there and wanted me to come. I got a letter from Carter giving me time and place for the meeting and an invite.

We went to the place, and Jimmy and Rosalind met my wife and I at the door and called us by name. The place was filled by democrats and friends he had made along the way.

He had not made a public announcement until that night.

It wasn’t long after that when I received a signed photo of Carter with a suitable comment.

I have followed him through his Habitat for Humanity efforts and his primary message calling for peace among nations.

The country has looked for such a message, and Carter was here all the time.

Mr. Carter is moving into the final chapter of his life.

I remember that when he was elected governor of Georgia the media stated that he was a person to watch.

He has distinguished himself and has served the country and humanity well.

We can all hope that Carter will have an easy time while in hospice care.

I think the president should call a “Jimmy Carter” day to honor the former president for his lifetime achievements.


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