By Joe Giannone Jr.
Past weekend, while on a vacation with my family, we stayed and played in Plains, Georgia. What’s so special about Plains, Georgia, you ask? Well, first of all it’s the leading producer of pecan and cotton in Georgia, and it’s the home and birthplace of our countries 39th president, Mr. Jimmy Carter. Past President Carter still resides in Plains, at his beautiful home, teaching Sunday school at the local Baptist Church whenever he has the chance. People flock from all over the country, even the world, to see this man speak; it’s truly an amazing sight to see. Observers from all walks of faith gather to see Mr. Carter talk for an hour about Jesus and his teachings. Watching Mr. Carter teach Sunday school isn’t the only thing that one can do while visiting Plains. “The Jimmy Carter Historic Society,” is an organizationset up by Mr. Carter himself to rebuild and renovate 3 historical sites in Plains that were important in his life, and shaped the way he was as a person and as President of the United States.
As a tourist, or even as a historical buff, you can visit sites like Jimmy Carter’s boyhood farm and home. You can see how he and his family worked, played and survived in the 1920’s rural Plains, Georgia. The next site, featured in Plains, is Mr. Carter’s High School, formally named “Jimmy Carter’s Historical High School Site.” Through the organization and the people of Plains, this old high school was renovated and preserved. It gives visitors a look at the past through the modern window of showrooms, and televisions, explaining Jimmy Carter’s past in High School, and his years through campaigning and his presidency. The old text books are scattered throughoutrenovated, but still preserved, classrooms showcasing what it would be like if you were sitting there 70 years ago. Oscar Wilde, Shakespeare, and Ralph Waldo Emerson, are just some of the authors whose books that people still read. In their decaying and smelly condition, they’re nostalgic; bringing people back to the time when reading books one actually contemplated their meanings. It’s truly a surreal experience.
The other Historical Sites that can be seen in Plains are Billy Carter’s (Jimmy’s brother) service station. You can also visit other farms that the people of Plains worked on, and Mr. Carter’s campaign headquarters in downtown Plains. Jane Williams, the governess to Amy Carter, and the manager of the Plains Inn, where my family and I stayed, runs the antiques tore under the inn. She explained to me that, “During the 70’s when Jimmy was campaigning, most of the people in thetown volunteered to give a helping hand in aiding Mr. Carter’s campaign, unless they were Republican,” she gently laughed. She also gave me some fascinating information that “I’m sure most people don’t know,” she said. Jimmy Carter and his family, had to buy their own food, unless for a ceremonial official dinner. She also mentioned that “President Carter was the first president to be born in a hospital.” His mother, Lillian, was a Registered Nurse at the hospital, when she went into labor during a surgery she was assisting with. The doctor told her she could not leave to have her baby at home, so she stayed in the hospital and had her son.” Overall it was a great experience and I hope more people can see the amazing past of a president who was a great and honorable man.