The strongest of all warriors are these two—
time and patience —Leo Tolstoy
Jimmy Carter’s interview with Playboy and his admission that, in his heart, he’d lusted . Quite
an admission from a devout, practicing, Sunday school teaching Baptist, but made with an
engaging, open honesty and a complete, maybe even oblivious, disregard for the great
mountain of pure gold that he was handing to comedians with nothing better to snigger at.
But love him, or hate him, or not really care much either way, it's hard not to admit that he
led quite the life ....
the Peace Corps and served in India for two years, who scared the bejesus out of me with her
direct, steely-Magnolias gaze and uncompromising opinions and spirit. She was another unique
product that could only have been produced by this country, this "Shining City On A Hill".
And the soft spoken, equally-steely-but-in-a-gentler-way Rosalyn, with her quiet wit and
soothing drawl. Another American original.
Humanity, fighting for the eradication of obscure parasites in uninspiring, dusty and probably
not-all-that-healthy-for-an-aging-body African countries that couldn’t have been the usual
plush, lush or comfy ride of the average political junket. And his determined travels to
oversee elections in countries that weren’t known for honesty, where just his presence seemed
to guarantee, and demand, a fair shake.
He was a vocal and determined defender and promoter of democracy, and, as in every other
part of his life, he lived that faith vehemently, almost exuberantly on his good days, more
sternly on his serious ones.
devout, truly kind, truly decent and good human beings, who felt that God had put them here to
do something more than take up space and drink Billy Beer. Not that they ever did. He endured
his wayward brother with love and grace and only an occasional pained wince.
He brokered peace talks between two of the world’s most fussin’ and a-feudin’ nations at that
time: Israel and Egypt, enemies since Moses brought the Jews out of Pharaoh’s land. He set
the week-long attempt at a rapprochement between Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat at
historic Camp David intentionally, and against the horrified outcries of righteous indignation
of practically all of D.C. and a lot of the rest of the nation.
involved with the Navy's nuclear submarine programs, among other nuclear undertakings, he’d
inevitably say nu-cu-lar instead of ‘nuclear’, even as he was working tirelessly to make sure
that we didn’t get an even closer acquaintance with 'nuclear' and what it could do to the human
body, and to our planet ….
for resolving the Iran hostage crisis, it was Jimmy Carter who agonized and bargained and
threatened and gave a little to get a lot and finally actually got the agreement for the release,
but in a final and despicably low blow, Iran refused to release the hostages while Carter was
in office, which says a lot about the toughness of President Carter’s negotiating skills.
pandemic, and the limitations that placed on everything from his globe-trotting good works to
his Sunday School classes at his much beloved Maranatha Baptist church, where he’d shared
his understanding of the Good Book and the Lord for decades, always to an appreciative stand-
ing- room only crowd.
So the symbol of yet another era quietly edges off the stage, and another memory of the country
of my youth fades away, and I’m so very very sad right now.
all those shiny words), “We shall not look upon (their) like again …”