During my last road trip through "Three Southern Cities", I stopped in Plains, Georgia. While in Plains, I visited several sites that are included within the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site.
My first stop was Plains High School. This building now houses the visitor center for the historic site. While at the school, I stood in one of the classrooms where Jimmy Carter was a student:
From there, I walked down the street and saw Billy Carter's gas station:
Jimmy Carter's boyhood home and family farm are located just a couple of miles outside of town. This is the boyhood home:
And this is the store that the family operated on the farm:
On the way back into town, I stopped by the Lebanon Cemetery where members of the Carter family are buried--Jimmy Carter's mother, father and brother:
Downtown Plains looks just like it did more than 100 years ago:
The Carter Presidential Campaign Headquarters was housed at the Plains Train Depot on Main Street:
I've visited five presidential historic sites over the past couple years--Truman, Nixon, Reagan, Clinton and now Carter. What made this last trip so special was that I saw President Carter on consecutive days in his hometown!
While visiting Main Street in downtown Plains, I went into one of the stores for a peanut butter ice cream cone. As I left the store, I heard a familiar voice. It was the former President:
He was speaking at a small gathering in honor of local veterans and police officers. His speech was followed by presentations by the major and chief of police. The population of Plains is only about 600. The event reminded me of something from Mayberry on the Andy Griffith Show...in a good way.
The next morning, I attended Jimmy Carter's Sunday School class at Maranatha Baptist Church. The former President was most impressive. Jimmy Carter is 92 years old now. He spoke on a complex topic for 45 minutes--never stumbling over a word and never once referring to any notes.
One of the things I enjoy about traveling is that you never know what you'll get to see. Seeing President Carter on consecutive days was a pleasant surprise and a highlight of this road trip.