SPECIAL REPORT: Jimmy Carter's life and legacy from Plains to th - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

SPECIAL REPORT: Jimmy Carter's life and legacy from Plains to the White House

(Source: WTVM) (Source: WTVM)

(WTVM) - Just beyond the welcome sign stamped with the presidential seal among the gnats and rich faith lies a southwest Georgia city fewer than 800 people known as Plains, Georgia - home of the 39th president of the United States of America.

“My name is Kim Fuller. President and Mrs. Carter are my aunt and uncle. In my family I think we were always considered different anyway so growing up in the family it was a matter of course and when he decided to run for president it was like okay…. He’s running for president!”

“As far as Plains is concerned this is their home and they’re just another ordinary – well they’re not ordinary of course but they're just a citizen of Plains and I think that is what they want to be seen as when it comes to Plains they’re just as interested in what happens here as I am or anyone else,” says Fuller.

Helping with events to keep Plains thriving is what the Carter’s want to do.

“I'm Ruth Sanders I’ve been the better hometown coordinator for seven years so I came around 2010 and that’s what I do I take care of the downtown area.”

“I rarely would ever schedule a project that we don’t come to their calendar first… they really don’t want to be left out,” says Sanders.

“It’s nothing to look up and they’re walking you know they’re walking downtown and for a tourist to be here on the day they walk into the café because you know he’s always going to speak when he’s done with his meal he’s going to walk to every table and speak to people,” says Sanders.

Speaking to people about President Carter is something one Plains native has been doing as long as she can remember.

“I’m Jan Williams and I’ve known the Carter’s most of my life.”

“I taught Amy in the fourth grade before she went to Washington and it was wonderful she was a very smart student plus I had two secret service men in my classroom too that’s great help with discipline if you need it,” says Williams.

Ms. Jan is part of the church president carter attends on Sundays from people from all over the world.

 “We have a lot of people tell us they’ve never been to church so we might have that one-time witness plus when they look at the carter’s life they’ll really see they’re Christians seven days a week,” says Williams.

“foreign countries, some speak our language some don’t  and we just have a marvelous group of people and their main objective is to come and hear the only president of the united states to teach a Sunday school class while he was president and the only former one who does one today,” says Williams.

A man that once held the most respected position in America known in this city as “Mr. Jimmy.”

“When I came in seven years ago I would thank them so much for accepting me as I don’t want to say an outsider but someone I do think they care for me truly and they want to be part of what we do and that would be my thank you for them,” says Sanders.

“Thank you for always supporting everything we did as far as the community is concerned and as a family member to thank you for always being there for us and making sure that we felt loved and you cared about what we did,” says Fuller.

“Without Jimmy Carter, we would’ve probably dried up like a lot of other small little towns…one of the saddest things that will ever happen in this town and the world is when they’re no longer here because I think people will say I wish we’d gone to Plains when he was living so for everybody listening he’s 92 she’s 89 we’d love to have you come and be part of this history experience of this hometown that produced the 39th president and first lady,” says Williams.

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