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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Washington, D.C.

    I shook hands with Jimmy once

    In 2000, after the election in November, but before the outcome was clear, Jimmy Carter and other living ex-presidents came to Washington for some sort of anniversary of the White House.

    At the time, I worked at a law firm in DC named Wilmer Cutler and Pickering. Lloyd Cutler had been Carter's White House counsel. One morning, I heard some commotion down the hall and poked my head out of my office, like everybody else on the hall. We saw men in suits with microphones standing outside the legal recruiting office and heard laughter coming from that office. Just about then, Carter emerged from the legal recruiting office and looked up and saw all of us staring at him. He smiled serenely and said something like, "When I was in the White House, I worked for Lloyd Cutler too." He then walked down the hall to Lloyd Cutler's office shaking everybody's hand on the way.

    I don't know why, but he seemed to emanate this great sense of serenity. I imagine that one would feel the same way meeting the Dalai Lama.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Hot'Lanta... home of the Falcons!
    Back in 1999, CNN had an idea for a documentary series on some of the great people of the past decade or so and what they thought about the next century. It would be called Visions and I was tapped to be the producer of it. We had to make a pilot episode to sell the thing to a big corporate sponsor and we chose Jimmy Carter for that pilot.

    I spent three days with Carter in Plains -- watching him attend a large Carter family reunion; walking down the streets of Plains with him while he opined about the future of America's farms and small towns; going with him to church and seeing him teach his Sunday School class. We then spent a day with him attending board meetings and other stuff at the Carter Center. Finally, my anchor sat down and did a 2 hour interview with the former President, discussing all he had accomplished and his hopes and dreams for the future.

    Sadly, the series never got picked up and the 1-hour special I produced has been gathering dust in a CNN vault ever since. But, spending those days with him remains one of the great experiences of my journalism career.

    I would not even begin to say I got to know the man well, but I got to know him a little bit. All the things everyone says about what a great humanitarian he is are understated. He's even better up close, in person, than he is as a public figure. He fervently believes in the good in humanity and thinks we all should spend some time every day doing something to help our fellow man. He is a man of great, unbending faith in God who thinks it is a privilege to pass a message of hope and help onto others. To this day, if anyone asked me the best person I ever met, I would say Jimmy Carter without hesitation.

    I know that at some point in the next few weeks, the sad news will come that we have lost this giant among men. I suspect there will be worldwide mourning as Jimmy Carter turned the end of his presidency into a global mission to spread peace and democracy all across our planet. I recall someone once saying that Jimmy Carter had saved more lives than any world leader in history (for his tireless work eliminating the Guinea Worm in Africa).

    Anyway, enough rambling from me. Just wanted to chime in about my person experience with the man. Can't believe how long ago it was. I wish I had fresher memories...
    I don't know what you are doing right now, but if you aren't listening to the DBR Podcast, you're doing it wrong.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Watching carolina Go To HELL!
    Jason, after President Carter passes maybe the 1 hour special you produced will finally air!
    Ozzie, your paradigm of optimism!

    Go To Hell carolina, Go To Hell!
    9F 9F 9F

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Jason, did they use any of the footage for the special they did about JC and music?

    For all who missed that one, worth seeing if it is available on some medium.

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