So not only did you teach me about writing memoir, you also taught me about reading and thinking about how others write memoir. Thank you so much! Rebecca
Showing posts with label President Jimmy Carter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label President Jimmy Carter. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Dealing with hard times and memories of good times

It seems that every day I hear bad news about someone I know. It comes with age, I suppose, that others in my generation are ending their worldly journeys. 

But seems the children of those I know and love are dealing with sickness and hard times. I hate to see my dear friends worrying and fearful for their adult children. My nieces and nephews that I babysat when I was a teen are now dealing with illnesses such as heart trouble and other issues. 

Hearing that President Jimmy Carter is now in Hospice care brought tears to my eyes and a heaviness to my heart. He is 98 years old and has lived a good life, doing so much for so many in this world. He is the only politician I have ever totally admired and felt a kinship with. He grew up in Plains, Georgia just a short drive from my home in Dougherty County. Barry and I were big supporters. I have Carter pins and a Carter hat in a drawer at home. Barry and his friends set up a Ham Radio station in Plains on the night of the election and broadcast all over the world that Jimmy Carter was the next president of the United States.

We often drove to Plains on weekends to see the activities going on there. We heard all the Billy Carter stories and I read everything I could find about Jimmy, his mother, Miss Lillian, and the sad stories of the deaths in the family from pancreatic cancer. 

When Jimmy Carter was governor of Georgia, I was busy with my young life and hardly paid any attention. But when he decided that he, a south Georgia peanut farmer, was running for president of the United States, we all sat up and paid attention. My brother, Hal, knew him through the Lions Club. Hal was once the District Governor of his region and so was Jimmy Carter. 

I recently learned that the future president got into politics because of the harsh statements of Georgia leadership about segregation
Carter did not like or believe that schools and public places should be separated between white and black people. The black population had very poor schools, often having to use worn-out books from the white schools if they even had books. The buildings were subpar and in bad shape.

I think when the racist Atlanta restaurant owner was elected governor of Georgia, Carter felt he must do something if he could. President Carter has always championed the underdog or the people who were unjustly mistreated in our society. He appointed more women and black people to office when he was president than all his predecessors combined. 

I recently listened to his TED talk about the mistreatment of women all over the world. He was adamant about the rise in sex trafficking of girls and women and I know he has done all he could to stop that horrible crime. If only we had more Jimmy Carters in this world. He used the influence gained from being the president to do fantastic things for third-world countries. His work with the Carter Center in Atlanta is outstanding.  

The Carter Center
Waging Peace. Fighting Disease. Building Hope.

A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, The Carter Center has helped to improve life for people in over 80 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; and improving mental health care. The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide.

I have several of his books and I highly recommend them. I ordered two more of them tonight. You can find them on  

I heard President Carter say that he has confidence in our country in spite of the past few years of upheaval. He said he had confidence in the American people and I trust he is right. I know he has been a role model for others and I hope his inspiration helps create many good men and women who follow in his footsteps. 
We need them.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

No Such Thing as a Bad Day: A Memoir - a book I highly recommend

Jordon and President Carter
When I travel in my car, I often listen to audio books. Recently I listened to a memoir, my favorite genre lately, No Such Thing as a Bad Day: A Memoir by Hamilton Jordon. For those who might not remember, Jordon was Chief of Staff for President Jimmy Carter’s administration. He worked with Carter when he was governor of Georgia. Jordon graduated from Albany High School which I attended, but I never knew him personally. Evidently he developed interest in politics early on as he mentions that he was an intern in Washington DC for Senator RichardRussel of Georgia.
But this book is not all about politics, although I did get a kick out of Jordon’s early opinion of Bill Clinton before most of us had ever heard of him. I was not surprised to learn that Clinton set out to charm Carter and his people when Jimmy was on the verge of becoming president, wooing his favor. 

Hamilton Jordon said he was more impressed by Hilary Rodham in her thick glasses and nondescript dress who criticized Governor Carter for not doing more to improve the lot of women in Georgia when he had 

The major impact of this book for me, having watched two loved ones die of cancer, had to be the detailed and touching manner Jordon discussed his three bouts with cancer; Lymphoma, melanoma and prostate cancer plagued him throughout his adult life after being exposed to Agent Orange in Viet Nam. My friend’s husband fought cancer brought on by Agent Orange which was sprayed on everything over there and exposed our military as well as non-military to this devastating chemical.

Jordon was advised early on to take charge of his health as he fought these battles. I found that to be true as well. A patient must learn all they possibly can about their illness and the possibilities out in the world of a cure or the best treatment available. When he was told he had lymphoma, he didn’t follow blindly the words of his doctor who didn’t give him a very favorable outcome. Jordon researched hospitals, talked to people and finally decided to leave Atlanta and the doctors there to go to Maryland where new treatments were becoming known.

I fought tears when I heard him tell about his fear of not seeing his little boy grow up and how he held him and cried. I know my husband had fears that he would not talk about. Most men don’t want to show weakness to their family, their wives. But, these kinds of tears are healing and we should not mind shedding them. Hearing Jordon reflect on his thoughts as he waited for a doctor’s report, watched his wife as she waited, and one time hearing on television, a false diagnosis of himself as he lay in a hospital bed – a terrible report of his health. He had not heard anything yet from his medical team, and was happy when they came in soon after to give him a more positive diagnosis.

I found a new respect for people in the public eye after Jordon told of the lies spread about him and Jody Powell, another man in the Carter administration. How do you fight outright lies that are spread all over the world by the media? Even in the NY Times article about his death, they made it sound as if those lies were true before saying differently. 

it was almost a year later that he and Powell were completely exonerated. No one paid much attention to that news. 

Coincidentally, I saw in my hometown newspaper yesterday that Jordon's three children had come to Albany to visit the family home where their father grew up. He reared his family in Atlanta. I learned that Jordon fought three more bouts of cancer in his life before he succumbed in 2008, the year before my husband died of lymphoma. Hamilton Jordon worked for cancer research, and I hope his efforts and those of others will some day bring about a cure.

Image result for Hamilton Jordan

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book even though the author was the reader. Sometimes I am not fond of an author's reading.
If any of you have read this book, let me know what you think about it. I plan to read or listen to the new book which his daughter edited after his death. It will be out soon.