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After three months at the hospice, Jimmy Carter appreciates the tribute and ice cream



NORCROSS, Georgia — Three months after being admitted to a nursing home, former President Jimmy Carter remains in good spirits visiting family, following public discussions of his legacy, and receiving updates on the Carter Center’s humanitarian efforts around the world. says his grandson. He even enjoys regular servings of ice cream.

“Now they’re just going out with the family, but they’re doing it in the best possible way: the two of them at home,” Jason Carter said of Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter, now 98 and 95.

“They were together 70 plus years. They also know they’re not in charge,” the younger Carter said in a brief interview Tuesday. “Their faith is really growing at the moment. So it’s as good as it gets.”

Longest-lived US President Jimmy Carter announced in February that, after a series of short hospitalizations, he would refuse further medical attention and spend the rest of his life in the same modest one-story house in Plains where they lived when he was first elected to the State Senate in 1962. No sickness. what is revealed.

Current tributes

The announcement of the hospice’s departure prompted continued tribute and media attention to his 1977-81 presidency and the global humanitarian work the couple had done since the founding of the Carter Center in 1982.

“It’s been one of the blessings of the last few months,” Jason Carter said after speaking Tuesday at an event honoring his grandfather. “He will certainly see the outpouring, and it certainly gave him pleasure.”

The former president also receives updates on the Carter Center. Guinea worm eradication The program was launched in the mid-1980s when millions of people were affected by parasites spread through unclean drinking water. There were less than two dozen cases in the world last year.

And in less serious moments, he also continues to enjoy peanut butter ice cream, his favorite flavor, in keeping with his political brand of peanut farmer, his grandson said.

Carter’s legacy

Andrew Young, who served as Carter’s ambassador to the UN, told the AP that he, too, visited the Carters “a few weeks ago” and was “very happy that we can laugh and joke about the old days.”

Young and Jason Carter joined other friends and fans Tuesday for the former president’s celebration on Jimmy Carter Boulevard in suburban Norcross, northeast of Atlanta. Young said the setting – in one of the most racially and ethnically diverse suburbs in America – reflects the former president’s broader legacy as a man who sought peace, conflict resolution and racial justice.

When the nearly 10-mile highway in Gwinnett County was renamed in 1976—the year he was elected president—the small towns and bedroom communities on the outskirts of metropolitan Atlanta were just beginning to boom. Now Gwinnett alone has a population of about 1 million, and Jimmy Carter Boulevard is thriving, with many businesses owned by black owners, immigrants, or first-generation Americans.

Young, a top aide to the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. during the Civil Rights Movement, said Carter started out as a white South Georgia politician during Jim Crow segregation, but he proved his values ​​were different.

As governor and president, Carter believed that “peace can come to Georgia and show everyone how to live together,” Young said.

Now Georgia “looks like the whole world,” said Young, 91.

Nicole Love Hendrickson, elected in 2020 as the first black chair of the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners, praised Carter as “a person who shows exceptional respect for the humanity of others.”

Reassessment of the past

Referring to Carter’s crushing re-election defeat, Young said he personally enjoyed how historians and others found success stories when they re-evaluated the Carter presidency – ceding control of the Panama Canal, developing a national energy strategy, getting involved in Africa more than anyone. another US president. . Such advances were either unpopular at the time or were overshadowed by Carter’s failure to curb inflation, alleviate energy crises, or release American hostages in Iran before the 1980 election.

“I told him, ‘You know, it took you over 50 years to appreciate President Lincoln. It can take a long time to evaluate you,” Young said.

“No one thought about the Panama Canal. It would never have occurred to anyone to unite Egypt and Israel. I mean, I thought about trying to do something in Africa, but no one else in Washington did it, and they did it. He always had an idea for everything.”

However, when Jason Carter addressed fans of his grandparents on Tuesday, he objected to thinking of them as global celebrities.

“They’re just like all your grandparents – I mean, to the extent that your grandparents are rednecks from South Georgia,” he said with a laugh. “If you go there even today, they have a little counter next to the sink where they dry Ziplock bags.”

Jason Carter said that the most remarkable thing is that such a meeting took place while his grandfather was still alive.

“We really thought that when he got into hospice, it was very close to the end,” he told those present. “Now I just want to tell you that he will be 99 in October.”

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