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Saturday, February 9, 2013

Georgia Road Trip, January 2003

Yes, you read that subject heading correctly: it was a full decade ago, almost five years before I started this blog, that David and I drove south with our old dog, stopping in many little towns along the way. A couple old photo CDs from that trip surfaced recently, and in response to one of my readers, Bob and Carol’s daughter (who may not even know that her mother told me she, the daughter, missed my road trip posts from other winters), I’ve decided to take one day a week for a while to revisit vacation scenes of years ago. Ready? Let’s go! The year is 2003, and we are making the first of several pilgrimages to Plains, Georgia, home of President Jimmy Carter. Plains is a pretty small town, but for part of the year it is serviced by a short line train from nearby Americus. Here is downtown Plains:

Plains, Georgia
Whenever we go to Plains (most recently in January of 2010), we plan to arrive about midday on Sunday, just in time for a big Sunday Southern dinner at Mom’s Kitchen, a no-frills, cafeteria-style restaurant with some of the best home cooking in the South. Whatever you do, do not miss the sweet potato pie!!! But then, anything you have to eat there will be good. You'll leave clean plates behind....

Mom's Kitchen, Plains, Georgia
Then we visit the Plains Trading Post and walk around the old peanut warehouses. Red clay soil and red bricks—it all makes sense.

Arcade, downtown Plains

Slightly scary old warehouse sign
Nikki had a little trouble on this first trip, and we were terribly worried that she might not even make it out of Plains. What if she died and we had to bury her there? We took pictures of each other with her, and an obliging policewoman took a picture of all three of us. She was an old dog, but she recovered and lasted another four years, bless her heart!

The old pack pauses on the road
President Carter went to high school in this handsome building, now a museum. I would have loved to watch the first Obama inauguration here!

President Jimmy Carter went to high school here

Old Plains High School Auditorium
A short drive through the countryside from Plains takes us to Archery, the little community that was Jimmy Carter’s boyhood home. Here is the house, which is in my favorite Georgia architectural style.

Old Carter home, Archery
And nearby is the store that Carter’s father ran, the store young Jimmy worked in as a boy.

Old country store at Archery

Inside country store
We’re staying home again this winter, but that’s no reason not to do a little armchair traveling. And for follow-up reading, my book recommendation to go with today’s trip is Carter’s engaging memoir, An Hour Before Daylight. It’s a lovely book to read aloud to someone you love on a snowy, cold, Michigan winter night.

[This is the twelve-hundredth post on Books in Northport.]


dmarks said...

Imagine a sign at a place like that restaurant:

"Food so good our customers completely clean their plates. Which completely saves on dishwashing expenses!"

Anyway. do you remember this much older post of mine?.

P. J. Grath said...

You would enjoy the memoir more than the Carter book you tried, dmarks. Not everyone has hunted or fished, but we were all kids once.

If you look closely at the photo taken inside Mom's Kitchen, you'll see that the plates are disposable. :)

dmarks said...

Reminds me of the story I heard about a Southern motel where the sheets were also disposable. Not sure the state.

The owners won the lotto or came into money some other way rather suddenly. They hated washing the sheets. So they stopped entirely.

They just had the maids open the windows and toss the dirty linens out when they were changing the beds and cleaning the rooms.

The motel was at the top of a hill, that the back (and windows) looked out over. So the hillside soon became a cascade of white sheets tossed out.

P. J. Grath said...

This has the whiff of an apocryphal tale, although truth is sometimes stranger....

dmarks said...

Very apocryphal... but this also pre-dated the Internet by many years.