Saturday, 1 October 2011

'Farm Bell'

I doubt whether many people - on this side, anyway, of what we have been calling 'the big pond' for at least three hundred years - will guess who might have painted this charming, folksy scene from rural Georgia known simply as 'Farm Bell'.

Well, it was a charming, folksy, former president of the United States - Jimmy Carter. I like it, I must say, and I always had a soft spot for the peanut farmer from Georgia who first taught Sunday School at the age of eighteen; won the Democatic primary on an anti-segregation ticket in 1970 to become Governor of Georgia; put the family's peanut farm in the hands of a blind trust (to avoid even the hint of a conflict of interest) when he became the 39th president in 1977; missed by cruel minutes, and with great good grace, the release of the Iran Hostages when he left office in 1981; returned to Plains, Georgia to find that the trust had so mismanaged the farm he was in debt by a million dollars; founded the Carter Centre whose contributions to democracy, inter-state conflict resolution and human rights were recognised by his receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002 . . . and who still teaches Sunday School sixty-nine years later.

It's Jimmy Carter's 87th birthday today, and I hope he's had a good one.
blog comments powered by Disqus