Jim and Roxie (copy) (copy) (copy) (copy)

The Rev. Dr. Jim Watkins and Roxie

Roxie was surrounded by notebooks. “Roxie you are in a pile of papers. What’s up.?” “These are additions to my Human Watcher’s Guide. So much has been going on with you humans; its been hard to keep up with it. I may be in a pile of papers but you are in a pile of....”

“Don’t say it; this is a family newspaper. I know what you are talking about. “

“Tell you what Roxie, let’s take a break from all the bad news and note some good news.”

“I’m for that but some ground rules; no puns and no long stories.” “I promise no puns. However there is a story, but it’s not a long story.” “Okay.”

“There was a little boy who grew up on a farm in South Georgia. He had friends across all economic, social and racial divides. His respect for everyone as children of God was nurtured in his family and the small Baptist church he attended. He had dreams beyond the farm. He enrolled at GA Tech up in Atlanta.”

“Your Alma Mater.”

“Yes, but he transferred to the United States Naval Academy and served his country as a naval officer. He married his childhood sweetheart (to whom he is still married), left active duty and returned to help with what was now a family business. Soon he felt a call to serve God by serving others. This desire led him to seek public office — school board, state legislator, governor and finally President.”

“Ohhh. Now I know who the story is about, Jimmy Carter.”

“Yep. Jimmy’s term as president has often been written off as not being particularly productive. However in the midst of the mess we are in now, my impression is that he is better regarded. Upon taking office he promised to never lie to the American people. And he didn’t. He sought to hold other nations accountable for how they treated their citizens. He was concerned about renewable energy before it was in. He had solar panels put on the White House.”

“What I’ve heard about him is what he did after he lost the election for a second term and became just Jimmy.” “Yep, He founded the Carter Center. The Center has taken a lead in such things as eradicating diseases that threaten the poorest of the poor around the world. It has also been instrumental in monitoring elections around the globe. But probably Jimmy has been most visible as a supporter of Habitat for Humanity. He has personally helped build countless homes.’

“He sounds like a saint. No, I’ve still got a copy of a magazine in which he confessed that he had ‘lusted in his heart’. But he has lived out the faith that he first learned about in that little Baptist church in Plains, Georgia, a church where he still teaches Sunday School when he is in town.”

“Why don’t we toast Jimmy on the occasion of his birthday. Which birthday is it.” “He is ninety five. I’ll go get the chocolate stout.”

The Rev. Dr. Jim Watkins and Roxie live in Pawleys Island. His column is published twice monthly.