Stuff I Write, Stuff I Like

On hearing the sad news about Jimmy Carter’s cancer

In Uncategorized on August 21, 2015 at 12:14 am

You can tell a lot about people from the way they behave on airplanes.

Back when I was a flight attendant, Jimmy Carter was on a flight I was working. It was a shuttle flight, D.C. to New York, maybe. No First Class, no fuss.

**FILE**Former President Jimmy Carter takes a question during a conference at The Carter Center in Atlanta, Tuesday, June 7, 2005. An independent panel Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2005 reversed a Pentagon recommendation that the New London submarine base in Connecticut, base be closed. One of the panel members even said a letter from Carter _ the only president to ever serve as a submariner _ pleading the panel to keep the base open was one of the reasons he voted against closure. (AP Photo/Ric Feld, File)

Jimmy Carter boarded with the other passengers. He stored his bag, then made his way through the cabin. He stopped at every row to shake hands. He said “hey there” and “good to see you,” like everyone was a friend. He asked “how are you?” and waited for an answer. He wasn’t going to stop until he’d greeted everyone on that plane.

When it was time for pushback, when we couldn’t wait any more, the Captain came on the PA and said, “We need everyone seated. Even you, Mr. President.”

Jimmy Carter blushed and waved. He apologized — to the people he didn’t get to, to the captain, to the other flight attendants and me. He said he was sorry to hold us up. He said he didn’t want to be any trouble.

You can tell a lot about people from the way they behave on airplanes.

Jimmy Carter is a good man.

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