It was the early 1970s. Georgia’s new governor, a young man by the name of Jimmy Carter, was a breath of fresh air in the capitol. He was following the administration of Lester Maddox, a governor so bigoted that he threatened to “defend” his restaurant, Atlanta’s Pickrick, from black customers by wielding ax handles.
Well traveled as commander of a U.S. nuclear submarine, Carter had come to appreciate the similarities and basic rights of people far beyond our own borders. And just as important, he was learning how the environment makes possible our very existence on this planet. Growing up with a knowledge of sound farming practices and the need for clean water and air led Carter to explore policies—both on a state and national level—that affect our quality of life.
During this time, I was working as a river guide and met Carter when I took him canoeing, kayaking, and rafting on three trips down the Chattooga River.