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Meck Memories with The President in Plains
TheMeck.Com, April 27, 2003
by David Meckley The Meck

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 .. taping President Carter's commercial promoting
Plains, Ga.-his hometown .. Apr. 27, 2003 .. Meck interview - Walter comes
to Plains .
Meck Memories with The President in Plains .. Sunday Apr. 27, 2003 ..
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Plains, Ga -Train Depot.
We are in Plains to tape a commercial with former President Jimmy Carter.
promoting tourism in Plains. He is always prompt they say. Right on time.
A few minutes before 2 .. President Carter pulls up escorted by the Secret

When they first saw each other on this beautiful Sunday afternoon
by the train in Plains ..
President Carter embraced Walter Banks with a big hug and smile.
I will never forget .. and neither will Walter.

The first words President Carter said to Glen Serra, Walter and I when
we met Sunday afternoon at the train depot in Plains.
"Javy just hit a Homerun. " [ I knew he and I had a kindred spirit.]

Perfect Timing. He had no idea we had an autographed bat for him
from Javy Lopez . [ I had asked my friend Javy for the bat.
Walter came through as he always does and delivered it. ]
President Carter greeted those coming off the train .." Welcome to Plains. "

He shook hands with families gathered around and we walked
several blocks to the Plains Historic Inn.
It seemed like a Family reunion with his friends Walter and Glen
walking with him and visiting .. Greeting those he met along the way.

Camera Rolling .. President Carter walking with his dear friend Walter Banks ..
Both became legends - serving people.
Walter's first ever visit to Plains .. I mentioned that to President Carter
and he said .. " I can't believe this is Walter's first visit to Plains.
I've been to Atlanta to see him at least 50 times."

I told President Carter .. " We have a special gift from Javy for you. "

As we walked .. I was told he likes the steps instead of the elevator ..
up the stairs we went and sat down for the interview - commercial in the
beautiful Plains Historic Inn.

It doesn't always go as scripted .. Thank God.
President Carter got up from the chair before the interview and
wanted to visit more with his friend Walter. [ the schedule was history ..]

He asked Walter to join him .. He gave Walter a personal tour of the rooms
that he built at the Plains Historic Inn.
[ each room's decor represents a decade from the 20's to the 80's ].
It's a wonderful home away from home when you visit Plains.
We shot the commercial here.

Getting ready for the interview .. I gave him the bat autgraphed from Javy Lopez.
He was very grateful.  He loves to talk baseball and knows the game.

President Carter interview ..
- He was Governor .. and The 39 th President of The United States.
He could live anywhere in the world.
Why did he choose to come home and live in Plains .. ??

- The Plains Historic Inn - What it meant to him to build this with
his own hands ?? .. taught his carpenter skills by his Dad.

- The Boyhood Farm - a Kerosene lantern .. no heat in his bedroom.
Still a special home ??
He was touched talking about his Mom , a nurse and his Dad, a farmer.
And very moved sharing about Jack and Rachel Clark.
A black couple - his 2 closest friends who helped raise him.

- Plains High School - His School .. Now a Museum .. Miss Julia, his favorite teacher
inspired him to read.
Chapel service everyday in the auditorium for 11 years .. wonderful memories ??

- His thoughts on his friend Walter Banks coming to Plains.

I shared with him that we have a song that says T I M E spells L O V E ..
Thanked him for the T I M E he has given to so many people ..
and blessing so many lives.


On the porch - Plains Historic Inn .. [ right above the antique mall ]

On the porch - balcony .
with President Carter and Walter Banks - a servant to
everyone he meets at Turner Field .. aisle 107.
Two dear friends in rocking chairs on the porch .. drinking ice tea ..
with the best cameraman on the planet - Michael Epstein.
Penny Smith - our wonderful host in Plains is there with Glen Serra.

The closing scene for the commercial is a classic ..
President Carter .. smiling .." Walter, when we're at the Braves games,
You take great care of us ..
and when you're in Plains, we enjoy taking care of you .."

.. Walter with a big smile responds .. " I love it in Plains .. Mr. President "..
[ a ringing endorsement from Walter Banks ..
a member of the Atlanta Hospitality Hall of Fame ..]

Walter Banks has been with the Braes since the first pitch in 1966.
I asked Walter to be in this commercial promoting Plains.
He had to miss his first Braves game in many years.
He said he couldn't remember the last game he missed ..
possibly 10 years ago.
Be sure and ask Walter.. Was it worth it - Coming to Plains.

President Carter .. Compassion and Greatness.
I was moved and touched by the compassion President Carter
shows for people.
He has the gift of Greatness .. ' The ability to make those around you feel great ..'
He makes you feel special. Even a bit presidential.

He definitely had T I M E for everyone he met .. including me ..
His smile and kind, gentle spirit .. I will always remember ..
He is a gracious gentleman .. who loves people. All people.

Tip of the day .. " An Hour Before Daylight ".. by Jimmy Carter.
A read and walk through life .. full of inspiration.

I remember dinner with Denny Neagle and Mike Hampton .. Spring Training 2001,
preparing for our video shoot.
I said .. Mike .. " If you've got Passion and Compassion .. You've got it all .."
He said .." Meck .. Those are Two Essentials that Meet in the Middle to Reach a Goal .. "

President Carter has Passion and Compassion.
Passion .. whatever you do in life. And Compassion .. Others .. Others .. Others.

Notes ..
A special thanks to my wonderful friend Glen Serra .. for including me.
You are the best. Thanks for putting all the pieces together.
You've certainly had great practice working with the media .. Forever.
You and Jim Schultz are special treasures in the Braves organization.

Glen - sitting on the porch after the commercial .. your precious wife
Carolyn and cute Brooklyn.
Per your request - I will never forget when President Carter broke
the news to your mother ..
that she was going to be a Grandmother again.
Certainly she thought she was watching a replay ..
cause he gave her the same news 2 years ago.

Your mom had the classic set-up line when she greeted President Carter.
[ Reflecting back 2 years ago ] .. she said .." I know you don't have any
news for me this time."
President Carter replied with a big grin .. " Yes .. You're going to be a
grandmother again .."

Shock and laughter rocked on the porch and a big hug for Glen's mom
from President Carter. And yes the camera was rolling .. and so was everybody.

Special Thanks ..
Thanks to Penny Smith for taking great care of us in
Plains - your many hours of hard work - helping Glen and all of us feel at home.
Especially that lunch at Mom's Kitchen.

Thanks to Michael Epstein for your hard work and encouragement.
The man behind the lens who shoots my videos - commercials and brings the
pictures and his creative touch to the screen like no one else.
Thanks for being a blessing.

Thanks to my wonderful friend Brian Hogan at Fox Sports South
for working with me to air this commercial about Plains, Ga. and
its most famous citizen President Carter.

Thanks to Big Jim Kearce for your help .. your wisdom and friendship
and always believing in me.

Final thoughts ..
Apr. 27th .. the day we shot this commercial is always special to me.
My Dad's birthday.

Lionel Richie said it best .. Sunday mornings are suppose to be easy.
This morning was rush rush for me to get ready and leave early to get
on the road .. plus I had to do my hair.

Driving to Plains on this gorgeous Sunday morning .. I passed over Lake Eufaula
and through Georgetown, Ga. and up highway 27.
Several miles north of town and in the country .. I drove by my Aunt Ruby Lee's house ..

Many memories .. as I almost ran off the road looking at her house.
My mother's aunt .. the sister of my mother's father - Idos White .. Lucille, Ga.
He died before my mother was born.
I thought of my mother and dad and my brother eating many times at Aunt Ruby Lee's ..
fried chicken, cornbread, butterbeans .. Ice Tea.

My mother Eunice's favorite verse.. [She reminded me daily ]
' I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me .. '
and she taught me constantly with her life about that 'peace that passes
all understanding.'

I needed a dose of that on this particular Sunday morning .. and I 'm certain
my mother seated next to Jesus prayed and delivered that peace to me.

I drove onto Plains .. Thanking God for all the Precious Memories ..
that are mine. Forever .. and Grateful for the memories coming my way.

Thanks for your T I M E .. Meck

Meck Column - Memories .. written - Apr. 29, 2003.



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