October 13, 1997
Volume 50, No. 8
"What I'm anticipating most is not the formal sessions, but those get-togethers in the hallways and waiting on the bus and in the hotel lobby-plain, old-fashioned Southern visiting. We need a big porch and some rocking chairs," said Frank Moore, vice president for government affairs for Waste Management in Washington. The event to which Moore refers, the "Carter/ Mondale 20-Year Reunion," will be held at The Carter Center Oct. 17-19.
"It will be great to see everyone again," added Moore, who served as assistant to the president for congressional relations during the Carter administration and who held a similar legislative position during Carter's governorship from 1971-74. For the event, which is by invitation only and sponsored by the Carter/Mondale Alumni Association, former vice president and ambassador to Japan Walter Mondale, and his wife, Joan, will join former president and first lady Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter in welcoming more than 500 Carter administration staff and "Peanut Brigaders" to Atlanta.
"The four years Rosalynn and I spent in the White House were exciting and challenging for both of us," said Carter. "We worked with a very talented and accomplished group of people, some of whom we haven't seen for almost two decades. Rosalynn, Fritz, Joan and I look forward to reconnecting with old friends and exploring the many issues and interests we still have in common."
Among the hundreds of representatives from the Carter administration attending the event will be Andrew Young, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations; Hamilton Jordan, former White House Chief of Staff; Jody Powell, who served as the president's press secretary; and Sen. Max Cleland, who headed the Veteran's Administration. Current Secretary of the Navy John Dalton is also slated to attend. "We're getting responses from all across the nation," said event coordinator Jay Beck. "Every day there are phone calls and notes from people from just about every state, including Hawaii, even some from Europe letting us know that they'll be in Atlanta for the big event."
Reunion festivities will kick off with some guests attending an informal reception at Manuel's Tavern on Friday evening. On Saturday guests will attend brief presentations at The Carter Center about the organization's work worldwide, including its efforts in such diverse areas as agriculture, disease eradication, mental health, conflict resolution and election monitoring. Guests also will tour the Museum of the Jimmy Carter Library and surrounding grounds. A reception and dinner will be held for all reunion attendees at the Hyatt Regency on Saturday evening, followed by a farewell breakfast at the hotel Sunday morning.
"One of the aspects of the reunion we're especially looking forward to is the 'open mike' sessions Saturday morning at the Center and that night during dinner at the Hyatt," said Beck. "All guests will be encouraged to recount tales from the days of the Carter administration-complete with suitable embellishments. We'll also be showing a video at the dinner highlighting shots from the campaigning days, when we were all thinner and had more hair," he joked. "We'll close out the evening with a little dancing."
Although many of those coming to Atlanta in mid-October for this memorable event have expressed anticipation and excitement over seeing old friends and getting reacquainted, perhaps Frank Moore summed up the spirit of anticipation best: "We're coming in early and staying late!" he said.
Ann Carney is communications associate at The Carter Center.
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