News travels Fast

My recruiter Trisha called me today. She said the Peace Corps Public Affairs Officer had heard about me from someone at CNN. He was thrilled with the publicity that has been generated by my announcement. She then invited me to come to Atlanta on Wednesday to attend a reception with Former President Jimmy Carter and the head of the Peace Corps.

On May 16th, 2007, the Atlanta Regional Office will host the Lillian Carter Award Ceremony. This award honors a Volunteer who served overseas as a senior (50 years or older) and has demonstrated a commitment to fulfill Peace Corps’ third goal in his or her community: helping promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans. President Jimmy Carter and Peace Corps Director Ron Tschetter will be the featured speakers at the celebration, which will be held at the Carter Presidential Center in Atlanta.President Carter will read from his mother’s letters reflecting on her experiences as one of the first seniors to serve as a Peace Corps volunteer in India. Director Tschetter, who served with Miss Lillian in 1966-68, will introduce the Peace Corps’s new initiative to match more senior Americans in overseas assignments and celebrate the important contribution they have made since 1961 in promoting world peace and friendship. This year’s event will also include the Burundi Drummers and Dancers of Atlanta and the Master of Ceremony will be Jocelyn Dorsey, Director of Editorials and Public Affairs, WSB TV.

Of course, I'm going to go. My first memory of the Peace Corps was when Jimmy Carter was running for President. I remember hearing of Miss Lillian's Peace Corps service at that time and I remember that inspired me to want to know more about the program. I also interviewed her at the 1980 Democratic Convention in New York, which I was covering. She was probably the first famous person I ever interviewed. I was in college at the time but was working in radio news. I also learned a very valuable lesson that day, one I have never forgotten. I asked "Miss Lillian" if I could interview her. She agree and we sat down and chatted for about 20 minutes. When I got done, I discovered the batteries in my tape recorder had died and I had just 10 seconds of usable audio from the entire interview. Lesson Learned...always put in new batteries before you do an interview. It never happened to me again.

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