Friday, February 11, 2022

Weekend Special--Canadian Historian Speaks:

Arthur Milnes: Jimmy Carter has achieved great things during his lifetime and now in his 98th Year


CARTER AND MILNES
KINGSTON, Ontario, Canada — It is probably fair to say that former President Jimmy Carter is too liberal for today’s conservatives and too conservative for today’s liberals. He describes his own philosophy best, saying he is a conservative/progressive of long-standing.

Despite the confusion felt by some, everyone today can agree that Carter is among the greatest Americans of his generation. Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, his contributions are legion. He forged peace between Israel and Egypt at Camp David.

Later in life, he personally built thousands of homes for the disadvantaged through Habitat for Humanity, and Carter’s policies created hundreds of thousands of new jobs by deregulating the airline and trucking industries. As president, Carter also championed the use of solar power and other renewable sources of energy, anticipating today’s concerns for the environment.

He and his Carter Center have now eradicated Guinea worm disease, saving millions from contracting this terrible condition, one that has afflicted countless millions over the centuries. During one of his many visits to Africa since leaving office, a child famously greeted him holding a hand-painted sign: “Watch Out, Guinea Worm, Here Comes Jimmy Carter.”

When the former president started his work combatting this affliction, there were 3.5 million cases annually. By 2021, there were only 14 cases identified. It is a public health victory for the ages, making Guinea worm only the second disease the world has largely eradicated (the first being smallpox in the 1970s).

These accomplishments, together with countless others, have left a positive legacy that many of the presidents who followed must surely envy.

Carter, who still lives in the tiny hamlet of Plains, Ga., (in a modest home, the only one he’s ever owned) is now in his 98th year — he turned 97 on Oct. 1. A Christian of principle and compassion, he taught a weekly Sunday school lesson at his church until very recently. Thousands from across America, of all denominations, have traveled to rural Georgia to hear and watch him teach.

And it is not hard to see why.                                                     By ARTHUR MILNES

“We’ll never know whether something new and wonderful is possible unless we try,” he once told his students at church. “Let’s scratch our heads, stretch our minds, be adventurous! Serve God with boldness, and who knows what wonders the Lord may work.”

It is a challenge many regular Americans who have followed him since he left the White House have taken up.

Even Republicans, who used him as their straw man for decades, have largely paused their rhetorical phony war. And in fact, when you study his presidency dispassionately, as many historians are finally doing, it is clear that in some ways — ironically — President Carter’s leadership set the stage for policies the GOP now holds dear.

“Carter wanted regulatory reform, welfare reform, tax reform and, most important, a balanced federal budget by the end of his first term,” writes historian Kai Bird in his 2021 biography, “The Outlier: The Unfinished Presidency of Jimmy Carter.” “Carter also came to office wanting to simplify government regulations, particularly for small business. He wanted welfare recipients to work and the federal government itself to be streamlined and reorganized for the sake of efficiency.”

One could argue that his administration was also a precursor of the more centrist Democratic Party and administration led by Bill Clinton a decade after Carter left the White House.

Before progressives get riled up by Carter’s conservatism, mention must be made of his liberal social views. The former president has spoken out in favor of gay marriage, fought (along with his wife, Rosalynn) the death penalty at every turn and championed diversity and racial equality at every opportunity. More recently, he has spoken out against voter suppression efforts by Republicans.

I last saw Carter in Plains a few years ago. We lunched at a local diner, he standing in line at the buffet like everyone else. While his body had obviously aged, his mind was as sharp as ever. Still, a restless sadness seemed to occupy him. As we spoke, I realized he was frustrated at being in the twilight of his life. There was still so much he wanted to do, so many causes and changes still left for him to lead.

Still, it is a good time to be Jimmy Carter. As he enters his 98th year, he’s been able to witness the positive reappraisals of his presidency and lived to witness how his post-presidency has made him one of the most admired men in America.

It is no wonder so many are pausing to reflect upon this special man’s contributions. Like me, they feel it is more important than ever to thank Jimmy Carter while he is still among us.

Journalist and historian Arthur Milnes of Kingston, Ontario, Canada, is the author of “98 Things to Thank Jimmy Carter For,” available on Amazon.com. His previous books include studies of presidents George H.W. Bush and Franklin Roosevelt.

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SILVER LAKE EXPERIENCE (SLE) - Registration now Open for this August 4-6, 2022's SLE. See: SilverLakeExperience.org

W. PETE MAIRS

W. PETE MAIRS
Walter D. “Pete” Mairs, 81, died peacefully on July 23, 2021. Born in Avon, N.Y., on Sept. 3, 1939, Pete was a longtime resident of Geneva, N.Y., and these past many years in Buffalo, N.Y., as well as his beloved Silver Lake. Pete is survived by his wife, Linda Bergstrom Mairs, a loving and true companion; children, Mimi C. Mairs, Jonathan B. Mairs; sisters, June Huff, Helen Dole; brother, Thomas Mairs; stepchildren, Daniel Brinkworth, Jennie Ramsey; sister-in-law, Anne Bergstrom, eight beautiful grandchildren, and nieces and nephews. A service and celebration of life is planned for the fall when all can share the joy of Pete’s life together. Arrangements by Stephenson – Dougherty Funeral Home, Avon, N.Y.

Editor's Note: It was a privilege knowing and working with Pete Mairs during his presidency of the Silver Lake Institute. He was a kind and gentle man, but also firm in his leadership. I served as Treasurer and Chaplain of SLI during those years and I could always depend on Pete's presence in the worship service. He was a man of faith and a gem of a human being. May he rest in God's care.

GERALD C. SAHRLE

GERALD C. SAHRLE
Gerald C. Sahrle, 80, of Perry, passed away on Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021, at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester. He was born on Oct. 10, 1941, in Wayland, N.Y., to the late Charles A. and Helen I. (Blowers) Sahrle. Gerry was a line foreman for 32 1/2 years for NYSE&G, working out of the Perry and Hamburg locations, and was a Town of Perry Councilman. He was a member of the Free and Accepted Masons of the Constellation Lodge -404 in Perry. He was an avid fisherman, hunter and woodworker. He is survived by his wife, Valary A. (Conley) Sahrle; 1 son, Gerald (Pamela) Sahrle II of Silver Springs; 2 sisters, Millie Edmond of Greece, Bonnie Fink of Winston-Salem, N.C., 3 brothers, Ronald (Linda) Sahrle of Dansville, Robert (Susan) Sahrle of Springwater, Kenneth Sahrle of Dansville; 5 grandchildren, Bradley Musscarella, Stone and Winston Sahrle, Conley and Cooper Gayton; along with many nieces, nephews and friends. Along with his parents, he is preceded in death by a brother, Thomas Sahrle, who passed away in 2012. Services will be held at the convenience of the family. Gerry will be laid to rest in West Perry Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Perry Center Fire Department, P.O. Box 204, Perry, NY 14530. For more information, please call (585) 237-2626 or to leave a message of condolence, visit www.eatonwatsonfuneralhome.com. Arrangements completed by Eaton-Watson Funeral Home, LLC. 98 North Main Street, Perry, NY 14530.

Editor's Note: Gerald and Valarie could always be seen in the family pew with Pamela, Stone and Winston at Perry First United Methodist Church and continue to be loved. Gerry will be sorely missed. Both were supporters of the Arts at the Silver Lake Institute and Valarie was active in painting and participating in the Annual Show in August. Valarie's presence was always valued and appreciated.

KATHARINE E. PRACZKAJLO ("Kathy P.")

KATHARINE E. PRACZKAJLO ("Kathy P.")
"Kathy P." passed November 8, 2021, of Hamburg and Boston, NY. Beloved daughter of Joseph and Barbara Michalak; loving sister of Daniel Michalak; devoted wife of the late Jeffrey Praczkajlo; cherished mother of Jennifer (Shawn) Jump; loving babcia of Lily Jump; also survived by many beloved family members and friends who became her family. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.

Editor's Note: "Kathy P." as she was better known to us at Silver Lake was an annual summer visitor for most of the last number of years at the invitation of Silver Laker Julia Hoffner. She stayed at the Hoffner Cottage, and became known as both the fun visitor with the vivacious smile to the neighbors at the intersection of Haven Ave. and the Ames Walkway. Kathy P. and Julie could be seen walking and talking between the cottage and the Hoffner boathouse where they could be close to the water. She was also occasionally seen at the Saturday morning breakfasts at Stoody Hall. Her stay was anywhere between 4 days and a week where she had the opportunity to develop a love for Silver Lake. She was not yet eligible for retirement when late last week she developed "a cold" and had to remain home from her job. She did not update her condition over the weekend so the local police made a wellness visit and found her deceased on Monday. She was one of those many people who found Silver Lake and friendship for brief respites where she also found new strength and energy to return to work. She is being particularly mourned by those in the Haven/Ames neighborhood. She will be memorialized next summer at the annual Celebration of Life Memorial Service at Epworth Hall.

BRENDA J. PADDOCK

BRENDA J. PADDOCK
Brenda Joan Paddock, 82, of Perry, born April 15, 1939, now resides in heaven with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Brenda met Jesus as her Savior in 1965. She met him in person on Nov. 14, 2021. She had a beautiful homecoming with music, singing and praying, leading her into Glory. Her last words were “I am well, I am well.”

Brenda’s greatest loves were her family and friends. Brenda had five children with her husband Roger: Don and Daelene Paddock of Florida, Jody and Tim Von Sanden of Pavilion, Bradley and Jeanie Paddock of Warsaw, Jennifer and Paul Guy of Massachusetts, and Nathan and Jill Paddock of Perry.

Brenda dearly loved her grandchildren: Jessica Morillo, Nikki and Clint O’Brien, Luke Paddock, Paul Paddock, Ian and Brooklyn Paddock, Joe and Louana Paddock, Burke and Megan Paddock, Aaron Paddock, Ellen Paddock, Andrew Paddock, Rachael Paddock, Abigail Paddock, Erik and Cassandra Von Sanden, Jacquelyn and Michael Jones, Tim Von Sanden, Brandon and Brandee Paddock, Jamey and Laura Paddock, Peter and Kara Guy, Candy and Jay Waitkevich, Marlo and Ryan Bolger and Jenna and Rory Peterson.

Brenda was blessed and loved her great grandchildren: Chloe, Olivia and Nicholas Von Sanden, Joshua and Jaxon Morillo, Jameson and Cassandra O’Brien, Atlas Paddock, Noah and Ezra Jones, Colton, Brantley and Charlotte Guy, Cameron Waitkevich, Amelia Bolger and Brennen Leonard.

Brenda is also survived by her brother and sister in laws; Frank and Emma Paddock, Viva and Jim Phillips-Richardson and Kurt and Lynn Paddock.

Brenda first started working as a secretary at Perry Central School. She then assisted her husband building Paddock’s Breeding Service. Roger and Brenda together built and ran the Sandsabarn teenage nightclub. Brenda was owner and operator of Serendipity Travel. Brenda’s pleasures included playing organ and piano. She played at a number of area churches along with performing for her loved ones. UPDATED -- Brenda also played with conviction at both indoor and outdoor services at the Silver Lake Institute where her grandson, Luke, sang at Epworth Hall on several occasions and was appreciated by all who heard his inspiring voice.

Brenda was preceded in death by her parents Noble and Freda Buckland, her husband Roger and son Bradley.

A Committal service at West Perry Cemetery will be held tomorrow, Wednesday, November 17 at 11 a.m., followed by a Celebration of Life at LaGrange Baptist Church at 4 p.m.

Memorial donations may be made in Brenda’s honor to the LaGrange Baptist Church 7092 LaGrange Rd. Perry, NY 14530 or to the First Congregational Church P.O. Box 156 Perry, NY 14530. Arrangements completed by Eaton-Watson Funeral Home, LLC. 98 N. Main St., Perry, N.Y. 14530. For more information or to sign the online guest registry please visit www.eatonwatsonfuneralhome.com.

AUGUST 4-7, 2022

AUGUST 4-7, 2022
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