“Even if you just have one talent, don’t underestimate it,” Carter said as hundreds of people in toolbelts and Habitat T-shirts munched on bagels and listened raptly to the Nobel Peace Prize winner. “Use it to the fullest.”
By 7:30 a.m., both Carters were hard at work spreading hay on a building site where a concrete foundation and stacks of boards were mired in mud following recent heavy rain. Volunteers included the Carter’s son, Chip, and married country singing stars Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood. A few yards away, Kris Allen, who won Season Eight of “American Idol,” was discovering that he, too, had more than one talent: Hanging siding on another Habitat house under construction while stealing occasional glances at the former president and hoping he’d get to meet him at some point (spoiler alert: He did later in the afternoon, and couldn’t believe Carter knew his name).
As reporters assembled for a news conference, Carter laid out just one rule.
“Anybody who asks about Donald Trump will be disqualified from the occasion and will have to leave,” Carter said with a wide grin. “So, I just want to give that one premise for the question and answer period. We want to stick to Habitat, if you don’t mind.”
And they meant it. The former president said Monday that next year’s 34th Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project is already scheduled to take place in Canada.