Hail to the chiefs: Some called Jim E. Carter 'Peanut Man'

News-DemocratFebruary 16, 2014 

Jim E. Carter graduated from college in 1976, the year Georgia Gov. Jimmy Carter was elected president.

"I got a lot of interviews from people who wanted to say they interviewed Jimmy Carter for a job and were able to turn him down," said Jim, 60, of Godfrey.

Then Jim went to work as a water-quality supervisor.

"When people had a problem with their water, they had to call and complain to Jim E. Carter," he said. "For a while that carried some weight, but a few years after he left office, that kind of fizzled out."

Jimmy Carter was the 39th president, from 1977 to 1981.

Jim grew up in Alton. His full name is James Edward Carter. He has an uncle named Billy. The president's brother was Billy.

Jim lived most of his life in the Alton-Godfrey area but spent the last 13 years of his career in Sheboygan, Wis.

"I worked in facilities where they called me 'Peanut Man,' but that was of short duration," he said.

Jim recently retired and moved back to Godfrey. He is divorced with two grown children.

Jim admires former President Jimmy Carter, particularly for the work he has done since leaving office, including supporting Habitat for Humanity. Jim is proud to share his name.

"He was trying to do a lot of good," Jim said. "The only thing that kept him from making it (to a second term) was that he didn't know how to play the game in Washington. He was an honest guy."

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