Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Nuts for Antiques

We don't know the provenance of most of the curious things we come across. We often have to imagine our own story.

Perhaps Miss Lillian spent hours painting these gorgeous goobers as a gift for her son, James Earl Carter, Jr. upon his inauguration as a remembrance of his humble peanut farming past.

The popularity of and curiosity about the peanut grew significantly during the successful 1976 presidential campaign that put Jimmy Carter in the White House. The image of the peanut in caricature was seen around the world as a symbol of not only a president, but also the towns of Plains. Born in 1924, James Earl Carter, Jr. grew up on his parents’ 360-acre farm. In Carter’s early years, his father began growing peanuts, a crop that made a great impact on his life. His family first raised the small Spanish peanuts, which were used as salted nuts, in candy bars, and some varieties for hog feed. At the age of five, Carter sold boiled peanuts on the streets of Plains. - Jimmy Carter NHS Program

Perhaps it was a Southern belle's prize-winning entry into the Georgia State Fair domestic arts competition that then came North with her when she ran away with her no account Yankee beau.

And the chip? Well now, that's an entirely different story for a future Antiques Roadshow.

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