Don Carter was, without a doubt, dedicated, hardworking, funny, argumentative and stubborn. His multitudes of accomplishments and honors received are well-documented.
Rufus Brown, my husband and Don’s longtime good friend, has an inventory of stories — some inspirational, some simply funny and human — that he observed and collected through the last 50 odd years.
My personal appreciation of Don is both deep and lasting. I am sincerely grateful for all his work involved in protecting our environment. However, when I think of him, my thoughts go to the hours and days my children spent enjoying his mountain farm up at Hiawassee.
The farm was such an integral part of their childhood, that when our car turned off Clarks Bridge Road onto U.S. 129 N, as far as they were concerned, we were “on the road to Don’s” — nowhere else — just “Don’s”.
I remember the years Rufus hunted and fished there and the Thanksgivings our family spent there in a log cabin. I remember getting my one and only deer after years of sitting in a stand, freezing. I remember the years of our children and friends gathering around the best campfire in the world.
When that dream place ended, another farm took its place down at Washington, and our family (now including grandchildren) continued to be the lucky recipients of more days filled with fun and freedom and nights with warm fires.
I remember picking summer blueberries and sharing the jam with Don since after all, they were his blueberries! I remember sitting in the porch swing watching the hummingbirds sipping the nectar supplied by Robert Knowles. I remember my word battles with Don, usually involving a hunting trip and Rufus. I remember the walks around the lake with my grandchildren who were already in love with the log cabin and with nature.
All these memories and many others are precious to me and are held close and deep in my heart. They are all possible because of one remarkable man whose generosity was every bit as irreplaceable as was his influence.