Carter Museum Recalls Extraordinary Time of Ordinary Man

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PLAINS, Ga. (AP) _ The famous south Georgia service station and watering hole owned by former President Jimmy Carter's brother has come back to life.

With virtually everything renovated, the Billy Carter Service Station Museum opened Saturday boasting displays of clothing and other memorabilia reflecting the First Brother's life and the station's history.

The station became an icon during Carter's presidential campaign and throughout his four years in office. Countless interviews were conducted on site, and international press used it as a staging area while working on location when the president was back home in Plains.

And locals were like members of a club that dropped by to discuss topics of the day or maybe just gossip.

The idea came up during a board meeting of the Plains Better Hometown Program _ of which Jimmy Carter is a member.

He suggested a museum and backed up his idea with a personal donation of $50,000 to get the project started.

With almost $200,000 of private money raised, the museum is full of dated memorabilia, including clothes, photos and various family documents.

The Carter family hopes the museum will expose all the facets of Billy Carter's life, not just the simple, beer-guzzling character that often showed up in the media. But the museum does display Billy Beer.

The brew was a whimsical venture by Billy Carter to capitalize on his newfound fame as brother to the president.