SULLIVAN COUNTY – On November 19 at the age of 96, Former U.S. First Lady Rosalynn Carter left this world and her husband, former President Jimmy Carter, behind. Over their 77 years of …
SULLIVAN COUNTY – On November 19 at the age of 96, Former U.S. First Lady Rosalynn Carter left this world and her husband, former President Jimmy Carter, behind. Over their 77 years of marriage, the pair would cement themselves as helpers, friends and sportsmen in Sullivan County.
On their historic five-day trip to the area in September of 1984, the First Family had partaken in activities that highlighted these roles, such as fly fishing in the upper Delaware River and Beaverkill tributary. In the water, the Carters were led by county-native fisherman Ed Van Put as they each cast their lines and successfully caught trout.
Judy Van Put, Ed’s wife, remembers well the good-natured character of the former First Lady.
“I was fortunate to meet the Carters a couple of times and attend dinner on two occasions with them. Mrs. Carter was warm and gracious, and was soft spoken,” Judy recalled. “It’s been reported that the Carters did almost everything together - that was certainly true while they were here.
“Ed remembers that wherever they went, even while walking along the stream banks, the Carters would be walking hand in hand; in fact, they held hands during most of their time together.”
The inseparable duo were equal in skill in the sport of fly fishing as well, according to the Van Puts, with Rosalynn matching her husband’s ability to find a fish on the other end of the line.
“While they were here primarily as a fundraiser to raise money for the Catskill Fly Fishing Center, and enjoy a fishing trip to the Catskills, they did spend time visiting some of the business establishments in the county, having lunch and dinner with various dignitaries and county residents,” Judy said.
“On the first morning after their arrival, a delegation of students and teachers from the LIvingston Manor school met the Carters at the site of the Catskill Fly Fishing Center, and presented the Carters with gifts. And the next day, a large delegation of Roscoe residents, including the local boy scout troop, met the Carters before their dinner at the former Antrim Lodge and also had gifts for them.”
When it came time to put away the rods and return to their ‘Presidential’ duties, both Rosalynn and Jimmy Carter noted their enthusiasm to one day return to the area for more friendly encounters and more fly-fishing. The Van Puts kept correspondence with their former fishing buddies in the hope that one day they would return for at least one more cast of the rod.
No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here