"Georgia pigs always fly. And first class," said Bob Slack of R&R Farms, Cumins, Ga.
Indeed. But then Slack ought to know. He raises Georgia hogs. He also, however, happens to know Jimmy Carter and Frank Moore and Hamilton Jordan and Jody Powell and the combination of the two - knowing the Carter crowd and raising hogs - was enough to prompt Slack and old Carter buddies Bob and Bill Sanderson to have flown into Washington six select porkers and a specially painted red, white and blue barbecue pit and come to Carter Barron Saturday afternoon for "a good old time with our friends."
Not all the friends showed, of course. Jimmy, as well as Press secretary Powell and Presidental Assistant Jordan didn't make it. But nearly everyone else drawing a Carter paycheck these days did and just had themselves a real good time.
"This is probably some of the best Georgia pork you'll ever eat. Why the father of these pigs cost $18,500," volunteered Slack at one point. But that was about all the information he was volunteering - at least concerning himself anyway. "I don't do anything," he kept saying. "I just have a good time. All I'm interested in is beautiful women and cheap tractors.'
However, Bill Sanderson (who, incidentally, made the first "Jimmy Carter for President" posters way back when) did add that the idea for the barbecue had been brewing since the middle of the campaign, but "everybody got so busy it never got off the ground."
"But now that we've had this one," added Bob Slack, "we'd like to make it an annual event - at least as long as the peanut farmer is in office, that is."
Of those from "the peanut farmer's" brigade who did show up, congressional liaison Frank Moore was clearly the most in his element. "This is really mostly for Frank," confided one of the Sandersons. And White House personnel director Jim King said he didn't much like working in the White House.
"Once I get my office all set up and computerized the way I want it, I'd like to go back to Massachusetts. My systems won't need me, all they'll need is a good manager."
Carter Baron, incidentally, was not the original site for the barbecue. It was to have been on the South Lawn of the White House. But something went wrong there, so they transfered the festivities to the Vice President's back yard. Until, that is, officials told them that the party would wreak $3,000 worth of damage to the Mondale's lawn. "So we ended up here," said Bob Sanderson," but nobody cares. As long as they have the Budweiser and pork don't run out."
It didn't. But it might be noted that Bob Slack, owner of the hog farm, did not eat any of his own barbeque. Slack is a vegetarian.