Reprinted from yesterday's late editions.
In the great tradition of summer Southern hospitality, Jimmy Carter opened his backyard to members of Congress and their families for a third and last White House picnic Thursday night.
Carter, dressed in blue jeans (size 33 waist, 31 length), greeted the crowd on the South Lawn of the White House with a broad smile and: "Y'all having a good time?"
Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass), who ate a hamburger and a hotdog, said he was having a good time. He pointed to Rep. Thomas "Lud" Ashley (D-Ohio) and said, "This is the most powerful man in Congress." Ashley spilled his popcorn and laughed, "They're gonna wonder what's being served here tonight."
Jeff Carter, 24-year-old son of the President, said he was having a good time, but that "the weather in Washington is lousy" James Schlesinger, the energy czar, didn't say much. He was busy licking a chocolate popsicle.
Rosalynn Carter, looking slightly over dressed in a navy skirt, white vest and sensible shoes, said she would have worn her blue jeans, but left them in Plains."I left all my comfortable clothes at home," she said with a hint of resignation.
Few of the guests seemed to pay much attention to the fiddle music, or the handful of the more athletic types playing volleyball. Or the charcoal burnt-hamburgers. Even Amy Carter, skipping along with her own entourage, rated only a glance or two. Her father was the main attraction.
Carter beamed, greeted members of Congress, posed for pictures, held a few babies, tossed a few balloons and shook every hand in sight.
Every hand, that is, except that of 5-year-old Brian Frank who, popcorn stuck to his mouth, refused to shake the hand of the President. His mother, whispering "Say hello," finally cajoled Brian into extending a sticky hand. Carter stroked his hair instead.