WATCH VIDEO of C.J.'s interview with Sally and George Pillsbury

C.J.: Carters wish armadillos would find a new home, friend says

  • Article by: C.J.
  • Star Tribune
  • October 15, 2012 - 9:32 PM

Former President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter are reportedly having a problem with armadillos at their home in Plains, Ga.

They may be animal lovers, but they are not on the same plane as Twin Cities attorney Lori Peterson, who told me this story.

Peterson recently visited her longtime friends the Carters in Georgia, taking with her best friend Peggy Callahan, founder and executive director of the Wildlife Science Center (

"It was funny," Peterson told me, "when Rosalynn was talking about her frustration with how to get the armadillos out of her garden. Jimmy turns and says, Don't tell them that! They're animal lovers!"

The other Carters

Peterson and Callahan spent time with other Carters, too.

"We saw Chip and Jeff Carter and their wives, as well as Amy and her little son. She seems really happy," said Peterson.

According to Peterson, one of the highlights of the trip for Callahan may have been when a longtime Carter staffer came by the Plains Historic Inn to give her a massage.

Peterson was amused with President Carter's playful interactions with Secret Service. After having dinner in Americus, President Carter climbed into his automobile to inquire about a baseball score. Carter showed his approval at the update: "They high-fived each other. It was cute," said Peterson.

Peterson left the Carters with some Big Band CDs, which they have told her they are enjoying, and books. "As you know, they are voracious readers."

Kim Coles at Dunwoody

Comedian and actor Kim Coles had to feel exceptionally secure during her Saturday appearance at Dunwoody College of Technology on behalf of the UNCF EmpowerME Tour.

The school was crawling with guys running around with ear pieces and matching lapel pins that did not indicate for whom they were working. Maybe there was more security than seemed necessary because of reports (as least I was told) actors Lamman Rucker and Boris Kodjoe would be there. They weren't.

At any rate, Icon Services Corp., which likes to think of itself as the Twin Cities' protector of the hottest stars, confirmed Monday that it was handling Coles' security detail. So what's up with this joker employee, who declined to tell me for whom he was working, I asked Icon CEO Elijah Shaw?

"I heard you found out two seconds later," said Shaw, laughing. "I know you. They [his employees] just don't know you. You deal with other security companies, but I don't know if you deal with any VIP protection companies [where] there is an aura of confidentiality wrapped into this."

So these guys think they are above Secret Service (who will ID themselves)?

"Aw, no. Nothing like that," laughed Shaw. "He didn't say [his employer]. He could have."

It's unprofessional and fly-by-night-like not to disclose that information.

"Good point," said Shaw. "I'll mention that in the future."

Moving on.

Coles was delightful speaking to a packed room on the subject of PMS, as in "Power, Money and Success."

The "Living Single" and "In Living Color" alum, now cracking up viewers as Wanda on TVLand's "Soul Man," advised her young audience not to continue spending when there are no checks coming into your mailbox. "Don't do what I did and have the bill collector calling your house," she advised.

I think it's safe to assume that Cole won't stoop so low as to go on reality TV to pay the bills. When one young woman at the event revealed an aspiration to be on "Basketball Wives," Coles said, "The show has value," in her usual upbeat way, before quickly adding her true feelings: "Not really."

Coles helped the young girl see that if she followed her career aspirations, there'd be no need to rely on the income of a basketball-playing husband or an appearance on a TV show that probably won't even be around by then.

Pillsbury remembered

George Pillsbury, the philanthropist and political mover and shaker who died Saturday, was more interested in a baseball game than the gala to which his wife, Sally, had brought him when I last saw them in July 2009.

Sally Pillsbury was excited about the gala's headliner: Tony Bennett.

My video of the Pillsburys from that night also indicates that George Pillsbury associated me with taking pictures, although we've talked on the phone over the years. He was always unfailingly polite, as is his wife.

C.J. is at 612.332.TIPS or E-mailers, please state a subject -- "Hello" doesn't count. Attachments are not opened, so don't even try. More of her attitude can be seen on FOX 9 Thursday mornings.

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