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'Haven' hometown wants to keep smile on Jimmy Carter's face through cancer treatment

  • The sun rises behind the steeple of Maranatha Baptist Church Sunday, Aug. 23, 2015, in Plains, Ga. The Baptist church where former President Jimmy Carter teaches Sunday School classes and he and wife Rosalynn are deacons has been at the heart of their life since they returned to Georgia in 1981. On Sunday morning, Carter will teach his first lesson since detailing the intravenous drug doses and radiation treatment planned to treat melanoma found in his brain after surgery to remove a tumor from his liver. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

    The sun rises behind the steeple of Maranatha Baptist Church Sunday, Aug. 23, 2015, in Plains, Ga. The Baptist church where former President Jimmy Carter teaches Sunday School classes and he and wife Rosalynn are deacons has been at the heart of their life since they returned to Georgia in 1981. On Sunday morning, Carter will teach his first lesson since detailing the intravenous drug doses and radiation treatment planned to treat melanoma found in his brain after surgery to remove a tumor from his liver. (AP Photo/David Goldman)  (The Associated Press)

  • The sun rises behind Main Street in the hometown of former President Jimmy Carter in Plains, Ga., Sunday, Aug. 23, 2015. Carter and his hometown have always been intertwined, from the day he announced he would run for president and an old train depot downtown became a local campaign office. He and his wife, Rosalynn, have always kept a home there, but the 90-year-old Carter intends to spend a lot more time in the tiny town as he’s treated for cancer that has spread to his brain. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

    The sun rises behind Main Street in the hometown of former President Jimmy Carter in Plains, Ga., Sunday, Aug. 23, 2015. Carter and his hometown have always been intertwined, from the day he announced he would run for president and an old train depot downtown became a local campaign office. He and his wife, Rosalynn, have always kept a home there, but the 90-year-old Carter intends to spend a lot more time in the tiny town as he’s treated for cancer that has spread to his brain. (AP Photo/David Goldman)  (The Associated Press)

  • A visitor walks near a cutout of former President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, at an antique mall in Carter's hometown of Plains, Ga., Sunday, Aug. 23, 2015. Residents of Plains say they’re grateful that Carter has never forgotten his hometown. He and his wife, Rosalynn, have always kept a home in Plains, but the 90-year-old Carter intends to spend a lot more time in the tiny town as he’s treated for cancer that has spread to his brain. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

    A visitor walks near a cutout of former President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, at an antique mall in Carter's hometown of Plains, Ga., Sunday, Aug. 23, 2015. Residents of Plains say they’re grateful that Carter has never forgotten his hometown. He and his wife, Rosalynn, have always kept a home in Plains, but the 90-year-old Carter intends to spend a lot more time in the tiny town as he’s treated for cancer that has spread to his brain. (AP Photo/David Goldman)  (The Associated Press)

Residents of Plains, Georgia, say they're grateful that Jimmy Carter has never forgotten his hometown.

As the former president undergoes treatment for cancer that has spread to his brain, the town of less than 800 people is ready to support him. Friends say they hope yard signs, well wishes and entertainment will keep the 90-year-old Carter's spirits up.

Carter's 1976 election to the presidency made Plains a tourist destination. Main Street stores are stocked with Carter memorabilia and peanut souvenirs. Nearby sites include a gas station once run by Carter's brother Billy and the farm where Carter grew up helping in the fields and family store.

The Carters' home is just outside downtown Plains, surrounded by an iron fence. Residents say Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter care deeply about their hometown.