Local family shares memories of lifelong friendship with Carter

Before he was president Carter, he was the governor, but to this local family he was also a friend.
Published: Feb. 20, 2023 at 9:47 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 20, 2023 at 11:30 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Before he was President Carter, he was the governor, but to this local family he was also a friend.

When Jimmy Carter visited Augusta back in 1973 he took time to stop at the Adas Yeshurun synagogue to honor Max Estroff.

Estroff’s son Malcolm flew Carter around for his campaigning trail and even put local fundraisers for the Carters.


On Monday, we sat down with Estroff’s daughter Dale as she shares stories about her family and the Carters.

“Nobody knew he was governor, but nobody knew him,” Dale Estroff Toporek says.

But the Estroff family did well, he spent time in their living room in 1973.

“He came and I do remember his being at my parent’s house, before the bonds dinner. That’s why he came in for the Israeli bonds dinner at the data-shared synagogue in which my dad was being honored,” Toporek says.

Carter had made him an admiral in Georgia’s Navy show template.

Even when he threw his friends for a loop.

“He met with my dad and with the Knox guys from Thompson. He got up and said, I want to tell you all that I’m going to be running for president of the United States. And I think it was one of the Knox’s said to him. Well, Jimmy, are you hoping maybe that you’ll get the vice presidential ticket by running for president? He says I am planning to be president of the United States. I am not running for vice president,” Toporek says.

It panned out, Carter sent the family a Christmas card from the White House, and like any happy ending, they stayed friends until the end.

“We were all at my mom’s house when dad had died. And I know the phone rang and one of my great aunts who couldn’t hear and answer the phone, and she just kept saying, who? who? And then I guess one of my brothers or my husband, or somebody said, let me have the phone. And they said, this is the white house and Mrs. Carter is calling for Mrs. Estroff,” Toporek says.

President Carter was in Mexico at the time of her father’s passing. He did send a presidential wreath to the family for his condolences.