Neill Marriott of Salt Lake City gets the chance to sink her feet into Georgia red clay this weekend when she visits Plains for a reunion with 800 relatives - including third cousin Jimmy Carter.

The former president planned the reunion while researching the descendants of his great-grandfather, Wiley Carter.It's been 45 years since Marriott, then 15, visited Plains with her grandmother, who "picked up this big clump of red dirt and told me it was Georgia red clay," she said Wednesday.

"I look at (Carter) not so much as a president, but as a cousin. And he's one of many," Marriott said. "For me, the reunion is so I can have a sense of family."

Relatives from as far away as Oregon and California will begin arriving in Plains on Friday, doubling the population of the southwest Georgia town.