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Essay Collection Review    



Chances and Choices: Further Tales of a Gentle Southern Man
by Jackie K. Cooper
Mercer University Press, 2004 reprint
Trade paper, $20.00 (161 pages)
ISBN: 0-86554-973-7
In the second collection of seventy-five essays by Jackie K. Cooper, he reflects on the life decisions we make by choice or chance. This selection was written between 1988 and 1991 with the same blend of insight and humor that book one displayed.

Family is often the subject. Sometimes money management is enough to pull one's hair out, but an automobile wreck can get priorities back on track. Scheduling major events is another dilemma, but childbirth during lunch hour fit perfectly into granddad's schedule. Other topics include: camping, shopping, holidays, and religion.

Some of the funniest essays are stories from Jackie's mother's family. Besides a love of sad songs and sad movies, his mother gave him a healthy fear of lightening. As a young girl, his mother experienced a fireball of lightening coming off a power line through an open second story window and flying through the hall to the exit another open window at the end of the hall. As a grown man, Jackie experienced his car being struck by lightening as he was getting a newspaper out of a vending machine. The bolt only burned out his low-beam headlights, so he had to drive from Conyers to Perry, Georgia, with his high beams. Needless to say, he sent many drivers into road rage.

Jackie K. Cooper is currently a critic, columnist, and writer. He has also been a lawyer, personnel manager, radio and TV host, teacher, and game show contestant. Jackie and his wife Terry live in Perry, Georgia.
Joyce Dixon
Southern Scribe Reviews


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