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Men and Their Automobiles
by Jackie K. Cooper

Yesterday I went to Hilton Head, South Carolina. The trip is a three and a half-hour drive from my home in Perry, Georgia, but that didn't faze me. I had been invited by a book club to give a talk and was ready to go when the alarm clock went off yesterday morning.

Now, I enjoy talking to book clubs. Truth is, I enjoy talking period. I like to tell stories, talk about movies, and just get to meet and talk with new people. I have always loved to talk. My mother said I talked at an early age because I had so much I wanted to get said.

In addition to liking to talk, I also like to drive. Change that -- I love to drive. I like getting behind the wheel of a car and just letting go. I like the thrill of driving, and I like the power of driving. When I am in a car I don't like for anyone else to drive. I want to be in control.

The seven hour round trip yesterday was like a vacation. On the way to Hilton Head I ate cheese crackers and peanut butter and drank diet coke. I had a new "Sugarland" CD I had gotten for Christmas, so I was perfectly content. The hours flew by, and soon I was there. I wasn't tired; if anything I was refreshed.

On the way back I stopped and got a hamburger and fries to eat while driving. Plus I had a big Diet Coke to go with it. This time it was the soundtrack from the movie version of "The Producers" in the CD player. I had seen the movie and the company had sent me the soundtrack as an added bonus. Again, the trip was almost instantaneous.

I don't know what it is about driving; it just fascinates me. When we moved to California several years ago, we drove out. I could have kept going except that pesky ocean got in the way. I liked the scenery, the fun of staying in new places, and the adventure of going from coast to coast.

My wife does not like to drive. To her, it is a chore. She is a good driver, but a cautious one. Maybe it is a male thing. Maybe men just like being in control. Or maybe it is just a man's need for speed.

Whatever it is, for me there is just about nothing better than getting behind the wheel of a car and hitting the open road. I do my best thinking when I am driving, and I seem to be smarter when I think behind the wheel. That probably isn't true, but it sure seems that way. I have gotten ideas and solutions that I couldn't get when I was stuck behind a desk.

So, God bless the open road and also those brilliant inventors of the automobile. And thank God I live in the age of the automobile. A horse would never have been as much fun.


Jackie K. Cooper was born in South Carolina and now lives in Georgia. He is the married father of two sons and the proud grandparent of a boy and a girl.

He is familiar to people living in the middle Georgia area as the "entertainment man" since his entertainment reviews run in newspapers and are shown on television there. His short stories have also been used as commentary on Georgia Public Radio.

Cooper has lived an exceptionally interesting life. Portions of it were contained in his first book JOURNEY OF A GENTLE SOUTHERN MAN. Now the journey continues in his second book titled CHANCES AND CHOICES.

Write Jackie Cooper at this e-mail address
and be sure to visit his excellent web site: jackiekcooper.com.

~Read more of Jackie's stories at USADEEPSOUTH~
Jackie White
Alzheimer's: The value of humor
Online Dating
Finding Your Face
In Praise of Red-Headed Girls
Fear Itself
Greatest Generation
It's All About Me!
Moments of Memories
The Customer is Always Wrong
Never Too Old To Hurt


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