A MAINSTAY: Beth Boswell Jacks is a happy pillar of the Cleveland [Mississippi] community
~from the Greenville, Miss., Delta Democrat Times~
by MaryBeth Gokee
CLEVELAND - Beth Boswell Jacks isn't just a member of the Cleveland community - she's truly a pillar of the community. Not just one of those popular ladies with a well-known family name that you may hear about but never see. She can be seen almost daily, doing something in the town. If it's not writing a column for a local newspaper, it's hosting a web site that allows unknown writers to get their words out there. Perhaps you see her at church, playing the piano or organ or teaching your children in Sunday School. You might run into her at a local eatery, a charity event, or spreading the word about arts in the community. Maybe you've seen her in a local musical.
Get the message?
Beth Jacks is one of those mainstays in Cleveland - the kind who enriches the community, supports it, encourages it to be the best it can be.
Beth has been in Cleveland since she was five years old. She met her longtime husband, Gerald Jacks, as one of her first childhood playmates. They were high school sweethearts. They both graduated from Millsaps College; while he was in Law School at Ole Miss, she finished her Masters degree in Education there. Her children also attended Millsaps. Beth and Gerald have four children: Emily Mosley, Bethany Dowdy, Will Jacks and Tom Jacks. They have seven grandchildren: Meredith, Wayne, Beth, Wilkins, Jacks, Caroline and Lila.
Beth continues her volunteer activities, hardly slowing in any discernible fashion. Her life reads like a happy "to do" list. She is a past president of the Cleveland Junior Auxiliary and was the 1993 Charity Ball Queen. She is incoming president of the Delta Arts Alliance in the Cleveland area -- one of the big fund-raisers is to renovate the old Ellis Theater, creating an arts center for the city, benefiting school children as well as other members of the community.
Her first book, Grit, Guts, and Baseball, was quite successful as it creatively depicted the success of popular local coach, Sank Powe. Her second book, Snippets, contains humorous columns and stories she has written over the last few years. [And now there's a second Snippets book! Click here to read about it.]
Beth loves her music, especially stage musicals. "I love the old standards from the '30s and '40s," Beth explained. But writing is her true passion. "I started writing as a journaling type thing," she explains. "I keep my newspaper columns in scrapbooks to have a legacy for my family."
Beth's warm, cheerful personality comes out in her writing.
"There is so much bad in life that it's fun to remember that life has light moments," she said of her humorous stories. In fall, '05, Beth won first place for her short story, "The Ash Hauler," at the Mississippi Delta Literary Festival in Greenville. Also in 2005, she authored a novella for The Magnolia Gazette.
"Writing (and hosting the web site) gives me a creative outlet and allows me to have contact with other writers. I just hope to bring a smile to someone with my columns."
But believe it or not, Beth's work doesn't come first in her life. Her family does. Her friends do. Her canine pal, Pharaoh, does. She is very active in St. Luke United Methodist Church. She spends as much time with her children and grandchildren as possible. On one occasion, she even went on a horse trail ride with her husband, "G-Man," and she enjoys hanging out on their farm on the edge of town. If she's not with her family, she is out helping friends (this writer knows firsthand) with an open mind and open heart.
Whatever role Beth Boswell Jacks might play in your life, you can be sure it is a positive role. She humbly admits that it is her good fortune that allows for her sunny take on life and writing.
"I have such a blessed life," she says. "I guess this accounts for my positive outlook."
Perhaps it is those who know her who are truly blessed.
You can find out more about Beth's writing on her web site at usadeepsouth.com or write her at firstname.lastname@example.org. You will find her books on this site, as well. Her local column appears weekly in several newspapers, including The Delta Democrat Times.
Read about Beth's SNIPPETS books -- two collections of her columns.
Want to "search inside" the SNIPPETS books for a certain subject or theme?
You can! Just CLICK HERE.
For stories at USADS by columnist Beth Boswell Jacks, click here:
And find even more here: MORE SNIPPETS
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