THE LAST CHANCE THE LAST CHANCE discussion


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great historical novel

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

In the weeks preceding an historical presidential election, Horace, a patriotic 115 year old man honored for never missing an election and the son of a prejudiced southern gentleman must make a tough decision, whether to vote for a heroic veteran or to take a chance on an up and coming young black man.
As Horace relates the story of his life to a reporter and his friends in the nursing home, he ponders the people he has met, the lessons he has learned, and how they have coincided with the growth of a nation’s soul. Horace will tell you himself, “I have lived a long life, not an extraordinary one.” As you read this story of a man conquering prejudices developed as a child, you will note the parallels between the development of his ideals and those of a nation finally understanding the true meaning of: “All men are created equal.” Horace’s life might be more extraordinary than he believes.
It’s been said that your life ain’t worth a damn unless you touch the souls of those you meet along the way. Horace begins life on a dilapidated southern mansion and in the course of 115 years, he touches the lives of extraordinary people, from a couple of young bicycle shop owners on the barren dunes of North Carolina, to the White House, the baseball diamond, Tin Pan Alley, early Hollywood, and finally to a young black Southern preacher with a dream.
His life also reflects the influences of lost friends that have brightened his journey and lost loved ones that made his life worth a damn and ultimately left him, The Last Chance.


message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

What more could history buffs ask for? If you like baseball, the early Washington Senators, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Walter Johnson, Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Shoeless Joe Jackson, Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mantle are there. If you like Presidents, Teddy Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, Woodrow Wilson, Coolidge, Hoover, FDR, Truman, JFK, Nixon, Carter, Reagan, Bush, and Obama are there. If you like music, Joplin, Berlin, Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Cole Porter, and Elvis are there. If you like events, Kitty Hawk, Louisiana Purchase Exposition, World War I, The Depression, The Hindenburg, War Of The Worlds, The Attack on Pearl Harbor, The fear of communism in the 50's, The Space Race, School desegregation in Little Rock, Martin Luther's " I have a dream," speech are there. If you love 20th century history, THE LAST CHANCE by Ramon Ballard (me) is a must have for your collection


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

I am a huge United States history buff. I came upon the idea to write the quintessential historical piece. But I needed a beginning and an end. The controversial 2008 presidential election lent itself as the perfect ending. The beginning was an easy find also. The Wright Brother’s flight at Kill Devil Hill arguably kick started the 20th century. Notice I didn’t say Kitty Hawk. The actual flight took place three miles south of Kitty Hawk. Now I needed a tie in. The inspiration for the tie in came to me through a human interest story out of France and the passing of a 115 year old woman, who had retained her wit and faculties to the end, She could remember activities from her early childhood. Through this human interest story Horace Chance was born. With the birth of Horace my novel began. The 20th century came alive.


message 4: by [deleted user] (last edited Jul 20, 2011 12:53PM) (new)


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

MW says.

This is a fascinating view of the 20th century, as told from the point of view of the oldest living member of the Chance family. His story chronicles his efforts to hold his family together from the birth of flight to the race to the moon, through segregation, wars, the great depression, race riots, Woodstock, and more. I laughed out loud at his reactions to the changes in women's fashion, and shed a few tears as he grapples with his losses and wonders if it had any lasting meaning. I highly recommend it. It offers a wonderful and unifying perspective on all we know and think we know about America's most progressive century.


message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

Shiela says:

The Last Chance is a poignant yet sentimental look at America’s twentieth century through the eyes of Horace Chance, a nursing home resident. If you love America and its glorious past, you’ll sit on the edge of your seat waiting to share in... Horace’s escapades from Kitty Hawk and The Wright Brothers to NYC and Nine-eleven.

Ramon Ballard gathered obscure information about well publicized events that bring the age-old stories to new life—and he wound those events around Horace Chance in a way that makes each one a personal encounter.

Horace Chance and his take on politics, sport, and human rights made me even more proud to be an American.


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