Story of My Death

In 1919, when he was 9, David Shields' father Milt stepped on the third rail while crossing some train tracks. Using a piece of wood, a friend rescued him from electrocution as well as--with seconds to spare--an oncoming train. Decades later, Milt rammed his car into a garbage truck and walked away unhurt. At 86, he had a heart attack while playing tennis. He not only finished the set but he also won it.

Shields is both moved and baffled by the stubbornness with which his father, now 97, just refuses to die. As a meditation thereon he has written THE...

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