In notes for a speech to mark his seventieth birthday, 26 April 1984, Bernard Malamud recalled for his audience of family and close friends a story, set in 1934, about himself and his immigrant father, Max, a poor grocer.
One day during the Depression, as I was lying in bed with a heavy cold, miserable because I had no job, he came up the stairs from the store, and after we had talked a minute, he took my foot in his hand and said 'mir soll sein far dir' --'I'd rather it were I than you'. I've always remembered that.
--by Philip Davis
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