Last Pick: A Whimsical Warmhearted Autobiography of a Twelve-Year-Old Who Became a Great Trial Lawyer
Our memories are special to us and have a powerful grasp. Pierce O’Donnell holds his past dear to his heart and wrote of a more halcyon time in his life. The memorializing of a particular time of his youth had disappeared on two prior occasions but managed to resurface as if by magic. He was meant to share this story about growing up in a small town in Upstate New York in the late 1950s. Pierce O’Donnell was the oldest of four kids, and the women in the house far outnumbered the men. His father, a tough World War II veteran, ran the local liquor store and was the unofficial mayor of Averill Park. His mother, a former teacher turned librarian, provided her children with lessons in life and education. Pierce’s three sisters were uninhibited and fearless and the occasional foils to Pierce’s youthful transgressions.
Pierce lived the small-town life, Averill Park existing in the shadow of the larger Troy, NY. Averill Park provided the right amount of fun growing up, even when buried under the weight of a snowy winter, the only limit being a lack of imagination. The trips to the big cities were usually the sign of a special occasion. A memorable trip for the young Pierce was when he accompanied his father to New York City. A long train ride was offset by the sumptuous food provided and the scenery that flew by as the duo ventured southbound. Pierce recalls with clarity the awe-inspiring memory of being introduced by his father to Mickey Mantle. The highs of memories such as this are offset by Pierce’s struggles with sports, bullying by peers, and battles with his weight. Throughout the memoir, the life lessons instilled in him by his parents and elders resonate with Pierce and aid him in building a life for himself.
Last Pick is a sincere and moving memoir chock full of memories that formed a portion of the youth that defined Pierce O’Donnell. The salad days of the 1950s living in the bucolic splendor of small-town life are conveyed by O’Donnell with nostalgic appreciation. O’Donnell (Fatal Subtraction) portrays his early years in a frank and poignant manner, never shying away from relating a painful or self-deprecating moment. O’Donnell’s story doesn’t confine itself solely to him, as he writes of the deep love that defined his parent’s relationship and the bonds that existed among his sisters. The town that O’Donnell inhabited in his growing years bears little resemblance now, but the impressions made by what once was left an indelible mark on him. The rich history that he provides in this wonderful memoir ensures the past lives on.
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