"Robert Taylor isn't sure why he's alive.
'My mother succumbed to bone cancer. My brother had lung cancer,' he ticks them off on his fingers. 'My sister, I think it was cervical cancer. My nephew lung cancer.' A favorite cousin. That cousin's son. Both neighbors on one side, one neighbor on the other. 'And here I am. I don't understand how it decides who to take.'
Taylor is 77. He was born in St. John the Baptist Parish, La., when the area was still covered in sugar cane fields, before the petrochemical industry came to that part of the Gulf Coast. Taylor grew up in a house built by his father. After Taylor got married, he built a house for his family right around the corner."