The precious birds that escaped the water
Some years ago I went on what was doubtless the most unusual client visit I have ever been on. The daughter of an elderly man contacted me to say she had moved her father into assisted living and before she put the house up for sale she would like someone to come and look through his collections to see if there was anything valuable that could be auctioned. So a colleague and I drove out to a small 1940s-era ranch house in a New Jersey suburb, where we were met by the daughter. At that point she informed us that seven years earlier, the pipes in the kitchen had rotted out, burst and flooded the place, and that her father had never replaced them or done much cleaning up after the water receded. (He had built a small latrine in the garden for certain needs, but that was the only water available.) Then she let us in.