There's a big plaster duck in the driveway of Rick Orr's mobile home. If you know Rick Orr, you know this can't possibly be just any plaster duck; it's almost certainly one of the world's rarest plaster ducks, probably worth tens of thousands of dollars and crafted by some dead guy no one's ever heard of but whose work is deeply coveted. And given the duck's placement, about halfway between the door of Orr's house and the bumper of his big, beat-up Ford van, you — if you know Rick Orr — would have to assume the duck is about to be delivered by Rick to some rich guy who's waiting anxiously for the duck's arrival. Someone who will peel several large bills from a thick roll and hand them to Rick Orr. And you'd be right about everything but that last part. The duck is inestimably rare, and it is on its way to the home of a local gazillionaire. But the rich guy won't be paying thousands of dollars to Rick Orr — who's spent his whole adult life schlepping rare artifacts from other people's driveways to the homes of wealthy collectors; whose lifelong knack for finding fine art in dusty attics is so renowned, it's the subject of a new documentary film — for the plaster duck. He'll be paying Orr a couple of bucks for fixing the duck's beak. Because Orr, who's made his living for nearly 40 years hunting for treasure among other people's trash, is presently making money as a handyman to the rich people to whom he used to sell... More >>>
For old-school art pickers, the thrill is fading — and so's the payoff.