With his assignment at the New Orleans Museum of Art in City Park complete, I said au revoir to this NYPD officer from Queens, New York, with a small token of appreciation of a tin of pralines from my kitchen. His kindness and professionalism to me during the greatest natural disaster and man-made ever to hit the Gulf Coast area of the United States will remain with me for the rest of my life.
He arrived in New Orleans on September 3, just 4 days after Katrina and stepped from a highwater vehicle on the interstate into a boat to get to the Museum. For two weeks his only mode of travel through City Park was by airboat and the sights and sounds he saw and heard were awful. When the water subsided his group was housed in a hotel on Canal Street but for his first three weeks they slept in the Museum. Their main assignment was to protect the artwork at the Museum from looters. However, he and his group of officers saved some of the precious plant collections in the Botanical Gardens in the greenhouses at City Park. One of them was a rare cacti collection worth a million dollars and irreplaceable. Some people, such as Victor, will remain forever in my heart.