It all started with a broken pan.
Here we were, along the edge of the Chesapeake Bay, and there it sat, on the ground before us. “A black pan,” as our grandmother, Estee, used to nonchalantly call it—a 10-inch, unmarked hunk of cast iron that held little if any value. (Except, of course, that it was hers.) We watched it fall down the steps into the Maryland mud, and out of thin air, it now carried a long thin line across its surface, nearly splitting it in two.