The Netherlands: I Did It All

When a bird flies into the big machine halls of the Verolme shipyards on the banks of the River Maas near Rotterdam, an extraordinary thing sometimes happens. Cornelis Verolme, a short Dutchman with a face as round and red as an Edam cheese, asks his men to stop their machines so that the feathered visitor will be neither harmed nor frightened. "You see," explains nature-loving Verolme, 62, "we cannot produce that bird."

This is one of the few impossibilities that Verolme has ever admitted to. In 17 years, he has sailed out of obscurity into a position as one of the...

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