Oysters, even if a little mangled in shucking,
lined up on ice to do my bidding.
Sacks of oysters, with tags attached
Oysters piled on an oyster boat. The oysterman on the right
is about to put the oyster into a sack -- a new clean one at that.
Oyster tongs. The "tonger"
puts them on the bottom. rakes
up and then pulls up the oysters.
An oysterman usually has arms like a gorilla,
a big gorilla. Never, ever make one of these guys
angry. A frightening moment in my life
was when my fearless father told an
oyster tonger he was a "stupid bastard"
to hold some opinion he'd expressed.
They parted as friends, but I don't know how.
A natural reef on Mobile Bay, uncovered at low tide.
Dredge the shells up, 1970s.
A typical oyster shell dredge on the Gulf Coast
from the 1960s. These things sucked up oyster
reefs and used them to build roads. The calcium
in the oyster shell reacts with road building clay
to make a nice sub-base for road construction.
A natural resource and industry were destroyed
in the process.
Dump the shells back, 1990s. Shells are pushed
overboard with fire hoses in an effort to rebuild
oyster reefs destroyed by shell dredges.