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00:23:40
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Transcription: [00:12:42]
{SPEAKER name="Mary Dawkins "}
maybe about ten or twelve.
[00:12:44]

{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
And the Mexicans?

{SPEAKER name="Mary Dawkins "}
It's about 35 or 40.
[00:12:49]

{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
What's the age range? When you first started, what was the age range when you were at Lore's?
[00:12:55]

{SPEAKER name="Mary Dawkins "}
When I was at Lore's, shucking now, it wasn't too many young people. I was young and Gladys Gray and maybe a few more.
[00:12:42]

{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
How old were you?

{SPEAKER name="Mary Dawkins "}
I was about--my late thirties.
[00:12:42]

{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
So for Denton's what's the age range now?
[00:12:42]

{SPEAKER name="Mary Dawkins "}
The age range, the Mexicans are very young. And most that Denton has now is, ah, senior citizens. [[?]] went up in his seventies; my sister-in-law eighty-some.

{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
Who's your sister-in-law?

{SPEAKER name="Mary Dawkins "}
Hannah Sorrelle.
[00:13:44]

{SPEAKER name="Mary Dawkins "}
And Harriet Gray, everybody most is retired. And that's all he has--Doris Groess she's the--and, ah, Molly Grant Brown grandchildren, they all are the youngest that's there.

{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
What's their age?

{SPEAKER name="Mary Dawkins "}
Ah, they should be in their twenties.

{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
Okay.

{SPEAKER name="Mary Dawkins "}
And everybody else is senior citizens. Christine she's not quite a senior citizen yet.
[00:14:14]

{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
What do you think account for the fact that when you first started it was so many black shuckers as opposed to now, where there was a hundred in the beginning and now it's only about ten or twelve?

{SPEAKER name="Mary Dawkins "}
Oh the only thing I can put it to, okay I had five children.
[00:14:29]
And when school break I would take my kids and watch those and let them see how the money was made.
[00:14:37]
I let them worked on a farm let them see, let them see how the money was made. And I had no problem with my kids going to college because they weren't going to shuck oysters and they weren't going to farm.
[00:14:50]
I carried them in the kitchen. Some was cooks and some was waitresses and they was not gonna do that. And I consider all our young people have left the county.
[00:15:00]
I have one son in this county, that's all, and he's a [[?]] all the rest is college graduates.
[00:15:07]

{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
Okay. At Denton's now, what's the relationship between Norman Derelle and the workers?

{SPEAKER name="Mary Dawkins "}
Nice. Get on very good. Yes.
[00:15:23]

{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
What's your hours for work?

{SPEAKER name="Mary Dawkins "}
Now we are going to work at 7 and we may work until 10 or 11, four or five hours a day. It's part-time work.
[00:15:34]

{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
Why is it part-time work?

{SPEAKER name="Mary Dawkins "}
Well, the oyster season's just about out. We're shucking clams, that season will be coming in full. And then he'll start the crab picking. I don't pick crabs.
[00:15:48]

{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
So you only work four hours a day and you shuck clams?

{SPEAKER name="Mary Dawkins "} I'm shucking clams right now.

{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
Is everybody shucking clams?
[00:15:54]

{SPEAKER name="Mary Dawkins "}
No, it's a few shucking oysters.

{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
So if this is now the clam season what happens to those who shuck oysters?
[00:16:02]

{SPEAKER name="Mary Dawkins "}
They'll be shucking crabs. And the Mexicans will go in the crabhouse. In the morning they come in, they'll have to shuck the clams and they they go the crabs, they work more hours. They work from, they was working from 5 to 3, something like that. But we don't work that long.
[00:16:25]

{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
5 to 3? So they will start off with the oysters or the clams then go into the crabs--.
[00:16:32]

{SPEAKER name="Mary Dawkins "}
Okay, he has maybe about four houses with Mexicans. Certain houses will shuck clams in the morning, maybe when we finish the clams they'll go on to wash, er, on to crabs.
[00:16:44]
The Mexicans, by they coming so far, they mostly work full time.

{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
Where do they live, the Mexicans?

{SPEAKER name="Mary Dawkins "}
He has hands with five houses over there with them, in a trailer.
[00:16:55]

{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
Is that where Denton's is?

{SPEAKER name="Mary Dawkins "}
Yes.

{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
How do they get to the oyster house?
[00:17:01]

{SPEAKER name="Mary Dawkins "}
He has transportation, he carries them..
[00:17:04]

{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
How--what's your work pace? How fast are you?
[00:17:10]

{SPEAKER name="Mary Dawkins "}
Oh I can do pretty good. Not as good as I used to years ago when I could go in there and shuck myself twenty gallons of oysters.
We weren't making no money then.
[00:17:20]
Everything is changing, oysters has gotten small. But I make my money in clams. I can go in there and make myself a hundred or more dollars in maybe five or six hours. Sometimes they clams you're looking at is twenty or more dollars a hour.
[00:17:38]

{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
What's the difference in the price for the clams and the oysters?

{SPEAKER name="Mary Dawkins "}
It's no different because we get a dollar a pound for both.
[00:17:48]

{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
So why is it that you make more for the clams?

{SPEAKER name="Mary Dawkins "}
Clams are easier.

{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
Easier? Okay. What changes have you seen come about since you first started and now? What changes over the years?
[00:18:03]

{SPEAKER name="Mary Dawkins "}
There's been a lot of changes because the oysters are different from it was years ago.
[00:18:09]

{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
How are they different?

{SPEAKER name="Mary Dawkins "}
We could shuck counts. We had those, had big oysters. Now everything is changed. There's not as many oysters. Everything is smaller. It's too much, ah. The oysters died out, I think. And the clams we're getting so many of them we're not giving them time to grow.
[00:18:29]

{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
Okay. Who's the fastest shucker?

{SPEAKER name="Mary Dawkins "}
The fastest shucker there now, Perry Gray, is a good shucker. And the Mexicans. The Mexicans that's come in they're faster in clams too, some of them, yeah.
[00:18:51]

{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
Who taught them how to shuck oysters or clams?
[00:18:55]

{SPEAKER name="Mary Dawkins "}
Well, Norman told them and then after he learned one, and as the groups come in, one of those girls taught the other, to show them how to do it.
[00:19:05]

{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
Okay. How many women is at the oyster house and how many men?
[00:19:11]

{SPEAKER name="Mary Dawkins "}
We have, ah, we have four men shucking oysters and everybody else is women.
[00:19:20]

{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
Four men, and that's--

{SPEAKER name="Mary Dawkins "}
You got Bill Gay, Harry Gray, Budsey Boyne and the Barnes boy, and Baby Joe, five men. Everybody else is women in that oyster house that's working.

{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
Okay. What tools do you usually use for shucking oysters and what do you wear?
[00:19:43]

{SPEAKER name="Mary Dawkins "}
Okay well I have to have stall--things stalled on my left hand, a glove on my right, and a knife and a apron.
[00:19:53]

{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
Okay. How do you--how do you deal with the wetness, the dampness, is that a problem for you?

{SPEAKER name="Mary Dawkins "}
No. We have boots on.
[00:20:01]

{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
Okay. Why has the hours changed?
[00:20:05]

{SPEAKER name="Mary Dawkins "}
Well the hours changed because there are not--seafood is not as plentiful as it used to be years ago.
[00:20:14]
When we came home we went to work at 5 o'clock in the morning and worked until 2, come home and have dinner and around 9 o'clock go back to work at 9 o'clock at night. That's when the oyster was plentiful and we had boats coming in. Hundreds of bushels of oysters piled up. But now it's not like that. Everything is brought in by truck. Times change.
[00:20:42]

{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
When you first started how did you get your oysters, did you have to go and get them out of basket or someone bring them to you?
[00:20:50]

{SPEAKER name="Mary Dawkins "}
Someone brought them to us and put them on the table.
[00:20:53]

{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
And now, do you still have that same system?

{SPEAKER name="Mary Dawkins "}
Now we have equipments going through and all you have to do is empty the basket as it get to you.
[00:21:03]

{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
And the weighing process, how is that done?

{SPEAKER name="Mary Dawkins "}
When I first started they were skimmed by the gallon, now they're by the pound.
[00:21:15]

{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
Okay. Who keeps count of your time? Is that you or is there someone else that--?

{SPEAKER name="Mary Dawkins "}
Well I keep count of my time and the boss keep count of my time. We write down every bucket we get, what the price of everything.
[00:21:31]

{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
The person that keeps count of your time, day hands?

{SPEAKER name="Mary Dawkins "}
Yes.
[00:21:39]

{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
Okay. Are they day hands there black or white?
[00:21:42]

{SPEAKER name="Mary Dawkins "}
They're Mexicans.

{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
The day hands are also Mexicans?

{SPEAKER name="Mary Dawkins "}
All hands are Mexicans.
[00:21:48]

{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
Okay [[laughs]]. Uh--the Mex--since there's so many Mexican workers, ah, were--. for the Mexicans, what are--I mean, they live--I know he rents them a house, do they come there a certain time of the year and then go back or do they just stay all the time?
[00:22:16]

{SPEAKER name="Mary Dawkins "}
They come a certain time of year. The oyster shuckers will come in around September and they will be leaving the last of April.
[00:22:26]
That's the oyster shuckers. The clam shuckers has come in, they came in in April and they will be leaving some time 'round October or November.
[00:22:39]
Then we have another bunch are coming in, I'd say around May or June, crab pickers. And they will leave some where around December. They only can stay a certain--they have to go back a certain time.
[00:22:59]

{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
Okay. That's interesting, I didn't know that. Do you have other family members that work at the oyster house?
[00:23:04]

{SPEAKER name="Mary Dawkins "}
No.

{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
Okay. When you work, how is the environment, do you, is it like a family atmosphere? Do you all talk or sing or, how do you relate to each other? Or you just do your work and that's it?
[00:23:21]

{SPEAKER name="Mary Dawkins "}
Oh no, we talk, we joke. I shuck beside Doris, we carry on all day. Yes!

{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
[[laughs]] I know Doris, she probably do! [[laughs]]
[00:23:31]

{SPEAKER name="Mary Dawkins "}
Oh, Doris and I have a good time!
[00:23:33]

{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
Okay. Gosh!

{SPEAKER name="Mary Dawkins "}
Doris is my husband's cousin.

{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
Oh okay.
[00:23:41]


Transcription Notes:
Right at the beginning, the transcript is right but not showing up on the screen right, misses the amount discussion. Not sure how to fix.

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