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00:25:58
00:29:45
00:25:58

Transcription: [00:25:58]

{SPEAKER name="Mary Dawkins "}
[[??]]

{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
That's not part of the oysterhouse--?

{SPEAKER name="Mary Dawkins "}
No, that's by our fire department.

{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
Okay. And what do you like most about shucking oysters?

{SPEAKER name="Mary Dawkins "}
Uh, there is no clock to punch, for one thing. We work at our own speed. If the oyster's good, we can make money. If they're bad, we shuck 'em all and come home. You know, it's not a--it's a part-time work, it does not really have to be there.
[00:26:33]

{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
Okay. Is that your only job, shucking oysters?

{SPEAKER name="Mary Dawkins "}
Yes, because I'm retired. I'm 69 years old.
[00:26:40]

{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
Okay. And what do you like least about shucking oysters?

{SPEAKER name="Mary Dawkins "}
Small oysters! [[they laugh]]

{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
Small oysters, huh? [00:26:51] How has, uh, what changes have you seen that has bettered the conditions of shucking oysters? I mean, is there, when you first started was there a conveyor belt, or, and do you have that now?
[00:27:14]

{SPEAKER name="Mary Dawkins "}
Uh, a change--it does not have to have men putting oysters on tables for you, you have your oysters coming round in baskets all you do--that's very convenient. And you get paid for your pounds. The buckets can't get piled up a gallon. You gonna get paid for what you care for.

{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
Okay. And when other people ask you about what you do for a living, what did you used to tell them, and what did they used to ask about your work, about your job?

{SPEAKER name="Mary Dawkins "}
I work at a seafood plant.

{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
Okay. Do you consider it hard work, or is it ?

{SPEAKER name="Mary Dawkins "}
Oyster shucking is hard work, it's very hard. You're standing on your feet, it's hard. But shucking clams I can sit, make all the money I want sitting down.
[00:28:10]

{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
Okay. Do you take a break at a certain period or do you just shuck straight for four hours, or--and then go home or?

{SPEAKER name="Mary Dawkins "}
It's up to you. If you want to walk around and talk and entertain, you can do that, nobody's pushing you. You working for what you do, you get paid for what you do.

{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
How has working shucking oysters benefit your family? You and your family?

{SPEAKER name="Mary Dawkins "}
Well it benefit my family years ago, when I had kids going to college, I had two graduate from [[Booie?]] State, one from RETTS Electronic in Baltimore.

{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
Repps?

{SPEAKER name="Mary Dawkins "}
RETT. RETTS. And another one from Morgan, and then she went and got her Master's at [[Baldmen?]] University. Shucking oysters has helped me to educate my kids. In a way, my husband, he was a union man, he made good money. And the money I made I could run the house and protect his money. And that's how I put my kids through school.
[00:29:24]

{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
Okay. What would you like for people to know about shucking oysters?
[00:29:30]

{SPEAKER name="Mary Dawkins "}
Well, if they can't find anything else to do, it is a nice part-time job for people, young people that want something. It's a nice part-time job. A young boss.
[00:29:46]

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