Viewing page 6 of 11

00:12:09
00:16:35
00:12:09

Transcription: [00:12:09]

{SPEAKER name="William Bourne"}
I'd say around, 70, 75.
[00:12:14]
{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
Okay. And now, how many is it?
[00:12:18]
{SPEAKER name="William Bourne"}
They look tall, probably eight of them that are black.
[00:12:23]
{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
Eight?
{SPEAKER name="William Bourne"}
Mm-hmm. [positive]
{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
And how many Mexicans is it?
[00:12:26]
{SPEAKER name="William Bourne"}
Fifteen.
{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
Fifteen?
{SPEAKER name="William Bourne"}
Mm-hmm. [positive]
[00:12:31]
{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
What's the, the atmosphere, the morale like? Is it like a family-type atmosphere, or do you just come in and do your job and go home? Is that- or,
[00:12:41]
{SPEAKER name="William Bourne"}
Well, you come, we shuck about a gallon or a pound.
Or rather, still a gallon-- it used to be shucking by the pound. And you'd come, grab a bucket and you'd go to work.
{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
Mm-hmm.
{SPEAKER name="William Bourne"}
And uh, 12 o'clock gonna be ???
{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
Mm-hmm.
[00:13:02]
{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
Why do you shuck by pounds now, and not the gallons?
{SPEAKER name="William Bourne"}
Ah, why, because we work that way. [Chuckles]
{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
[[Chuckles]]. Okay.
[00:13:10]
{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
Ah, what's the conversation? Do you guys talk, sing, what? [[William Bourne clears his throat.]] Or there's no conversation?
[00:13:17]
{SPEAKER name="William Bourne"}
Mostly talk, but it's all. When we used to shuck, how
To then be, went and, left town, left ties, and shuck less.
[00:13:35]
{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
Is the oysters plentiful now?
{SPEAKER name="William Bourne"}
No.
{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
They're not as plentiful now?
{SPEAKER name="William Bourne"}
[interrupting] No [with emphasis]
{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
As they was?
[00:13:39]
{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
Why was that?
{SPEAKER name="William Bourne"}
Well, I don't know. They died out.
{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
Mm-hmm.
{SPEAKER name="William Bourne"}
I don't know the reason, but they died out.
[00:13:48]
{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
Do you think that's because you shuck year-round now?
{SPEAKER name="William Bourne"}
No, uh.
[00:13:53]
{SPEAKER name="William Bourne"}
No, I don't think that.I think it's just um, I think it's got something to do with the fertilizer stuff we use on the farm. They want to wash that into the water.
[00:14:07]
{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
Oh [listening]
{SPEAKER name="William Bourne"}
I think it has something to do with the oysters and plants bleaching. [?]
[00:14:14]
{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
Mm-hmm. Who taught you how to shuck oysters?
[00:14:17]
{SPEAKER name="William Bourne"}
Myself. [Laughs.]
{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
You taught yourself?
{SPEAKER name="William Bourne"}
At least look out for other people. There got to be old people.
[00:14:24]
My father, he still oystered. And he'd bring them home, and he would shuck them and we'd watch him, then we'd take him like a class and start it up.
[00:14:33]
{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
How long did it take you to catch on?
{SPEAKER name="William Bourne"}
Well, just about a half a day.
[00:14:38]
{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
Yeah, okay. Who's the fastest shucker at the Oyster House? Clam or oyster shucker.
[00:14:44]
{SPEAKER name="William Bourne"}
Hadley.
{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
Harry?
{SPEAKER name="William Bourne"}
Yeah.
[00:14:50]
{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
His wife Christine is also there. How fast is she?
{SPEAKER name="William Bourne"}
She, she's faster than I'm fast.
{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
Okay. [[Laughs]]
{SPEAKER name="William Bourne"}
Yeah.
{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
Which-
{SPEAKER name="William Bourne"}
Also brought his mixed daughter up.
{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
Her daughter?
{SPEAKER name="William Bourne"}
Yeah, she learns fast.
[00:15:02]
{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
Okay. Uh, how fast are you?
[00:15:05]
{SPEAKER name="William Bourne"}
Well, I used to be fast.
{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
Okay.
{SPEAKER name="William Bourne"}
With my age, but now I'm slow. The older you get, slower you shuck.
[00:15:15]
{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
Okay. How about, say, dampness of the Oyster House affected you health-wise? Or... Does that pose a problem for you?
{SPEAKER name="William Bourne"}
Well, yes.
[00:15:24]
{SPEAKER name="William Bourne"}
Off right, I'll be alright then.
[00:15:29]
{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
Who were some of your, um. Who were some of the other shuckers there, besides yourself? Black shuckers.
[00:15:35]
{SPEAKER name="William Bourne"}
Hadley, Bill Gate, Theresa Wolf. Uh, Jodette.
[00:15:47]
{SPEAKER name="William Bourne"}
[[Pause.]] That's about all there is of the black ones.
[00:15:53]
{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
Okay. Uh, women. Uh, okay, that's the oyster shuckers.
{SPEAKER name="William Bourne"}
Yeah.
[00:15:57]
{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
Okay. Is it the same pay for men as it is for women?
{SPEAKER name="William Bourne"}
Yeah.
{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
Mm-kay.
[00:16:04]
{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
Who'd usually keep count of your, of the amount- of the amount of oysters you shuck?
[00:16:11]
{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
Is it you or it is a time-keeper, or
{SPEAKER name="William Bourne"}
No, a timekeeper keeps it.
[00:16:15]
{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
Okay. Is the timekeeper black, or white, or Mexican?
{SPEAKER name="William Bourne"}
Mexican.
{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
Mm-hmm. Okay.
[00:16:23]
{SPEAKER name="Shelia Montague Parker"}
Um, are there many young people there?
[00:16:28]
{SPEAKER name="William Bourne"}
Well, no. I don't know how old the next one is, 'cause they haven't been there often
[00:16:36]

Please note that the language and terminology used in this collection reflects the context and culture of the time of its creation, and may include culturally sensitive information. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution, but is available in its original form to facilitate research. For questions or comments regarding sensitive content, access, and use related to this collection, please contact transcribe@si.edu.