Wednesday, December 29, 2010



Coming from a small town on the Gulf Coast, one of the things we ate a lot of growing up was oysters. Along with frying them (which ends up being done to most food in the South), the preferred way to eat an oyster is raw, opened up in the shell with a knife. As a kid, they were so commonplace, I wasn't excited by them. Once I left, I discovered the joys of (sweeter) West Coast oysters, and getting them served to me on ice, and now I have them once a week from the Farmer's Market near my place in Mountain View.

This week, I'm back in Alabama, staying with my family and with my girlfriend visiting. She'd never had raw oysters before dating me -- though now that I convinced her to take a chance on them, she loves them too. But she's only had her oysters bourgie style, not like what I grew up with. Fortune intervened tonight in a classic Southern moment:

We had taken some new pants I'd gotten over to my sister's mother-in-law's house to get them hemmed. My sister ran into to deliver the pants, when she came out gesturing to us, "Guess what? Mr. Kent is opening up raw oysters out back!". We got ushered in and were shown classic southern hospitality -- let onto the back deck, where an old Southern gentleman was sitting there, shucking one oyster after another, tossing the shells as he was done. Best oysters we'd had all week! As he shucked them, I shot this frame -- one of my favorite pictures of my trip home thus far.

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