Fred Dockery | Southern Foodways Alliance arrow left envelope headphones search facebook instagram twitter flickr menu rss play circle itunes calendar

Oral Histories

The SFA oral history program documents life stories from the American South. Collecting these stories, we honor the people whose labor defines the region. If you would like to contribute to SFA’s oral history collections, please send your ideas for oral history along with your CV or Resume and a portfolio of prior oral history work to

< Back to Oral History project: The Saltwater South: Charleston


Fred Dockery

Fred Dockery was born in Montpelier, France, where his mother worked in a hospital run by nuns. His father traveled as a professor, moving the family from the Midwest to France to Maine to North Carolina. After graduating from Bates College with a degree in philosophy, Fred moved into an airplane hangar and worked as a landscaper before taking a job on a commercial fishing boat called The Restless.

Eventually, Fred and his family moved to Charleston, South Carolina where he took a job on a clam farm. When he was laid off, Fred picked oysters for extra money and delivered newspapers while pulling an early shift at the Moore Drum factory. He started crabbing, which eventually became his full-time job. Today he delivers blue crabs to places such as Marvin’s Seafood in North Charleston and Crosby’s retail store in downtown Charleston.

Date of interview:

Sara Wood

Sara Wood

Download Transcript



The Southern Foodways Alliance drives a more progressive future by leading conversations that challenge existing constructs, shape perspectives, and foster meaningful discussions. We reconsider the past with research, scrutiny, and documentation.


Alex Raij Txikito

Let’s Stay in Touch

Sign up for the SFA newsletter to have the latest content
delivered directly to your inbox.