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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 annemarie@southernfoodways.org.

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James Hicks - Oyster Opener, Papa Joe's Oyster Bar and Grill

Papa Joe's Oyster Bar and Grill

In 1942, the year James Hicks was born, dozens of families lived and worked thirteen miles west of Apalachicola. Their lives revolved around Miller’s Fish & Oyster Company on the west end of the Apalachicola Bay, with a clear view of Indian Pass and St. Vincent Island. The Hicks family was one of those families. James’s father, Henry Harrison Hicks, worked for the Millers. James followed suit, working on the bay by the time he was twelve years old. He oystered for near thirty-five years before he decided to hang his hat and get a more reliable job. Today, 13 Mile is the name of the seafood house that was once Miller’s. James is still very much connected to the place and to oysters. His wife, Oddys, is a shucker out at 13 Mile. And James opens oysters from 13 Mile for his loyal customers at Papa Joe’s Oyster Bar & Grill in downtown Apalachicola.

Date of interview:
2006-03-24 00:00

Amy Evans

Amy Evans

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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.


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