< Back to Oral History project: Florida’s Forgotten Coast
Janice Richards - Shucker
Thirteen Mile Oyster Company
Janice Richards was born in Eastpoint in 1945 and has been shucking oysters since 1960. Her mother taught her the trade when she was a girl. Early on she learned to take her time to shuck a clean oyster. Janice married at the age of fourteen. Her husband, Johnny Richards, is an oysterman. They’ve worked at a handful of seafood houses over the years. Today they work together at Tommy Ward’s oyster house, 13 Mile. Johnny gets the oysters, and Janice shucks his catch. But these years of shucking have taken their toll. Janice’s legs are weak from the years of standing at the stalls. And the whirring blade on the shucking machine is a danger she faces every day. She loves it, though. Janice says she’ll be shucking until she dies.