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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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ORAL HISTORY

Neal Cooksey


Neal Cooksey grew up on James Island in Charleston, South Carolina. As a teenager, he started scalloping in Charleston Harbor and Savannah, Georgia. When he saw his first paycheck, he decided to stick with it. In the mid-1970s, he took off for shrimping the Texas Gulf Coast and Key West, Florida. Along with his crew of Bubba Jameson and Calvin Chavis, Neal shrimps on the Haley Marie & Sons, named after his three children. The boat always returns to the docks of Crosby’s Fish & Shrimp co-owned by his wife, Joanie. Crosby’s sells all the varieties of shrimp Neal and his crew catch: brown, white, pink, and tiger.

Interviewer:
Sara Wood

Photographer:
Sara Wood

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