Melinda and Donald Punch – 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.

< Back to Oral History project: Down the Bayou

< Back to Oral History project: Southern Gumbo Trail

ORAL HISTORY

Melinda and Donald Punch


Donald Punch was a shrimper all his life, following in the boot steps of his father, until his own son’s Type 1 diabetes forced him onto land. In the 1980s, the small, public elementary school in Lockport, Louisiana, didn’t staff a nurse who could administer the kind of care a child with daily medical needs required. Donald and his wife, Melinda, then a high school physical sciences teacher, decided to open a seafood market so that Donald could get to his son at school as frequently as necessary.

Donald misses life on the water and dreams of once again owning a small shrimp boat that he could man alone, but Punch’s Seafood Market is going strong and provides a more stable income than shrimping does these days. Besides that, his sons, Travis and Jason, need an outlet for their crabs. Both of the Punch boys chose fishing as a career, after having spent much of their childhood and adolescence on or near the water, and they sell their catch to Melinda and Donald.

Date of interview:
2011-09-19

Interviewer:
Sara Roahen

Photographer:
Sara Roahen

Download Transcript

Other Project Interviews

WORKING TOGETHER

WE CAN CULTIVATE PROGRESS.

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.

BECOME A MEMBER TODAY

Alex Raij Txikito

Let’s Stay in Touch


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