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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

< Back to Oral History project: Bowens Island Restaurant


Victor "Goat" Lafayette, fisherman & oyster picker

Bowens Island Restaurant

Victor Lafayette grew up on Sol Legare Road, just across the inlet from Bowens Island. His childhood friends gave him the nickname “Goat.” Growing up on the water, he took to fishing, crabbing, and oystering naturally. At the age of nine, he began selling his catch to May Bowen, owner of Bowens Island Restaurant. Over the years, Goat has held jobs shrimping and running a club on Mosquito Beach. When the shrimping industry began taking a downturn, though, Goat returned to Bowens Island. May’s grandson, Robert Barber, was at the helm by that time. Goat asked Robert if he needed an oyster picker for the restaurant, and he’s maintained a tight connection to the place ever since. In 2007 at the age of sixty-six, Goat reached retirement age. Even so, he plans to work the water until his body decides to quit. When that day comes, he’ll still be a part of the Bowens Island family.

Date of interview:
2007-01-20 00:00

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.


Alex Raij Txikito

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