MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

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October 15, 2013

Soaking up the wisdom of the watermen

(Continued)

"What I'm doing now you could do 100 years ago," he said, pulling up the tongs and spilling a mess of oysters onto the boat. He picked through the pile and showed me the rough shells on which babies are growing. And then it was my turn to oyster.

I struggled to maneuver the heavy tongs, managing to heft a few oysters onto the boat. I couldn't imagine doing this for hours at a time, much less in sleet and snow in the dead of winter. But then I thought of all us office workers "on land," spending our days indoors sitting at computers, and I understood what Matthews had said: "If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn't change a thing."

Dell'Amore is a freelance writer in Washington. Her Web site is christinedellamore.com.

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