Museum event keeps oyster culture alive


Grasping a palm-sized oyster, he banged a hammer against the shell, jammed a knife into the middle seam, scooped out the guts, chucked the shell in a pail and plopped the delicacy into a watery bowl.

At first he performed the ritual slowly for the crowd to observe, then picked up the tempo: Bang, jam, scoop, chuck, plop.

Then, the science of it began to swing. Donald Ciscrow, Mr. Whittington's son, showed his deft skills at the "birth board," a wedge of wood used in oyster houses for shucking the crustaceans, following the same rhythm as his father, while adding a melody on top.

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