PEARLS FROM APALACHICOLA

My friend and fellow documentarian, Sara Wood, just returned from South Carolina, where she conducted some maritime-themed fieldwork for a new project. Today, on the Southern Foodways Alliance's blog, she circled back around to a project I did for the SFA back in 2005, documenting the seafood industry along Florida's Forgotten Coast.

The time I spent in Franklin County, Florida, made quite an impression on me. I often talk about the connections I made there, but one stands out from the rest: A. L. "Unk" Quick. Unk is a lifelong oysterman and after the time I spent with him, he became a lifelong friend. On one visit, he gave me a pill bottle filled with fresh pearls that his wife Gloria had found while shucking his catch.

When I got home, I commissioned jewelry designer Margaux Lange to make this necklace.

Most people are confused by the piece. Some think the pearls are baby teeth. Others just think it's weird. I didn't want to make something overly precious and sentimental (even though I am usually very capable of being overly precious and sentimental). Instead, I wanted to create a conversation piece, something that would give me an opportunity to talk about Unk and Gloria.

Thank you, Sara Wood, for giving me that opportunity again today.

All photos ©Amy C. Evans.

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