I was on the back porch washing greens when Harold drove around the side of the house with a stolen canoe on top of the truck and a bushel of oysters in back.

“I thought you were down fishing on the flats,” I said as he came up the steps with the oysters in a sack over his shoulder. “Your Mama said you’d be down there all week.”

“That’s right,” he said. “I was planning to.”

He dropped the sack and pulled half a dozen oyster knives out of his pocket. “Throw that stuff out,” he said looking at the greens. “We need to put these babies in the sink.”

“Just a minute,” I said.

I lifted the sopping greens in a mass and mashed them into a pot. “Let me put them on the stove.”

“Just put them in the fridge,” he said. “We’ll need the pot.”

I went into the kitchen, found a couple of ham hocks in the refrigerator and put them with the greens to simmer. When I came back Harold was dumping oysters into the sink.

“Where’d you get the cuties?” I asked.

“Panacea. And they are just delicious.”

“Did you try one?”

“Of course. You got horseradish?”


I went inside and got it out of the fridge.

“We got to clean these things off first,” he said when I set horseradish, tabasco, ketchup, saltines, bowls and forks on the plank beside the sink. “You remember those oysters we got in Savannah?”

“The muddy ones?”

“Yeah. We had to wash them all afternoon.”

“They were good.”