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It's been too long since we've enjoyed oysters on the half shell. A gift from a sibling to our mother of four dozen beautiful oysters shipped fresh from the northwest coast, still alive in the shell arrived recently, and the Wizard Oyster Bar was eagerly opened for a second time.

I had never shucked oysters, having only seen a shucker in action at Dupuy's in Abbeville, Louisiana more than fifty years ago on a cool, early-fall evening. That one was a pro. Fast and clean. He made it look so easy, but it isn't. Not for a novice. It takes practice and an eye for the best point at the hinge of the shell to insert the blade. Then more practice making the swipe across one inside surface then the other to free the oyster from its shells.

Always up for a new challenge and mouth practically drooling at the prospect of devouring them, the shucking commenced with one hand gloved and the other bearing a shucking knife with a lot of careful enthusiasm. Less than a half hour later, the first platter was finished.

Into the cooler to chill that platter, shucking continued another half an hour to fill the second one while hush puppies baked in the oven. Appetites mounted upon sight of deliciousness.

Beer in chilled mugs, cocktail sauce at the ready, and real butter to go with the hushpuppies.

Tuba Skinny videos playing on the tablet signaled start of the feast.

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