We pulled off of Hwy. 174 at Flowers Seafood Company to get a closer view of the artwork on the building and to inspect their wares. We drove away with this image and two pounds of fresh local shrimp.
The trend toward dressing up otherwise uninspiring buildings with attractive or unusual murals is one which we welcome. Such artwork usually depicts nostalgic images from a past life of the building or functions as creative advertising for the current business within. The daunting creature on the wall is not one of those dreaded dust mites seen through an electron microscope with which duct cleaning contractors scare us to death. It's the old Atlantic Blue Crab done in black. That's a shrimp on the left rather than a third claw. There could, however, be three clawed mutants somewhere in the world ready to be shipped our way.
A pleasant, polite and alert young man (these days a treat in and of itself) was at the counter ready to answer questions and sell seafood. We got what seemed like honest answers to a series of questions. What was said to be fresh clearly looked fresh. The interior of the shop was quite clean and sanitary, no mean feat when you have lots of uncooked seafood laying on open ice all day. It smelled of clean seafood rather than the overwhelming chlorine scent of a public pool.
We haven't joined any particular crusade, but find ourselves quite keen for both local and wild caught seafood. We tend to think of farming as a good source of beast, fowl, eggs and planted goods. Fish farming doesn't quite seem grammatical much less prudent. Farm raised fish may well be fine and healthy eating, but we like to look forward to the joy of seasonal treats and this applies to seafood as well as the revered corn, tomatoes, melons and other rich harvests of the sea island soils.
It seems like we're bucking the natural order of things when we import from other states or other countries those things which we are granted in our own back yard each in its own season. The big ripe red juicy Johns Island tomato seems like a gift from above while the hard, greenish ones we bring in from who-knows-where seem more useful to vandals for breaking windows.
Of the more endangered species we include the independent folks who gather all of our local fish, shrimp, oysters and those who bring them to market. They tend to sink or swim with the seasons. They cannot long endure a series of bad seasons or much more of the competition from massive retailers who import that which we take from local waters in the proper season. They can't very well freeze their families or creditors until the prices improve.