Thursday, September 11


It is with great sadness that we share the news of the death of Albert "Corky" Richards, oyster tong maker and part of our oral history project documenting Florida's Forgotten Coast, who passed away in July at the age of 66 after a battle with lung cancer. From The Times (Apalachicola & Carrabelle):

In his life, Albert "Corky" Richards built oyster tongs, furniture for million dollar homes and everything in between.

Self-taught, self-made and self-reliant, the former fisherman crafted work that mirrored his character - frank, straightforward and unpretentious.

He used the finest materials, favoring centuries-old deadhead cypress pulled from the Apalachicola River, which he admired for its tight, straight grain and resiliency.

Nothing gave Richards greater pleasure than a job that challenged his imagination and put his skills to work.

He left the slap-dash work to others.

"You could always tell his work by the quality of what he did," remembered his wife, Margaret. "The quality is what stood out, the beauty and the quality."

After a long battle with lung cancer, Richards, 66, passed away on July 8 at the Apalachicola home he built with sons Rodney and Buddy.

The many timeless, well-crafted pieces Richards left behind serve as monuments to his life as a master craftsman.

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Read the rest of this beautiful tribute to the man and his work here.
Read our oral history interview with Corky here.