Oystering With Norm Bloom and Son

Workers on the Little Growler move oysters over to a smaller boat, to be taken ashore and kept fresh. Photo Credit: Nancy Guenther Chapman
The Ringgold Brothers on Aug. 9, 2012. It was built in 1907. Photo Credit: Nancy Guenther Chapman
Mario Romano of Norwalk helps Sal Rodriguez secure his boat to the side of the Ringgold Brothers. Photo Credit: Nancy Guenther Chapman
Workers sort out the marketable oysters from those that need to grow more and from shells. Photo Credit: Nancy Guenther Chapman
Oyster boats in Long Island Sound on Aug. 9. Photo Credit: Nancy Guenther Chapman
Oysters being taken ashore. Photo Credit: Nancy Guenther Chapman
A Norm Bloom and Sons worker. Two of the immigrants have become American citizens, John Rauscher said. Photo Credit: Nancy Guenther Chapman
Sal Rodriguez catches oysters tossed from the deck of the Little Growler. Photo Credit: Nancy Guenther Chapman
Oysters are transferred off the deck of the Ringgold Brothers. Photo Credit: Nancy Guenther Chapman
Workers sort out the marketable oysters from those that need to grow more and from shells. Photo Credit: Nancy Guenther Chapman
A full-time welder builds new dredging cages for Norm Bloom and Son, John Rauscher said. They last one to two years. Photo Credit: Nancy Guenther Chapman
Oysters being taken ashore. Photo Credit: Nancy Guenther Chapman
The dredging cage comes up with more oysters. Photo Credit: Nancy Guenther Chapman
Photo Credit: Nancy Guenther Chapman
Photo Credit: Nancy Guenther Chapman
Photo Credit: Nancy Guenther Chapman
Photo Credit: Nancy Guenther Chapman
Photo Credit: Nancy Guenther Chapman
Photo Credit: Nancy Guenther Chapman
Jimmy Bloom heads out to dump shells leftover from the sorting process in the chipping room. Photo Credit: Nancy Guenther Chapman
Photo Credit: Nancy Guenther Chapman
Photo Credit: Nancy Guenther Chapman
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NORWALK, Conn. – John Rauscher looked out the window at his co-workers, a steady chip-chip-chip sound in the salt air along with the music on the radio and the hum of the boat's engine. He was happy to have landed on his feet in a tough economy four years ago with a job in the waters off Norwalk and Westport.

"I wish I was here 10 years," said the Milford man, a former asbestos-removal supervisor who was piloting the Ringgold Brothers, a century-old Chesapeake Bay oyster boat belonging to Norm Bloom and Son.

Mario Romano, a lifelong Norwalker, and four men from Honduras ...
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