‘Mr. Paul’ dies at 85. The oldest oyster shucker on Bourbon Street

NEW ORLEANS - They call him Mr. Paul.

People from all over the world know him.

People from all over the world love him

Mr. Paul Dinet died Thursday, April 18.

WGNO News with a Twist features guy Wild Bill Wood got the chance to spend the day with the man who was known as the oldest oyster shucker on Bourbon Street.

That's on Bourbon Street at Felix's Restaurant & Oyster Bar.

That's where Paul Dinet works every day.

Paul says he started shucking oysters as a kid "with a hammer, my daddy taught me first and then with an oyster knife made out of a file."

He's had a lifetime of shucking oysters which has brought him to where he is today.

Paul Dinet is the the oldest oyster shucker in New Orleans.

In fact, Bourbon Street never opens for business, until Paul Dinet opens his oysters.

Every morning by eight o'clock, he's always at the same end of the bar at Felix's, shucking oysters like a surgeon.

Wild Bill Wood asks Paul Dinet, "how old were you when you first shucked an oyster?"

Paul Dinet says, "eight years old."

Now, at almost 85, he's the oldest oyster shucker in New Orleans.

Wild Bill asks Paul, "do you like oysters?

Not only is he New Orleans oldest, Paul Dinet must be the world's only oyster shucker with only seven fingers.

He lost three fingers in a factory job back in the 50's.

"It was 1956, a year after I came out of the army," Paul says.

But it's never bothered him.

He says, " as long as i got a heavy glove, it's easy, no problem."

He's the father of seven and the grandfather of fourteen who travels by bicycle to work.

And he still heads to work every day on his bike, even after he got hit by a car not too long ago.

Paul says, "I got knocked down, that's all, had to go to the hospital, put stitches in my head."

But he was back at work a week later.

With 13 stitches in his head, there he was still standing at his spot at Felix's in the French Quarter.

Wild Bill asks, "you ever find a pearl in any of the oysters?

Paul says, "I found 16 pearls in one big oyster back in  1989.

They found a pearl for life when Paul Dinet walked through the door.

Wild Bill wonders, "do you ever think about retiring?"

Paul says, " sometimes, but as long as i feel good, i'm gonna keep on going."

He says his motto is, "keep on truckin', keep on shuckin'!"

And keep on comin' back, tomorrow.

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