Brigid and Sean knew from their father’s face that the news was not good. As he took a short phone call, the Lunny family could tell that a decision handed down by the federal government would cost them their livelihood, their family home, and their retirement plan.
“I was standing in our little oyster shack, the retail store where people gather,” says Kevin Lunny, the patriarch and owner of Drakes Bay Oyster Co., in Marin County, Calif. “The phone rang, and my daughter answered it. She said, ‘It’s Secretary Salazar, for you.’ We all knew, and we were all waiting. None of us could sleep, none of us could physically eat as we were awaiting the decision. Sean’s looking at me. Brigid’s looking at me. About a minute into the conversation, I hadn’t said anything, and they were both in tears because they could see my face. This was not the decision we’d hoped for and prayed for. Walking out of that room and onto the dock where our 30 employees were waiting — you had all 30 of us in tears because it’s a tragedy.”