Gregory Taliancich was one of three children born in Olga, Louisiana to Anthony Taliancich of Vrac, Yugoslavia and Lena Helen Kuluz Taliancich born in New Orleans. Having immigrated from Dalmatra in search of a better life, his “Taliancic” grandparents settled in New Orleans and the spelling of their name was changed to “Taliancich”.
While Gregory was still young, his mother was widowed but remarried and he was then one of four children. In 1919, after years of withstanding storms and hurricanes which resulted in the loss of homes in their marsh surroundings, they left New Orleans to settle at Point Cadet in Biloxi. At the age of ten, Gregory was always around boats helping his Kuluz uncles, Vincent, Tony and Nick at their factory, Kuluz Brothers Canning Company. The factory operated many schooners that were in constant need of crewman for all aspects of boat operations. As it was common practice for children to work alongside family in this era, Gregory began learning the trade and thus began his career in the seafood industry. By the age of 22, Gregory’s hard work as crewman led him to advance to captain of one of the factory boats; this was 1934.
In 1936, Gregory partnered with his brother, Mathews (pronounced Mato) Taliancich, in having a boat built by Covacevich Brothers Shipyard on Back Bay in Biloxi. This vessel was a 47.7-foot Biloxi Lugger and was named “Eva Marie” after their two sisters, Eva and Mary. While they were 50/50 owners, the brothers agreed Grego would be captain of the Eva Marie. They began work on the new lugger in 1937 harvesting shrimp and oysters when in season and transporting watermelons from Bayou La Batre, Alabama to New Orleans, Louisiana when the season was closed. This same year, Gregory married Anne Guillotte Taliancich and subsequently had three children.
Grego and Mato were always working to ensure the Eva Marie was productive and, out of season, was in top shape and ready for the next season by cleaning, painting and performing general maintenance. It was hard work, but it was a labor of love as they knew it provided for their families. In 1945, Mato sold his share of the partnership to Grego who continued to captain the vessel until 1953. Due to changing times, he decided to sell the Eva Marie and begin land-based work at the Kuluz Brothers Factory. There he helped maintain and prepare boats for their harvesting seasons until the factory closed in 1958.
His career then led him to work as engineer and crewman on the Sundown, taking tourists on daily fishing trips along the Mississippi Sound. This boat was owned by the Baricev family who also owned a seafood restaurant bearing the family name where Grego also worked at the restaurant’s oyster bar. After the restaurant’s recovery efforts following Hurricane Camille and the Sundown ceasing its run in 1971, he continued serving at the oyster bar until he retired in 1986. Though he passed away in 1988, the Taliancich name continues to live on in the memory of Captain Grego.