Alcee Taylor

Location of Interview
Collection Name

Vanishing Culture Project


The "Vanishing Culture Project" was a Florida Humanities Council grant to capture the oral histories of longtime residents of Cortez.   The project also produced several stations about the folkways of the fishermen of Cortez that are placed around the village and a mural painted on the side of a prominent fish house in the community.

Date of Interview
Biographical Sketch

Alcee Taylor is a native of Cortez, Florida, a historic fishing village known for its rich maritime heritage. Born into a family of boat builders, Taylor's father was known for building skiffs, a versatile type of boat that was adapted to the shallow waters of Florida's bays and estuaries. Taylor himself has a deep connection with the fishing industry, having bought fish in North Carolina and worked with the Florida Shrimp Exchange. He also served in the military, after which he engaged in fishing activities in North Carolina. Known by his nickname "Boogie," given to him in his late teens, Taylor is fondly remembered for his love of boogie music and pumpkin pie. He is a strong advocate for the commercial fishing industry and hopes for the preservation of Cortez's maritime heritage.

Scope and Content Note
This interview with Alcee Taylor, conducted by Mr. Mike Jepson and Mr. Wayne Nield on January 21, 1993, is part of the "Vanishing Culture Project" funded by the Florida Humanities Council. The interview provides a rich account of Taylor's life and experiences, with a particular focus on the maritime culture of Cortez, Florida, and the changes in the fishing industry over time. The interview begins with a discussion about the skiffs built by Taylor's father, their design, and their adaptability to the shallow waters of Florida. Taylor also shares his experiences in North Carolina, where he bought fish and observed the differences in fishing conditions compared to Florida. He recounts his time in the military and his subsequent involvement in fishing activities in North Carolina. The interview also delves into Taylor's personal life, including his love for pumpkin pie and how he got his nickname "Boogie." Towards the end of the interview, Taylor expresses his hopes for the future of the commercial fishing industry and the preservation of Cortez's maritime heritage. The interview concludes with Taylor's reflections on the importance of community solidarity in facing the challenges confronting the commercial fishing industry.

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