Like any place where hard work could yield fortune, Biloxi’s seafood industry attracted immigrant labor – first Polish by way of Baltimore, then Croatians and Cajuns, and more recently, Vietnamese. Collected here are some of the stories of Biloxi’s shrimping past and present.
Georgo Trojanovich is, as he says, "The only real Croatian in Biloxi." But in a city as proud as this one is of its Croatian heritage, everyone here knows what he means: with the arrival of Croatian families tailing off by the second half of the 20th century, Georgo is one of the few - yes, perhaps only - Croatian-born immigrants in town. A distant relative of a local restaurateur, Georgo came as a teenager to escape Tito's Communist regime, working as a dishwasher at Mary Mahoney's restaurant. While feeling taken in by friends and the community, he struggled to learn the language, to acclimate to the food, but always knew that going home was not an option. He bought a house from money he'd saved from three years of constant work, learned to cook from a gifted mentor, rose to be the Chef of Mary Mahoney's to find himself, 20 years later, grilling a snapper for Ronald Reagan. Not bad work, you'd think, for a boy who'd never seen a shrimp until the age of 16.
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