The Manuel Cabeza story.

Manual is being honored at 5 this afternoon at the Key West Cemetery. A celebration not received in 1921 when he died. Local dignitaries will speak. Cabeza’s family has been located and certain members are arriving in Key West to attend.

Manuel was a conch. His family originally from the Canary Islands. Manuel was born in Key West, however. He fought in World War I.

Returned to Key West and became a successful “businessman.” Ran the Red Rooster. A bar, coffee shop, and sporting club. A place for action after the sun went down.

It was 1921. Many are unaware that back in those days Key West had a strong and active Klu Klux Klan. The group responsible for much wrong.

Whites and blacks consorting in public a no no. Living together the worse.

Manuel had a black girl friend. Mulatto. She was a madam. Perhaps at the Red Rooster. I could not determine if that was where she worked. I assume so, however.

Manuel and his black lady friend lived together in a room in the back of the Red Rooster. The affair not a back street one.

Manuel a tough hombre. People did not screw with him. Muscle bound, he would take guff from no one.

The white men of the community did not look fondly on Manuel’s open and brazen relationship with a black lady. Most were Klu Klux Klanners. They decided to do something about it.

Three days before Christmas the Klan went to the Red Rooster, took hold of Manuel, stripped him and then tarred and feathered him. Ran him out of town on a rail.

Tarring and feathering normally a killer in those days. Manuel survived. Christmas eve he sought his revenge.

While being tarred and feathered, he was able to remove the masks of 3 of the Klan members. He knew them. Stalwart citizens of Key West.

Manual hired a taxi and went looking for the 3. His intent to kill them. He carried a gun.

William Decker was one of his assailants. The manager of a cigar factory. He found him in his car. Shot Decker in the head killing him.

The taxi rolled on looking for the other 2.

Word had spread that Manuel was out and about and intended to kill certain of those who had tarred and feathered him 3 days earlier. The Klan caught up with the taxi at the corner of Whitehead and Petronia. Shooting occurred. Resulted in a standoff. The Sheriff called in the Marines from the Navy Base to assist in apprehending Manuel.

Manuel distrusted the Sheriff. A known Klu Klux Klanner. One of the Marines Manuel knew and trusted, convinced Manuel to give himself up. He did and was taken to jail.

Around midnight, the Sheriff told the Marines to leave as everything was quiet and he anticipated no problems.

They left.

Within an hour, 5 cars full of Klu Klux Klanners arrived. The Sheriff let them in. They went into Manuel’s cell and beat him senseless with lead filled blackjacks.

He was then dragged out to the street and tied to the rear bumper of a car. Still alive at the time. Dragged through the streets of Key West.

Manuel was finally hung from a tree on Flagler. While hanging, his body was riddled with bullets.

A gruesome sight awaited Key West citizens when they left their homes Christmas morning.

No one was ever arrested. Manuel’s body dumped into a hole in the cemetery with no stone, service, etc.

Today some of the wrongs perpetrated upon him will to a degree be corrected. There will be a celebration of his life. A new grave stone. Flowers. Family. And Key West citizens.

There is more to the story. Manuel’s black lady friend put a voodoo spell on the Klan members. What followed unbelievable. For another day, however.

There is a resurgence of the Klan. Haters all. They openly march again. Anti-black. Anti-Semitic.

They have returned at a time when many do not distinguish any difference between the races. Especially the young. Many relationships and intermarriages.

Recall for the moment TV advertising today. Many of the advertisements contain black and white couples.

In 50 years, race should finally be a thing of the past in the U.S.  Intermarriage will take place resulting in most of the population being tan.

Manuel and his black woman were 125 years too early.

Remember Omar Little? Hero/villain of the HBO drama series The Wire. Think back to Ralph Waldo Emerson at the same time.

Mueller’s report went to the Attorney General late yesterday afternoon. The world has been told there are no new indictments in the report. Which means Trump will not be indicted. At least, not as a result of Mueller’s report.

Another consideration involved. Omar and Emerson brought us words that in effect said the following: “If you come at the king, you best not miss.”

Expect Trump to unleash his venom with a renewed fury.

The Dow fell yesterday 460 points. A U.S. recession in the making? Germany is teetering on the brink of recession. Some economists say Germany is already there. Japan and China having problems.

I have thought so. I was predicting by the end of last year or the beginning of this one. I was incorrect, but only as to time. I believe one is coming. The economists say within a year. Who am I to disagree with them.

I close with last night. A good one. Dinner with Donna, Terri and Barbara at the Conch Republic. We had fun!

Two negatives however. We made sure neither spoiled our evening.

We went to the Conch Republic for stone crabs. No stone crabs! A disaster. Instead, we enjoyed raw oysters and a fish dish. I had fried shrimp. Have to admit, outstanding!

Andrea and Joe were to have joined us. Andrea got sick. Good people. They were missed.

Remember Porky Pig!

Enjoy your day!



  1. I don’t know why Mueller did not press to interview some of the better known principles in this investigation. Regardless, his report must be accepted and he did uncover a significant number of actors and “traitors” close to Trump. I doubt Trump would accept his report if it was not in his favor. Trump’s greatest threat comes from the SDNY.

  2. I’m not saying change has not happened from the time Manuel was murdered but we have a ways to go. Let’s not forget that some things have not changed and if that happened today Trump would likely declare “fine people” on both sides of the incident.

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