Keys History continues to provide a glimpse into the past. William Hackley’s diary for this day in 1856 provides such a peek.

Hackley mentions that “a man was put in the pillory for one hour for larceny.”

A pillory is a wooden framework with holes for the head and hands, in which an offender was imprisoned and exposed to public abuse for one hour.

The pillory extends back to Anglo-Saxon times when it was known as “Healsfanj” or “catch-neck.” The Dutch word for pillory when translated to English defines it well: Pole of Shame. In Dutch, “Schandpaal.”

A specific time of the day was involved. Generally from 12 noon to 1 pm. The “dining hour” for persons who made a living by “labor of their hands.” The streets were crowded by the working class during the meal time.

The pillory was intended to physically abuse and humiliate the person in the wood structure. The ordinary working folk enjoyed the activity. Participated  in the extreme. It was their “game time.”

I suspect the pillory was a much cheaper way to punish a wrongdoer.

I read somewhere yesterday that a man was convicted of larceny. His sentence 7 years in jail or 1 hour in the pillory. He opted for the pillory. Though the one hour was significantly less than 7 years, the public abused him to the extent that he almost died.

I further suspect it was cheaper for whatever the “government” was at the time to pillory for one hour than incarcerate for 7 years. Imagine the money saved for food and shelter.

Pillorying generally ceased in the early 1800’s world wide. Why Key West still pilloried in 1856, I am not sure. To save money by not having to feed and shelter?

The hurricane season begins tuesday June 1. The date firm. However, hurricanes are unaware. They come and go as they please on whatever their timetable might be. Key West has experienced hurricanes before the first day of hurricane season many times.

The Keys are very much susceptible to hurricanes. Regarding hurricanes, the Keys are referred to as “Hurricane Alley.”

Key West is fortunate in that a National Weather Service operation is located here. A huge building on White Street across from City Hall. Key West’s hurricane news, warnings, etc. are very timely.

Bayview Park today is not the same as it was 30 years ago when I began visiting Key West. There were a couple of statues honoring those who fought in the Spanish American War and also one or two honoring certain Cubans who had a connection to Key West.

In the 30 years however, Key West has developed a memorial park to honor U.S. war participants and war dead.

I recall attending the dedication of the Vietnam Memorial. It was a special day. A very special one.

I was a practicing attorney during the Vietnam years. America was not happy with the war. U.S. military who fought and died there received no special recognition. Not even a well done when they returned.

Time heals all wounds. Ten years ago, I attended the dedication of the Vietnam Memorial. Many Vietnam veterans were in attendance. Proud they were. Their salutes still sharp in their senior years. Key West was finally honoring them. The U.S. at the time as well.

At 10:30 monday morning, there will be another dedication. This time for Key West Blacks who fought in the U.S. Marines.

An overdue honor.

Blacks were not permitted in the U.S. Marines till 1942.

Thirteen men of color will be honored at the dedication.

I plan on being there.

Two major wrongs were committed on this day, though in different years.

In 1921, a massacre of Blacks occurred in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Many killed and beaten. Today the 100th anniversary of the event.

The History Channel is carrying the story beginning at 8 tonight. Worth watching.

Another major wrong occurred on this day, though hundreds of years ago. The year 1431. Joan of Arc was burned at the stake.

Her crime heresy. Two facts purportedly supporting the heresy were she wore pants and she rejected Church authority in favor of direct inspiration from God.

Joan wore pants during the wars she fought. She also wore them during her trial. A no no for women in those days.

Though her pants wearing bothered the judges, she was formally convicted for her alleged rejection of Church authority in favor of direct inspiration from God.

She was sentenced to death.

Joan apparently did not wish to be burned at the stake. She recanted. Her new sentence was perpetual imprisonment. Life. She also was ordered to cease wearing pants and wear solely women’s clothing.

Two days after her reduction in sentence and admonition to dress like a woman, the judges visited Joan in her cell.

She was wearing pants again. The judges were upset.

Joan’s excuse to the judges was that St. Catherine and St. Margaret appeared to her. She claimed they reproached her for giving into the  Church and the Church’s will.

Her death sentence was in effect signed.

The judges found her to be a “relapsed heretic.” Joan’s original sentence of being burned at the stake was reinstated.

There is a new game being played weekends. Every weekend without fail. Mass shootings.

In the early hours of this morning, a mass shooting occurred at Northwest Miami-Dade. Three assailants jumped out of a SUV and shot into a crowd of persons attending an event at a Florida club.

Two were killed and 25 injured. Assault weapons and hand guns were used.

No further information is available at this time.

When will we pass necessary legislation to somewhat control what is happening?

Jews and the yellow star. The brainchild of Hitler’s Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels who sold the idea to Adolph Hitler. The star to be worn on the left side of a Jew’s coat.

The first place the star was ordered worn was Paris.

There was another time when Jews were required to wear a yellow star. Catholics in central Italy were responsible.

When Parisian Jews were required by the Nazis to wear the yellow star in Paris, a French newspaper wrote: “It renews the most strictly Catholic tradition intermittently, through out the history of the Papal States, that in territory in central Italy, controlled by the Pope, Jews were often confined to ghettos and forced to wear either yellow hats or yellow stars.”

The Department of Homeland Security warned law enforcement this week about increasing attacks against Jews and Jewish institutions in the U.S. The DHS wrote that such were “motivated in part by the conflict between Israel and Hamas.”

The thrust of the warning: Be prepared to act.

Terri White sings again today. At Marylin’s from 3-5.

I plan on being there. Hopefully I will make it.

My good intentions have been poorly paved. The last time I was out was a week ago wednesday.

Yesterday, I had a good excuse. Anna was my housekeeper for 20 years. She stopped by to visit. Brought me a bowl full of perogis. Love perogis! Why go out when I could sit home and enjoy the perogis. Anna had already cooked them

Anna was born and raised in Poland. She cooks Polish dishes well!

Enjoy your Sunday!




  1. I am with you, although the Vietnam war would have been a lot shorter if our government back them wasn’t pushing the “patriot button” bull sh*t all the time.

  2. “ I was a practicing attorney during the Vietnam years. ”

    You were a cowardly POS that chase money instead of serving. So be quiet.

    • Seems Fred was released on “good behavior” from the sanitarium. Welcome back Red Fred. A lot has changed since you were gone. We- the people- defeated a sedition loving traitor who stained the Oval, for one.

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