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On The Bricks

May 18, 2020

According to historians and The Book of Bizarre Truth, women have pursued lives of plunder on the high seas.

One of the earliest female pirates was Artemesia of Persia, whose fleet preyed upon the city – states of Greece during the 5th century B.C. The Arthenians put a price of 10,000 drachmas on her head, but there is no record of anyone collecting it.

Teuta of Illyria (circa 230 B.C.) was a pirate queen who led raids against Roman ships.

Another notable female marauder was Alfhild (circa 9th century A.D.), a Viking princess who reportedly kept a viper for a pet and whose all female longboat crew ravaged the Scandinavian coast. Prince Alf of Denmark captured Alfhild, but her beauty so overwhelmed him that he proposed marriage instead of beheading her, and they ruled together happily ever after. So the story goes.

Legend has it that Grania O’Malley (1530-1603), who was captain of a pirate fleet based in Ireland, gave birth to her son Toby while at sea. The next day, blunderbuss in hand, she led her men to victory over a Turkish warship.

Madame Ching (circa 1785-1844), perhaps the most notorious of all the pirate queens, ruled her league of 2,000 ships and 70,000 men with an iron hand. Anyone caught stealing loot for private use was executed immediately. But she was relatively kind to some of her prisoners. For example, she ordered that captive women and children not be hung by their hair over the sides of her ships.

Anne Bonny (1698-1782) and Mary Read (circa 1690-1721) dressed as men and served aboard pirate ships that sailed the Caribbean. They met when Mary, disguised as James Morris, joined a crew that was commanded by Anne and her husband, Calico Jack Rackham.

One night while the men were sleeping off a rum binge below deck, Anne and Mary were left to face down a British man – of – war alone. Despite their bravery their ship was quickly captured and the pirates were hauled off to prison After learning that Calico Jack had received a death sentence, Anne’s las words to him were, “I am sorry … but had you fought like a man, you need not have been hanged like a dog.”

Anne and Mary escaped death by “pleading their bellies,” meaning they both were conveniently pregnant. Mary died in childbirth a few months later; Anne dropped from historical view. She is said to have married again and become a respectable matron in the city of Charleston, SC. But one rumor suggests that Mary only pretended to die and that she and Anne escaped to New Orleans where they raised their kids and occasionally plied their former trade, remaining fast friends and pirates of the Caribbean to the very end.

          Famous Okie information: The Pensacola Dam on Grand Lake in Oklahoma is the longest multi – arched dam in the world at 6,565 feet.

Keep going on your New Year’s resolutions: Clutter is bad for your health, bringing on stress, according to research. Clear out your clutter during the year.

Sage advice: Integrity is the only thing in life a person can truly call their own. You can have your freedom, your fortunes, your loved ones taken away by others; but the only person that can take away your integrity is you. ~Joshua Paul Anderson

Made me laugh: Dear Math, please grow up and solve your own problems. I won’t help you find your X and don’t ask Y.

          See you on the bricks soon!

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