The Podiatrist of Pensacola

By: Rochelle Rickoff Wilensky

In 1950, Pensacola, FL was the last place you’d expect to find a Jewish, Ukranian refugee in a standoff with a klansman over doctor’s office signs.  The refugee, a newly-minted podiatrist, suddenly owned the office. He had arrived to the city the day before with $2.57 in his pocket, a bag of potato chips, his new wife, and zero understanding of the South, segregation or humidity.  Two broken signs lay on the ground — instigator unknown. Neither man would have any idea that the broken signs would one day live in a museum documenting the beginning of Jim Crow’s end.

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