Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Chicken Ranch Revisited

What you're looking at is what's left of the famous Chicken Ranch in LaGrange, TX. If you grew up in Texas you most likely know exactly what that was. If not, I'll have to mention the fictional version of this place -- The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.

This place was once a busy "boarding house" with clientele ranging from poor farm boys to wealthy and prestigious politicians. More than a few notable figures in Texas history graced the halls of this place and probably many of the people you know (if you were raised in Texas).

It's sad that this is what has become of this place. At the least I think it deserves an historical marker.

Jayme and I have been busily researching this place and talking to dozens upon dozens of notable figures in its rich history. Sadly, many of them are growing old and dying. Last spring we traveled by plane to a secret location to interview the last surviving madam -- a perky and sassy elderly lady who smoked like a chimney and cursed like a sailor. But with such a spark of humor that we were won over by her charm. She's on our Christmas card list now.

We've been chewed out by some of La Grange's resident busy-bodies and received more than a few very interesting phone calls and e-mails. This book is shaping up to be a page-turner.

I've been working on getting a gallery put together of the Chicken Ranch ruins. It's still a work in progress. We are thrilled to have the blessing of the current owner of this property and I hope to have more images up in the near future. Take a look at what I have so far. Obviously, it is missing the famous front parlor area, which was detached and moved to Dallas for a restaurant. That section has since been razed and destroyed. The remaining section doesn't have much time itself, before it totally collapses and becomes part of the earth once more. I'm thankful to be able to have these images before that happens.

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