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Thanks to the classic Dolly Parton film The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas and ZZ Top's ode "La Grange," many people think they know the story of the infamous Chicken Ranch. The reality is more complex, lying somewhere between heartbreaking and absurd. For more than a century, dirt farmers and big-cigar politicians alike rubbed shoulders at the Chicken Ranch, operated openly under the sheriff's watchful eye. Madam Edna Milton and her girls ran a tight, discreet ship that the God-fearing people of La Grange tolerated if not outright embraced. That is, until a secret conspiracy enlisted an opportunistic reporter to bring it all crashing down on primetime television. Through exclusive interviews with Milton, former government officials and reporters, Jayme Lynn Blaschke delivers a fascinating, revelatory view of the Ranch that illuminates the truth and lies that surround this iconic brothel.
|Publisher:||History Press, The|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)|
About the Author
Jayme Blaschke grew up less than twenty miles from the former Chicken Ranch and heard stories about it his entire life. He was the only person to conduct extensive interviews with former Madam Edna Milton Chadwell prior to her death in 2012. Mr. Blaschke's fiction and nonfiction writing appears in Electric Velocipede, Cross Plains Universe, San Marcos Mercury and more. He earned his BA in journalism at Texas A&M University and studied fine art photography at Texas State University.
Table of Contents
1 A History that Grows in the Telling 11
2 Aunt Jessie 27
3 Miss Edna 47
4 Trixie, the Throw-Away Dog (and Other Societal Rejects) 60
5 Hullabaloo! 82
6 Big Jim 96
7 Everybody Who's Anybody 114
8 What Doesn't Kill Me… 137
9 The Wagon Wheel 154
10 Marvin Zindler, Eye! Witness! News! 168
11 Wheels within Wheels 184
12 Not with a Bang 197
13 Hell to Pay 221
14 Didn't See That Coming 240
15 Enduring Legacy 261
Appendix A 289
Appendix B 295
About the Author 335
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Wonderful read. I am really looking forward to reading more from this author.
I was born in La Grange many years after the closing of the chicken ranch, 1980 to be specific; however growing up I still heard many different stories about it from locals who claimed to have visited it personally and from other sources, but you couldn't fully be sure if they were telling you the truth or embellishing it to make the stories more interesting. When I heard about this book curiosity had me wanting to read it and I wasn't disappointed! Jayme Blaschke really researched this so well. Some stuff in the book I had already heard about but there was many surprising things I learned, not only on the chicken ranch itself but the history around Fayette County in its early years and it's many fascinating citizens. The pictures throughout the book was a added bonus and interesting as well. When I think of my hometown I don't really want to think of it as being remembered only for the chicken ranch but it was very much a big part of it's history so to me to have history documented well is a way to learn about the past and to be able to share that past with the future. Great job Jayme Blaschke! Well written!