Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Progress and setbacks

Two phone interviews in the bag tonight. One was a do-over from the botched effort Monday. She was a very good sport about it, and tickled that I knew there was a Chicken Ranch restaurant in Dallas on Greenville. We only talked for 15 minutes or so, but with the notes I took from our previous conversation, I have everything I need for that angle.

The second interview, well, it was Dickensian in that best-of-times/worst-of-times way. This was the author of a journal paper on the Chicken Ranch from the early '70s, one that cited extensive interviews (sensing deja vu here?). Unfortunately, all of the interviews, transcripts and accompanying research matter was lost in a house fire in September of last year. My timing is spectacular. I can't even begin to fathom her loss, but that doesn't stop me from bemoaning the lost opportunity. Fortunately, she had spent a great deal of time at the Chicken Ranch herself, and was more than willing to be interviewed about her experiences as an observer. She gave me some good material, and validated some things I'd gotten from other sources. Not a bad "making lemonade" moment. The gaps are slowly filling in, bit by bit.

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