Thursday, March 26, 2015

Chicken Ranch report no. 53: La Grange can't get enough brothel talk!

I'm going back! Those of you keeping score at home may recall that I traveled to La Grange last Thursday to give a Chicken Ranch presentation to the Noon Lions Club. Well, the reviews are in, and they're good enough to prompt the La Grange Rotary Club to invite me back to that fair city to give another presentation! They want me there soon, too--I'm scheduled to talk to them April 1 (no joke!).

I have to say I'm getting pretty comfortable discussing the Chicken Ranch in front of large groups. I've given variations on this presentation more than half a dozen times over the past 18 months and have ironed out most of the kinks. I have a video slide show that runs 10-12 minutes, and give a reading from my paper "The Last Madam" which I originally presented at the East Texas Historical Society annual meeting a while back. That leaves a modest amount of time for audience questions and makes for a tightly-moving half hour. What's more, I've got additional material that I can present in video, audio and artifacts that can expand the presentation to fill an entire hour if need be.

To be honest, it's great fun sharing some of what I've learned with such receptive audiences, and it's gratifying when long-held rumors and myths are dispelled and understanding comes to their faces. This will mark the fifth time I've spoken in La Grange, and to say the audiences approach me and my research with some skepticism is an understatement. Most of them lived that history, or live in its shadow. I can't count how many times those people have come up afterwards and thanked me for "finally setting the record straight."

There's a strong possibility that a few more return trips to La Grange lie in my future, and that's great, because I sincerely enjoy these presentations. But I'm really looking forward to branching out and speaking in other locales. If any of you know of a civic or corporate group or event in need of an entertaining speaker with subject matter guaranteed to pack the house, go ahead and point them my direction. I'd certainly appreciate it!

Now Playing: The Dave Brubeck Quartet Take Five
Chicken Ranch Central

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