Today would've been Edna Arretha Milton Chadwell's 87th birthday. Miss Edna passed away in February of 2012, the last surviving madam of the infamous Chicken Ranch in La Grange, Texas, and inspiration for Miss Mona Stangley and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.
Not many people will realize today is her birthday. Far more will commemorate the birthday of famed fantasy author J.R.R. Tolkien today, and honestly, I'd never realized before now that they shared the same birthday. Somehow, I suspect Miss Edna never read The Lord of the Rings, although she did keep an extensive library at the Chicken Ranch for her working girls to read during off hours.
I'm still working on pre-press preparation of my long-promised history book, Texas' Legendary Chicken Ranch: Truth Lies and Legacy of a Lone Star Whorehouse (coming this summer from the History Press). My deadlines are looming large for me, now that we've reached January. January 2016! Amazing to think that before this year is out, my Chicken Ranch history book will be a reality. That's heady stuff. I'll have more updates on that, soon. Nobody supported this project more than Miss Edna, and I'll always regret that she didn't live to see it published.
I can't hardly wait. Of course, if you, dear reader, can't hardly wait, there's always my companion volume, Ghosts of the Chicken Ranch, available to tide you over. It's available in both hardcover and softcover. Ghosts of the Chicken Ranch takes readers on a photo tour of the existing ruins, so for those planning on pre-ordering Texas' Legendary Chicken Ranch when it's available, overlap is not something to be concerned about. These are two very different books. In case you wondered.