Guess where I spent yesterday morning? La Grange! I swear, I've visited La Grange more times in the past couple years than in all the 18 I spent growing up right down the road in Columbus. They're going to have to make me an honorary La Granger if I keep this up.
Let me back up a little. On Monday, I received an unexpected email from Pooja Lodhia a reporter with KTRK-TV out of Houston. For those of you not familiar with H-Town broadcasting, KTRK is better-known as Channel 13, the former home of the late Marvin Zindler. Yes, the television personality who shut down the Chicken Ranch in 1973. Can you see where this is going?
Pooja explained that she, Steve Campion and a cameraman were putting together a little road trip to do a series of feature stories for the spring. I suspect they were looking for an excuse to get out of Houston and just have a little fun traveling around. They pitched a trip to La Grange to their producers and were approved, so Pooja wanted to know if I could meet them when they arrived in La Grange and talk a little about Marvin Zindler and the Chicken Ranch.
After explaining that I didn't actually live in La Grange, I agreed to meet them in the late morning. Then I did them one better--I got permission from the property owner to give them a tour of the actual Chicken Ranch ruins. Let me tell you, they had a great time seeing what remained of the historic site, learning some of the background of those infamous events that happened before any of them were even born. When they drove up looking for a place to park, I told them "Drive up there a piece, then hang a left at the bluebonnets." Campion exploded in laughter, insisting "That is the most Texas thing I've ever heard anybody say." You can see we started off on the right foot. We talked for close to two hours, and by the time they had to leave to make another interview appointment in Luling, they said a lot of the myths surrounding the place made a lot more sense to them now. They also seemed genuinely enthusiastic about Inside the Texas Chicken Ranch (forthcoming August 1 from the History Press) and said they want to do something with me for broadcast in Houston once the book is out. Which I'm entirely in favor of, since I have a sneaking suspicion this topic will find a ready audience there.
In my time I've dealt with reporters who've been pushy, disorganized, disinterested... you name it. Pooja and Steve were the exact opposite. They were fun and engaging and downright pleasant to spend time with. I believe the technical term is "Good People." They promised to let me know as soon as the segment is scheduled to air, and when I know I will pass that information along here. Even if you're not in the Houston area, the piece should be available online or via the KTRK mobile app. I'm looking forward to seeing it.
Title:Inside the Texas Chicken Ranch: The Definitive Account of the Best Little Whorehouse Author: Jayme Lynn Blaschke Publication Date: August 1, 2016 ISBN: 978.1.46713.563.4
And remember, Ghosts of the Chicken Ranch is still available if you just can't wait for August 1 to get here: