Friday, November 04, 2016

The Chicken Ranch vs. the Texas Book Festival!

I'll be at the Texas Book Festival this weekend, signing copies of Inside the Texas Chicken Ranch: The Definitive Account of the Best Little Whorehouse 12:30-2:30 p.m. on November 5 and 2-4 p.m. on November 6. I'll be at the Arcadia/History Press booth, which--as I understand it--will be located on the south side of the capitol grounds, along 11th Street between Congress Avenue and Brazos Street. I'm hoping for a good turnout (after all, what Texan doesn't love a good Chicken Ranch book?) but I have to confess I'm keeping a close eye on the weather forecast. Saturday should be okay, but right now there a predicted 80 percent chance of rain for Sunday. Yikes!

Now, I've got a fun story to share. A few nights ago, I accompanied The Wife to a meet-up with some of her internet friends at Herbert's Taco Hut in New Braunfels. The women were at one table, so naturally the menfolk sat separately. Gradually the conversation drifted to the utter trainwreck that is the Baylor athletic program, so in between sips from my margarita, I tossed out the fun factoid that Waco had the first legalized prostitution/vice district in Texas. That prompted one of the guys to share that he'd come across a cool new book on the Chicken Ranch. He was going to buy a copy--but get this--the author lives in New Braunfels! So he thought he'd wait to get the book locally and have the author sign it.

Honestly, I thought he was putting me on. I'd never met any of these guys before, but The Wife has conversed with their wifes online, so... Anyway, I piped up, "What sick sonofabitch would write about the Chicken Ranch?" which got a bit of a laugh from the guys. But then they continued talking about it with increasing interest, saying how the author had tracked down the last madam ("Edna Milton," I offered) and how the reporter who shut it down was from Houston ("Marvin Zindler. He died in 2007," I said) and that there was actually another brothel that was shut down the same time, called the Wagon Wheel in Seguin.

"No, that was in Sealy."

That was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back. One of them turned to me with an odd look on his face and said, "How do you know so much about it? Did you write the book?"

"Yup," I answered, taking another drink from my margarita. There was a short pause, as they were thinking I was putting them on, quickly followed by a bunch of laughter and a flood of questions about the Chicken Ranch. I'm telling you, it was surreal hearing folks I'd never met wax enthusiastic about my book right in front of me, without knowing they were talking about me. I suppose if they'd been trashing it and saying how awful it was, I'd have been pretty miserable, but as it was, it served as a nice ego boost.

Inside the Texas Chicken Ranch: The Definitive Account of the Best Little Whorehouse is now available from both and It's also available as an ebook in the following formats: Kindle, Nook, Google Play, iBooks and Kobo.

Now Playing: Prince The Black Album
Chicken Ranch Central

1 comment:

  1. Something like that happened to me once. Warren and I went to dinner with an old college friend of his, and somewhere along the line the friend mentioned this very cool feature story he'd read in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram about Craig's Music, the guitar store out in Weatherford. This guy quoted the story nearly line by line, and talked about how much he enjoyed the feature writer's work--looked for her byline, although he couldn't quite remember her name . . . But when Warren said, "That's Gigi," with a nod in my direction, the friend looked at us both as if we'd grown extra heads. I guess he wasn't prepared to discover the woman he'd written off as the "bimbo girlfriend" was actually a writer he admired. Good for you, Jayme. I'm glad the guys were interested and enthusiastic.