Friday, October 14, 2016

Chicken Ranch: Houston bound and other shenanigans

Heads up, Houston folks! Tomorrow, October 15, I'll be back in your city for a 3-5 p.m. signing and discussion at River Oaks Bookstore. The event's open to anyone and, again, this is the last visit to Houston I have on the calendar for the foreseeable future. Everyone who comes out will receive bonus party favors, which include official Inside the Texas Chicken Ranch drink koozies, special Chicken Ranch "baby repellent" packets and a booklet of "Miss Edna's Rules for Boarders." We have a lot of fun at these things, and I'm hoping for a good turnout to support locally-owned, independent bookstores. So, if you want to hear me hold forth on all things Chicken Ranch, here's your chance!

In other news, some of you may or may not know I've been working on a Texas State Historical Marker application for the Chicken Ranch. I've actually been working on this at the request of the property owner for quite a while. You might think that after writing a 110,000-word book on the subject, an eight-page application would be a snap. You'd be wrong. Packing all the relevant historical data into such a limited space was painfully difficult. A tremendous amount of information had to be cut for space. In the end, I did it, and have to say it reads better than I expected it to. I doubt most historical marker applications have as many reference notes in them!

But a curious thing happened yesterday. The property owner let me know he'd just received a call from a Fayette County judge, out of the blue. Turns out this fellow had gotten wind of the historical marker plans, and did not approve. From my understanding of it, the conversation was not conducted in an entirely professional manner on the judge's part. I can't say I'm terribly surprised. I had a chance encounter with this person several years ago, around the time I was making final edits on my manuscript. Former Fayette County Attorney Dan Beck introduced us, and excitedly told the judge what my project entailed. I swear, at that moment, the temperature dropped about 15 degrees, and the judge told me coldly that I needed to send him my manuscript so he could make sure "everything is correct." Needless to say, I did not pass my book along to him for review. Fast forward to about two weeks ago. My cell phone rings, and it's this judge. I have no idea how he got my cell number--I may have given him my card back during our first meeting, but I can't recall. He tells me he's checking to make sure this is my number for a mutual acquaintance of ours, an acquaintance who'd called me several times in the past month. The judge then tells me how nobody in La Grange cares about or even remembers the Chicken Ranch anymore, and that he won't buy my book but might borrow it from someone in his office to read. I'm telling you, it was a strange conversation from my perspective.

The long and short of it is that some of that hard-core, local opposition that blocked the Original Chicken Ranch Company's museum plans in the 1980s and scuttled the Y2K Millennium Chicken Party in 1999 is still alive and kicking. And, apparently, intent on blocking any historical marker for the Chicken Ranch. This should be an interesting experience. Y'all are invited along for the ride. Let's see how it turns out.

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.

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