Edna Milton in the parlor of the Chicken Ranch (photo courtesy Edna Milton Chadwell)
Hailed as “the best account of the Best Little Whorehouse in Texas ever written,” Jayme Lynn Blaschke’s Inside the Texas Chicken Ranch
delivers much more than its title suggests—diving into the history of prostitution and brothels in the Lone Star State in the process of building a compelling portrait of “that home out on the range” immortalized in ZZ Top’s 1973 classic “La Grange.” Informed by oral histories, extensive research and interviews the author conducted with legendary madam Edna Milton Chadwell, the 336-page book debunks myths and rumors that swirl around the iconic brothel and its origin story, yet presents them as vivid little folktales. Although it devotes an entire chapter to Marvin Zindler, the KTRK consumer affairs reporter who eventually brought the Chicken Ranch to a halt in 1973, no one can upstage Chadwell, whose disarming wit shines through everything from her official Chicken Ranch Rules and Regulations for Boarders to the bawdy jokes and raunchy rhymes she employed to break the ice and cut through “testosterone-fueled tension.” On Friday, The Twig hosts a reading with Blaschke, who directs the Office of Media Relations at Texas State University. Free, 6-8pm Fri, The Twig, 306 Pearl Pkwy., (210) 826-6411, thetwig.com.
Courtesy of The History Press