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Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life in the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
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My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.

Wednesday, April 27

The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas

We just saw The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas at the Arizona Broadway Theatre, not a musical I’d have chosen if given a choice. But again, ABT did a fine job with it even though it didn’t have any music one could hum along with. But it concluded with Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You,” that iconic song made famous by Whitney Houston. The set designs were excellent, the choreography surprisingly sprightly and complex, the singing, especially that of Cassandra Klaphake as the madam Miss Mona, very good. It was another entertaining evening spent with a great show and a great meal. What struck me, though, were the similarities between the stories of the famous Texas brothel, The Chicken Ranch, and a place my wife and I knew when we were growing up, the West End Tavern, which might as easily be called The Best Little Whorehouse in South Dakota,. LaGrange, Texas, is a small town of just under five thousand. Mobridge, South Dakota, is a small town of just under five thousand. The Chicken Ranch was a long established “House of Ill Repute” that for nearly a hundred years serviced as many as 245 a day in its heyday. The West End Tavern was also long-established, dating back to the beginning of the Twentieth Century but with much fewer than a 245-a-day clientele. Both places were said to have resisted any association with organized crime, the “girls” coming there seeking a haven from their other-worldly problems. The citizens of LaGrange and Mobridge both tolerated the presence of these establishments, considering them safe sexual schools for the young men of the area and as preventions of rape and abuse and venereal disease. Both successfully resisted a number of attempts to shut them down. And both were finally closed in the second half of the Twentieth Century, The Chicken Ranch in 1973, The West End Tavern sometime in the 1960’s. Attitudes today regarding whores and whorehouses are much freer than they were back in the day. Is that good or bad? Is prostitution, the world’s oldest profession, good or bad? Probably a bit of both.

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