If the Bordello’s table could talk!

Madame Fannie Porter’s “soiled doves” give Meta, the bordello’s piano player, a gift.

“Meta,” Lillie said, her voice soft, as usual. “We have something for you, too.” She nudged Sassy Sarah.

“Sorry it’s not wrapped.” Sassy pulled the item from her lap and presented Meta with a comb carved with ivory roses.

“Kinda my idea,” Greta said, and ignored Sassy’s frown.

My girls. Their thoughtfulness overwhelmed me. They remained dry-eyed. Maybe too leather-skinned from hard lives to soften now. Some day, perhaps.

Meta shook her head as she placed the hair ornament inside the box. “Thank you,” she whispered.

“Well, missy.” Reba shook her head. “You sure picked a fine time to come to the big city.”

Meta chuckled. “A doozy.”

“I seen doozies of trouble in my day. Most is harder to pull off than ticks. Best thing? Meeting Fannie Porter. Worst? All them days before.” Reba draped a handmade amulet necklace around Meta’s neck. “For good luck.”

Meta didn’t ask what concoction Reba had put inside the amulet. Instead, she curled her fingers around the necklace then stood to hug Reba.

Reba and I had been worried about Meta after the shooting. Unlike my girls, Meta came from a simple, pleasant life. When she came to San Antone, she had seen the hardscrabble side and had proven herself a survivor.

Meta sat quietly, skimming her fingertips across the tabletop.

“What you thinking, girlie?” Reba said.

Meta let loose a wide grin and glanced at each of us. “So many secrets engrained in this wood. If only it could talk.”

“H’yaw, now.” Greta thumped Meta on the wrist. “Cain’t tell everything.”

We all cackled like a bunch of old women at a quilting bee and that image made me shiver.


excerpt from The Last Bordello




We Did It!!

Unfortunately, due to traveling, I was unable to be part of this glory.  I am so proud of my city’s turnout, including my daughter and granddaughter.  Over 50,000 showed up and made their voices heard.It  makes my heart swell! A Successful march, indeed!

I am also proud of the one million-plus who showed their support from around the world. Thank you!





all the above photos are from Mike Holp http://holpphotograhpy.com


And, no, Mr. Trump, I have no need, nor a desire to purchase your coin. Please stop sending me your emails. I’d rather have LOVE instead.

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Don’t mess with the Madam

Madam Fannie Porter vs. Mayor Hicks: Excerpt from The Last Bordello


“Pull the reins back, Mayor. Sadie’s not evil. Wouldn’t hurt a fly.” He was using Sadie as an excuse, a reminder I hadn’t moved into the mandated zone a stone’s throw down the road.

“If she could pull a knife on a man who harmed a friend, what measures would she take if she thought she had been wronged? It’s no secret she hates the temperance women.”

True. “What are you getting at? Do you still think that just because she found a yellow scarf, she’s guilty of a crime? Had something to do with the missing girl?”

“It’s likely.”

“It’s preposterous. Now, is there anything else?”

“She was there at the meeting. You know it as well as I do.”

“That’s no secret.”

“Too bad for her it’s not.” He stood, approached the front door, and yanked his jacket off the hook. “Not looking good for her. Nor for you and this place.” He waved an index finger around the parlor like a gun. “I’ll be watching.”

I didn’t escort him to the door, but watched him exit at the same time thunder rattled the porch. Good. For all I cared, he could glide back to the office on his own slime.

Two sets of eyes peeked over the swinging doors and into the parlor. “Okay, nosy children,” I said and joined Meta and Reba in the kitchen. “What happened to those good old days when Bryan Callaghan was our mayor?”

“We’s been scorched by a stinkbug, that’s what.” Reba palmed her newly straightened and gelled hair.

Meta’s expression remained grave. I had the feeling she felt a kinship with the missing girl.