• U.S.

Americana: All in a Good Night’s Work

2 minute read

The people of Beatty, Nev., a mining town of 500, believe in lending a helping hand. More than 200 residents showed up for a special benefit dance at the town hall that was sponsored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars and its Women’s Auxiliary. They held a raffle, and auctioned off such homey items as stuffed pillows and Lazy Susans. All in all, the citizens raised $5,000 for Fran York, whose Star Ranch was gutted by a blaze back in November. Although Fran needs about $100,000 to get her business going again, $5,000 was a good night’s work.

The Star Ranch was a legal brothel, and Fran York, its madam for the past eight years, not only ran one of the best little whorehouses in Nye County but was a highly respected member of the community. She helped buy uniforms for the local high school band, she regularly took out an ad in the high school yearbook, and she made donations to the Beatty volunteer fire department. “She’s always the first one out there to help,” says Benefit Organizer Helen Terry. Adds V.F.W. Member Norm Martindale: “The benefit is not for Fran’s Star Ranch. It’s for Fran York.”

Fran was overwhelmed by the response. Declared she: “The people of Beatty are just the nicest people I’ve ever met in my life.” Until the Star Ranch is rebuilt, the Madam of Beatty is conducting business as usual in two house trailers.

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