Philanthropic Madam

Myra H. Mcilvain

"Spindletop Viewing Her Gusher" Painting by Aaron Arion “Spindletop Viewing Her Gusher” Painting by Aaron Arion

Mystery surrounds Miss Rita’s early life. Raised in a prosperous, but unnamed Oregon family in the early 1900s, she left home to dance for a time with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo before she joined the vaudeville circuit. During her first, brief marriage, it’s unclear why she became a prostitute.

When the Great Depression forced the decline of vaudeville theatres, Miss Rita arrived in Beaumont, the oil city enjoying its second petroleum boom. She probably knew about the vast wealth in the southeast Texas city from her tours on the vaudeville circuit and from Beaumont’s fame as the locale of Spindletop, the first big oil gusher in 1901 that led to the creation of industry giants like Gulf and Texaco.

Miss Rita rented facilities for her trade from Charles Ainsworth, but soon took a liking to his son Nathaniel. The couple…

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About Bruce Louis Dodson

Bruce Louis Dodson is an American expat now living in Borlänge, Sweden with his wife, cat and dog. He is an artist and world traveler who writes fiction and poetry and practices photography in his less than copious free time. His work has appeared in: Barely South Review - Boundaries Issue, Blue Collar Review, Pulsar Poetry (UK), Foliate Oak, Breadline Press West Coast Anthology . The E-buffet, Qarrtsiluni, Struggle Magazine, Pearl Literary Magazine, Contemporary Literature Review: India, 3rd Wednesday, Sleeping Cat Books - Trip of a Lifetime Anthology, Northern Liberties Review, Authors Abroad - Foreign & and Far Away Anthology, The Path, Page & Spine, The Crucible, Sleeping Cat Books -Trips of a Lifetime, Vine Leaves, Pirene's Fountain,Tic Toc Anthology - Kind of a Hurricane Press, Cordite Poetry Review, Buffalo Almanac and mgv2.
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2 Responses to Philanthropic Madam

  1. Thanks, Bruce, for sharing this story.

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