10/13/05 - the last madam

In today's excerpt - New Orleans, U.S. soldiers and the self-styled 'last madam', Norma Wallace:

"The war years came, and for Norma the money kept rolling in, largely because of the influx of servicemen on leave and the convenient proximity of her house to the bus station where they arrived. Sometimes the line of soldiers waiting for their turn with a girl stretched around the block. Norma had as many as thirty girls working for her then, and each would turn five or six tricks a day. And she had her regular customers too. Her gross of the proceeds was at least a hundred thousand dollars a year, but Norma had given up on banks after losing her money during the Depression. She stashed her savings behind a loose brick somewhere on Conti Street, either in the fireplace in her apartment or within the deep recess of the hideout—she never divulged the location. Before she tried to 'square up' in 1946 and live the straight life with her fourth husband, Charles McCoy, she had accumulated over eighty thousand dollars, almost as much as she'd lost in 1933."


Christine Wiltz


The Last Madam: A Life in the New Orleans Underworld


Da Capo Press


Copyright 2000 by Christine Wiltz


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