September 28, 2016

Endless Days and Nights in Fat Alley

Endless Days and Nights in Fat Alley

Fat Alley was a notorious red light district in Galveston Texas. Photographs from that era rarely show the terrible plight of the women involved in that trade. This is one poor girl's story.

Lottie was only ten when her mama died and her good-for-nothing pa sold her to Madam Kitty in an alley off Postoffice Street. Her job was to fetch clean water for the basin next to the bedstead in between Johns. She kept her head low and learned to stay out of reach of lecherous men who fancied the virginal blossom of youth.

It seemed overnight her breasts grew and soft hair sprouted between her legs. The changes did not go unnoticed. Lottie was all grown, they declared, and she was given her own crib with a rag filled mattress and a lamp draped with a red scarf. Her lips and cheeks were painted and her hair curled.

She did not know what to expect. She had seen the tears and bruises, and unborn children carried away in the middle of the night. But she could not imagine the pain of the endless days and nights that were to come.