As I’m sure you do, I believe every word that Tinkerertink69 writes on his blog. His adherence to total honesty, regardless of the personal cost, puts to shame those of us who just make shit up.
For a long time, however, I failed to believe the story that his family owned a brothel in Butte, Montana. The story sounded a little fishy. Besides, I refused to believe that a family that produced such a devoutly churchgoing, morally upstanding young man as Tink could have any connection whatsoever with such a seedy business.
Well of course the story is true. The Dumas Brothel was in business from 1890 to 1982, primarily catering to the area’s miners, and has been called America’s longest continually running bordello. In the 1970s, the old brick building was added to the National Register of Historic Places. Read the history on Wikipedia if you don’t believe me.
Several years after the brothel closed, Tink’s father, Rudy Giecek, bought the building and turned it into a museum. He still conducts tours personally and wrote a book, Venus Alley, about the history of Butte’s red light district. I believe Tink himself designed the attractive brothel website. (I’ve always wanted to use the phrase “brothel website” on my blog, so now I can check another thing off my bucket list!)
Unfortunately, these are tough times economically, even for ex-brothel museums. The Dumas Brothel needs to come up with $5,000 by June to stay in business and keep the taxman happy. So Tink has created a Zazzle store to sell Dumas Brothel T-shirts, caps and mugs. The merchandise is attractive and – dare I say it – tasteful. I think they would make delightful Mother’s Day gifts. One of the T-shirts would enhance any ensemble for your next tea social. Heck, put one of the Brothel hats in your kid’s Easter basket.
Or if you don’t want to wear a house of prostitution rather than Calvin Klein, you can order the book Venus Alley or a DVD house tour directly from the website, or you can just make a donation to the foundation to save the brothel.
I ordered my T-shirt today. I hope many of you will order something too. You’d not only be helping preserve a small portion of American history, but you would be showing a little appreciation for a fellow OSer who has given us so many laughs over the years.
That goes for any Ed I Tor that might be reading too.