Retired couple trades funeral homes for brothel
BEATTY, Nev. (AP) – Mack Moore says he really bought the brothel for the garden.
Retired from the funeral home business, he had been looking for a ranch in the desert. Fran’s Ranch, a successful small-town brothel about two hours from Las Vegas, wasn’t what he had in mind, he says.
But in 1997, when his friend Fran York said she wanted out of the business, her 77-acre garden and pool fed by mountain spring water were hard to resist.
Besides, he reasoned, if the brothel didn’t work out, he could always close it and he’d still have the garden.
And so, Moore and his wife, Angel, moved to Beatty – a dying mining town of 1,200 people near Death Valley – and set up house in a pink mobile home with nine prostitutes. They renamed it Angel’s Ladies.
Of course, the Moores aren’t exactly the typical married couple. On his 72nd birthday, Moore celebrated by spending the night with three of the women he employs. And his wife, Angel, occasionally entertains clients.
But on one recent summer evening, the atmosphere at Angel’s Ladies didn’t seem much different from a women’s college dorm.
The ”girls,” as Moore calls them, wander in and out of the kitchen for a snack. They surf the Internet, play cards, share stories around the table. The Avon lady drops off catalogs, and a lingerie salesman stops by.
At dinnertime, they gather around the table and hold hands while Moore offers a prayer of thanks. The customers are invited to share the meal.
Throughout this routine, the women are wearing revealing negligees, always ready for work.
”We got a lineup,” a prostitute named Coco yells, summoning her co-workers by banging on a huge bell outside a side door.
While the women adjust their negligees, Coco, with her long, black hairpieces falling over one shoulder, talks with the customer. She asks where he’s been, where he’s going and what he’s hauling.
The trucker chooses a blonde with an easy smile, and they go to her bedroom through a beaded curtain. Outside, the trucker’s dog waits, tied to the back of the 18-wheeler.
Angel’s Ladies is one of the smaller brothels in the state, getting most of its business from truckers and big conventions in Las Vegas. Still, it brings in about 3,000 customers and $500,000 each year. Other brothels bring in millions.
”They’re not a detriment to society, and the community. … They are an asset,” Moore says. ”We have taken three girls off the street who wanted to get off drugs. We gave them a good home. They made good money.”
Even so, the oldest of the prostitutes, 57-year-old Melody, offers a reality check.
Listening to the younger women talk about how much they like their jobs, making men happy and making good money, she says, ”It’s impossible to do something that society looks down upon and not feel bad.”
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