Thursday, May 1, 2008

It's Not Everyday an Infamous Madam Commits Suicide in my Hometown

My planned post for today keeps getting pushed back because of more pressing needs . . . At least this one relates to my planned post . . . well, kind of. You'll see later.

The infamous DC Madam, Deborah Jeane Palfrey, was found dead of an apparent suicide earlier today in Tarpon Springs, Fla. More information here.

Tarpon Springs is a fairly sleepy town on the Gulf Coast of Florida, just outside of Tampa. My mom attended Tarpon Springs High School and Nana worked at Ellis National Bank (now Bank of America) in Tarpon Springs for 40 years. I have spent many summers and other vacation periods of my life there since we moved out of Florida. In fact, for the first year of my life, I lived in Crystal Beach, less than 5 miles from Tarpon Springs.

Tarpon Springs is also home to one of the largest Greek populations in the United States and is famous for its annual Epiphany Celebration.

Sadly, prostitution and escort services are not a rarity in Washington. I'm certain, although I've never known with any solid proof, that some friends of one of my girlfriends were escorts. What made me think that? They travelled the world with some Ambassadors working as flight attendants on their private planes and always returned from trips all over the world with huge sums of cash and jewelry they could never afford. I only met these women a handful of times, when I would go out with this particular friend, which I avoided if I knew they would be around.

My first experience with prostitution actually came in my first apartment building. Shortly after moving in, I discovered that my building was on the most popular corner in DC for picking up hookers! I pretty much looked down on these women until I was walking to work a mid-winter morning about 7:00am and seeing a prostitute standing on the corner clutching a cup of coffee. Her clothes were torn, she had a black eye, and looked to be my age - 22. Suddenly I felt bad for her and wondered what sort of horrible turn must her life have taken to turn to prostitution. I was sad for the rest of the day.

What does all this have to do with the post I'd originally planned? Come back later tonight and you'll find out.


  1. How can you mention Tarpon Springs and not mention the Sponge Festival?

  2. I have no idea how I forgot that. The Sponge Docks are also world famous and I've been on the boat rides more times than I can count - most recently a couple of years ago.

    I love getting sponges straight from the Gulf.


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