Nov 14, 2018

"Leaving The Gay Place" by Tracy Daugherty Book Review

                            LEAVING THE GAY PLACE by Tracy Daugherty

  Tracy Daugherty writes a very detailing and interesting book about a man,  a political journalist in Texas, Billy Lee Brammer.  Brammer is a staff writer for Lyndon Johnson , then a Texas senator, in the 1950's.  Billy Lee learns  a lot about Johnson's personal life and the very interesting ways of the soon to be President Johnson.  Mr. Johnson took Mr. Brammer under his wing after he discovered his writings in the Texas Observer.  
  The book , "Leaving The Gay Place" tells of Brammer's life and how he tries to raise a family on very little money. After the birth of 2 daughters, Brammer's first wife leaves him in Austin to return to her mothers for help with the children.  Times are so hectic for Billy Lee who's life is torn between two loves, writing and his family.  After the birth of  a son who isn't his, Brammer and his first wife divorce.  

  Fast work has Billy Lee having to keep up with fast times and to do so Brammer needs the help of  what soon becomes a lifelong dependence on amphetamines.  Even though after hard work and a demanding schedule , Brammer put out his first novel, The Gay Place.
   By the late 1950's Texas had become more urban demographically than rural. There were also many cultural changes,  Billy Lee was by then sophisticated enough to not be known as a Texas country boy and he was actually one of the most sophisticated men of the new population change, Still Brammer had to loosen his straps to learn to explore gadgets, art, fashion and even music - Rock -n-Roll especially!  
  By 1960  the writing wasn't as good ,but the drugs and good times were. Brammer had re-married but still family life was a struggle.  Brammer explored the local venues around town and soon hooked up with Janis Joplin.   
  Daugherty tells us of a time of American Pop Culture and of a writer who tried to see the best America had to give , but he wasn't living the kind of life to be proud of.  Once Billy Lee had a friend who dated a stripper from Jack Ruby's strip club.  It is also said that Brammer and JFK dated the same girl.  After JFK  was shot and killed, it has been said by some that Billy Lee Brammer was in the underground parkway when Jack Ruby shot and killed Lee Harvey Oswald.  Billy was supposedly standing very close to Ruby. 
   Tracy Daugherty can't tell us who killed JFK or why Jack Ruby wanted Lee Harvey Oswald killed but, through the writing of Mr. Brammer and Tracy Daugherty, we Americans can see more and more of the political and ordinary life of one man who loved to write at all cost.
   I have lived in Texas all my life and to read in this book about this all beginning in Oak Cliff it just amazes me. We have all been to Dallas and to Oak Cliff and listened to KLIF radio station growing up in the  60's -70's.  This book brings me back to the time of my childhood. When we lost President JFK the world cried and then again with Martin Luther King.  The Vietnam War, Peace, love and happiness were dreams we all dreamed but, have yet to completely find.  I love what this book is about.  The raw truth with extra spice.  I highly recommend everyone reading this great book.  Mr. Daugherty you are a genius sir.

*I received this product free of charge in exchange for an honest, written review.
*I was not monetarily compensated for this review.
*The opinions of this product are 100% my own.

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