One of Kentucky’s baddest bad men got resurrected last Saturday (November 5) just a few yards from the corner where he met his end—baddest of the bad if you believed the press of the day, but a hero to the downtrodden if you listened to the poor and the powerless.
His name is John Fallis, the King Of Craw.
Craw was the notorious red-light district in Kentucky’s capital city that flourished during the Roaring Twenties and was famous all the way down to New Orleans.
A story brought him back – the new novel, Concerning The Matter Of The King Of Craw, making its debut at the Kentucky Book Fair. The book sold out before noon and was one of the best sellers at the event.
This was my fourth trip to the Fair. I’d been before with Theo (the Theo Trilogy.) Enjoyed them all. This one was the best – thanks to John Fallis and the power of his story.
JF’s rise and fall is the stuff of which legends are made, which Concerning The Matter Of The King Of Craw attempts, for the first time, to draw out and illuminate. The story begins with the night of the Big Shoot-Out when he takes on the entire city police force and ends with his death eight years later in saloon across the street from where the Frankfort Convention Center, the site of the Book Fair, now rises.
The Kentucky Book Fair is one of the largest in the Southeast. One hundred seventy authors were on hand this year and over 3,000 book lovers came, drawn by authors such as Craig Johnson, who brought Walt Longmire with him. Wendell Barry was there. And Barney Frank and Bobby Ann Mason, and J.D. Vance with his Hillbilly Elegy, along with a host of other first rate story tellers from all over.
Now resurrected, the King and his story can be found at Poor Richard’s Books, Frankfort’s premiere book store, on Broadway just across from the Old Capitol where the the event that triggered the Big Shoot-Out took place (that’s me with Lizz Taylor of Poor Richard’s in the shot above,) or at your local bookstore, or on-line at Amazon, or from the publisher, Outer Banks Publishing of Raleigh, N.C.