From the Archives: Arkansas Project Christmas Party, 1921

Blog history buffs will appreciate this treasured rare photo from the Arkansas Project World Headquarters archives, in which publisher David Kinkade invites the boys to join him in his office for the annual Arkansas Project Christmas party (December 24, 1921).

Ah, they were merry times indeed, those halcyon days of yore. We’d all enjoy a cigar and a few drinks and swap stories about years past. Then as the hour grew late, we’d call in the girls from the steno pool and the switchboard so I could give each of them her “Christmas goose.” Back in those days, that always got me a big laugh. When I tried it last year it only got me a big stack of subpoenas.

Blogging forecast for the next few days will be light to sporadic posting, at best, due to family obligations, slow news cycles and a general sense of holiday season lethargy. Ho ho ho.

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4 thoughts on “From the Archives: Arkansas Project Christmas Party, 1921

  • Fourche River Rex

    These were good days. Back then I was a bootlegger and was known far and wide as having the best bathtub hooch in the tri-counties area. I ran my booze up and down the Fourche River to avoid those pesky rev-in-newers. On my days off, I’d take my best girl to a musical review with a tra-la-la band. Bully days they were. Bully days.

    Those Christmases were merry, indeed.

    May this Christmas be just as merry.

  • David Kinkade

    I remember your bootleg hooch well, Rex. It was popular in our circle because it almost never caused blindness. Worst case scenario you’d get a bad batch and just need glasses. A fine product.

  • That was the very year I started working in the boiler room at The Arkansas Project. Oh how I remember that first Christmas party. Young Master Kinkade invited me up from the depths of the basement where it was my job to make sure the boiler was properly and constantly fired with good and thick black-smoke producing coal.

    I remember that hearty invitation to join the festivities as if it were only yesterday. Young Master Kinkade’s deep baritone voice bellowing through the speaking tube commanded “Boy, bring up a bucket of cinders immediately! There are cigars that need lighting.”

    As was customary in dealing with his staff, Young Master Kinkade proclaimed his deepest disappointment in me due to my having taken two minutes to climb the four flights of stairs carrying a bucket of hot coals. But luck being on my side, Young Master Kinkade was only able to beat me with one of my crutches as I had dropped the other on the first floor. Young Master Kinkade, being the just and magnanimous boss he remains today, said that since it was Christmas I wouldn’t have to retrieve my other crutch and bring it to him for the rest of my beating.

    I’ll never forget that day. Thanks for giving me my start and making me feel like part of the team. Merry Christmas.

  • David Kinkade

    I shall always remember the look on your coal-besmirched face, how your eyes lit up when I gave you your holiday bonus—a single navel orange—and told you you’d only have to work two-thirds of the day on Christmas. It made me sorry to have to sell you to that white slave trader.


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