The Melting Pot Genealogical Society will resume its regular monthly meetings at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday at the society's library, 649-B Ouachita Ave., for its first regular meeting following the winter recess.
District 4 Justice of the Peace Jimmy Young will present a program about "The Cigar Box Men," focusing on the early days of gambling in the Hot Springs area, during the meeting.
Young will discuss some of the behind-the-scenes facts about the early era of open gambling in the Hot Springs area, and will be telling some stories already published and some "doozies not yet committed to paper," a news release said.
"The cigar box was an ever-present sight in their hands, in our car seats, at home on our kitchen table and behind the bars of my immediate and extended families gambling joints during my childhood and early teens. Banking was too much of a risk in this type of business. These cigar boxes held cash, pawned jewels, bookmaking markers, and in my father's top cigar box, a derringer or his Hammerless S&W 38 in case some 'tuff' guy tried to get his gambling losses back the hard way," Young said in a news release from the society.
"Growing up in the middle of this world I saw dad and his fellow operators as 'The Cigar Box Men' of Hot Springs," he said.
Young was born a sixth-generation Garland County native with family roots dating back to the early to middle 1820s. He is serving his second term as a JP, and has managed a local family business for over 30 years.
The society is collecting annual dues of $25, which includes monthly newsletters and its annual publication, The Kettle. The library and meetings are open to the public.
The library has more than 9,000 publications, CDs, microfilm and microfiche and several public-use computers. Hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday and Friday or by appointment by calling 624-0229.
The library staff is an all-volunteer group of people interested in preserving and making available to the public the histories of families of Garland County and other areas.Society on 03/24/2019
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