Arthur Burbank Langenkamp
Arthur Burbank Langenkamp, a longtime Aspen restaurateur, died Sunday in Tulsa, Okla. He was 86.Once long ago, when Aspen had dirt streets and the Ute City Bank was a bank, Arthur Langenkamp came to town and convinced the Prospector Lodge to hire him as their “social director,” a new concept back in the mid-1950s. Arthur soon graduated to his own restaurant, the eponymous Arthur’s on Main Street. The success of the restaurant and Arthur’s solid social prominence in Aspen’s early ’60s went hand in hand for nearly 20 years.At Arthur’s Round Table – located in the center of the restaurant – the locals gathered: the rich and prominent, the ne’er do wells, the movers and shakers, and hungry ski bums. Pitkin County politicians, a diamond mine owner, noted writers, scruffy ranchers and an actual local ex-con ate Arthur’s fare and hoped to catch a word with him before leaving.Arthur could see the Red Onion to its closing hours and then get up to cook his famous waffles and crispy bacon only hours later. A prodigious worker, a man of unending Aspen sociability and charm, he neither skied nor hiked. Born in 1919, raised on an idyllic farm outside Tulsa, one of eight children, Arthur rode his horse to school each day and became an expert trick rider and noted horseman.Soon after graduating from high school in 1937 and attending Tulsa Business College, Arthur joined the Army. He was awarded the Bronze Star when, as part of the General Staff of the 7th Army, he participated in the planning and follow-up to the invasion of Europe at Normandy. Later, in 1946, he joined the newly created Army Air Force and was assigned to special duty with the State Department. This took him to Japan, Turkey, Egypt and Pakistan.Arthur retired to Tucson more than 20 years ago. But his Aspen friends never stop remembering his parties, his spontaneous picnics for 30, his tales of his Army days when he served tea to Charles de Gaulle. And we, his family, never stop remembering that Arthur was the one who introduced us Langenkamps to the old-time, wild and wide-open Aspen. There are four generations of us who can thank Arthur for this gift and remember him with love for his generosity of spirit, his undying good cheer and his special loyalty to his friends and family.
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