“Aunt Sid” as we knew her, would stand between the living room & dining room to receive the guests. Uncle Sam would sit on the divan under the stairway & meet with men friends in the ranching business. These would include stockmen from Kansas City & St. Joseph, Missouri.
The Christmas party included children of friends & relatives. Relatives helped pack candy, oranges, & apples. These were packed several weeks prior to the party. Neighborhood children & relatives’ children performed for the programs. Lois Ann LeForce (now Mrs. Bob R. Smith) read the Christmas story from Luke one year. Marguerite Goodpaster (eldest daughter of Craig & Olive) sang one year.
Outdoor decorations on the gables of the house included a jack-in-the-box & a large one-dimensional package. These were spotlighted.
The large tree stood in the southeast room, & reached to the ceiling.
The house was built by a doctor from Chicago who was a stockholder in Montgomery Ward, & it is said that every board & nail came from Wards. The house was then sold to the Richeys. Their son was Hugh Richey.
Young deer from the ranch were brought in to Craig Goodpasters place, just across the street south, & kept there during the winter. The Goodpaster children would let them out to play & they would wander down as far as the North Park where they could be seen from Luginbuel’s Funeral Home, & Nina Taylor who worked there would call to have them picked up.
Sam LeForce wanted to marry Sally Keys, but her family, who were Cherokee Indian, was highly opposed to their daughter marrying a white cowboy. So they sent her off to Drury College at Springfield, Missouri to get her away. The day after she arrived, Sam went to Drury College & they eloped. They were married & returned to Vinita.
John Samuel & Sally Keys LeForce at their home on 824 West Clyde (20 room house) in Vinita, OK. Each year it was decorated like a Christmas tree. Santa passed out sacks of candy, apples, & oranges.