The Front Room
Life on a ranch
wasn't all work and no play,
and that observation must be made to be fair.
In the corner of the living rooms set a "Victrola,"
complete with the music of the day on records.
Dennis loved the music and the mind can see him yet,
as he kept rhythm with its beat while tapping his foot,
and joining in with an occasional Bob Wills classic
To elaborate on Bob Wills,
his band set up on the old rock front porch and played into the
while the executives of Conoco Oil, of the town of Ponca City,
enjoyed the floors of the old living room and dining room
for dancing. Uncle Dennis once complained,
"Yeah, they all are good
about carrying the furniture and rugs out,
but we have to carry it all back in after they
Nonetheless, the furniture was out
and there was a wall-to-wall area for dancing.
Lee, my father,
had a gift for making Elderberry Wine,
and there was always a very large barrel of it
stored in the cool cellar for just these occasions.
Many a guest left in much better . . . "spirits"
from when they'd arrived. It was a mild wine
with a wonderful sweet flavor, and it flowed freely.
The large spigot on the barrel was opened over and over,
to fill the container set beneath it.
These were the nights
designed and created by
the Irish blood running in their veins.
Without this part of the house's history,
there just wouldn't be much fun telling it.
"I can dance,"
Colleen called to a grown-up standing close by,
as she and her childhood partners
would swing around and around the floor.
Sometimes the children
made nuisances of themselves to the musicians,
when they would get too close to the instruments.
Generally, the musicians would simply wink at them
while at the same time, largely ignore their antics.
the old front door
opens to no one but the winds blowing through it,
but in "those" days, it swung open readily, to anybody
who was interested enough to walk up on the porch.
were covered with Axminster rugs,
in a dark wine-colored Persian design.
The walls were a rich, creamy color, almost going to yellow,
with a hand-painted Indian design around the top of them,
which "picked up" the wine red colors out of the
on the floor. There were wine-colored drapes in this room.
They hung on the rods of that period,
which swung outward on a hinge from the window,
in order to open up and let the Summer breezes through.
The furniture was large and overstuffed, in dark browns.
Lee, as usual,
exercised his ability at doing something with nothing.
He dug the roots of the hedge trees from the ground.
They were sanded and polished,
then covered with a clear shellac.
The color of the hedge roots was a striking yellow,
which added a nice color accent to the rug,
and "stood out" against the dark brown sofa and
the chair in the above photo,
is not one of the chairs that Lee made,
but it is actually quite similar to those he made.