Dance With the One Who Brung You

Elmer Warford and Family“Dance With the One Who Brung You.” Nobody knows who coined this phrase. It has been around since at least the 1920s. Many people from my generation remember legendary Texas football coach Darrell Royal and associate this phrase with him. In football the phrase means that if you get to the championship game you should remember what got you there. In a broader sense the phrase is a call to remember and to be loyal to those that helped you get where you are.

When I was a boy I used to go with my grandparents to the Williams Store where they traded. In those days there were many privately owned small community groceries stores like the Williams Store. In time most of them including the Williams Store would be put out of business by supermarket chains that could sell for less. I remember my grandmother saying to my Papaw, “Elmer, we could save money if we went into town more often to Safeway. She would ask, why do we trade here at all? My Papaw would look at her and say, “yes you do,” and that would be the end of it.

The evidence of why Papaw was willing to pay a few cents more for milk every week is reflected in this picture. This picture is of Elmer and Sally Warford with sons, Floyd, Kenneth and Chuck and their first grandchild Jerry. They are standing in front of their home which was being rebuilt after it was completely destroyed by fire. My father, Kenneth Warford, on the far right, has told me many times about how the entire community and particularly the Ten Mile Baptist Church came to their aid when they were left with absolutely nothing. It was the outpouring of Christian love and charity that profoundly affected my father and he would later say that it was the love that was shown to him and his family by the church that was the beginning of him being led by the Holy Spirit to go into the ministry. All of the clothes they had on in this picture were bought for them by others. Virgil Williams was a leader in the church and one of the people that help organized the relief effort when Elmer and Sally lost everything. Virgil Williams not only was a leader in the relief effort he personally donated all of the timber that was cut, process and used for the lumber to build the house you see being built in this picture.

In 1 Corinthians 11:2 Paul commend the believers in Corinth because they remembered and practiced the things he had taught them. There are so many moral and spiritual lessons in this story but I think one of the most important is that we should be the kind of people who remember. Remember what people have done for you, remember what God has done for you and remember to do for others as you would have them do for you.

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