A Question For Mom and Dad


Meriam Gladys Boze and Edward Lincoln Oldham were married March 26th 1947. This photograph was taken in the living room of Miriam’s home at 1741 Glenmore Avenue, Baton Rogue, LA. The snapshot shows the two of them dancing at their wedding. Conceivably it shows Meriam dancing and Edward just standing there. It is interesting that my parents brought up their three children of the 1950’s and 1960’s to believe, as Christian’s, it was wrong, perhaps even a sin, to dance. Yet, here I see the two of them doing what we could not.

This click of the camera reminds me of a time in 1962 when the two of them took us three boys with them to the mission field in British Guiana (Guyana). While we were waiting on the mission home to be completed we stayed in the second story of an apartment building. Chubby Checker had released his new song, The Twist, the year before on Parkway Records. The radio stations in Georgetown were playing it several times a day. One evening we were listening to the radio (there was no TV in the country, unless you were extremely wealthy) and our entire family started moving to the music. Most of the others were dancing much like Dad in this photo, but at eleven years old, I began dancing The Twist the way I had seen it on American Band Stand back in the United States. I was quickly called out and shamed to tears.

barb-andy-dancing_bw_cropped_5015_edited-4I have only danced twice since that time. Once was right after Barbara and I were married in 1982. I love her to death, but she made so much fun of the way I danced, I quit and never danced again until October 8, 2016 at my son Raife and Caitlin’s wedding in Fredericksburg, VA. I didn’t enjoy one minute of it, and, as you can see from the photo, I dance just like my Dad.

I would love to have questioned my parents about this dance, if only I had known this photograph existed prior to their deaths in 1995 and 2005.





46 thoughts on “A Question For Mom and Dad

  1. Thanks for sharing this. Our backgrounds are so different, and it’s so important for us all to learn about and appreciate those differences. One question: why were you allowed to watch American Bandstand? Hope that’s not an offensive question.

    • Oh no Amy, not offensive at all. I pondered that thought when I was writing this post. I believe that Mom and Dad were on different plains in their spiritual life. For Mom, she grew up dancing and I think that is why there was dancing going on in my grandparents living room. However, Dad is the one that grew up a bit, or I should say a lot more conservative. He was probably as miserable in this dance as I was in mine. That’s probably why he isn’t moving, lol. However, this was a time where sin was defined in many different ways. Caffeine was sin, smoking was sin and you were a heathen if you touched alcohol to your lips, lol. So I guess this is why we were not allowed to dance. I am glad those years of sin definition are past us, aren’t you? This is why I would love to have talked to the two of them about this dance. Did Dad compromise his beliefs on this day? Did Mom force him to? Why did he do it? So many things could be asked and discussed. I guess I will never know the answers. As for the American Bandstand, Mom loved to watch it. She said for the Music, lol. I bet she missed the dance too, but I will never know, lol. Feel free to ask any question you like, Amy. I learn from your questions too.Oh, and by the way, I no longer believe dancing is a sin. My kids do it and enjoy it. I still don’t dance because I’m lousy at it, hahaha! Blessings.

      • Thank you, Andy, for your response. I wasn’t sure where you stood on these things today so wanted to be sensitive. As someone who grew up with music and dancing and cigarettes and alcohol in our home, I certainly never thought any of it was sinful, though certainly an excess of alcohol and cigarettes is not healthy! Maybe your father didn’t consider it to be dancing if he didn’t move?

        I love to watch my grandsons dance–they are so joyful and alive, moving to the music (they’re 6 and 2) so it’s really hard for me to imagine it being a sin. But we all grew up in different times and places! 🙂

      • I never really understood how dancing could be sinful either until my senior year in high school. I worked for a pharmacy part time as stock and delivery boy. In the basement was an 8X10 photo on the wall of people dancing. All the women and men were thrusting their bodies against each other in very provocative ways. It helped me realize what could be wrong with it. However, that same year I double dated to my prom (feeling guilty of course). None of the four of us danced. I watched the other kids and I saw how much fun dancing could be when put in the right context and I am disappointed that I never got to experience that. I grew up in a strange era when it came to this sort of thing. Glad that is in our past and we are able to work out our own salvation as the Bible tells us to do. Always feel free to ask me questions. Thank you Amy!

  2. So sad. Dancing can be so beautiful and enjoyable. Interesting how many times we think of things we wish we had asked our parents, or at least a aunt or uncle before they died.
    Wishing you a happy new year.

    • Yes he did. 😃 and that’s why it is so important as parents and grandparents we teach correctly, based on scripture and not what we “think”is right! Thanks so much for your comment!

      • Thanks, Andy. Totally agree, although we need to be careful. Even reading Scripture, we all read through our personal lenses, and thus what I read and take away from a verse may be totally different from what you take away from the same verse. Scripture is so interesting that way, and why it’s so important to read it in community…where we can bounce ideas off of each other! 🙂 thanks for sharing this fun story!

  3. What a neat look at two photos that show such similarity between you and your dad. And a compelling question: why were they dancing in those days?

  4. This post brought so much ‘to the table,’ so to speak. I love the photo of your parents (and then you and your wife). And I really got to learn more about YOU and your world. We all have such different experiences and backgrounds, and writing about them and sharing just opens up our world 🌎 in wonderful ways. I can remember my mom and dad dancing to the twist as vividly as if it was yesterday. They had friends over to the house where they played Chubby Checkers and giggled like crazy. As a young child, I was amazed to learn that ‘old people’ could have fun too! 😏

    • Haha! And now I know this old person can have fun too! Thank you, Pam, for such nice compliments. I’m thankful I triggered a few memories. These kinds of memories always bring smiles😃

  5. Its’ interesting, the debate about being a Christian and dancing. My husband and I love dancing and only enjoy dancing with each other .. only each other. The dancing debate is as old as the Old Testament, isn’t it? Remember when David danced before the Lord and Saul’s daughter (his wife) despised him for it? 🙂 Happy New year to you, Grandpa. I enjoyed the post. Thank you. Smiles 🙂

    • Thank you Selina. Yes, it is one of many such things in this debate. I’ve worked past most of them now. It’s just this one that I think troubles me, I guess because of the chastisement I received. But notice I did attempt the dance haha! My little brother even drinks one beer when he gets home from work, lol. I’m thankful the good Lord has taught me to rely on him rather than the Pharisee’s. Haha! Thank you for your comment. Perhaps just me and my wife should find a place to go dancing and let her teach me how to dance.

    • Lol, if I have the opportunity to go dancing again I promise I will give it my best. I might even “move” this time, lolol. Thank you Debbie and blessings to you as well.

    • Thank you Pete, I tried to reblog this from Susan’s blog, which I saw you read. It was our joint Bridges post. I cannot, for some reason find how to reblog it. I’ve never had trouble before. I am working on it though. I appreciate you letting me know.

  6. Thanks! Just could not find the reblog button this morning, ugh. So I cut and paste it in Word and then post it on my blog. Man, I’ve never had that problem before. 😃 PTL

  7. What a fun post– loved your parents 1947 photo! (my folks were married in 1949). There were so many things we didn’t do growing up– that seem mainstream in the church now. My Larry and I are not dances, but we dance it up at family weddings– award though we may be. Really my favorite dancing is with the grand-girls (5,7,9) in the kitchen! Happy Dancing ahead!!

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