No 48 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury
Friday, November 24, 2016
I had great parents. Troy D. Woodbury and J. Clair Ford Woodbury were so good to me and gave me so much of themselves. I was the runt of the 4 kids, spoiled and a rotten kid, but they sure loved me and gave me their all.
Daddy was fierce and momma felt every part of life. Daddy was strong and devout in all his Southern and Baptist ways. He was the head and ruler of our house. Now momma was a feeler. We laughed together, cried together, fought together, prayed together, and in the later years were friends together. She was amazing. Momma always knew that I was different and she always made me feel good and special.
My brother, Troy, was the ‘miracle baby’. He came out upside down and had the cord wrapped around his neck. The doctor saved him and momma and I lived the rest of my life knowing that he was her special boy. And yes, he is special! But I, I was unique with mom. She confided in me and she was always there to support me.
As for daddy, when he died, he had a marble stand next to his bed with a bronze plaque on it that said “You are my life’s hero”. I gave that to him years before. He passed with that message next to him. Daddy loved me. He helped me through the death of my life partner, Jim Byrd. He loved Jim like a son.
I have spoken for Arthur Murray for over 40 years. Just before speaking engagements, I would call daddy and we would pray over the phone. I would tell everyone of this prayer at the start of my speeches and it set a great tone for every talk. After speaking, I would call daddy and tell him how great it went.
As time moved on, I started to become just like daddy. His will stated that he lived his life to tell others of his faith and trust in God. Reading his will moved me so much that I put the same words into my will to be read at my death. I’d better not mess up my life, for that will be read at the end of my life.
Now that I’m older, I’m a member of the Chamber, Church, and many groups, just like daddy. I know everyone and love being with everyone everywhere. Daddy’s blood runs through my veins.
For momma, she gave me the secret to my life. J. Clair said to me one time, when you first meet someone, find what you love about them and ‘Build An Empire’ on that quality. I have been lecturing on ‘Build An Empire’ for decades now and always credit my dear mom for this training. I still practice this every day.
For the other side, I’m my mom. Emotional, prone to sadness, a worrier, and sometimes trying. This is what made my mom so unique, and what gave her character. She could cry, but she could also laugh a lot as well. Also, I always saw that daddy loved her, even during the rough times. And I loved her too. Hopefully Joel will see through my dark times and love me as well when I’m not at my best in my life.
Well, I’m proud to be the son of Troy and J. Clair. I am my parent’s son and would not have it any other way. I do live every day to tell others of my faith, and of my great parents who gave me the love of my faith and the love of life.
David Earl Woodbury
Keep on Dancing!