It’s time for another Jordan’s Journey video. Last time, I explored some Civil War-era family roots out in Arkansas with my Caney Fork video. That video was a bit longer form than anything else I’ve done here so far and took a more explicitly documentary approach. The video I’m sharing with you today takes us back to Armuchee Valley, where I grew up–and I explore memories from my childhood instead of searching out long-dead ancestors.

In the Earl Jordan Barn video, I take you on a tour of my grandfather’s barn. This barn was a big part of growing up for me. It’s one of those places with great emotional resonance and instantly gives me the feeling of home. There’s no particular historical significance to the barn. It’s not that old or even that nice of a barn.

But it was my grandfather’s barn. That’s enough to make it special to me.

I spent a lot of time with my grandfather growing up. He was never the type of man you “hung out” with. He mostly kept to himself, tinkered in the shed, or worked on the tractor. Which, if you know me very well, is a lot like my own personality–except I’m more of an artist and tech geek than a farmer. He had one hell of a sense of humor, though; he loved to laugh.

Papa Jordan was the first of my grandparents to die. I remember it well, his lifeless body spread across the hospital bead that night. It may sound gruesome, but I am thankful my parents let me go in to see him before the hospital took his body away. It’s an image that has stuck with me ever since. I don’t mean that in a dark, depressing way. Instead, seeing Papa Jordan like that helped me understand the cycle of life and death. We are born; we die. These things are certain. That’s why making the most of the bits in between is essential, for we never know how long we have left on this earth.

But I digress. Just watch the video so I can show you Earl’s barn. And if you want to learn more about my grandfather, read about him in the Jordan’s Journey book. He’s a character you won’t want to miss.

As for the video itself, it features an original score by composer Michael Harren. Michael has updated the music he did first for Suttle’s Mill, Concord Road, and Caney Fork. I love how his music evolved from an initial piano cue into the more fully realized pieces you hear in the later videos. I hope to hear a full-fledged Jordan’s Journey suite in concert one day!

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