Dream comes true for Rockingham Co. filmmaker with disability

MOUNT AIRY, N.C. — Take one look around Jordan Nance’s bedroom at his home in Reidsville and you’ll see glimpses of a story that’s been years in the making.

Nance recently finished production on his first documentary about his friend, Ralph Epperson. Epperson founded WPAQ Radio in Mount Airy in 1948.

“He has accomplished something, I think it would be challenging no matter what. I’m sure any filmmaker would say that,” Joy Nance said. “But in Jordan’s case so much more so.”

Nance has spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy and uses a computer to help him talk.

“Ralph’s stories and recordings helped me experience the music from the early days of the stations. I want people to have the same feelings for WPAQ,” Nance said though his computer.

It started as a summer project in 2006, but quickly turned into so much more. Epperson died one month after being interviewed, making the project even more important to Nance.

With the help of his parents, Nance interviewed 40 people who knew Epperson in the early days. Nance typed each question into his laptop.

“It’s so much bigger than Jordan seeing this project through. It’s helping these musicians that pioneered the station be able to share the happiest days of their life” Joy Nance said.

And last fall, with the help of friend and producer Beth Crookham, Nance finally premiered his documentary at a Bluegrass Festival in Raleigh. It’s titled “Broadcast: A Man and His Dream” and his proof on two fronts that dreams really do come true.

“He came up with the title ‘A Man and His Dream.’ It really has come full circle because it’s Jordan’s dream as well as Ralph’s,” Joy Nance said.

The documentary will air Saturday, April 5 during a celebration of what would have been Epperson’s 93rd birthday.

If you want to go:

9-11 a.m. Jam session
11-1:30 p.m. WPAQ Merry-Go-Round with two bands ($5)
1:30-2 p.m., Jam session with WPAQ pioneer musicians
2 p.m., Mayor’s proclamation of “Ralph Epperson Day” and screening of “Broadcast: A Man and His Dream” to follow (free)

All events will be held at the Historic Earle Theatre (142 N. Main St., Mount Airy).

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