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broadcast Beth Crookham is a Wilmington-based film producer who loves to make people’s dreams come true — whether as a casting or production assistant on “One Tree Hill,” as producer of “Home Again,” (see story on p. 37) or on her latest project, the documentary “Broadcast,” about North Carolina-based radio pioneer Ralph Epperson. Crookham teamed up with Reidsville, North Carolina, native Jordan Nance to make “Broadcast” after the two met on the set of “One Tree Hill” eight years ago. Nance, who is 30 years old and has cerebral palsy, was visiting the set. His trip was arranged and funded by the Philadelphia-based Sunshine Foundation, an organization that answers the dreams of chronically ill and physically challenged young people. Nance has limited use of his vocal chords, so he gravitated toward television and radio as important pastimes to compensate for his lack of vocal ability. While on the set, Nance told Crookham about his dream of making a documentary about Ralph Epperson, the man behind WPAQ bluegrass radio in Mt. Airy, North Carolina. Epperson, born in 1922, came from a long line of tobacco farmers but he’d always had a thing for radio. In 1948 he launched WPAQ, which then led to other stations, and ultimately a family radio dynasty that still broadcasts today. “Here’s a story about a man who transformed his life and everyone around him by making his dream come true, just like Jordan was trying to do,” Crookham says. “I told Jordan to go for it and start filming.” Nance and his mom weren’t sure how to get his docu-mentary started. Crookham gave them the guidance they needed to get a camera and begin filming interviews. Thirty interviews later, Crookham is now working in the edit room with Nance, trying to cut an hour-long piece that could air on PBS. Their goal is to have it completed by this fall, which would make Nance’s dream come true and Crookham’s mission complete. In the meantime, the Iowa native, who has a theater background, remains ensconced in the Wilmington film community. “There’s a plaque I’ve seen that sums up being in Wilmington for me,” Crookham says. “It says, ‘I wasn’t born southern but I got here as quick as I could.’” www.wrightsvillebeachmagazine.com By D.J. Bernard behind the scenes HOLLYWOODeast 35 WBM Jordan Nance, who is 30 years old and has cerebral palsy, was visiting the set of “One Tree Hill.” His trip was arranged and funded by the Sunshine Foundation. While on the set, he told film producer beth Crookham about his dream: to make a documentary about ralph Epperson, the man behind WPAQ bluegrass radio in Mt. Airy. Clockwise from top right: Beth Crookham and Jordan Nance editing “Broadcast.” Ralph Epperson, WPAQ radio founder. WPAQ studio in Mt. Airy. WPAQ radio mic. Beth Crookham. PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF THE EPPERSON FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF JOY NANCE


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