Tuesday, May 20, 2008
George Jordan Speaks & Sings About His Time at Boys Ranch for Tinney Chapel OASIS Ministry
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TINNEY TALK: Observations by Joe Dan Boyd
GEORGE JORDAN & HIS VENTURA GUITAR form a combustible combination that has lighted spiritual fires in the hearts and minds of listeners for 35 years, the same length of time he has been writing original songs, many obviously given to him by the Lord, either as proclamations of The Word, or as musical testimony to George’s own faith journey.
COMPARING THAT TO A SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY, his opening song at Tinney Chapel’s recent meeting of the OASIS group, George shared tunes and testimony about his time as a youth, beginning when he was about seven, at Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch in Amarillo.
“IT WAS A PLACE FOR BOYS IN TROUBLE or whose families, like mine, had split up,” recalls George, who made good grades in the school at Boys Ranch and was chosen as mascot for the school’s football team. “There were 60 of us boys at the ranch then, and we had just about everything we needed on site: school, church, jobs to do, but we were also exposed to quite a few special events.”
THOSE SPECIAL EVENTS INCLUDED appearances by Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Bob Hope, Ernest Tubb and Minnie Pearl, to name a few. Most of all, George appears to have been influenced by Cal Farley himself, founder of Boys Ranch: “He owned a B.F. Goodrich store nearby, and sometimes had to take money out of his own business to keep Boys Ranch going.”
GEORGE HAD EXPECTED TO SPEND ONLY ONE SUMMER at Boys Ranch, during the time of his family’s domestic turmoil. But not until five years had passed, when his family had reconciled and George was 12 years old, did a sister arrive to take him to Grant, Nebraska, where his dad was the town marshal. That reconciliation of his family would be only temporary, and George would have further storms in his life.
“BUT STORMS NEVER LAST,” sings George, who remembers with gratitude his five years at Boys Ranch, where he recalls developing a work ethic and learning the value of cooperation through participation in 4-H. It may be that Tinney Chapel’s own George Jordan experienced a childhood of some instability and occasional abandonment, but he still likes to visit Boys Ranch when he can: “I consider it among my life’s saving graces."