Jordan is NGC KingPublished 12:00am Sunday, March 18, 2012
NATCHEZ — Moving around a lot as a child has left Miller Chandler Jordan’s childhood memories a little scattered and difficult to place, he said.
He’s shocked when his preschool classmates from Natchez recognize him — not because he can’t place them, though he can’t — but because their memories span back so many years.
“How do you remember preschool?” he has asked in wonderment, Jordan said.
“It’s astonishing what people remember.”
While his childhood memories get jumbled between several schools he attended in Mississippi, Louisiana and Georgia, there’s one time in his young life he can’t mistake for any other place.
Only in Natchez would it make sense to remember donning a Confederate page uniform and carrying a real sword at age 6 to perform in front of a fancy audience at the Historic Natchez Tableaux.
But a year after that, Jordan bid his fellow buddies goodbye and moved to Alexandria, La.
Moving around with his family forced Jordan into many different school scenarios, he said, including attending school in Georgia at South Gwinnett, where he was the new kid in a class of approximately 600 others. He said he learned it was up to him to make friends and put himself out there.
“I was pretty used to moving,” Jordan said.
But when Jordan returned to Natchez as a high school senior, he and one of his sisters, Sarah Grace, were surprised with the warm welcoming they received from their small classes of 30 or so students at Cathedral School.
“It really blew me and Sarah Grace away how much people were interested in the new kids,” Jordan said.
That year, Jordan suited up in Civil-War garb for the Tableaux again, this time to carry the stars and stripes in the Raising of the Flag.
Jordan will make another only-in-Natchez memory this year as he returns from college in Starkville to reign as King of Pilgrimage as a member of the Natchez Garden Club royalty.
And just like his warm reception during his senior year, Jordan was humbled and grateful to hear the news.
“I was really shocked,” he said. “I couldn’t believe (NGC) was interested in me since I hadn’t lived here (all my life),” Jordan said.
Jordan said he has shy tendencies, but breaking into a crowd of new faces and making new friends has trained him to take social situations as they come — which he said will be useful with all the hand-shaking, socializing and reigning he’ll be doing as king.
In addition, Jordan said he’s honored to follow in the family tradition as king.
Jordan is the third member of his family to serve as Natchez Garden Club royalty. His aunt, Elise Jordan Stari, reigned as queen in 1967 and his father was king in 1984.
Jordan is the son of Chandler and Lou Ann Jordan. He has two sisters, Sarah Grace and Ashlyn Jordan. He is the grandson of Mrs. Amon Jordan and the late Bernard Chandler Jordan Jr. of Natchez, and Mr. and Mrs. Arthur E. Chauvin Jr., also of Natchez.
A 2009 graduate of Cathedral High School, Jordan also attended North Oconee High School and South Gwinnett High School in Georgia where he was a member of the State Champion Inline Hockey Team.
Though hockey isn’t so popular locally, he loved it enough as a student in Georgia to drop every other sport he played.
“To this day I’m still happy (I played hockey),” Jordan said.
“It’s unlike any other sport I’ve ever played.”
He is a junior at Mississippi State University where he is pursuing a dual degree in landscape architecture and landscape contracting. He is a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects and of First Presbyterian Church.
He actively enjoys fishing of all types, but especially pond fishing for bass. He also enjoys deer hunting, duck hunting, archery, running and music.
Ironically, like the sound of the lawn mowers he pushes, listening through ear buds to classic rock like Led Zeppelin while running gives Jordan a sense of quiet, he said.
“(Music) is never going to get as good as it was in the 60s and 70s,” Jordan said.
And it’s his early love of landscaping that steered him toward his college major and early entrepreneurial pursuits.
Jordan started his own lawn care business when he was in eighth grade, going door-to-door in Georgia. By ninth or 10th grade, he was passing out business cards and posting fliers.
He said he hopes to earn a license in landscape architecture, landscape contracting and horticulture.
“Once I get (all three certifications), I’ll be set,” Jordan said.
His past tableaux experience includes the Little Maypole, Raising of the Flag, Polka and page in 1996 to King Gaston Carby and Queen Amy Callon.
Jordan said he’s pleased to be wearing the same uniform this year that his father wore as king. Plus, it gave him an extra incentive to push the exercise envelope in order to fit into it.
The tunic is made of wool in Confederate gray with gold bullion wreaths on the collar and gold satin epaulets extending from the shoulders. Breasted with the brass Confederate buttons from the neck to the waist, the tunic is outlined in gold braid.
A gold satin sash with two fringed streamers encircles the coat waist.
Jordan said his father has been reminding him of the responsibilities he once, but mostly making sure he doesn’t have “too much fun.”
And since tackling new experiences is a challenge Jordan is used to, he’s now ready to enjoy the ride.
“It’s been pretty fun so far, and I’m definitely as excited as I can be,” he said