The following is an excerpt from the episode called "Founder’s Day", in which Jason composes an original score he named "Appalachian Portrait". In the program, Earl Hamner narrated the following poignant dialog.
"There is something within us that tells us all we will ever know about ourselves. There is a destiny that tells us where we will be born, where we will live, and where we will die.
Some men are drawn to oceans, they cannot breathe unless the air is scented with a salty mist. Others are drawn to land that is flat, and the air is sullen and is leaden as August. My people were drawn to mountains. They came when the country was young and they settled in the upland country of Virginia that is still misted with a haze of blue which gives those mountains their name. They endured and they prevailed; through flood and famine, diphtheria and scarlet fever, through drought and forest fire, whooping cough and loneliness, through Indian wars, a civil war, a world war, and through the Great Depression they endured and they prevailed. In my time, I have come to know them.
Grandpa, in memory I touch your face. A distance from me now, I feel you near. The coyote will disappear from the Earth, and the whooping crane will follow the passenger pigeon, but you will endure through all of time.
Grandma, I touch your hand and when I do I touch the past. I touch all the ships that brought us to this country and all the strong brave women who faced the frontier and made it home.
Strength and love came together here. So not the same they did not seem a pair, bound together, they were so much one. All I ever want is what they've had so long and lived so well.
A brother with an alien name. The ancient Jason went searching for the golden fleece. Our Jason makes voyages every day and never leaves the piano.
A first baseman grown to wife and mother - soft and stronger as she grew.
A temper, always at the ready hides the best of him, but I know my brother as my friend.
A pretty girl deepens into beauty. Impatient for time to pass and bring her love.
His head most often in the clouds causes the rest of him to stumble, but seldom really fall.
A little sister full of wonder and far enough behind to be a joy.
And close as family were our neighbors linked to us in ties as strong as blood.
Gentility and graciousness lived there too. The past flowing into the present. The present blending with yesterday.
I have walked the land in the footsteps of my fathers. Back in time to where the first one trod, and stopped, saw sky, felt wind, bent to touch Mother Earth.....and called this "Home." This mountain. This pine and hemlock, oak and poplar. Laurel, wild, and rhododendron. Home and mountain. Father, mother. Grow, too the sons and daughters. To walk the old paths. To look back in pride in honored heritage. To hear its laughter and its song. To grow, to stand and be themselves, one day remembered. I have walked the land in the footsteps of all my fathers. I saw yesterday and now look to tomorrow."
Some of the Hamner family members have said they prefer people not visit their family cemetery. They don’t want it to become a tourist attraction. Probably the best way to pay respects would be to visit their Find-a-grave memorials and leave virtual flowers.