I was born at a very early age on January 29, 1948, under the sign of Aquarius, in Dallas, Texas. According to the powers that be I am American by Birth - Native Texan by the grace of God. However, there are many who will proudly tell you that Texas always has been, is and forevermore will be a soverign nation - I am one of those who make that claim!
My parents owned a house in the Oak Cliff section of Dallas where I was raised. In those days the area around Oak Cliff had a lot of undeveloped land and my first "job" was making and selling lemonade and Kool-Aid to the men paving the street in front of my house. We were poor but we did not know it because everyone around us was just as poor. However, my dad worked very hard at his job in construction and he made sure that we always had a roof over our heads, food in our stomachs and clothing on our backs (and fronts, too!). That is something I appreciate more with each and every passing day.
While in elementary school I joined the Cub Scouts of America, earning my Wolf, Bear and Lion ranks before becoming a Webeloes, the step between Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts. Along with my two younger brothers and friends from the neighborhood I rode my bicycle all over the area, as well as to school almost every day. I was almost out of elementary school when my mother learned to drive and after that she would take us to school when the weather was too bad to ride bicycles. We explored the woods, caught snakes (including copperheads and water moccasins, and even a coral snake once), frogs, lizards, Texas Horned Lizards (erroneously called horny toads, either because they were horny or because they had horns - I never knew which it was) and everything else we could find to bring home, much to the dismay of our mothers.
In Boy Scouting, I rose to the rank of Star and was tapped out for membership in the prestigious Order of the Arrow, possibly the single greatest honor of my life. OA was all about learning of my Native American heritage though at the time I had no knowledge of my Cherokee and Apache ancestry, nor of my Scottish ancestry either, for that matter. My dad was proud of his ancestry but, in those days people seldom discussed their "Indian blood". OA taught me what magnificent people the real "Americans" were and are - about how they honored and cherished family, nature, animals, the Mother Earth, the sky and the water. We learned the ways of the Indian and the ritual dances of the tribes.
I was quite active as a young boy, just as I am today, spending a lot of time playing sandlot baseball, roller skating (used to skate competition dance, freestyle and speed on my Douglas Snyder Super Deluxe Specials), riding my bicycle and exploring everything I encountered. I always asked a lot of questions though the answers often eluded me. Through junior high school (today, called middle school) I ran track and played on baseball, football and basketball teams. Because of my speed (acquired much like Forest Gump developed his - we had a lot of bullies in Oak Cliff) I ran sprints and distances, and was third fastest in my elementary school, right behind Charles Grubbs and Phillip Craft, both of whom ran like Texas Jackrabbits. In baseball I preferred second base and center field and batted from either side of the plate. On the football team I was a halfback (or running back, as it is now called) and on the basketball team I played forward. I also swam a lot and excelled in stunt diving from 1-, 3- and 10-meter boards and towers. But, limitations of my physical size kept me from playing football and basketball in high school, and I broke my wrist (at a skating rink) just after having made the ninth grade baseball team in junior high school, so my baseball "career" came to an end.
Upon arriving in high school in 1963, my world was changing fast. I started getting really interested in music, having been introduced to rock 'n roll by my uncle John Henry Jordan in the mid-1950's, and fell in love with the Ventures, the Beach Boys, Jan and Dean, and others doing "surf music", as Jimi Hendrix later referred to it. I also joined the NDCC Corps at Kimball High School in Oak Cliff (sorta like ROTC, except that we had to buy our own uniforms). My dad had been in Army Intelligence and was a decorated combat soldier in the theaters of Europe and the South Pacific during WW II (the BIG one, as he called it, especially when discussing it with my uncle Marion Capps, who was a doughboy in WW I). In NDCC, I rose to the rank of Lieutentant and held the office of Company Executive Officer during my senior year. I was on the rifle team, precision drill team, and a member of the instructor corps. But, I had started playing guitar in 1965, and over the summer let my hair grow long and dyed it ash blond which caused a stir with our Commandant, Major Harmon W. White. That ash blond surfer cut was a far cry from my previous medium brown flattop, and as Federal Inspection approached I was transferred out of NDCC to a gym class - they were afraid I would be a bad influence on the inspectors and the entire battallion would get a bad rap. So, my "military career" came to an end, and just in time!
I was in downtown Dallas on that fateful November 22, 1963. I went to see my President, John F. Kennedy, and shortly after his motorcade passed where I was standing he was killed by assassins' bullets. For the record, I never believed the lies that Lee Harvey Oswald was involved. As Oswald stated, "I was just a patsy". The Warren Commission did the biggest whitewash in American history, aided by the strange physics of that mental midget, Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, who concocted the "magic bullet" theory to explain how the impossible could have happened. No single event in my life had a more profound effect on me that the Kennedy assassination. It was the day freedom in America died. Someday, hopefully, the truth will finally be told.
In 1965, I was becoming a somewhat proficient guitarist, singer and songwriter, copyrighting my first song a year later. I formed a band called "The Extortions" (I was intent on becoming an attorney on the US Air Force Judge Advocate General's Corps. and loved the sound of that name) with three members of our high school lab band, Don Sperry (lead guitar), Jon McIver (electric bass) and Gary Forsythe (drums). They all performed in several school bands including the nationally renowned Kimball Knightbeats, a 30-piece jazz band led by the able Steve Bayless, who himself had graduated from North Texas State University where he played first chair trombone and standup bass in the vaunted One O'Clock Lab Band, know around the world as the very finest lab band in all existence.
From 1965, until the end of the 70's, I lived a life of dedicated "decadency and debauchery" as a rock 'n roll musician, and I just wish I had half as much fun and did half of the things people believe me to have done. It was an era of great creativity and exploration as people searched for their very souls. I failed to "qualify" for the army when drafted on March 4, 1968, one year to the date of my wedding to my first (and only) wife who divorced me in September, 1969. From our union came our daughter, Christina Mary McCord, who was born on February 3, 1969.
It was during the period of 1965 to 1975 that I composed over 600 songs and two symphonies for rock band and 100-piece orchestra. My compositions ranged from ballads and blues to the Acid Symphony, "White Lightning", a one hour fifteen minute piece in four movements, which won me much acclaim, especially with the fairer sex. LIFE WAS GOOD! In 1973, I formed Burning Heart, Inc. to manage my own musical career and soon found myself also managing other local bands, first in San Francisco, where I had moved, then back in my native Dallas. By 1975, we were promoting major rock musical concerts and I formed Black Cobra Productions, Inc. as the production entity for Burning Heart with my uncle Earl Jordan, our financial backer. We promoted shows with Frank Zappa and the Mothers, Genesis, Ten Years After, John Nitzinger, Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen, Emmylou Harris, and many other great performers of the rock and "progressive country" veins. I remained active in the music business until the end of the 70's, at which time my life started taking a turn toward the technical side.
In 1975, my uncle Earl had taught me to fly and I fell in love with airplanes (I already loved the Jefferson Airplane!) My first experience as a pilot came in Earl's Cessna 182 Skylane with King Silver Crown avionics - WHAT A PLANE! Almost everybody I knew who flew started in Cessna 150's and similar low-end aircraft, so I felt especially fortunate. Soon, I migrated to Earl's Piper Twin Comanche, and eventually into the right seat of his DeHavilland DH125-700 bizjet, where I amassed about 80 hours. Earl was killed in a crash of his brand new Cessna P-337 Skymaster in November, 1975, along with my cousin Mike (his second son), and it was the first personal tragedy in my life. I loved my uncle as much as I did my own dad. But, the love of flying he taught me stuck, and in the 1980's I started flying aerobatics in Cessna 152 Aerobats, Citabrias and Decathalons. After that, flying straight and level was not much fun anymore. Nothing beats a hammerhead stall into a tail slide and ending in a death spiral (as long as you pull out before smacking terra firma).
Jimi Hendrix got me into electronics. I was always bedazzled by his foot pedal magic and all those sound effects he brought to rock guitar. The guy was a pure genius! So, in 1979, I went to school and got a certificate in video production along with my FCC First Class Radiotelephone Operator's License with Radar endorsement, so I could become a television station transmitter engineer. Immediately after completing that program I enrolled in Mountain View College and started studying electronics and avionics, graduating in 1982 with a double Associates Degree in those disciplines and maintaining a 3.68 GPA (on a 4.0 system). I was a Dean's List student while serving as Student Council Vice-President (1981) and President (1982) and Phi Theta Kappa National Junior College Honor Fraternity President (1982). I also served as President of the Student Financial Review Board which made evaluations and recommendations on budgets for the various divisions of classes for the college.
1983 proved to be a very good year. I bought the rights to FireSafe AD-108 from the inventors and set up American Dallas Chemical Corporation to manufacture, sell and distribute fire retardant chemicals. We were going great great guns and making a lot of money with a superior product which enjoyed world renown until the failure of Texas' largest bank holding company which was also my international trade agent. The bank failure resulted in multi-million dollar losses for myself and the company leading to our collapse in late 1988. So, it was back to school again, this time to obtain a degree in Micro Computer Systems Technology. I had worked as a field engineer for Decision Data Computer Corp. on IBM Systems 3x and peripherals, 80- and 96-column keypunch machines and band/line printers from 1982-83, and wanted to learn personal computers.
I became a pc consultant for KLH Computers and supervised a staff of 90 reps in six states and 75 cities representing KLH loudspeakers and computers until becoming a full-time computer consultant in 1993, involved in selling, building, configuring, repairing, upgrading and designing pc systems for clients in the education, government, commercial and consumer markets. Then, in 1996, I got into the Internet and soon developed an interest in web design. Since then, most of my time and efforts have been directed at design and I have published over 400 pages which are on-line today (the actual number may be in excess of 500 pages - I lost count long ago).
My major interests outside of work include whitewater canoeing and wilderness camping, golf, photography (still and video), music, genealogy, writing poetry, target shooting and surfing (the web, not the waves). I still live in Dallas and hope that I die in Texas or Scotland, either of which would be just fine with me. I am as active today as when I was a pre-teen lad in the 1950's.
Well, that is probably a lot more about me than you really wanted to know, but if that is the case then the only person to blame is the one you see in the mirror. Nobody forced you to stick around and read all this stuff about me. Actually, I never intended to create this page, but upon the request of a few visitors to my web site I decided to do it. It seems that a certain person who shall remain nameless, but whose initials are Jazmine Schoenmaker, did not want to surf through each of the 100+ pages of my web site to gleen all the dirt on me, and so she requested that I make one large pile rather than many small piles.
In the immortal words of that great poet and philosopher, Kris Kristofferson, I am "...a walking contradiction, partly truth and partly fiction, taking every wrong direction on his lonely way back home..." But, I do try to live a life which is both fun and interesting. I hope you enjoyed your visit to my web site and took something from it that has brightened your day and put a smile on your face. Please come back again soon.
Copyright © 1997-2006, Marc W. McCord dba CobraGraphics. All rights reserved. CobraGraphics is an exclusive tradename and trademark of Marc W. McCord dba CobraGraphics. The textual, graphic, audio, and audio/visual material in this site is protected by United States copyright law and international treaties. You may not copy, distribute, or use these materials except for your personal, non-commercial use. Any trademarks are the property of their respective owners. All original photographs on this web site are the exclusive property of Marc W. McCord and may not be copied, duplicated, reproduced, distributed or used for any purpose except with prior written permission under penalty of US and International laws and treaties.