I was born March 9, 1968 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. I weighed 9 lbs. 3 oz. Note that at only two days old in the photo above, I’ve already perfected “the stink-eye”. My name at birth was James Alan McGuinn. (It’s changed a few times since then.)
My mother and father were divorced shortly after he returned from Vietnam; I was less than a year old. (Note the toy cash register in the second picture above, which was taken at Christmastime, 1970 or ’71—my career in retail started early.) By the time I was three or four years old, mother had remarried, and moved us to Dallas, Texas. Actually, we started out in a run-down mobile home parked in a trailer park in Mesquite, Texas (home of the Mesquite Rodeo). I have many memories of Mesquite, none of which am I fond. The trailer rocked like a bronco when the east Texas wind kicked up, and the water would slosh out of the fishtanks we kept, which scared the bejeezus out of me.
I grew up in east Dallas after that, near White Rock Lake. Both my parents worked downtown for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). My elementary school was Bayles Elementary, on Telegraph Road. It was the first school in Dallas (founded 1856), and I have many happy memories of it.
As a youngster, I rode my horse, Popcorn, in parades and races. I even rode in the Mesquite Rodeo a few times, and won quite a few ribbons.