James Frederick Tracy is born (birthday often listed as October 12 online, but unknown if this is accurate)
Grows up in Hornell, NY
His father fought in WW2 according to Op-ed from 11/16/2001
Mother worked at a nursing home at some point
At some point in grade-school: (See “Measles Before Media” blog posts March 2 2019)
This author recalls a time when as a grade-schooler he spent weekdays after school with a family in the neighborhood, as both parents worked. Two of their five children were about my age, and we all attended the same parochial school. One spring the entire family contracted the measles. It was no big deal. My grandparents provided childcare for a week or two, and thereafter I returned to the normal late afternoon routine with the family. There was no fear their household harbored some dreadful contagion, because in the early 1970s health authorities and mass media were not erroneously promoting measles as a grave threat to public health that only vaccines can address.
(approx) Tracy’s parents separate/divorce when he is nine years old, according to an op-ed he would go on to write in Sept 1999 (“Historical Tragedies Have Tough Time Hitting Home”)
Finishes junior year at Hornell High School
Graduates from Hornell High School
The yearbook notes that his nickname was “Trace” and his favorite saying, “Lively up yourself!” – a Bob Marley reference (note Tracy goes on to DJ a college radio show that focuses on reggae/dub – also, Marley died 2 years before)
Tracy later tells stories of working at a night club, that may have occurred during this period.
Whatever happened during this 7-year period, presumably, he was listening to reggae, perming his hair, and getting very stoned.
And by the end, he felt like going to college.