Jake "JT" McCord (1948-2009) Outsider/Folk Art
A celebrity in his hometown of Thomson, GA, Jake McCord was a quiet, gentle, and hard-working man. First-time visitors from the art world were quickly told that painting was only his hobby, that he worked a full-time job. And that he did. For 39 years Jake worked as a groundskeeper for the city of Thomson where he was well-known as the hardest-working person anyone there had ever seen.
Outside of work, Jake led a quiet and solitary life. He spent his hours creating bright “jolly” paintings and watching TV with absolute dedication. He said that it wasn’t good for a TV to be off for long. It needed to be exercised. He lived alone in an old wood-frame house with a big front porch right by the railroad tracks in the center of town. He showcased his paintings nailed to the wall or leaning on his front porch, while he rocked in one of his many rocking chairs. He said his paintings kept him company.
Health problems brought Jake retirement from his city job in 2007, and he passed away in 2009. The house on Railroad Street was demolished to make room for a new county courthouse. The local history museum, McDuffie Museum, rushed in to salvage the porch and it is now part of a display of Jake’s artwork. (Photo below).