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Profile of a Patch User: Mark Cox

Guitar teacher and recent father will be blogging about his life on Patch as he begins a new chapter as a stay-at-home dad.

As part of our weekly feature of Patch users, we talked with Mark Cox to learn more about this South City resident right here on South San Francisco Patch. Let’s give him a warm welcome.

Name: Mark Cox

Age: 39

How did you first hear about Patch?

While I don't have a Facebook account, my wife does and friends have been posting reports from Patch about local news. I went to the web site and quickly found myself checking it everyday. 

What can we expect from your upcoming blog and what got you interested in contributing to Patch? 

will be the reflections of my new life as a stay-at-home dad taking care of our first child, while my wife goes back to work and becomes the chief breadwinner of our family. This shift in the traditional roles of father and mother has provoked a lot of thoughts, anxieties and hopes in my life, and I thought Patch readers might be interested in hearing my story during the first year of my son's life. Mostly I want to know if I'm alone out there or are there other stay-at-home dads reading this right now?

Where in South City do you live?

I live in the Southwood neighborhood just a short walk from the West Orange Library

When did you come to South San Francisco?

We bought our home in South City ten years ago. I grew up in San Bruno (in the same house my grandfather purchased back in 1923 for a whopping five thousand dollars—it was a lot of money back then) and my wife grew up in Daly City, so South San Francisco was a nice location to be close (but not too close) to both of our parents.

Tell us about your family.

My wife plays video games all day and gets paid for it! Seriously, she's a video game quality assurance engineer for Glu Mobile Games in San Francisco—a company that creates video games for cell phones, iPods and other hand-held devices. We met while we were both attending in San Bruno and were married there on Aug. 11, 2001—exactly one month before the 9/11 attacks. Our son Gregory is our first child who was just born this year on April 1 (no foolin').

What is your occupation?

After graduating from UC Davis with an English degree and a teaching credential from UC Berkeley, I went back to in San Bruno, my alma mater, and taught English for six years. Then I took a break from teaching to earn a Bible degree and worked as a youth pastor at in San Bruno and as an associate pastor at Bethel Christian Church in San Francisco. While I'm still involved with both teaching and ministry, I now mostly teach guitar through the South City Parks & Recreation Department and at on Grand Avenue.

What are your hobbies?

Besides music and playing guitar, I really enjoy gardening. The last couple of years I've been building up my vegetable planter boxes to grow more and more of our own organic food. Eventually I want to build a greenhouse to do year-round crops and maybe even erect a chicken coop—is it even legal to raise chickens in South City? Outside of that I love coffee, the San Francisco Giants, reading and hanging out with my wife and son. 

What is your favorite thing about South San Francisco? 

The is absolutely fantastic! It's so cool how I can walk to the grocery store, to the bank, to the post office and to all on one beautiful path—it's like a life-size Internet made of concrete that connects my whole life. I'm so thankful for a city that is committed to improving public spaces.

What is your favorite South City eatery?

on Grand Avenue is a family-owned Korean restaurant that is very tasty, and cheap. The dubu soup has a spicy tang that awakens every taste bud in my mouth. Plus the meal comes with all these great little appetizers and scrumptious rice pancake. Oh, now I'm hungry...be right back!

What is your favorite local shop?

I have a heart for on Grand Avenue, not only because I'm a musician and I teach guitar there, but more and more independent bookstores, toy stores, and music stores are being squeezed out of business by mega-department warehouse stores and Internet clearing houses. It's harder and harder for these small businesses to compete, but they offer a quality and a service that larger stores simply cannot provide. We need to support local small businesses even if it means paying a little more.

What is your perfect Sunday?

In the morning we have a breakfast of whole wheat pancakes covered in fresh fruit, then my family walks to our church, , and afterwards we hang out with friends and eat some more tasty food. Around three o'clock I settle down for a nice afternoon nap, and later we get ready to watch our favorite shows on PBS: "Check, Please! Bay Area" and "Masterpiece Mystery." 

What has kept you coming back to Patch for more?

I really like the combination of local events, police reports and local profiles of people and businesses. It's a really nice balance of heavier and lighter news. Most television news programs only report on disasters of the world that are depressing and leave me feeling paralyzed as to what I can do, but with Patch I feel like I can know what's going on in the neighborhoods around me and get involved to make a difference.

What local happenings have you learned about on Patch?

I'm really liking the reports and the kind of renegade food trucks that pop up from place to place with gourmet roach coach meals. Most of these seem to be in San Francisco and I'm hoping the trend picks up here in South City—maybe in Orange Park or even in front of my house?

What's your favorite subject on Patch?

I like articles that highlight people and initiatives that aim to make South City a safer, greener, and healthier community in which to live. The recent post about how the was really informative and has me thinking about some improvements to our house.

Keep an eye out for Mark’s blog, “Daddy Diaries,” and learn more about his guitar lessons at http://www.southcityguitar.com.

Michele Magni August 16, 2011 at 09:26 PM
Hey Mark, this has nothing to do with your blog though I think it is great and good luck. Is your mom by any chance Marge Cox?
Mark Cox August 17, 2011 at 07:47 PM
Yes. Sadly my mom passed away in 2008 from a short battle with uterine cancer. How did you know her? She had a big impact on a lot of people as a piano teacher and singer. I miss her every day.
Mark Cox August 17, 2011 at 07:50 PM
Thanks. Cool post...
Jeff Stone March 04, 2012 at 12:21 PM
Mark- great to see what you are up to in SSF. Was listening to Switchfoot this morning and wanted to get in touch. Been too long amigo. Jeff Stone
Chris Corbett March 05, 2012 at 08:02 PM
Since we read your blogs several times monthly, and you are already so popular, I forget you were never profiled yet. I think we all forgot.
Geri Bodeker December 29, 2012 at 05:27 PM
Hi Mark - This is an unorthodox way to get in touch with you, so thank you for reading this post. Your post reminds me of when our son was born over 13 years ago. I was 38 and my husband just turned 40. This is a precious time so I applaud your stay-at-home status. You won't regret it for one minute. Anyway, I had a question reqarding your guitar classes at the recreation center. We would like to sign him up for the winter class, but are running into a problem and hoping you could help. He loves the band U2 and was intrigued when he read your blog and discovered that U2 is one of your favorites. Please respond to this post - I can provide contact information offlist. Thanks.
Mark Cox December 31, 2012 at 05:27 PM
Hi Geri-- It's tricky how to send personal information to people without everyone else on Patch seeing it, like my personal email address or phone number. As far as the guitar classes go, I know they have cancelled the Wednesday evening classes. This has been partly because of low enrollment and partly because my schedule has become much busier these last few months. I'm still teaching the Friday classes just for teens, so if that works I highly recommend signing up for that. But perhaps it's a different problem you're talking about...? If you want you can leave your name and number at the Parks & Rec office, and they'll contact me with it, and then I can call you back. Thanks, Mark
Armando January 05, 2013 at 11:58 PM
Hi Mark, sad to hear that the wednesday classes were cancelled. I looked forward to them every week. You are a fun and knowledgable teacher. Hope they will be available in the spring. Your friend Armando.
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