Jaco was born in 1951. As a child he grew up in amongst the ships of the Heijplaat harbour, where his father was head of the forge at the RDM (Rotterdamse Droogdok Maatschappij, Rotterdam dry dock company). If a ship glided down the slipway, the whole village came to a standstill and the children were free from school.
Jaco was very ill as a child, and was not spared a single childhood illness. Until he was 13, his bed was frequently placed in the living room. Between bouts of illness Jaco attended the village primary school which he completed after repeating one year.
Subsequently, a three year secondary education course in Pernis was selected, specialising in administration. Despite considerable support from his parents, this was not very successful. Jaco did obtain his typing diploma in this period. It was at this school that his fascination for bus, tram and train originated. Together with two friends he made countless trips by public transport. Jaco played with the hand-outs provided by the RET (Rotterdamse Electrische Tram, Rotterdam Electric Tram, Rotterdam’s public transport company), in which every tram and bus crash and the damage was described, and he is still fully acquainted with the ups and down of the RET. Jaco’s mother was happy that her son had a “normal” hobby. As it happens, there are apparently quite a lot of people who are under the spell of public transport.