As a result of visiting the Old Newark Web Site...

by Quint Villaneuva


While visiting the Guestbook part of the website I ran across an entry or two by Jack Edwards. The name didn't mean much to me at the time, that is, not until Jack mentioned he once lived in a three family house across from Avon Avenue School, circa 1940s. I told Jack via a Guestbook exchange that I used to hang around that neighborhood and the Avon Avenue School yard when I was a teen age and I gave him my nick name.

Well, lo and behold, he recognized it right away. He told me that he was a few years younger than me but he always looked up to me and a couple of my close buddies who he identified and remembers when we all enlisted in the Marine Corps. We concluded this exchange of information by promising to get together one day.

Lo and behold, that very evening I received a phone call from none other than Jack Edwards who was calling from New Jersey. He said he was very anxious to talk to me and couldn't wait until we met. Well, we were on the phone for over two hours reliving memories of the old neighborhood and catching up on what happened to all the guys and gals we grew up with during those formative years.

That in itself is a neat story and Jack and I will get together one day soon but that isn't the real story I want to share with you.

The real story is about Jack Edwards. I share this because I think it is a wonderful story.

Jack, like many of us, if not most of us, came from a humble background. However, he had a curious mind and from a very early age loved to read. When he was still very young he especially had an interest in books about anatomy and medicine.

Jack's dad passed away about the time Jack entered high school and for economic reasons Jack's family went on welfare and moved from the three family house on Avon Avenue to the Seth Boyden projects. Jack dropped out of high school and took a job to provide for his family. He eventually finished high school by attending night school at Central High.

Eventually Jack got married. Over the years Jack Edwards continued his interest in anatomy and medicine. One day, now in his mid-thirties, Jack made a major decision affecting his life and with the full support of his wife returned to school to study medicine. Jack's goal was to become a physician.

He took all the required courses in preparation for entry to medical school. He studied medicine at the University of Guadalajara, Mexico for two years and returned to the United States where he enrolled and graduated from New Jersey University School of Medicine and Dentistry. Jack Edwards was awarded a Doctor of Medicine Degree from the University and currently is a physician in North Plainfield.

And now you know the best of the story.

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