Tennis Champ

J. Howard Gould in his backyard in Ridgewood, circa 1962

When I knew my grandfather, J. Howard Gould, MD, in the late 1950s and early 1960s, he was often working in his fruit and vegetable garden behind his house at 92 Monte Vista Avenue in Ridgewood NJ. He grew raspberries, corn, tomatoes, and other crops. As a family doctor, he still took care of a few patients, seeing them in the “library,” a room off the front hall of the house. And he loved ice cream, bringing home gallons of vanilla ice cream from Terwilligers & Wakefields.

More recently, I discovered that “Baba,” as his grandchildren called him, was a tennis champ as a young man.

J.Howard Gould (1887-1963)

 He was the college champion at Wesleyan University in CT, which he attended in the footsteps of his older brother Russell and his uncle Aaron. He stayed at Wesleyan for only one year before transferring to the University of Pennsylvania to study medicine.

Wesleyan University Yearbook 1905

As a young father starting his medical practice in Bayonne, Howard, as he was known to his family, found time to play tennis at the Bayonne Y.M.C.A. For at least three years he competed in the Tennis Finals. In 1913, he was the winner, as reported in the Jersey Journal.

Jersey Journal, 9-29-1913
Jersey Journal, 8-24-1914

Sadly, in 1915, the newspapers reported that he lost. “This match was long drawn out, rallies being the rule rather than the exception.”

Jersey Journal, 9-20-1915
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