Unsung Hero: John Wood
by Carly Foster
There is arguably not a safer cross walk in town when John Wood is working.
With an ear-splitting screech of a whistle and purposeful stride into the intersection, the 38-year-old is hard to miss: decked out in a fluorescent orange and yellow shirt with reflective silver bands and a similarly bright bandana, Wood is a commanding presence at the corner of Brock Road and Quaker Village Drive in Uxbridge’s west end. Here, he keeps hundreds of children from Quaker Village Public School and St. Joseph Catholic School safe for 10 months of the year.
“I like the kids. I like the locale,” said Wood, who has filled in at every manned intersection in town. He first started in Goodwood five years ago; this school year will be his third year at his current corner.
A talented artist who attributes his love of drawing to reading comic books as a kid, Wood pens a weekly editorial cartoon for The Cosmos. The mural inside the Roxy theatre downtown is of his hand, featuring iconic movie characters such as Indiana Jones, Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz and Marilyn Monroe. He also works part time at Baldwin Sales, mostly helping with silk screening. Rounding out his artistic side is a 17-year volunteer career with local variety show Uxperience, as well as helping with the Roxy Kids in Action.
As a crossing guard, Wood is admired by kids and drivers alike—most everyone waves or honks to him as they drive by and children holler greetings. He can often be seen drawing or reading in between kids, his large stop sign resting at his feet.
Even after his shift is done and he’s walking home down the Brock Street hill, Wood will often jog back up to his corner to help late parents and kids.
Wood attributes his giving nature to his parents, and “growing up in a Christian environment.” He is the proud uncle to nine nieces and nephews, and has four sisters and one brother.
His tips for drivers?
“Look out for us,” Wood said. “What if it was your kid? We’ll get you there on time. Just give us a few more minutes.”
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