John Manke is an active former Bay View resident who is involved in numerous neighborhood organizations, including the Bay View Historical Society, the Humboldt Park Fourth of July Association and the Shore Shore Farmers Market. He believes Bay View has a fine tradition in its past that we do not want to lose in the future.
When we were kids, we used to go by the hill with the Chicago Northwestern Railroad tracks on it, across the tracks from Lewis Field (Pryor Playground). We would take sleds or large pieces of cardboard and slide down the hill. We always posted somebody to watch for oncoming trains. If a train was coming, we would all go down the hill to avoid be sucked in by the passing train. When we were done with our outdoor activitities, we would go inside to get hot chocolate to drink. We had an old coal furnace and we all fought to be the one closest to the heat registers. Sometimes we would have barbeque hamburger, popcorn or something warm to eat. We had to hang up our wet clothes to dry. Once we were back inside of the house, we would not go back outside again that day. We had a lot of fun in those days.