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 I was vey young, I could remember missing my mother while I was at the babysitter's house. I can remember riding some sort of children's vehicle around the house. When my sisters and I came down with measles, chicken pox and other such childhood deseases, we would all be placed in one bedroom, so that my mother could easily watch all of us while we were sick. We were not allowed to laugh while eating. When we laughed, we were sent into another room until the others finished eating. We all had to take turns at doing the dishes, scrubbing the steps and floors, vacuuming the house, cooking the evening meal, cutting the lawn, pulling weeds out of the garden, washing clothes and hanging them out to dry on our clothesline, and any other needed jobs around the house. We all had our time of shoveling snow in winter. We also had to dig out paths to the road so that when our car was parked, we could always carry in our groceries. Sometime these paths to the road were deep and wide. The idea was that you could carry an armfull of groceries through these road paths without scraping our elbows on the snowbanks nearby. In winter we had to watch the furnace and make sure that it had enough coal and water to operate. We would pull out clinkers with a rake or shovel. The ashes from the coal furnace were used to de-ice the sidewalks by us. I can remember when we used to have a wood and coal stove in the kitchen to do our cooking with. We had to remove the ashes and clinkers from it and also to place some water inside to keep humidity inside our house. In later years, we purchased a gas stove and no longer had to do all of the work of keeping up with the wood and coal stove in the kitchen. There are many more memories from the old days.