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.
Do you remember having to take the living room rug outside and beating to to get rid of accumulated dirt and dust on it. About the same time do you remember taking down the curtains, and washing them. Afterwards, you had to scub the dirt off the walls from the winter. When you washed the curtains, do you remember using the ringer washmachine and doing two rinsings in the stationary tubs. How many times did you get your fingers caught in the ringer, where you had to pop the top to release your finger. Spring cleaning was always done late in spring or early in summer. This was done after you had planted the crops in your garden. Your wrinkled hands came after working with your wash machine and ringer and the two stationary tubs. When you emptied your wash machine, you earned some muscles. Maytag and Speed Queen were two of the wash machine brands out then. At least once or twice a year, all of this work had to be done.
Working in the garden was easy compared to working with the ringer and wash machine. Using a pitch fork to turn over the soil was difficult work. Afterwards, you had to rake the soil to smooth it out somewhat. After you planted the seeds for your garden, you would add fertilizer, coffee grounds, mulched soil, and old tobacco ashes. In a few weeks, you would have to weed your garden. Homemade soups with beef bones with a little meat on them were very tasty. Fresh kohl-rabi and peas were fun to take from the garden. A good variety of vegetables made for some good meals during the year. During the past, we had war rations, where home gardens made the difference between having good meals or lean meals. Your hard work made the difference.
Now, aren't you glad that you live in the present time and don't have some of these problems that your parents or grandparents had. Are you able to adjust and survive any emergency? Remember the past so that you don't have to repeat it in the future.
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