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.
On April 7th, I was scheduled to have knee replacement surgery. You had to get the approval from a pulmonary doctor, a cardiac doctor and from your primary doctor before you can procede to have the surgery. You must have an ekg, a chest x-ray and bloodwork done beforehand. You must attend a class to discuss all of the procedures that will be done and explain the excercises that you must do. At the class you receive a special soap that you must use in your shower the night before and the morning of surgery. You will not be allowed to eat or drink anything after midnight the day before surgery. After surgery, you are taken to a recovery room. After this, you are transferred into a regular hospital room. You must stay in the hospital two days, unless you have complications or if the doctor release you to go home for physical therapy. If you have problems, then you have to go to a rehab place (nursing home) until you are ready for your physical therapy. After you are in good enough condition to travel, somebody (not you) will take you to get physical therapy until you ready to continue normal life.
In the early 1950's, we had a major rain storm that pulled many trees out of the ground and electrical wires from their poles. This storm hit the southeast area of Milwaukee County. Bay View, St. Francis, Cudahy, South Milwaukee all had many trees down. On the day after the storm, my dad took an old two man saw and cut into pieces some of these fallen trees. It was not easy work ans I helped him with this saw. My mother worked for the Ettenheim Insurance Office at that time, and drove around the area taking pictures of many of the fallen trees. This storm was a reverse cyclone they said. We went almost two weeks without electricity after this storm. One day, an old neighbor, who was a Milwaukee Police Officer, came down to show off his new squad car. When he saw the two live wires still lying on the road, he ordered a fire truck and the Electric Power Company to send a repairman immediately. He stated that it was too dangerous to have live wires just sitting there on the street. We thanked him for his help. Could you imagine what could have happened if somebody had touched those live electric wires?
It was many years ago that we used to rent row boats and row around the Humboldt Park Lagoon. The old park pavilion had the lower area for row boat rentals and ice skating in the winter. If the ducks got hungry and nobody was nearby, they used to go upstairs at the pavilion to try to get popcorn from the concession area. We were not supposed to go onto the park lagoon islands when we in our row boats. The manager would shout from a large megaphone and call in the various boats so that others could rent them. This was always good exercise for everybody, and you could be alone with your girl for a short time. I really miss the old row boats at the park. I wish that they could be brought back again one day.
When we were younger, we used to go the playground to play soft ball. The ground near the house tended to be muddy from all of the recent rain storms. If we had enough people, we would set up a ball game on the street. We had to make sure that we did not hit our ball into one woman's grass, because she would keep our ball and not return. Her flowers were too precious for us to endanger them. We lived on a dead end street, so traffic was no problem, but parked cars could be one.
If we are lucky, we will get no major snow storms this season. I am hoping that we get some pleasant weather that we all can enjoy. It is time to get some fresh air outdoors again. With Spring here, it means flowers and buds on trees and shrubs. Robins will be here in quanity. Hopefully we can put away our Winter gear and switch over to Spring gear. Our snow shovels and snow blowing equipment can be put away and our lawn mowers checked to see if they are ready to work. Hope and pray that Spring is finally here to stay.