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.
In the past we always looked forward to a family get together with turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, another vegetable and homemade pumpkin pie. It was a chance to be together as a family and talk about old times and new events in our lives. Going to church was very important to all of us.
After we were done eating, the women would clean up the table and do the dishes. The men would frequently talk together and play Sheepshead. The children would go outside to play if the weather was right or play indoors. It was a true family get together. There was no radio or television in the early years. Sometimes we would listen to the player piano or somebody would play the accordion and we would sing songs together. As a family, we would talk about things that happened since we last got together. Later on we would all return to our own homes and remember what all happened to us that day.
Now in the present time, we do many of the same things as in the past, but the men and women like to watch football during the day. Family conversations are not as common as before. Now we have electric, gas and microwave ovens to cook the food. Carving the turkey is the same, however we fequently cook the turkey the day before Thanksgiving and debone it for when we serve it. Stuffing is still made fresh on Thanksgiving and fresh kielbasa (polish sausage is a common breakfast) is also made in the morning. Going to church is still very important. Many of the day's food items are purchased rather than cooked at home.Thanksgiving is still a true family get together occasion. This is a good time to get together with all of your family members who are close by your house and those able to come by you. Think of all the good times you have had in the past. Remember all those who have passed away. Be thankful for all that you have.
One thing that I want to see on Thanksgiving is the Green Bay Packers defeating the Detroit Lions on the football field in Detroit. It would be sad to be their turkey and us lose the game. Let's give a cheer to all of the men and women who are unable to enjoy this holiday because they are working or serving their country. Honor all of the police force and fire department who have to work on that day. Honor the hospital workers who will not be able to enjoy the holiday due to their job. Be thankful that you are able to enjoy this holiday yourself with your friends or family.
Think of the men and women in the service of our country who can't share their Thanksgiving with their families. We should give thanks for all of the things that we have received in life and also remember the ones who can't enjoy this holiday with their families.