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 growing up in Bay View, we had almost every nationality on our block. We had German, Irish, French, English, Danish, Polish, and Italian. It always amazed me to see so many nationalities live together in harmony without fighting or yelling at each other. As kids, we all played together without discussing our various nationalities or faiths.
Bay View has always been unique in that neighbors got to know each other. People helped out other people in need without question. If someone was on vacation or old, then we would mow their lawn or shovel their snow for them. If somebody got stuck in the snow, there was always somebody nearby to help out. If somebody was sick, friends and neighbors would bring food and offer to do some housework for the family. The neighborhood was like one big family. It was common for your neighbor to cut your grass while he was doing his own. If you were slow at shoveling your snow, a neighbor would frequently do it for you. Most of these neighbors became friends for life.
Now that I am older, I still see some of the same things happening out there. When my neighbor had gotten too old to do yard work, us neighbors would help him out. This same neighbor who was old, guided us by standing on top of the ladder at 80 years of age to guide the construction of a garage. He was too old to labor anymore, but his knowledge was supreme. He has since passed on as well as other neighbors who also helped out in this manner. I only can pray that the next generation will follow in these footsteps and help each other out as if they were family. This is what makes Bay View different than other neighborhoods.
You have to visit Bay View to see the people as they live out their lives and see what I mean. You too can become a Bay View resident or an honorary resident. Get to know your neighbor better and help him out once in a while. Perhaps he will do the same.
Please support the Bay View community.