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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.

How many ghost stories do you know?

 I find it interesting to hear ghost stories from others. One man told me that he saw a woman dressed in clothing from over one hundred years a go coming through his wall. His home was over 100 years old. Another man told me of seeing an Indian on a horse looking out over Bay View from across the street where he lived. The Indian seemed to have tears in his eyes. Both of these people who have told me these stories have passed away, so I can no longer question them on this matter. I have been told that there is at least one ghost inside of Kneisler's White House Tavern. It is very interesting to hear these stories. If you can remember some ghost stories, I would be happy to hear about them.

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It is time to can your vegetables and fruit

 My mother used to cook vegetables and fruit and can them in jars with wax. Tomatoes, pickles, beets, beans, and peaches were some of her work. Whatever was available in larger quanities, she would can for the winter. Sometime the canned vegetables would spoil due to bacteria in the jar. In winter we used to eat the food that she had canned in the summer. With there being food rationing, home grown food was always there to eat. We always had some potatoes to eat. May dad would buy some beef bones with a little meat on them to make vegetable soup. He also would make split pea soup using an old ham bone from a previous meal. Kohlrabi was always nice to have; as well as rutabega, beets, onions, and potatoes. Sweet potatoes were always good with a ham or turkey dinner. Bread pudding was made to use up old bread and rolls. Sometimes we would use the old rolls and frost them for a special treat. Whenever possible, homegrown food was used. Hamburger was served in many ways, as it was cheap to purchase. With a large family, it was great to be able to grow some of your food. At one time that I know of, my dad bought some chickens to raise. When he took them to Ernie Steinbrenner, a neighbor of ours, to slaughter, we were very sad to have that chicken dinner, due to the fact they tehy were our pets.

 People now are so used to just going to the store to purchase whatever they need, that they have little memory of what it was like in harder times to survive. Sometime bartering for items was better than purchasing them. Money was scarce, but our skills could be exchanged for somebody elses goods or labor. It is too bad that people can not travel back in time to view things as they were when we were young. They could learn how to survive under harsh conditions. You had to master many skills in those days. The idea was to learn how to survive on your own without the help of others. This way you would never starve. Your friends would be many, and and your respect would be well earned. Treat others as you wish to be treated.

Raking leaves

 My dad did not believe in raking up all of the leaves. He would like to mulch many of them and fertilize our crops and lawn. He used to call City Hall in Milwaukee and order a truck full of leaves to mulch our lawn. To him this was the natural way of preparing for winter. In spring, he would rake up the leaves and bury them in a pile that he used to bury garbage. We would have plenty of fishing worms during the summer. He used to plant red tomatoes, plum, cherry and regular size. As the years went by, and his stomach got worse, he switched to  yellow tomatoes, all sizes, to eliminate some of the acid inside of them. He would grow radishes, mint plants. rubarb, peas, beans, kohlrabi, cabbage, onions, potatoes and other vegetables. We had two plum trees and one cherry tree in the yard. When the plum trees were not producing enough fruit, he would pound rusty nails into the trees. We then had such a great amount of plums that we needed clothes props to hold up the tree branches. He would go to his family's home in North Milwaukee, in the Town of Granville, to get some other plants that he had planted there and to get some pidgeon manure for our crops. Too much would burn up the plants, but the right amount helped them grow. When the crops had ended their time, he would bury the plants to produce fertilizer for the future crops.

 As a side job, he used to sell Christmas wreaths near Christmas, and  he would lay up to 50 rolls of sod if needed on other people's land. He also used to plant trees and bushes for people. He had a green thumb. He has been gone now for 51 years, but I still miss him.

Annual Polish Independence Day -- Veterans Day Luncheon

  On Sunday, November 3, 2013, the Polish American Congress -- Wisconsin Division sponsored the Annual Polish Independence Day Luncheon, at 12:30 pm, at the Polish Center of Wisconsin, 6941 S. 68th St., Franklin, Wisconsin, 53132. This event celebrated the 95th Anniversary of Poland's Independence. Poland's Independence Day is November 11, 1918. Jozef Pilsudski proclaimed Poland's Independence in Warsaw, Poland. Poland's freedom and independence was not easily won. It was only in 1921 that the country's borders were finally secured and peace with all of its neighbors achieved. Countless patriotic Poles contributed greatly to this extraordinary effort, which restored Poland  to independence after more than 123 years of foreign domination. Playing a key role in the victory  on the diplomatic  front was Ignacy J. Paderowski, world renowned pianist. Over 20,000 Poles from the United States volunteered to serve in a unique Polish Army organized in Canada after 1917.  These men, over 1,000 from Milwaukee, served under Poland's colors in France and in Poland led by General Jozef Haller. Over 1,500 men gave their lives to the cause of Poland's freedom. After the War, those who returned to the United States  founded the Polish Army Veterans Association, whose Paderowski Medal is bestowed to one of our honorees today.

 Today' s Poland is a sturdy democracy and a staunch ally of the United States. This should be a source of great pride among Polish Americans and freedom loving people.

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Veterans Day

  On November 11, at 11 am, we play special tribute to the end of World War I and honor all of our military personnel who have ever served our country. Our servicemen and women have given us the freedom that we enjoy today. Many of them never made it back here. We must also remember all who have served and have since passed away, whether in combat or in peacetime. Freedom does not come cheap. Many of our military were killed in combat or injured during all of the wars that we have been involved in. Happy Veterans Day.

Watch out for thieves

  It has been said that some thieves drive around the area without their license plates to avoid detection by the police department. Up to four people have said to be in their vehicle watching cars in store parking lots. Some people take a walk and check if there are any valuables visable in your car. If there are, it is possible that your car could be broken into.

 Some men have been seen pulling up behind a car sitting by the curb, and cutting off your catalytic converter with a special power saw, and later selling it to a junk yard for cash. This can be done very fast. A friend of mine had this happen to him and he saw the thieves working on his car, when they saw him they immediately drove away before they got his catalytic converter, but that they had it almost cut off of the car. They had no license plates on their car and they drove away before the police could arrive. He only went to his building to put away some supplies that he had recently purchased, and when he returned to his car he caught the thieves in action. Without a license plate on their car, the theives made a quick getaway, without the police catching them. There was more than one thief in this car.

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The rededication of the Koscuisko Monument

  On Monday, November 11, at Kosciusko Park, near W. Lincoln Ave. and S. 9th Pl., there was the rededication of the statue of Koscuisko. There were many dignitaries at this event. They began with the playing of the American National Anthem followed by the Polish National Anthem. They had a local Priest give an invocation. They introduced various politicians, including Mayor Barrett and Alderman Perez and Alderman Tony Zielinski. Each one gave a short speech for this event. They had Don Pienkos and John Gurda give a short history of the man and the monument. The Syrena Dance Ensamble did a performance. The school students from St Josephat Basilica were all lined up for this program. All during the event we had  snow  coming down on the people. These people, who were not inside of the two tents, came out to be very wet afterwards. Coffee and hot chocolate were served in one of the tents to all interested people on the site. It took a lot of time and effort to raise the money needed to repair the Kosciusko monument. A special thank you to all of the people involved in raising the money neeed to repair the statue. Now we once again have a beautiful statue to remind us of the great contribution General Kosciusko made for us in the Revolutionary War for American Independence. Kosciusko came from Poland to help us in our fight for freedom from Great Britain. May this statue remind us of the Polish contribution to our American cause for freedom. I hope that this statue lasts for many years.

We got our first measurable snow

 On Monday, November 11, 2013, we received our first measurable snow for this fall season. It was a pain to drive during the storm, but a least it was not a major storm. Now is the time to prepare for the winter season that soon will be here. It is time to change your driving patterns and allow for slippery conditions. Be glad that this snow was just a warning for the season to come soon. Make sure that your car is ready to handle winter conditions.Watch out for children playing outdoors.  Keep a blanket in the car in case you might need it. A shovel is ideal when you have a heavy snow storm and are away from home. Let us hope that we have safe and happy days ahead of us.

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Bay View Interorganizational Council -- Tree Lighting Ceremony

  On Monday, December 2, 2013, the Bay View Inter-Organizational Council will have its annual "Tree Lighting Ceremony" at the George Washington- Bay View- American Legion Post 180, 2860 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.

  Highlights of the evening include:

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Green Bay Packer Football

  What chance do we have of getting into the football playoffs this year?  We have had many terrible injuries, including our main quarterback, Aaron Rogers. I know that the team is trying its best to work around these problems, but some games will be lost as a result. Let's hope that Aaron Rogers, Chris Matthews, and some of the other injured players will resume their role in playing some good football. You can't blame the coach for this situation, because he has to work with whatever players he has left on the team to play the game. Some things are just meant to be, and we have no control over these events. Please root for the Green Bay Packers and wish them luck on their remaining games.

We are expecting some snow today

 Thursday into Friday, we are expecting some heavy precipitation in Milwaukee. The forcast also calls for a very cold weekend this week. Get your cold weather clothing available because you might need it very soon. I am only quoting what the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel is publishing. Whatever you do at this time is up for you to determine. Have a wonderful weekend.

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A death in a family

  Just the other day, we found out that the 54 year old daughter of a very close friend of my wife had passed away suddenly of a  hemorrhage, a blood vessel in her brain burst, causing her death. You will never know the day nor the hour when your time is up. Death will come like a thief in the night. Sadness upon the death will overcome the family. A daughter should not pass away before her parents. Her future plans were made, but death ended these plans. I sincerely feel sadness over this death. She was too young to have this happen to her.

 The cause of death that she had was shared by my dad in 1962. He was only 52 years old at the time. My wife's brother-in-law also was killed by this type of event. He was on blood thinners and accidently bumped his head on a bathroom cabinet. The blood thinner caused this little bump to become fatal.

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Time to get ready for Thanksgiving

  In two days, we will celebrate Thanksgiving Day. It is a time to give thanks for all that we have been given. This is also a time to get together with family and/or friends. If you are scheduling a big meal, have your guests each bring along a dish to serve. This will take some of the pressure off of you. Make sure that you have enough beverages to serve. You could always ask your guests to bring along something to drink and share with others. The Green Bay Packer/Detroit Lion  football game will start at about 11 am. You will have to work your way around this. Many of your guests will be football fans. Celebrate this holiday in a thankful mood. If you have good guests, they will help you clean up afterwards. Please have a wonderful time.

Happy Thanksgiving Day to everyone.

Happy birthday, Penny

  I would like to wish my wife, Penny, a very happy birthday today. It seems strange that it will fall on Thanksgiving Day this year. The big seven only comes once in life.  When we go to Mary & Kevin's house to celebrate this holiday, hopefully we can also celebrate your birthday among friends and relatives. If you want to, we can always go to see a movie on this weekend, if you so desire. Most of all I want to wish Penny a very happy birthday.

Black Friday

  Why is it so important that people must go shopping in the early hours after Thankgiving to buy things? Are the prices that cheap that you must make your family get up up very early to go shopping? Nowadays you can shop on-line for most things. If you go to the stores you will just be one of the big crowds that are there. It is no fun being in a large crowd while shopping. Plan ahead, and order what you need on-line. There are many store that have offers for you on-line. You can save yourself the problem up pushing your way through the crowds to find out that the item that you wanted is no longer available. All of your time was wasted. Take your time while shopping and you will find many deals at many stores. If you are in a panic mood, then you will just lose out on what you are looking for. Only a limited amount of special items are on sale, and then only for a few hours before they revert to their normal price. The idea is to draw you into the store for the purpose of making a special deal on your Christmas gifts, but so few of the advertised items will be available to purchase. They will only have a few sizes of clothing on sale, mostly the sizes that nobody wants to purchase. You become the fool to search for a bargain that does not exist. Have fun shopping the weekend of Thanksgiving.

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