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Support Bay View

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.

Are you ready for the arrival of snow?

Around this time we start to think of a white Christmas. Shopping and a good house cleaning must be done. Decorations should be obtained or brought back from last year and checked before placing back up again. Plans must be made for the holiday season with your family. Whether to exchange  gifts or to draw names for gifts must be decided. The children must be given the most consideration here. While you are preparing for the holidays, you must make sure that your snow shovel is available in case you need it. Your snow blower should be checked to make sure that it will start when you need it. In our area, snow can come out of nowhere and surprise you. It is better to be prepared for it, than to get caught with  your pants down and have to do things in a panic mode. This should be a family operation. When it snows, the children, if old enough, can help shovel your driveway, sidewalk and steps.  They can play in the snow later. Please dress warm enough to prevent frost bite on your body. When all is said and done, make sure that you are prepared to drive safely in winter conditions. Remember, it will take longer to stop your car on snow and ice. Let us hope that everything goes the way that you want it to go. Now is the time to embrace your family and be together as a unit. Your house should be a home, not a house. A home is a place of love where you hang your hat and be yourself. Have a wonderful time this holiday season. St. Nick will arrive at your house in early December. Have your kids hang their stockings to receive their treats at that time.

Thank you for the surprise birthday party for my wife Penny

On Saturday, November 29, 2008, a group of my wife's friends and a few members of our family set up a surprise birthday party for my wife. They did not tell me about it until about 15 minutes before the party started. My daughter, Mary, then told me about it, before we left her house to go to the party. It was a big surprise for her, as she had no knowledge that anything this big had been planned behind her back, without her gaining any hint of it. We got to see many of her friends and relatives of ours. We got to see our grandchildren. It was a pot luck dinner with everyone bringing at least one dish. There was enough food to feed an army there. We had a great "Elvis" impersonator there who gave an outstanding show. We were at Club Garibaldi in the back room. It was a great party. The last time they held a party like this on her was when she turned 59. People had a chance to visit with each other and an opportunity to have a great meal with a birthday cake. Thank you Kathy Krause, LuRae Brower, Mary Manke and all of the other people who put together this wonderful party. What a way to celebrate your birthday. Many of your best friends and your relatives attended. Once more, thank you to everyone who made this party possible. You made this into a great party for Penny.

A Day to Remember

On December 7, 1941, Japan declared unprovoked war on the United States of America, by bombing and firing torpedos at the U.S. Fleet located at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. The attack began about 7 AM on a Sunday morning, when most of the fleet was at rest. Many ships and men were lost in this battle. Our troops and navy were completely caught off guard at this event. The result of this attack was the reawakening of the United States citizens as to the need for war on our enemy. After four hard fought years, we were able to defeat the enemy. Many Americans and their allies lost their lives in World War II. We have to remember that this could happen again if we fall asleep. Please support our American military and make it strong to prevent another such surprise attack upon us. Give more benefits to our veterans, due to the cost that they paid to protect us, both in war and in peace. Never again allow an enemy the chance to attempt to destroy us. Support the efforts that advocate the increase in our military forces, to keep us from being surprised again. Use the freedom that you have to vote in every election and keep a stable government in office. These freedoms are not free. Many people gave their lives that we might have these freedoms. Honor these people. Be a good citizen. Remember December 7, 1941, "A Day in Infamy".

How to macadamize a road

In reading the minutes of the Board of the Village of Bay View, I came across many references to the term "macadamize a road". It took a lot of research to discover what this meant. When new streets were added to the Village, they needed a strong base material to protect the road during rain storms and heavy horse traffic. While the sidewalks were made of wood, the roads were not made the same. It seems that the iron slag made from the production of Bessemer steel, made a perfect road surface. As long as the iron slag was plentiful, many of the streets in Bay View had this for a base material. This slag was almost as strong as concrete. The slag from coal furnaces also made a good hard surface for basic construction. When the supply of slag ran low, then sand was used as the base material for streets and alleys. This material has been lost in time and the word macadamize has been lost the same way. Now we use gravel and or sand before we add concrete or asphalt to our streets and alleys. One street that still has a slag base is the 3100 block of S. Illinois Avenue. In fact some of the yards also have a slag  bottom under the grass surface. How many streets still have a slag base is unknown to me, but I know that there must be many out there in Bay View. Some day if you have time, visit your local library and find out about this road building process of yesteryear. You might be surprised about what you find out there. In the summer, it is a good idea to take your whole family to the local library and introduce them to reading and learning. This a great way to open up the minds of your children at no cost to you. You can start your child's education by showing them things that interest them and encourage them to be creative. Great children's education programs are started this way. A good local school will also be of great interest to them. This way they will have more time to be with their friends and have more time to do their homework. It is up to you on this matter. Check out your local schools and see what they have to offer your children's education. I think that you will like the results.

Serdeczna Matko -- A favorite Polish hymn

At this time of year I felt like introducing one of the favorite hymns of Poland. You can hear this song sung in church for masses, weddings, funerals and other times. It is also sung at some Polish events. This was the Polish National Anthem while Poland was partitioned by Austria, Prussia and Russia. Poland was not allowed to use the name Poland in their national anthem due to political restraints of the occupying countries. This song told of the people longing for freedom. We take freedom for granted, but these people had only the church to unite them as a country. The new Polish National Anthem came after Poland became free again. Honor the people of Poland and the Polish people here by looking at their song and listening to it being sung at Polish church services and public events here in Milwaukee. 

"Serdeczna Matko"

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Cudahy's winter snow situation

Lately as I leave Milwaukee, and go through Cudahy, I wonder if Scrooge is in charge of salting the roads. The roads are full of ice and lack salt. If you put on your brakes at one stop light, you will probably stop at the next one down the road. If you change driving lanes in Cudahy, you might end up in a ditch, inside of another car or on  the sidewalk near the curb. If you will check the amounts of accidents due to ice on the road or unplowed roads, Cudahy might take first place. St. Francis and South Milwaukee at least try to plow and salt their streets. Whose lives are you tring to save? Has the Aurora St. Luke's South Hospital paid you not to salt the roads? Take a drive down Packard Avenue, Whitnall Avenue, Lake Drive and see if you can find any salt on these roads. You should be ashamed to call Cudahy a progressive city. You salt the roads like the 19th century. We don't use horses any more, so you can plow and salt these roads now. Bring Cudahy back into the 21st century and take care of your citizens. How you treat your city reflects on your mayor and city aldermen. If you want to look like the three stooges, at least try to do some safe measures for your citizens. Remember the people will remember you at election time when they vote for or against you.

Peggy Sue's special Christmas Eve

 In the early 1950's, we were preparing for Christmas time. Near Christmas Eve, we were not allowed to go into the frontroom. As was the custom in my family, we got ready to go to the Children's Service at church, where the various grade school children took part in the service. Each grade had to recite part of the Christmas Story and then sing a Christmas Hymn. As there were 8 grades in the parocial school, the  service took a while to complete. All of my sisters and I always took part in or watched as this service went on. After the church service, after we received small gifts at the church, we went home to see if Santa Claus had arrived at our house. We then openned our presents as a family and enjoyed them. Sometimes afterward, we would go to my Aunt's house to continue our family celebration.

One year, my younger sister, Peggy Sue, got sick at Christmas time. My dad stayed home with her, while the rest of my four sisters, my mother and I went to the Children's church service together. While we were at church, my dad had Peggy Sue take a bath in the basement bathroom, where we all took our baths. We lived in a small cottage or Polish flat type of house in Bay View. In those days, you never had to lock your doors, because all of the neighbors watched out for each other. While Peggy Sue was taking her bath, she heard heavy boots walking in the house. Afterwards, a shout of Merry Christmas came from upstairs. After her bath, she got to see that Santa Claus had arrived but left shortly afterwards. She was only about 5 or 6 then. When we got home from church, she was telling all of us how she heard Santa Claus that night. She was so proud that she was the only one who was home when Santa Claus arrived. My father and mother both smiled as she said this. It is too bad that she passed away in January of 2002 after being sick for a while. She would have liked to read this story about her special Christmas Eve.

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Dogs in winter

I have read recently that two dog owners have left their dogs either tied up or abandoned in Sheboygan. Dogs are animals who only give love and should not be abused that way. Most dogs are very loyal to their owners when they are properly taken care of. If you can not take proper care of your dog, then at least take it to your local humane society where they can find a good home for it. A dog is like a small child and needs a lot of tender loving care and attention. In return, you will only receive love and affection from your dog. Your dog is frequently like its owner in its habits. How you treat a dog, shows up in how your dog reacts to others. Please treat your dog like you would want to be treated. It will reward you with love. It will keep you company when you are home alone and be your companion. You will never be lonely, when you have a good  dog at your side. If you are interested in getting a dog, go to the Wisconsin Humane Society, and look over the animals there. I am sure that you will find one that fits your personality and needs. If you give love and care, you will receive it in kind. This is a good time to adopt a dog or cat. If you get the animal before Christmas, it will be easier for it and you to adjust to one another. Remember, a dog needs a lot of tender loving care. A cat is more independent, and can be left alone at times. Once you own a dog, you will always want to adopt another one when it passes on. Share your love with others.

Bay View's secret treasure

The Gallery Book Store, 2124 E. Rusk Avenue in Bay View, is a location that is unknown to most people. Frank Mente operates the store on a limited schedule. It is only open two nights a week. (Friday from 7-9 PM and Saturday from 7-9 PM) Frank is a book collecter who sells books. The store is an extension of his hobby. He has many rare books in stock. He is known for his honesty and knowledge of his books. He used to be an insurance investigator before he retired. He is a graduate of Marquette University. I normally do not write about stores, but Frank's store is unique. From him, I was able to get local history books and other materials, some of which was over 100 years old. He has an old record collection there also. He has been in business for many years and is known for his honesty. If you can find his store open, stop in and look over some of the precious books that he has in stock. The store was started after he obtained too many books to keep at home anymore. His thirst for knowledge is great. You will never find any advertisement for his store anywhere. People who like rare books and knowledge stop in and visit him. I have told him many times that he runs a non-profit store because he charges too little for the great books that he sells. Some day if you have time and can find his store open, visit him. He will enjoy your visit. He is too modest for the knowledge that he carries. Frank. I think that you are too honest some times. He is a sweet guy and always willing to help you. His store is Bay View's secret treasure.

Shopping at Christmas time

Have you ever found a close parking space while doing your shopping?  Do you ever find an area of the store that is not crowded, where you can shop at your leisure?  Many people shop on-line now to avoid these long waits in shopping lines. The best thing for you to do is to plan ahead. Decide what you are going to purchase at any one store, and limit your time to finding that item. The more planning that you do, the easier the shopping trip will be. When you have plenty of time, chose the off peak hours to shop. This way the store will not be so crowded. Checks the newspaper ads to find your sale items. By knowing what you are looking for in a store, you find that shopping will be very easy for you. Some stores have come-on prices with very few pieces available for you to buy. Then you have to buy the more expensive item at this store. Know which stores try to bait you into coming and fall short of their promised prices. Buy only from store where you can trust their quality and return poorly sized items after Christmas. Make your shopping trip a family affair to find out what your family is interested in for themselves. Later after window shopping with your family, go back to the store to buy what you think is wanted or needed by your family. When we were kids, my dad used to take us window shopping to see all of the Christmas displays that the stores had. While we were looking on, he could plan his future purchase plans for the family. Christmas is a time of joy and happiness. It is also a time for families to get closer and hug one another. Family love is greater than any other gift a person can receive at this time. Cherish these moments now, because in the future, these will become your memories. Our children and grand-children are only young once. Relax and enjoy being together as a family.

If you get caught in a major snow storm, drive with caution, only as fast as you can stop your car. Carry a snow shovel and a long car brush and snow scraper to help you drive with clearer vision. Stay on main roads, as they will be in the best condition for driving on.  Make sure that you use your seat belts. Protect your family and all who ride in your car by being prepared for the snow and ice conditions. Only drive if you have to during a major storm. Please drive carefully and make it safely back home alive and unhurt.

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Don't forget about your mailman

During the winter, many mailmen are injured due to icey conditions, unshoveled sidewalks and steps, and loose dogs not on a leash. When I carried mail, I always appreciated the people who made it safe for me to deliver their mail. When you are carrying a heavy mail bag, and have to use "three" hands to sort and hold your mail, you don't always have time to look for unseen ice on the sidewalk or steps. A sprained or broken ankle, a broken arm or leg and other injuries are no fun for the carrier. According to management. snow on the ground is imaginary, and steps going up to a house don't exist. They also state that dogs do not exist and all sidewalks are flat with no hills. It seems that the only thing that they can see is the computer screen in front of them and their boss's orders. There is no such thing as a snow storm, tornado, cyclone or thunder storm. The computer does not talk about them. The letter carriers are treated like machines and not like the human beings that they are. If you flunk an IQ test and know to say "yes sir" to your bosses, then you qualify to be a boss. A true leader knows how to handle real situations and people, but these people are rare in the Postal Service. If you can make it safe for your letter carrier to deliver your mail, he will be very happy. If all people were as considerate, the mail service would show great improvement, in spite of the bosses at the stations. Happy Holidays to everyone.

Stille Nacht

Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht!  Alles Schlaft, einsam wacht, nur das traute, hoch heilige Paar.

Holder Knabe im lokkigen Haar: schlaf in himmlischer Ruh, schlaf in himmlischer Ruh!

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Merry Christmas to all of you

In opening of your gifts today, give thanks for all that you have received. Today is a Holy Day, and you should go to church as a family and rejoice on this occasion. Take the time to wish a Merry Christmas to all of your friends and neighbors. Get together as a family and hug each other. Singing Christmas carols is one way of sharing the holiday. Relax and enjoy your family. Visit or call your parents and other people that you will not see on this day. Let your children enjoy their gifts. Watching television is not that important today. Being with your family and sharing the joy of the holiday is more important. Please do not overdo your eating and drinking. You would like to live to enjoy another day. Relax and enjoy your company. This is the time to talk about the past year and all that has happened to each other. Help with the serving of food for your guests. When you are done eating, help clean up and do the dishes. It helps to share the work with everyone there. Maybe play some cards or some other activity before your guests leave. Now that the day is over, relax and enjoy the company of your family as a unit. Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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Who is going to win the "Toilet Bowl"?

On Sunday, the Green Bay Packers and the Detroit Lions will play the last game of the regular season at Lambeau Field. I consider this game to be the "Toilet Bowl" because the Lions have lost every game this season and the Packers have lost most of their games since beating the Chicago Bears a few weeks ago. This game will probally be the only game that Detroit wins this season. The Packers have been playing like a last place team lately and most likely will lose this game too. Detroit has more to gain by a win than a loss, and Green Bay seems not to care about winning or losing anymore. After this disastrous season, I  am afraid that the Packers have given up any hope of playing a winning game this season. It is only fitting that the last place team in the National Football League should defeat them in a weakly played toilet bowl game. Give me your opinion on this football game.

Who is the designated driver?

During the holiday season, many people tend to overdo their intake of alcoholic beverages. When driving to visit friends and relatives, did you ever notice the driver riding down the middle of the road going from lane to lane?  On a snow filled highway, did you ever notice that the driver going fast past you in the left lane will sometimes end up in an accident or in a ditch? Who is going to be your designated driver during the holidays?  Are you willing to cut down on your intake of alcoholic beverages so that your passengers can safely arrive at their designation?  Please drink responsibly at this time and all other times. Too many people have never made it home alive due to a driver with too much alcohol in his system. It is possible to fall asleep behind the wheel because of carbon monoxide poisoning from your exhaust pipes. Whatever you do, please drive safely, and get to your destination alive without injuring yourself or others. Watch for pedestrians on the road. Driving a motor vehicle is a priviledge not to be abused. I hope that you and yours have a very safe and happy holiday season this year. If you are going to drink, then have a designated driver get you home safely.

Happy New Year to everyone

I wish for everybody to have a safe, happy and sober new year. Too many people think that they can handle their liquor, and pay for their actions with injuries and even death. It is good to celebrate New Year's Eve, but drink only what you can handle safely or get  another person to drive for you. Make your plans for the next year and share them with your family and friends. Be sure not to get frost bite when you are outdoors. If you are with your family or with a date, go out early and warm up the car for them. If you plan well, this can be a great holiday for you to celebrate. Make your New Year's resolutions and try to follow through on them. If you are young enough, go out and tobaggin with your date. Enjoy the great white outdoors. Go out for a hot chocolate drink and some food afterwards. Sometimes it pays to go out to a dance or to a party with your date. If you are older, you can invite some friends over for a meal, play cards or watch a movie together at your house. On New Year's Day, we have our full day of football games to watch, if the women don't mind. Relax, get the 'hair of the dog" if you had too much to drink. Have some aspirin for your headache. Do not take it out on your family if you had too much to drink the previous night. Above all, I wish for everyone to have a very Happy New Year.

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