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 the pioneers came to Bay View, there was only hard manual labor to use as technology. As the years went on, more and more labor saving devices were created and brought to Bay View. When plays were held at the Puddlers Hall, no sound system was available. People had to be quiet to hear the actors as they presented their plays. No electricity existed in the village, so all things were done in the dark with a oil lamp or gas lights to allow them to hear. When heat came from the furnace, everybody tried to fight to get as close as possible to the heat source. In the kitchen, the coal stove became a food making device, a heating device, a place to dry clothes in a hurry and a place to relax in family activities such as reading, sewing, washing clothes, giving the family baths, and a place to eat the family food.
In summer, when the heat got unbearable, summer kitchens were used for cooking the food. This way the house did not get all of the heat from the stove. Most of the family clothes were made by the mother during the day time. If
special dress clothes were needed, the family went to the neighborhood general store to buy them or barter for them. Weddings, funerals, baptisms, church going and other formal occasions required special clothes. Old flour sacks were turned into beautiful dresses for the girls and ladies. Men's clothing was made in a similar fashion. Worn out clothing was turned into quilts and blankets for the family. Grease from cooking was made into soap for washing clothes and people. Very little was wasted in those years.
Now in the present time, we all kinds of electronic devices to help us out. We have radio, television, computers, washing machines, clothes dryers, dishwashers, automobiles and mass transportation, space travel by NASA, jet airplanes, propeller driven aircraft, power driven boats, all kinds of electronic equipment not mentioned before, bicycles and motor driven bicycles and motorcycles. All of these things define our present living conditions.
Our children take all of this for granted. They should be taught that good education produces people who can further advance our society. Good schools and good parenting can provide our best future for all of us. Do not be afraid to learn something new or to try to create something new, for this is what we need most. Creative people of the past have given us all of these labor saving devices, can our children do the same for us and themselves? Imagine what it would be like to no longer have electricity or fuel for our vehicles. Could you survive under these conditions?
The future is for the next generation to decide. Think and plan ahead to prepare your future. The future is not written yet. You will be writing it.
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