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.
It was a cool fall day, with a blustery wind and light rain falling. The crops were mostly done for the season. The corn stalks had to be plowed under soon. A few squash, pumpkins, Brussel Sprouts and a few tomatoes and potatoes were still in the fields. As darkness was coming sooner than before, you wanted to go to the outhouse while it was still light outside. The family dogs began to bark and somebody could be seen walking in the distance. Who would be walking outside this late. Was this a stranger or somebody that you knew? Time would tell.
During the fall, most of the farming was complete except for a few last minute chores. People out in the country rarely saw other people late in the day. The wife had just finished making a big supper for the family to enjoy. It would not be long before winter chores and fun would occur. Most of the chickens and turkeys had already gone to the market. Electricity was scarce out here in this area. Telephones were only available in town. Thanksgiving was fast approaching. Old fashioned farming was still active here. An old truck was in the back yard for farm use, but rarely used otherwise. A fuel tank was in the back yard to fuel the truck. The clean fresh air of the country was very refreshing to the farmer and his family.
The man seen walking toward the farm had his car out of commission, and was looking for help. With no telephone to use, all the farmer could do was to offer a meal to the man and a place to rest while waiting to get help. Because most of the places in town were already closed for the day, the farmer invited the man to stay overnight at his farm. In the morning, would take the stranger into town to seek help for him. It was hard for the big city stranger to adjust to country life. Where he came from everything was a rat race and everybody was always in a hurry. The simple way that these farm folks lived was a puzzle to the man. Here he had found sincere friendship from a family that never knew him.
In the morning, after using the outhouse and refreshing himself, the stranger ate a hearty breakfast with the family that took him in. The silence of the outdoors was strange to him. He could never imagine how peaceful it was out on a farm. The farmer took the stranger into town to the local mechanic, who in turn went out to his car and got it running again. He could not believe the sincerity and honesty of the town folk. This was like a brand new world to the stranger. He took the time to thank the farmer and the mechanic for helping him out in his time of need. He felt that sometime next year he would retrun here to properly thank these people with their kindness. He also felt that he should bring something back with him to reward these people.
What would you have done, if you were this farmer, his family, or the mechanic? Would you have been so giving of yourself to a stranger? Think about what would happen if you were the stranger. Your car broke down in the backwoods area of the country. Would you have been as kind as these people were? Would your faith and beliefs support any decision that you made in this matter? This is a story for you to create the ending of. Place yourself in the shoes of all of the characters in this story.