Baby Revisits Birthplace
84 Years Later, Methodist Hospital Baby Revisits Birthplace.
Don Almy was born at Nebraska Methodist Hospital in 1932.
He was born during the Great Depression, in the same year Radio City Music Hall opened in New York City, and Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. It was a time when a loaf of bread cost seven cents, a gallon of gas cost a dime, and electric streetcars ran through Omaha and Council Bluffs.
Don, now happily retired in Arizona, wanted to return to his Nebraska roots and show his daughter, Jody Hester, where he’d spent his early childhood. So he and Jody flew in to visit Omaha and Lincoln.
In planning the trip, Don reached out to Methodist to confirm the hospital’s address in 1932. Staff helped arrange for Don and Jody to visit his birthplace, the second of Methodist Hospital’s three locations since its founding in 1891.
The original Methodist Hospital opened at 20th and Harney streets. The Methodist Hospital where Don was born opened at 36th and Cuming streets in 1908. Today’s Methodist Hospital, located at 84th and Dodge streets, opened in 1968.
The Methodist Hospital building where Don was born had been sold for $1 to continue serving the community as the Salvation Army’s Renaissance Center. It is scheduled to be demolished and replaced this year.
While touring a section of the old building with a Salvation Army representative, Don thought of his parents and felt history’s pull, thinking, “I suppose my dad might have waited here while I was born.”
Don and Joy also toured Omaha’s Old Market and the Blackstone district. They made a special stop at Saunders School, built in 1899 and eventually converted to an apartment building.
“I attended this school for one year, as a kindergartener,” Don told Joy. “It's what I remember most about Omaha.”
Before leaving the city, Don and Joy met with the Methodist Health System Marketing staff and shared stories about their visit.
Don is back in Arizona, enjoying year-round warm weather and frequent spins in his favorite automobile, a 1939 Ford just like the first car he bought as a high school senior.