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Sanford Plans to Take Down 22 Houses Near Campus. Memories Will Fall as Well.

I will admit to being just a little nostalgic when I heard Sanford Health is planning to take down 22 houses near their sprawling campus to make more parking spaces.

I know, I know, it’s progress, time marches on, nothing stays the same, all that. But this particular area hits close to home for me.

When I was a kid, and well into the 1980s, I had an aunt and uncle who lived at 1100 South Menlo Avenue – 19th & Menlo. The house my uncle John had a contractor build is gone now, torn down 8 or 10 years ago maybe.

And Sanford could do that since they (OK, Sioux Valley) had bought it when my aunt passed in the mid 1980s. It’s the vacant lot at the southeast corner of 19th & Menlo, with the parking lot across the street.

But when I was a kid, in the mid-to-late 1950s, we would visit and I would see Sioux Valley Hospital two blocks away. The hospital wasn’t very big then. Maybe we would visit someone there while we were in town.

My brother and I would walk down the quiet, tree-lined residential streets and go to the store at 18th and Grange – right where the Heart Hospital is now.

That quiet residential neighborhood is long gone, and probably a memory only to history-minded people like me. The medical community is thriving, lives are saved every day both here and across town, so it’s all good, really.

But every time I’m near there, I still think of those days, and sometimes I drive by the corner where my aunt and uncle lived, and I remember when that part of town had a much different character.

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1100 South Menlo Avenue
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