August 21, 2019 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

This issue of 60 Plus features some wonderful, caring people.

Mike Pallas, who leads the Valley View 4-H Club, works with youth living at Omaha Home for Boys. Jerry Meyer devotes several hours a week to the Nebraska Humane Society, and Carolyn Owen Anderson has been helping underserved populations create art for nearly 20 years.

I’d like to talk about a story featured in Omaha Home. Reading the story on the Blackstone Hotel in this issue brings memories of my youth.

Between my junior and senior years of high school I spent the summer in Omaha with my sister and her husband, Jacque and Bill Wiseman. They lived close to the Blackstone Hotel.

Exaggerating my age, I applied for a job at the hotel. I was hired as an elevator operator for the 4 p.m. to midnight shift. Being from small-town Mankato, Kansas, this was an exciting experience for me.

The hotel was an elegant setting with an air of excitement. The bellhops would ride my elevator to deliver flowers to the rooms of visiting celebrities. I loved seeing all of the ladies in their beautiful clothes and the stylish men, especially when there was an event on the top floor ballroom.

In a column written by Robert McMorris of the Omaha World-Herald, Louis Szathmary said, “The Orleans Room was the most fabulous restaurant in the world.” Szathmary was an internationally recognized chef, food consultant, author of several cookbooks, and a charter member of the Wine and Food Society.

There was a hallway lined with pictures of stars who had dined at the Orleans Room.

Before leaving, I was offered a tempting position working with the social director. Alas, it was time to leave. I had a great summer.


This letter first appeared in the September 2019 edition of 60PLUS in Omaha MagazineTo receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

Contributing editor 60Plus Gwen Lemke

Contributing editor 60Plus Gwen Lemke