Editor's note: This story was originally published on April 13, 1984.
Friday the 13th. Bad luck day. The ultimate harbinger of ill fortune. Bad luck? Not to Judy Brodersen of Denison, Iowa. Not to Alice Mary Buchanan of Omaha.
From now on, Mrs. Brodersen will count Friday, April 13, as one of the luckiest, most memorable days in her 38 years. It took a lot of help from some Omaha strangers, but she gave birth to her sixth child and first girl at 4:35 Friday morning.
She had lost five pregnancies, so Friday's birth was her 11th. And in this case 11 was the lucky number it is proclaimed to be. Mrs. Brodersen and her husband, Rick, a soft-drink distributor, had come to visit her Omaha obstetrician Thursday. The birth supposedly was 3 1/2 weeks away, but because of previous problems they wanted to be sure.
The examination showed the baby was far ahead of that schedule. The doctor's advice to the prospective mother: Stay overnight in an Omaha motel. Mrs. Brodersen wasn't so sure. She confided she would like to go home and perhaps return to have the baby Saturday. "I'd rather not have it on Friday the 13th, " she said.
Little did she know. Brodersen convinced his wife it would be best to follow doctor's orders. He left her at the New Tower Inn, 78th and Dodge Streets, and headed home to be with his five sons. Mrs. Brodersen retired. But by 3 a.m. she knew the stork was fluttering. By 4 a.m. she was painfully aware that the time had almost arrived. In desperation, she called the motel desk. A taxi was summoned. Five minutes later it arrived with two cabbies. They met her at the motel door, helped her into the car and rushed the mother-to-be to Methodist Hospital. They arrived at 4:15 20 minutes before the baby. Less than five hours later, a radiant Mrs. Brodersen cradled her less-than-five-hour-old daughter in her arms for a World-Herald picture. Her husband, who had arrived after the baby, beamed his approval. The newest Brodersen will be called Anna Lisa.
Elsewhere in Omaha, Mrs. Buchanan prepared to spend another pleasant day in apartment 1313 on the 13th floor of the Masonic Manor, 801 S. 52nd St.
She had no qualms about the prevalence of 13s. She considers it her lucky number. With good reason. Before moving into the manor two years ago, she had lived for 25 years at 1313 N. 58th St.
Turned It Down
A widow, she said her quarter of a century at that address was for the most part a happy time. She had enjoyed her home and her life there. But "there comes a time, " she said, when a home becomes too much to care for. So she had applied for quarters at the Masonic Manor. There had been a waiting list. Then two years ago she got a call from a manor official. It came, almost miraculously, on March 13, 1982.
"The caller told me the lady ahead of me on the waiting list had seen the apartment but had turned it down because of the 1313 number and the 13th floor location, " Mrs. Buchanan said. "Then he asked if I would take it. I said of course. I told him it sounded just like home."