I am forty-five years old, and until now I have had only an approximate idea of where I was born.

When I was younger, I was told I was born “in St. Louis.”  However, I grew up in unincorporated St. Louis County, and in our mailing address, the city was always given as “St. Louis,” yet we definitely didn’t live in the City of St. Louis.  Later, either because I was told or because I read it on my birth certificate, I learned the name of the hospital.  However, it was a hospital I wasn’t familiar with, so that didn’t fix the location for me.  Somehow, I got it unto my head that it was in Kirkwood.  I have even given Kirkwood as my place of birth on various official documents.  I’m not even sure there is a hospital in Kirkwood.

I just dug out my birth certificate.  I was born at Lutheran Hospital.  I had to do a little searching on Google to find out where that was, because it hasn’t been called Lutheran Hospital since 1999.  It is now one of several medical centers called St. Alexius.  It’s address is 2639 Miami Street.  It turns out I have driven past that place hundreds of times without noticing it.  It is a small psychiatric medical complex surrounded by parking and screened by trees and an iron fence.  It is just a couple blocks away from the heart of the Cherokee district I frequent in the south city.  I passed a block and a half away just five days ago.

I really was born in St. Louis.