Cindy & Dad - early 1961
It’s such a simple thing – really! You walk over to it, place your foot upon it, and down you go. Escalators are commonly used and found in most malls, airports, office buildings. I’ve been using them all my life. Why then do I always have such a difficult time getting on one?
Jesse Wilford Reno produced the first working escalator (he actually called it the "inclined elevator") and installed it alongside the Old Iron Pier at Coney Island, New York in 1896. I used my first escalator about 1961. I’ve never had a problem “going up”. But, “coming down” is a completely different story!
My Dad told me that when I was little I would stand at the top of the escalator and cry and scream, because I was afraid to get on it. I don’t know what it is about stepping on that first step to ride down – but it frightens me. And to this day, I still hesitate before I get on one to ride down. I’m fine once I’m on it – but that initial step creates just a little bit of panic inside.
I was reminded about this fear the other day when a friend and I were at the mall. We walked over to the escalator to ride down, but the escalator wasn’t working. Lord Help Me! Walking down a non-working escalator is even MORE difficult for me. Must be a depth perception thing – who knows, but my friend was laughing hysterically at me. He thought it was hilarious that I had to walk down so slowly – panicking all the while.
I wish I remembered the days of me crying at the top of the escalator – I’m sure my Dad couldn’t understand what my problem was, and it probably frustrated him. Today I don’t cry before I place my foot on that first step, but inside I’m still that same little girl not wanting to step foot on the moving metal giant. Yup – I’m a dork!