Our family went to a Wizards day game this season at the MCI Center and then decided to stop off at the nearby Haagen-Dazs for a treat. The ice cream store is housed with the Regal Theater in a new, three-story building whose centerpiece is an enormous free-standing escalator rising to the second floor. My 6-year-old son, Seth, recognized a boy from his class, and we paused next to the escalator to talk to the boy's father. As my wife and I spoke with the man, Seth began walking up the narrow ledge that runs along the outside of the escalator. Glancing over, I saw he was close to the floor, so I didn't worry.
Then I heard someone yell, "Daddy!"
It was Seth, who had apparently grabbed onto the moving black rubber handrail and was being carried up into the air, dangling on the outside of the escalator. "Hold on!" I screamed and began tearing up the crowded escalator, pushing its seemingly oblivious passengers aside as I went. I despaired of reaching him before the handrail disappeared into the wall at the top. Then, suddenly, a young man in bluejeans who had been riding the escalator grabbed Seth's hands and pulled him over the side -- just before he hit the wall. When the man handed me my son a few seconds later, I thanked him profusely.
"No problem," he replied simply. Then he vanished into the throng of people.
The Wizards lost the game but a complete stranger made the play of the day.
Ken Dintzer, Bethesda
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