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September 13, 2007



Exciting story! Had our family been in the same predicament, we'd probably have a few pictures to document as well. Glad everyone made it out okay!


Good to know you're safe. . .

Paul Barnes

I absolutely love that picture of your youngest.


I went to the John Paul II Cultural Museum when I was in D.C. and at the time they had Michaelangelo's model that he used while working on St. Peter's Basilica.


I would have wigged about the drop, too.


I can't see the images. Is there a problem with the server right now? Other images are showing up fine on web pages.


How would a disabled person have exited the elevator?

francis 03

I was trapped in an elevator once, but I didn't get to climb out the ceiling hatch. However, I was alone in the elevator and the emergency phone didn't work. I could hear people talking and walking by the elevators on the floors above and below where I was stuck, though. I was amazed how many of them seemed to ignore my shouts for help. Eventually (after maybe 45 minutes) some maintenance guys came and got the outer doors open, and I was able to slither through a couple-foot-wide gap out onto the floor below me.

So while I'm very glad I didn't have any small children with me, I still wish I'd gotten to climb out the roof.

Greg E


As an ex-firefighter on a volunteer department I can assure you that a disabled person would have been easily rescued. Keep in mind that in most tragedies, the people being rescued are usually disabled by the tragedy (unconscious, broken limbs, paralyzed etc) and firefighters have many methods of rescuing the disabled. Rescuing able bodied people is actually unusual and can actually be more difficult.

Matthew Kennel

I actually almost died in an elevator once. I was taking the elevator at my workplace up to the third floor. As soon as I got in I could tell something was wrong. The elevator was stuck. So far, nothing too amiss. I called on my cell phone for help, and our building manager was going to try to get me out. Then, the elevator tried to move, and started jerking up and down. I also noticed smoke starting to come into the top of the elevator, and at that point I started to panic. However, I calmed myself down, and after offering up an act of contrition, I started to yell and scream for help. I was heard, but they still couldn't get me out. Apparently, the hydraulic system had failed and started leaking, and this was burning against the motor and causing smoke. However, this failure also allowed me to pry the door open (the door had previously been stuck shut), and get out. I escaped into a locked basement room, which was also filled with smoke. However, after two to three minutes of my being in there, someone came and opened the door. I was taken to the local hospital, and everything checked out alright physically. So, I actually do avoid elevators like the plague, and despite statistical reasoning to the contary, am scared stiff of them.

I found this article...http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/article399715.ece with some more interesting info about elevators and safety.


*swoons at the munchkins*

Oh, and to shamelessly rip off a catch phrase.... "Sometimes a broken elevator is just a broken elevator."


Wow! All you needed was a pregnant woman in labor to make it like the movies. It's amazing to me how many pregnant woman give birth in elevators according to Hollywood.

I'm glad you are all safe. The kids are lovely. Nunu is darling; I just want to kiss those fat baby cheeks!


Victoria -- if anyone disabled had been there they would have had to wait until they could actually get the doors open - who knows how long THAT would have taken! It would have been really bad for them. Not only that, but anyone too old or too fat to climb the ladder would have been in trouble too. The only reason we able-bodied folks were in the elevator is because the Air and Space Museum is a long rectangle, and the stairs are located at the far ends. The elevator is in the middle. The kids' feet were sore from all the walking, and we didn't feel like going way out of our way just to get downstairs. If there had been stairs in the middle, we would not have gotten on the elevator. Jamie (age 6) is still scared of elevators now.

Mary Kay

So very glad everyone's okay.


"I’m afraid I don’t have any larger political perspective on how it was all Bush’s fault, or how the liberals are ruining everything."

So now we know why Karl Rove resigned! ElevatorGate!! When do the congressional hearings start? When will the subpoenas be issued? How come this hasn't shown up on MoveOn.org?

he he :-)

Thanks to God you made it out okay.


Interesting adventure but nothing compared to what the people experienced when they were stuck in the Gateway Arch's tram when it failed.


Reminds me of a story a friend of mine experienced when we were in college. He never took the elevator, but one day he felt tired and didn't want to walk up the stairs. When he was in the elevator happened to be the time that the whole city lost power for a couple of hours. There was no much he could do but wait :)


I hope to post something on the White House visit next week

Sure! ;^)

Eileen R

We had just enough time to wait on a very, very long line to grab a hasty bite to eat before bolting to the museum’s other cinematic offering, To Fly, which FWIW had some pretty pictures but wasn’t nearly as interesting as Cosmic Collision.

AHA! They're still playing that hoary old chestnut. We went and saw it in 1994 when in Washington DC for my aunt's final vows as a Missionary of Charity, and were singularly unimpressed. But maybe it takes on a nostalgic flavour as it's been there year after year after years.

About the escape, I was thinking how really weird it was to read such a story with photos. Not so long ago, one's vacation mishaps were left as anecdotes to be imagined, and now you were sharing the photos with relatives before the incident was already over!

David B.


I'm sorry, but you remind me of Pocahontas with the baby carrier in the second-to-last photo!



Eileen R--

I remember seeing it (many times) from as early as 1986!! It's an old one, for sure. The best part of the film, as I recall is the very beginning when you are looking out of the baloon to the earth below and then it opens up into a chasm (or was it over a cliff?).

Great story, SDG. Glad the family is all fine. Loved the photos--the kidlings are gorgeous!

My Cat's Name is Lily

The only time I was stuck in an elevator was at my church, after having been in hospital for surgery.(I ordinarily avoid elevators, because...well....because they can get stuck....

Anyhow, I hit the alarm button....I am told that the entire building was at once aware that Someone Was Stuck In the Elevator, because we have a VERY loud alarm.

Someone finally came & let me out....I was less than a foot from the floor. The appropriate committee is, I am told, including in the plans for the replacement elevator, some kind of an over-ride, to prevent this kind of thing, I.E., being stuck at a point where anyone could step out (or be rolled/lifted, if disabled).

I have returned to my previous belief that elevators are to be avoided. (Yes, between avoiding elevators, airplanes, & several other Terrifying Technologies, I do live a fairly quiet life).


My elder brother works at the planetarium. I'll have to call and interrogate him! :) Usually all the museum has to do is rescue people from getting their shoelaces eaten by the escalator.


When I was in college, the undergrad dorms were 10- and 12-story buildings with notoriously old and shaky elevators. There was a rumor that if you got stuck in them, the university would pay you $10/hour for the time you were stuck. There were many days I used to hope I'd get stuck in the elevator, but alas, no dice. :)

Glad your adventure ended safely!

A Simple Sinner

"When I was in college, the undergrad dorms were 10- and 12-story buildings with notoriously old and shaky elevators. There was a rumor that if you got stuck in them, the university would pay you $10/hour for the time you were stuck. There were many days I used to hope I'd get stuck in the elevator, but alas, no dice. :)"

Having put on the freshman 15 when I was in college, the stairs to my dorm room on the fourth floor became my excercise habit.

It never occured to me getting trapped in the elevator could have been my key to extra income.


More than one theater still plays To Fly. I work in an IMAX theater.

Glad you all escaped!


I am not going in the elevators at Air and Space again! I'll stick with the escalators and stairs from now on.

Arrrg, shiver me timbers. At least ye weren't stuck on International Talk like a Pirate day.
(Does this mean I have to say my prayers in Latin?)


blah blah blah

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