A woman on a shopping trip to the big city had to be rescued after she became stuck in a revolving door.
Betty Smith was in New York for the very first time in her life, after living 74 years on a farm in Iowa. On a once-in-a-lifetime trip, the old lady had just stepped down from the train at Grand Central Station and, trying to 'take the whole thing in', she wandered up the steps of the Bank of America, and attempted to negotiate the establishment's revolving door.
It wasn't as easy as it looked.
One eyewitness, Donna Goodfun, said:
"As soon as she got in, I knew there was trouble. She looked around herself in an agitated manner, as if she were a mouse that had been trapped under a glass. She started to panic, feeling around the glass panels for a way out. Whenever she looked like she was going to find the exit, she turned around away from it, again and again and again. And again. It was comedy gold."
Another bystander, Dave Schmuck, said:
"She looked petrified! It seemed as if all reason had deserted her, and there was absolutely no way she was ever going to get out of there alive! Quite a crowd gathered to see her."
It took the kind and caring nature of 69-year-old wheelchair-bound good Samaritan, Suliman Ashraf, to save the day. The cool-headed Arab, who has lived in New York for 28 years, quickly sized-up the situation, and made for the bank's disabled-access ramp. Willing himself manfully to the summit, he calmly bided his time and moved inside to Betty's side, took her trembling hand in his, and told her to be still. Said Betty afterwards:
"He's such a gentleman! He just crept inside the doors and told me to be still. I looked into his eyes, and I felt much better immediately. He saved my life."
The watching crowd dispersed without a word.
Betty and Suliman have agreed to celebrate her freedom by going out to practice using revolving doors later this month, followed by dinner.