As a boy growing up in Cedar Bayou, Texas, we made a trip to Houston twice a year. My mother shopped at the bargain basement of a downtown department store.
The thing I looked forward to about the semi-annual sojourn was riding the escalator. It was like Disneyland for a kid from the country. The stairs moved up automatically, folded into the floor, and reappeared at the bottom. It was like magic.
I observed people carefully on that escalator. There were two kinds of riders: handrail holders and non-handrail holders, cautious people and risk takers. I admired the ones who threw caution to the wind and thoughtlessly rode while eating cookies or carrying on conversations.
I guess there have always been those two kinds of people.