Thursday, November 27, 2008


Our hotel in Leeds has the coolest wheelchair elevator in the world. It only rises the equivilent of four or five stairs but man, it's amazing. You enter through an ornate wooden gate beautifully carved and rise to the upper level as you peer through equally ornate carved columns. Wow. I felt like Royalty ascending when we arrived last night.

Joe got a bit sick of me talking about the damn elevator. But really, so much stuff that makes the world accessible looks so antiseptic and medicinal. But this elevator, it's, it's, it's ... art.

At breakfast we tucked into our meal and I was already talking about the ride down. It doesn't take much to make me happy. And that elevator, well, it made me happy.

Then into the restaurant comes this teen boy in a cut down wheelchair. It looked like it had been modified by him to fit both his needs and his personality. His parents wanted him to eat, he wanted to cruise around the lobby. He's a teen. He won. Then, that brat, went down the stairs. In his frigging chair, he went down the stairs.

No cutesy elevator for him. Nah, a few stairs, well I'll just pound down them. I remembered seeing this Youtube video about a kid about the same age who does back flips in his wheelchair ... I thought that he was just simply unique. Now I discover he's just young.

I love, absolutely love, how young people with disabilities are redefining disability, are claiming ground thought lost, are refusing to be satisfied with anything less than all. I loved how this guy plopped whole new notions in my head. How he was simply and only a teenager. Oh, yeah, a teenager with a wheelchair strapped to his ass - cool, let's grind down the handrail.

So I rode down the elevator feeling rather prissy. But I maintained my dignity and waved the royal wave to all who weren't watching.


shiva said...

You are in Leeds? Are you speaking at the Centre for Disability Studies?

Blog editor said...

Dave Hingsburger - prissy? I'd like to see that!

theknapper said...

It's good to be queen....