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Summer Job Has Its Ups and Downs

By Clint Kelly ( | Photo by Sarah and Chris Rhoads

Lauren WilfordView more photosView more photos

No one can say that Lauren Wilford's elevator doesn't go all the way to the top floor. As an elevator operator this summer for Seattle's iconic landmark, the 605-foot Space Needle, she made up to 150 roundtrips per day.

“I interacted with people from all over the world,” says the SPU senior. The most-asked question? “Where's the restroom?” On the ride down? “What if the cables snap?” They didn't, but it's not unusual for the Space Needle to be struck by lightning. Lauren laughs it off. “It's built for that. There are 24 lightning rods at the top.”

A shy high school boy once handed her his ticket. On the back he'd scrawled a note asking her out. She declined but thinks “it was rather sweet.”

Added benefits? “Using my conversational French with tourists.” And? “Losing my fear of heights.”