Mike Dodge, a 47 year-old master electrician, was going about his job when he saw the opportunity to change one woman’s life forever.
“I don’t think of myself as a hero,” says Dodge. “I like to think that anyone would have done what I did in the situation.”
Teresa Sherry, 32, walked past Dodge’s worksite in midtown Manhattan early Tuesday morning. “She wasn’t smiling at us, and I immediately knew something was wrong.” says Dodge. Upon recognizing the sad, lifeless look on her face, Dodge quickly sprung into action and yelled, “Hey lady! How ‘bout a smile?”
Sherry, shocked and embarrassed, reflexively clenched her face into a grin before entering her building. It was clear that Dodge’s quick reflexes saved the day.
“I was just on my way to work, I don’t normally think about what my face is doing,” says Sherry “but I’m grateful that somebody let me know.”
“She was kinda fat, but not a bad-fat” says Steve Barlone, a real estate lawyer who witnessed the scene while eating lunch at a nearby Au Bon Pain. “The smile really helped her whole thing, you could tell.”
The event seemed to spur an overall neighborhood spirit of camaraderie. Historically, the male employees of the entire Midtown East area have been helping strangers smile since the Chrysler Building was constructed in 1928.
Sherry is thankful Dodge and his buddies were there to help her from not smiling: “I don’t even want to think about what would have happened if I had gotten to work without smiling for a single stranger.”
City officials are also applauding Dodge’s efforts. City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito praised Dodge, saying, “It’s selfless acts like this that remind us there is good in the world.”
But Dodge remains humble, telling Mark-Viverito, “I just did what I had to do.” He added, “Also you should smile more.”
When asked how he’d spend the rest of his day, Dodge said he planned to “enjoy some quality time with his beautiful wife and daughters.”