FACES: Meet Andy Derby, chief lock operator, Lock E-24

Andy Derby outside his home in Cato a couple years ago.

Andy Derby outside his home in Cato a couple years ago.




Chief lock operator Lock E-24 for five years.

What are your responsibilities?

There are many and varied, but mainly it's working with my co-workers to maintain the lock and its surroundings for the enjoyment of everyone.

Is there anything new going on that you would like to share?

Nothing new, really. I'd just like to say that we feel honored that the community holds us in such esteem.

What do you like most about your job?

The people I get to meet. Local people, people traveling the world, school kids - that's awesome - that so many people are interested in the canal.


Probably November - it's that transition between navigation season and winter when the days seem to drag.

Do you have a favorite book? If so, what and why?

"Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" by Robert Pirsig. It had a big impact on me at the time [and] that hasn't diminished over the years, since I last read it.

Favorite vacation spot?

Anywhere that my wife and I can be on our sailboat.

If you could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, who would it be and why?

Levon Helm - an amazing person who stayed connected to his roots despite his fame. I'm sure the stories would be great!

What is one thing most people would not know about you?

That I have five wonderful grandchildren!

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