Thursday, June 7, 2012

The future is bright at Lock 60

By Brandie Kessler

I don't know whether I will have access to power tonight to charge up the laptop from West Conshohocken, so I wanted to get this blog post in now.
Camping over at Lock 60 has given me and I believe many others hope that the future is bright.
Dan Daley talks with sojourners at the pavilion
near Lock 60 Thursday morning.
Photo by Brandie Kessler

At Lock 60 you meet the one-of-a-kind Dan Daley, the man in a kilt who welcomes everyone to the Lock ("Well, hello Darlin, Welcome to Lock 60.")
Volunteers like Dan Daley are what make historic places thrive. Places that require a lot of work and funding and need people to come out to them depend on their volunteers.

But what happens when the loyal volunteers of today can't or don't volunteer anymore?

Fortunately Lock 60 already has that question answered with volunteers like 12-year-old Liam McDonnell.
The auburn-haired, freckled face boy is hard to forget, just like Dan Daley.
Liam has been volunteering at Lock 60 since he was in kindergarten.
"I was probably around 5 and it was around Canal Day" when he first came out, he said. "When I saw Dan (Daley) opening the lock, I wanted to come back."
Liam McDonnell, right, helps fellow volunteer
Steve Brzoska, to serve coffee to sojourners
Thursday morning at Lock 60.
Photo by Brandie Kessler.
Liam said he enjoys sharing the history of Lock 60 and the canal with people of all ages.
"You probably don't know much about the canal," he said, reciting the words he often says to visitors. "Did you know the canal wasn't power driven? The boats were pulled by mules?"
Liam was out Thursday morning helping get breakfast ready for the sojourners before he went off to school.
"I like to see the people, happy faces, and fill them in about what's new on the canal and hang out with friends and family."
Plus, Liam said, there are a lot of laughs to be had at Lock 60.
"It's always comical when Dan (Daley) is around," he said.

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