Des Plaines River FloodThis now-iconic flooded parking lot photo, of Dave Grothe and Teresa Anderson, is a rueful reminder of how much water filled Anderson Lock’s office and warehouse at the company’s 1801 Oakton Street location. In 1986, and again in 1987, the Des Plaines River overflowed its banks, damaging buildings blocks away.

Most service calls were postponed. Anderson Lock employees, in hip boots, worked around the clock filling sandbags and moving inventory to higher shelves. But an emergency call came in. Forest Hospital’s fail safe locks were popping open because power had been cut off. Roads surrounding the evacuated hospital were flooded, so Dave went home, got his fishing boat, launched it near Anderson Lock, loaded it with his toolbox and replacement locks, then piloted down river to secure hospital doors.

The fishing boat photo emerged again, in 2019, when Cortney presented Dave with a voucher for a special event to commemorate forty years of service at Anderson Lock. Tickets for a 3-hour tour of the U.S.S. Iowa, docked in Long Beach, and round trip tickets to spend a day on Catalina Island, have now been scratched off Dave’s “bucket list.”

Dave Grothe SelfieU.S.S. IowaU.S.S. Iowa

You might be getting the impression that Dave travels mostly in boats, but as our longtime Service Department Estimating  Manager, he really travels mostly in trucks. It is ‘ingrained’ in Dave’s mind to note the hardware on every door he goes through. He makes sure doors latch when they close. He makes sure door closers aren’t leaking. He measures doors and frames. Therefore, as is his habit, he pulled a tape measure from his pocket to measure the heavy metal, watertight World War II ship doors, which, by the way are hung on pivots, with three-point locks. “Yup, they were 13 inches thick,” he says, “that’s what I thought.”

Carnival ShipOcean View from a beachMountain homes

Dave observed that locks and door closers on Catalina Island’s shops and restaurants were old. He commented on seeing knobs, not levers, in 628 finishes, and vintage Reading potbelly door closers. Conversations about locks and doors are commonplace with this veteran door guy, who evaluates Anderson Lock as ‘the best place to work. Period.’

Due to travel restrictions during COVID, he and his wife, Barb, delayed spending his Gift Certificate, until this spring. They spent a week sightseeing in Camarillo, Ventura, Santa Paula, Santa Barbara, and Oxnard, California, visiting friends and family, and celebrating Dave’s Mom’s 88th birthday.

Oh, and the Grothes also visited Venice Beach…but that’s a topic for another blog!