Jimmy Castle came into the Union Democrat office Friday after he saw this photo in the morning paper.
He said the photo was taken sometime in the 1990s at the head of the Columbia Ditch, which is at the top of the TUD main canal from Lyons Reservoir. It depicts workers breaking up the snow to allow water to flow down the ditch.
Castle is at the top of the photo turning the crossgate to let the water in. Directly below him is Wyatt Parks. The men in front are all SCC inmates — this was the first time inmates were employed to help TUD.
At the time the photo was taken, water in the ditch was completely filled with snow. Water doesn't flow through snow...a warm body and a shovel is pretty much the only way to break it up. This particular effort took about a week to get the water flowing all the way to Columbia. Some people in parts of the surrounding area had no water for two to three weeks.
Castle worked at TUD for 29 1/2 years. He was a utility distribution foreman, or colloquially, a "ditch tender." His son works there now.