There Will Never Be Another Andy


I would like to invite everyone reading this article to participate in the following exercise: approach anyone, I mean it  — anyone — in the town of Manchester and ask them if they know “Andy the UPS delivery man.”  Then stand back and watch as they light up, smile broadly (there is often a hand clap or a little laughter involved) and tell you, in the most animated language, how much they adore this man.  It’s crazy.  Like every time.  And honestly, like everyone, I have been doing this all week. 

Yes, we are talking about Andy Shepherd the UPS delivery person who has been bringing all of us here in the town of Manchester packages for the past 21 years.  This month, he will retire from the United Parcel Service where he began working at the age of 24.

“Andy has been a daily ray of sunshine for all of us for the last 21 years,” said Janet Oliver from Mariposa.  “Has anyone ever seen him in a bad mood?  He is naturally cheerful, friendly, funny, helpful, and just one of the nicest guys you could ever hope to know.  He has always gone above and beyond to help us with shipments and deliveries, of course, but beyond that, he has been a good friend to so many of us, and it’s really hard to say good-bye!”

Mark Stolle, owner of Manchester by the Book, agreed.

“Andy is one of those people that just make the world a better place,” he said.   “I'm quite sure that over the years my employees would put in extra orders of supplies just so we could see Andy again, and he had just been here the day before!  But I never minded — it was always a joy to see him.”

Out of college, Andy, who graduated with a degree in Psychology, began looking for jobs in social service.  While doing so he signed on with UPS as a temporary job; one that would end up lasting 33 years.  Back then, before an internet-based world, everything was still tracked manually.  Packages had to be logged with paper and a clipboard and navigating involved a physical map.  His first route was in Ipswich where he stayed for two years, then Middleton for eight years, and then the opportunity to take over the route in Manchester came.  He took it.  

Having grown up in Georgetown, Andy had only visited Manchester once, to sleepover at a friend’s house when he was ten years old.  Initially, he had a very difficult time learning the route.  It was easy to get help.

“Everyone was so helpful and told me to stick with it,” he said.

Andy did stick with it, and kept the route nearly the entire time he worked for UPS (the exception being once, when he was bumped by a senior driver who only lasted one week … due to the difficulty of the route).  

And so began Andy’s love of Manchester — and Manchester’s love of Andy.

Bruce and Dede Warren of the Laughing Gull adore Andy.  “He seemingly knew everyone.  Andy had a signature “honk” that he did when he recognized someone passing him on the road.  He seemed to know everyone by sight because you could hear his familiar ‘beep! beep!’ all over town, “ says Bruce.

Phoebe Coues came by the Cricket and shared this story, “We were expecting some of our friend's famously delicious cookies.  When we heard Andy drive up our driveway, we knew they had arrived.  Pearce (Phoebe’s husband) rushed out to ask Andy to join him in sharing a couple cookies.”  

The two sat on the steps to enjoy a cookie before Andy continued on his route. 

When I asked Andy what he would miss most about his job, he said, “The day-to-day consistency of seeing people on a regular basis and cultivating relationships.  In what can be a difficult job, it brings you back and reminds you that this is fun.  When you are being blasted by work, the people are the bright spot.”  

He paused and then said, “Oh!  Wait!  And the dogs!” 

Andy been through two and sometimes three dog cycles with families.  He adored the dogs.  Several times he would be driving away from a delivery only to find that an adventuresome canine had jumped in the truck to join him.  Bruce Warren remembered, “I was working in the back yard, and our dog heard the familiar sound of the UPS truck driving by.  I didn’t realize the gate was open, and Gordon (Bruce’s dog) walked out, across the street, and sat in the truck waiting for his treat from Andy.  Heard from a distance, “Gordon, you need to go home!”

Andy was also extremely helpful to those in town who had lost a dog; looking for them along his route.  The good news is that now that Andy is retiring, he can finally have one of his own. 

In addition to finding the perfect dog, Andy plans to relax for his seven weeks of vacation.  After which he is looking to jump into something akin to American Pickers.  So, you may bump into him at local antique shows and flea markets.  He does plan to come back to town to say hello and even spend time fishing or golfing with some of the friends he has made. 

During my week of the extraordinary “do you know Andy?” exercise, I sat down with a group of people at a graduation party at Tuck’s Point and watched (literally) an entire table erupt into gushing adoration at the mention of Andy.  But the best comment, by far, was Maria Schmidt.

“Andy?” Maria asked. “I love Andy!  He’s nice.  He’s cute.  And he brings me shoes!”

What is clear is that, in addition to shoes, Andy brought joy to all he visited.  

He was so very generous to share his delightful spirit with us for all these years; always leaving us a little bit better than he found us.  What a gift.  As Bruce Warren so perfectly put it — “There will never be another Andy.”


A celebration, organized by Phoebe Coues and Cynthia Conant, is planned for Tuesday, June 21 from 4-6 p.m. at the Chowder House at Tuck’s Point. Please bring your own refreshments. All are welcome.

andy shepherd, ups, retires