Riley Derrick

Riley Derrick. Photo by Paul Neevel.

“I’ve always been the class clown,” Riley Derrick says. “The people I modeled were David Letterman and Bill Murray. I stayed up late in middle school to see them.” A seventh-generation Oregonian whose ancestors arrived by covered wagon, Derrick was a bat boy for the Eugene Emeralds while in middle school, and his first paid job, at age 15, was in Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour. After graduation from Churchill High School, he found a job at the local Costco Wholesale Warehouse. “I’ve worked there for 23 years,” he recounts. “I started out at the gas station, then moved through electronics and the photo lab. I did printing in the photo lab and wound up talking with people about weddings and funerals. The most rewarding part of the work was trying to help people.” He went on to supervise the Costco front end, where the registers are, and he writes the schedule for all the front end employees. “I’m a fan of David McCullough,” Derrick says. “He’s the author of John Adams and Truman. I went to hear him speak, and he talked about how important it is to share what you love. It’s become a mantra to me.” In 2019, Derrick began to assemble art installations in his personal staff locker, a small 9×12-inch box among many others on the wall of a long hallway from the registers to the restrooms. “I started putting pictures in it, photos of my dad, toys from my childhood, stuff that made me happy,” he notes. “When I showed it to people, they flipped out. Now I leave it open, even when I’m not there. I’ve done around 10 different lockers: always a Christmas locker, sometimes a Halloween locker. My original childhood locker remains up five or six months at a time.” Over the years, Derrick has designed and built a lot of office decor, front yard decor and kids bedroom decor. In the photograph, he shows off one of his creative endeavors, a cutout of Punxsutawney Phil, constructed for a Groundhog Day party. “I love Groundhog Day,” he explains, “and I wanted to share that with my family and friends.”

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