Anderson Mann is a guy who loves what he does. Mann is the building maintenance person who cares for the mule barn on Xanterra’s South Rim. The renowned Mule Operation has gained notoriety throughout the world and a lot of that is thanks to Mann’s hard work.
A few of the duties that Anderson Mann is responsible for include:
• Cleaning the barn
• Supplying the famous Phantom Ranch
• Maintaining the trails throughout the canyon
• Keeping up with general repairs and cleaning
• Getting guests saddled for their mule riding adventure
Mann admits that he is responsible for anything that has even the slightest resemblance to the mule operation. Even though the job is hard work, Mann would never have it any other way. Like many of the people who work throughout the Grand Canyon, Mann has built his life around his work.
Anderson Mann is coming up on three decades of service to the park. Twenty-nine years ago, he started as a cook in the employee kitchen of Xanterra’s. Mann worked there for a little over twenty years. During that time, he met the woman who became his wife, Jackie. The couple now lives in the Grand Canyon Village, with their two children.
Then, about six years ago, a friend offered him a position in the mule barn. According to Mann, that was the best decision he had ever made. However, Mann is not the only person who is pleased with the job he does.
According to Xanterra’s South Rim Director of Transportation, Nora Berry, Mann is a hard-working, well-rounded man. Ms. Berry proudly exclaims that she wishes there were more employees with his dedication and charisma.
Even though Mann’s interaction with the mules has yet to be a third of his total time working at the Grand Canyon, the connection is obvious. Mann explains that mules are intelligent animals. They know who is good to them and who isn’t. Knowing this, the mules respond accordingly.
Watching the mules with Mann is astonishing. The animals are keen to be near him, like pets to a beloved owner. The mules even come when Mann whistles. Therefore, it is easy to see that the humans are not the only ones who are thankful for Mann’s dedication. It seems that every aspect of the Mule Operation has fully accepted Anderson Mann as their own.