When Shaad “Moodah” Hughes turned 23 on July 21st, the “ladies” of the Rappahannock County government surprised him with a chocolate birthday cake and colorful card.
“My favorite part of the job is the people, everybody is so nice to me,” says Hughes, who goes by the nickname “Moodah.”
“It’s the nickname I was given as a baby and it’s stuck with me my whole life,” he explains with a grin.
Hughes, who was born in Connecticut and moved to Culpeper County at the age of 13, filled the county’s newly created post of maintenance assistant on April 1st, working under county maintenance manager Ricky Jenkins.
“I learn something new under Ricky every day, he’s a great teacher,” says Hughes, a graduate of Eastern View High School in Culpeper who went on to trade school in far-away Anaconda, Montana, focusing on carpentry.
“Montana is the most beautiful state I’ve ever been in,” he says. “First time I ever ate an elk taco. It’s where I learned to snowboard and ice fish for the first time, too.”
Hughes moved back to Virginia in December, and resides today in Orange County, making a rather lengthy daily commute to Rappahannock County.
“I have a nice little drive every day,” he concurs, although the fact that he appreciates his job so much — whether its helping to restore the county’s numerous historic buildings or mowing the lawn on Courthouse Row — makes it all worthwhile in his book.