Thank you for your recent profile of Moody Aylor, owner of Old Mill Stables in Woodville. I have known and admired Moody for more than 30 years, not as a horseman, but as a horse manure man.
In the 1980s, every spring, Moody would deliver a truckload of manure for my garden. Lacking automated equipment, he would load it by hand at the stable, drive to my house in Castleton and then unload it pitchfork-by-pitchfork from the back of his truck, all for $12. He would always bring two forks, and I’d stand in the back of his truck and help unload.
Although he was more than 10 years older, he always outpaced me. During the 20 minutes it took to unload the truck, Moody would tell me about his horses, his customers, his work, his philosophies of life. He shrugged off the long hours and hard labor by which he had single-handedly built his business. “I like to keep busy,” he would say in his soft, resonant voice.
After an interval of many years, Moody arrived at my house with a load of manure last year, when he was 78, and the routine was exactly the same. We had both slowed down just a little, I thought. But how had Moody stayed so strong and fit over all these years? I wondered. “I like to keep busy,” he said.
Editor’s note: The above letter to the editor appeared in the Rappahannock on Oct. 31, 2013. Moody Aylor passed away last week at age 84.