By Maggie Volkwein 2016
I got up one morning like any other and found out that Dr. Rick Magly had passed on. I felt like my home mountain was gone, that the skyline was missing a whole mountain.
On top of the mountain in Clay County WV, was Rick's orchard. He taught me how to cut the twigs and branches so they would grow properly.P>
Long branches like fingers, that would hold the spikes of blossoms and then the heavy weight of apples in the fall. Move the ladder to the next shaggy tree, climb the ladder, prune everything in reach, climb down, and move the ladder.
I would creep up the ladder carefully. When I climbed way to the tip of the ladder, I grabbed hold of a treetop in one hand and a pruner in the other.
Rick would run up the ladder and stand on the tip of the ladder, twenty feet off the hard ground, and run back down. He'd stand way on top and use both hands on the pruner that had the three foot handles.
His animals loved pruning time. His black dog would lay in the orchard grass, being gently harassed by a pair of calico cats. The cats would climb the tree and get in my way, purring so loud you could hear them from the other side of the tree.
Rick's favorite job was pruning time in the orchard. The twigs would fall like rain as we cut away the unwanted growth. From the top of the ladders we sang songs, usually the latest one we had written, or an old favorite.
The ravens would show up and croak from the deep holler next to the orchard, while the hawks made curious circles against the mountain sky.
Rick always had more birds on his mountain top than anyplace else. They sang in choruses, ranks, birdsongs that filled the warm sunny air.
The new apple trees we planted are doing great and the beehives are buzzing. The ravens fly in formation. The hawk does circles above your mountain. The scent of the apple blossoms sails on the breeze with the pink and white flower petals.
I have found the home mountain.
It is inside of me.
- Dr. Richard L. Magly, 64, of Nebo, West Virginia, doctor of Chiropractic and Certified Craniopath, died October 15, 2015, peacefully at his home after a short but courageous battle with cancer.
He was a World Renown, doctor of Chiropractic and Certified Craniopath as well as an accomplished carpenter, musician, yoga teacher and gardener.