Other Cool Reads

Paul Compton: 1926 – 2019

He will blow his harmonica no more. Today I received word from Gerry Compton that his dad, Paul Compton, died December 5. I met Paul traveling through the outskirts of Shelbyville, Illinois during this summer’s Mules West ramble. Even in his nineties, he could still blow that harp!

Paul Compton: mail carrier, harmonica and poet. (Shelbyville, IL)
I snapped the photo above of Paul as he played me a tune on his harmonica. Click on the player for a listen.… Continue reading

Tractor Tire Mule Haul

Mowing the mountain top apple orchard I heard a “wobble, wobble, wobble” and the steering of the tractor went all wonky and I looked down and saw the front tractor tire had come off the rim.

Damn. A half mile of mountain trail separated me from the barn. We don’t own a four wheeler, spare tractor or four wheel drive truck.

Bummer: a flat tire a long way from home.

Down and Up

By chance, our forester Andrew Casey was… Continue reading

Dixie Faces

Friday, my wife Julia and I attended the Dixie Draft Sale. The Dixie Draft Sale is the biggest horse, mule, tack and horse drawn equipment sale in the south-east. Their catalogue is the only place I’ve ever seen the word “chattlel” used outside of a hand written Civil War last will and testament.

From the age of chattel: he stopped and looked at me while I was looking at the black wagon and said, “I could have bought a hearse… Continue reading

Dixie Dogs

Clydesdales, Meadowbrook carts and a Russellpit dog. Friday my wife Julia and I went to the Dixie Draft sale in Troutman, North Carolina. As a couple, this is an annual chance to catch up with friends. For me, it’s a chance to remember an ear ache and a soft ball line drive from the 1970s. And then there are the dogs.

Zipper dog

The Dixie Draft Sale

The Dixie Draft Sale is held twice a year – April and November… Continue reading

Dixie Dogs and Faces

Dogs in denim, coon skin hats and Daniel Boone beards. Today Julia and I attended the Dixie Draft Sale in Troutman, North Carolina. We didn’t come home with a pony but scored a lot of great photos. Check in mañana for the Dixie Dogs photo essay.

We met at the black wagon and he said, “I could have bought this hearse in 1970 for $70.”
Pocket dog.
My favorite wagon: it sold for $1,200
Sold!

Coming Tomorrow: Dixie Dogs

Plenty… Continue reading

I’m Writing You

Dear Marla, Jack, Dan (x2), Carter, Iris and everyone else who sent me a letter while I was out on my latest mule ramble,

This is what my desk looks like.

My writing desk/dining room table. Whew, what a mess: this pile includes a LesSchwab tire receipt, a tape gun, my journal and a copy of Stephen Ambrose’s “Undaunted Courage”

Still, I wanted to let you know I got your lovely letter. As you know, my wife Julia and I… Continue reading

The General!

Welcome to the General Store. The General Store will be closed from August 17 to September 4. Books and DVDs will be available for purchase starting September 5.

Closing time

November Herd

The forecast threw us off. It was supposed to stream down sun beams but instead showered us with water.

The view from where I’m writing you.

The mules don’t care. They graze the November grass as the rain beads up on their backs and their bellies fill with fescue.

The view from the outside looking in. During the summer,the mules field is a hay pasture. During the off season – November to April – we fence off sections with hot… Continue reading

Two Year Old Potatoes

My fingers sift the fall chill soil and grub out a 2 year old treasure. Forgotten potatoes.

Two seasons ago I planted a row of potatoes in the fringe of orchard that borders the brook that flows through our homestead. The year I planted them I failed to harvest them. The following year – this year – I rode away on mules Brick and Cracker for the summer.

The orchard/potato patch. The potatoes were planted just to left of center… Continue reading

No Gun

Here comes this man with two mules, no gun, a top hat, and a large grin riding down roads with speeding cars and cell phone crazed drivers.” Not my words but rather the words of my wife Julia.

Boot and hats: Cracker, Brick and I heading West through Kentucky earlier this summer (Sue Waddell photo)

I thought you’d enjoy this Sunday post. It’s Julia’s reflection – as a spouse, bywatcher and best friend – on my recent mule… Continue reading

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