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.

Paul’s Poem

A few weeks after I left the Comptons’, I received this poem by Paul. It was about our stay. Tonight, after getting word of Paul’s death, I read it to my wife Julia. A wash of pleasant memories poured over me including a few tears.

Crossing Paths

By Paul Compton

On the last of May I arose to view the sunrise.
The Rain is over you can see blue skies.
I wonder what happened as I put on my clothes.
What happens before the day will close.

A man rode past our place as he did journey.
As he stopped to meet us, his given name is Bernie.
He was quite weary, he asked if he could stay to rest.
My boy took him to our grain bins, he thought that was best.

My boy got him in his truck and took him round about.
To view the road and have him plan his route.
The eve before he left, and we are ready to retire.
We gather by the fish pond and old camp fire.

We really had a visit, quite a conversation.
He told of his travels as he crossed the nation.
As his mode of travel, he’s no fool.
He chose that hybrid mule

He has lots of stamina, he has his pride.
You never know what goes inside that critters hide.
As we have our visit, I have this to say.
God Speed to you Bernie

Have a great day!

Have a great day!

My condolences go out to Gerry, Rose and the Compton family. They were wonderful hosts as the mules and I made our way through their neighborhood.

You will be remembered Paul. More photos from our visit- is just a click away.


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dave vories
dave vories
4 years ago

Shared this story with dad tonight over homemade bread pudding.he really enjoyed it we enjoy your storys

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