Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Goodbye Mr. Paul

Goodbye Mr. Paul 
"Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads." ~ Henry David Thoreau

My regular viewers know that I have a secret place near my home that I love to frequent. In 4 years, I have only seen 3 people there and I can count the times I saw 2 of them on one hand.  Mr. Paul, that's what I always called him, was the only person I saw on a regular basis. A lifelong waterman, Mr. Paul could always be found working in his shanty or coming or going on his crab boat, or just sitting at the entrance to his shanty enjoying the beauty and watching the purple martins flying around the many bird houses he had provided for them. 

I loved talking to Mr. Paul. Catching him on lazy afternoons when his work was done was always a treat.  He was wise beyond his years, and his love for the place whose location I have refused to  divulge on this blog for the past 2 years, could be seen in his eyes and heard in his voice. We talked about the old days, weather and crabs, the marsh and the birds, and in warm weather the conversation turned to whatever bug was in season. In the winter months, when shooting weather photos for the newspaper, I would sometimes run into Mr. Paul, shown in the above photo, checking his shanty. Our conversations were short then. Mr. Paul was not phased by the cold. All his life he had hunted the marsh and worked the waters in freezing temperatures that quickly froze my bones.  I would tease him about resuming our conversations when spring arrived, and he would look at this Georgia girl who could not take the cold with amusement, a twinkle in his eye.

Mr. Paul is in heaven now. but I know that sometimes when the light is just right around his little piece of "heaven on earth", and the fish are jumping and the purple martins are chattering and fluttering in and out of their pretty little homes, I'll bet Mr. Paul will be looking down and smiling.

Paul Franklin Tyler, Sr. - January 19, 1936 ~ October 2, 2010.

Condolences can be sent to Bradshaw Sons Funeral Home in Crisfield.


Keats The Sunshine Girl said...

Mr Paul hears you and I'm sure he misses your company too. May his soul rest in peace.

Bagman and Butler said...

Your photo is a beautiful memorial.

A Scattering said...

Your photo and words have touched me beyond belief this morning. Such and unassuming soul who obviously had such an impact on you. Life is in the small moments. Thanks for sharing this with us.

Patricia Hildenbrand said...

You have such a beautiful soul and it shows through in your photos and words. My condolences.

Patty said...

I normally don't have time to post emails I get about my posts but here is one I received today from one of Mr. Paul's friends:

"I saw your article this morning on Paul Tyler, and thought you may like these. He loved trapping, and he was the best. He will be missed by all who knew him. Time robs us of so much, I hope time will not erase my memories of Paul."

Indeed, time is a thief but it can't erase our happy memories.

Teacher's Pet said...

...touching words. The photo and the tribute brought tears to my eyes.

Patty said...

Patricia: Thank you. Mr. Paul had a beautiful soul. I'm sure he is enjoying crabbing Heaven.

Patty said...

Teacher's Pet: I am so happy that I can share Mr. Paul with so many people. And I know his family appreciates that so many people knew how special he was to the community.

Patty said...

Butler and Bagman: It is good to know that Mr. Paul is now known in Charleston. He may be hooking up with some long-gone waterman in heaven as I write this.