Tuesday, June 21, 2005

OBITUARY for Bill Compton

Hi all. This is a simple cut/paste from my book, in memory of Bill Compton who died on this day - the Summer Solstice - the longest day of the year, 1977.
Tomorrow belongs to his sister Carole-Compton-Glenn who interestingly, is a Gemini. It's her birthday. I'll use the nickname Bill gave her. Happy Birthday, "Toot".
Across town and for reasons that will never be clear to me, KDKB fired Bill Compton, right after the time I started at KBBC. I felt as though KBBC and Bill might be negotiating. I found out later that they were, indeed. Myself and another former KDKB announcer and mutual friend there Dennis McBroom, would have stepped aside to make room for him, if needed. That was not to be. William Edward Compton III, probably the most influential friend in my adult life, died on the day of the Summer Solstice, June 21st, 1977. "Little Willie Sunshine" was killed in a car wreck, on the longest day of the year.

I couldn't help but think about the time at the Scottsdale house when he had told me that if he had a choice, he would go in a fast car. He and his lady Kathy Radina had tried to dodge a bicyclist in their BMW and wound up head first at the bottom of a 30-foot drop in a dry irrigation canal. Kathy was badly banged up and unconscious for a considerable time.

Dennis and I both played commemorative music for our friend and breaking format, spoke openly of our friendships with Bill on the air. Flatly, the wind was taken out of the sails of our work on KBBC. I knew I would have to leave. I would never sound the same there again. The boss verified my feelings a week later. I interrupted his prepared and awkward "We're going to have to let you go" comments with a wave of my hand. I was unenthusiastic and blunt. `I know', I said.

I was simply stunned. I stayed that way for a couple of weeks. The event had been so unexpected that it removed itself from the concept of being inevitable. My own death is inevitable. So is yours. Bill was a great friend and truly, an icon. Icons are not supposed to die unexpectedly. Without dwelling morosely on Bill's and my own mutual interest in occult sciences, I will mention that I meditated at length at the dining table in my house on South Central. In one session on a flat sheet of paper in a script that was not my own - but from a pen that was held in my right hand, were written the words; "Greater Love". I folded the paper and sent it to The Lady, Jean Compton, Bill's mother.

William Edward Compton III


vagabondvet said...

That was beautiful, Ron. Bill was one of the major influences in my life, too - he had such a beautiful soul and strong charisma I imagine he influenced "a whole lotta folks." I didn't know he died on Carole's birthday - what a horrible conjunction that must have been. Bill's untimely transcendence (and I can't imagine what a 'timely' transcendence might have been, though it would certainly have seemed a lot better if he'd taken his leave after another 80 or 90 years of life...) left a hole in many lives, but his gifts to us, of inspiration, inner peace, and the sharing of the love that breathes all around us, will live on in our hearts and minds.

We love you, dear Bill, we truly do... and we won't ever forget you. Rock on, dude... we'll be seein' you after a while.

mariah fleming said...

Thank you for writing such a meaningful tribute. With everything that goes on in this insane world we are sometimes so caught up in the swift passage of 'time' we don't know what day it is.

Really in the grand scheme of life, Bill's death occurred just a tiny blip of 'time' ago. His spiritual energy is right here, right now. Greater love is what we are all searching for. Greater love will heal the world.

It starts with each one of us, and in the case of someone like Bill, it continues to expand in the universe and touch people's lives. It reminds me to strive to have an impact of goodness, a tuned in consciousness, a heart that doesn't grow cynical.

"The greatest gift is the gift of life. The greatest sin is to leave it unopened.' Robin Williams (yes, THAT Robin Williams) Words of wisdom.