Well I got the spring back in this morning. CSNOW I ended up using pretty much a variation on your suggestion.
Car on jack stands, used bolt type spring compresors, one on each side. Well kind of on each side, because of the way the spring seats I had to have the clamps at about 160 dgrees rather than straight accross from each other. Compressed spring just enough to get top in place and bottom hooked into control arm. You can not start without compressing some.
Used jack to push control arm up and then released and removed compressors. Getting ball joint back into spindle was another chore, but by prying gap open a little more was able to get back together.
Thanks for the help and follow-up, hope this helps others. (I realize there are allready quite a few posts on this subject.)