Published April 24, 2014
By David Tuma, Journal reporter
Wayne Carpenter is a one-of-a-kind Belton native. Carpenter grew up in Belton and worked for the Belton Independent School District for decades. Few who have lived here have not come in contact in some way, shape or form with Carpenter. His weekly column started from a friendly conversation between Carpenter and the Belton Journal’s David Tuma. Over the years it was a blessing for all of us, as Carpenter’s writings gave a peek into a world long gone.
Carpenter recently came out with a book of just a portion of those weekly columns called “Hard Times and the Mule Died.” The book is 225 pages and is divided by sports, travel, childhood, politics, history and miscellaneous. His column was called “Up Nolan Creek” and on some weeks, the best article printed.
“I have had several people ask that I create a list of stories. We were able to correct a few things. When we started to do the book I had way more articles than I realized,” Carpenter said. “Most of the articles had something to do with Belton.
“I would get stopped on the street by people who didn’t even know me and tell me how much they appreciated the column. I didn’t know these people. The grand kids are excited because they think I am famous.”
Carpenter grew up around Ninth Avenue and is married to Ann. They have three sons Bradley, Erik and Todd. His great-grandfather is buried in South Belton and fought in the Civil War for the South. His other grandfather founded Delaney Mill and believe it or not, he wrote for the Belton Journal.
If you haven’t read the Chicken Pluckin story, it’s an entertaining read. The story is one of the funniest short stories ever written in Belton about Belton. The book can be purchased for use on a Kindle (the electronic version is $9.99) and hard copies can be purchased at The Belton Journal for $15 or you can place an order by visiting Carpenter’s facebook page.