Recently I had the pleasure of interviewing our sheriff, David Carpenter. He has served Lincoln County for 31 years and has been our sheriff for four years. As we talked, I found myself in awe of how seriously he takes our safety. As citizens, we know it’s his job, but to hear him voice it and why it is so important to him makes me realize what a treasure we have in him.
Carpenter grew up in Long Shoals and spent the majority of his time with his grandparents on the “mill hill.”
I had not heard that term in a long time, but I also grew up on a “mill hill.”
He spent summers with his grandparents and their other 10 grandchildren. He said he was 10 years old when his paw-paw died. Several of the grandchildren moved in with his grandmother so she would not be alone. He then revealed to me that growing up around them made him a better person. This is where he says he learned his values in life.
He then told me that the moment he will never forget occurred in 2001 when a man shot at him. He had gone to Pumpkin Center to serve a warrant on a man, and the man would not come out of his trailer. Carpenter said he entered the home by the back door and the man shot at his head, missing it by about 12 inches. The man ended up spending some time in prison.
Sometime later, Sheriff Carpenter ran into this man at the Christmas tree lighting service, after the man was released from prison. The man came up to Carpenter, shook his hand and told him that he had played a part in changing his life and making him a better person.
Carpenter said it was a very moving moment for him because he wants to help people change their lives if they need to and to become better people in our community.
Paulette Ballard collects interesting, funny and unusual stories from people in and around Lincolnton. If you have a story you would like to submit for her column, e-mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org. In the subject line type “For your column.” Include your name and phone number for her to contact you.