Skip to Navigation Skip to Main Content

Help rebuild Pops Carter piece

Profile image for Denton Record-Chronicle Editorial
Denton Record-Chronicle Editorial

We lack any evidence about who vandalized the stained-glass image of Denton blues icon Tom "Pops" Carter that has adorned Quakertown Park since 2014. And since police have not arrested a suspect, we have no way of knowing a motive.

It looks like someone took a baseball bat, a tire iron or a sledge hammer and did their dead-level best to destroy the life-size image of a black man who played the blues with Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, Lightnin' Hopkins and B.B. King.

It was a cowardly act perpetrated under the cover of darkness Monday night or early Tuesday morning. Anyone who destroys art is a troubled soul. What's the next step? Burning books by black authors?

Christie A. Wood, a local artist, created the stained-glass art piece and encased it in sturdy plastic to protect it from the elements. But the plastic could not stand up to the vandal's abuse.

In today's heated political environment, it would be easy to jump to conclusions that the vandal, or vandals, are racist and intended to make a statement related to the Confederate memorial on the Square. Were they trying to tell us that any attempt to take down a monument celebrating white people could result in the destruction of something valuable that honors a black artist?

No one can know for sure. One irony is that the Pops Carter piece was destroyed a mere four or five days before the 19th annual Denton Blues Festival kicks off this weekend at Quakertown Park. Pops regularly played there before his death in 2012. Maybe the vandal(s) have a grievance against the festival. Who knows?

Christie Wood, understandably angry and frustrated, called out the vandal(s) handiwork and stressed that she still has the original designs and plans needed to recreate her art piece. We encourage her to get to work.

The Denton Parks Foundation and its director, Molly Tampke, have already set up a way to donate money needed to rebuild the Pops Carter piece and return it to Quakertown Park.

If you want to contribute, go to and then click on the "make a gift" button. You'll see a drop-down menu that allows you to specify how your donation should be spent.

Pops Carter is on the list.

We pray that this sad act of vandalism is not a sign of things to come. We need to come together as a community. Mindless destroyers must be told there is no place for them in Denton.