There are many aspects of our community that have a magnetic draw on the souls who abide here. The creativity that hones the art, the music and the crafts are a beacon for many. The general party atmosphere acts as the moon in the eyes of a moth for some. However for some of us, while the allure is a combination of all these aspects of our community, the enchantment comes by way of the characters we encounter along our journey.

I can’t remember the date, but I certainly remember the first time I met Carter. When I first laid eyes on him, I’ll be honest, I thought I’d seen a ginger Sasquatch. His clothes were well worn and it seemed that every stitch had a story to tell. When he shook my hand, his hand was worn and calloused, hard like stone and telling of a life filled with the kind of work that many would shy away from and shirk off as not for them. When my eyes met his, they were soft but piercing while yearning for the comfort that is found in the solace of friendship. His smile however was an invitation into a gleeful world that echoed of a child’s imagination mixed with the willfulness of a man’s resolve to see a task through to its end. I’d pretty much fallen in love with him before he’d so much as uttered little more than a simple salutation and ferried those around him into a world of imagination. Carter is to our community what Gene Wilder was to Willy Wonka and with his marvelously bright eyes and a bashful smile, he introduced me to his world of “pure imagination”. Much like that song, Carter authentically believes that
“If you want to view paradise

Simply look around and view it
Anything you want to, do it
Want to change the world?
There’s nothing to it.”

Carter has no idea that I have decided to feature him. He would likely object if I had given him any indication of spotlighting his efforts, as is the way of any good man, he is humble and modest. You’ve likely seen Carter at a festival, rummaging about for recyclables. At our own Mad Tea Party Jam he had managed to create a carnival of sights and sounds by building a fully functional stage and stage cover, complete with a green room that was actually his bus! He has always been quick to lend a hand, offer a smile and heal a heart, his mojo hand encompasses any and all things helpful to those around him. However, now it is our turn to be helpful to Carter.
The thing is, Carter has been pretty much homeless all these years I’ve known him. Despite his tireless efforts towards giving us all a more sustainable community, he never was able to obtain his own home. However, that has recently changed and he has recently purchased a shell of a home. The property he purchased needs a lot of renovation work, which luckily he happens to be very good at. The catch however is that he overlooked the cost of water and sewage connection which is in excess of $5,000.
All this being said, our community is constantly speaking of and imagining a world where we all come together and help our fellows. Here is your chance, so don’t let yourself down. Carter has created a “go fund me” so that each of us can donate to the cause. We have all sought to buy a friend a beer in times of trouble, well instead you can just take that five bucks and put it in his go fund me. Hell, if you’d ever wanted to buy me a beer, give that five bucks to Carter.
When you’re done donating, if you’re anywhere near Richmond, Va. Jackass Flats and Mad Tea Party Jam 5 alumni Jouwala Collective are throwing a benefit concert for Carter. The benefit will be held on October 8th, this Saturday at The Broadberry, 8pm-2am. There is a time for thoughtfulness, a time for caring, this is a time for love. I’ve said it a thousand times before and I’ll say it ten thousand more if need be, love is an action word, so let’s get busy!