Tuesday, June 24, 2008


To all of you guys who are wondering (or not) what's going on with this member of team Carter after the insane past year: a short update cause a lot has transpired over the past months and I am just now getting to a place where I can respond ,kind of, to so many folks who have written and been so supportive.

I have remodeled a space on the Roaring Fork River in Basalt for my new studio, its awesome and I am making art and watching the river rise.

I have remodeled Chase's unit in the Triplex in Santa Monica and it is sensational and she and Tate are diggin' it.

and I remodeled the front unit in the triplex for myself for those times I am in LA- working , seeing the Kids or just getting warm -and it is a perfect, small joint for me.

Other than that I am now primarily in Colorado living in Basalt and working in the new studio and relieved to have a very difficult ,complicated year coming to a close.

This is all good. I am happy to be back here among so many good friends and part of a real community

I have been here since Late May, and have been hiking every day (almost) and trying to get in shape for a summer of backpacking and camping and new drawings, seeing friends ,music, food, and........

Seeing what unfolds in this next phase of the life.

Missing Claudette terribly , every day but trying to adjust to the new deal and moving on to new and different situations and anxious to keep learning and exploring.

So this is where I am and if you feel like connecting, all my info is here and I hope to see all of you soon, here or there, and please , keep the faith and thanks for caring.

Love, DC

Thursday, April 24, 2008

It’s been a long time since I’ve written. A lot has happened. More than I feel like is normal- to be honest….

Yesterday was a year since mom was diagnosed- and the amount that has changed in the last year is astounding. Mom is gone. Carter, Dad and I all have different living spaces, Carter is single, our cousin TJ was so sick he nearly died and had to earn to walk again… it’s been an upheaval.

Our lives are so unrecognizable- and yet when we are together, we are all- just the same.


I will do a little explaining.

First of all, being that the last time I wrote was in November- let me back track. First off we had a thanksgiving in Basalt with the Fosters. (Click for pictures!) Then we went to Mexico for Christmas, which was awesome. Again more photos… Spent time in colorado for new years, did some sledding, had a great visit.

The day we left for Mexico, our cousin TJ- (aka Mom’s nephew/ Lois’s son) was admitted to the hospital for back pain, and within 24 hours he was going into system failure, his organs were shutting down and he was dying. We got this news as we were landing in Mexico. Perfect.

Over the next few days he was put on life support, and even thought they told us he might not make it thru the day- he just kept on surviving….

4 months later as they released him from the hospital to go to Rehab, the doctor would call him “nothing short of a miracle.” He had what is called MRSA- which is a vicious strand of the Staph infection. That led to Septicemia (blood poisening) which led to Bacterial Spinal Meningitis. Which rendered the lower half of his body useless.

And so- I could tell you horror stories, of painkillers and antibiotics, of stool softeners and immodium, of their Christmas, new years, superbowl, valentines day, hell even their Easter in the hospital. Imagine that… 5 months in the fucking hospital.

But he home and he’s walking and he’s living and he truly is NOTHING SHORT OF A MIRICLE. He still has a few more months of rehab, but fuck mate, at least he’s alive to do it….

So while all that was happening, Dad was renovating his apartment to move in, and that was accomplished and he moved into the apaprtment building that I have lived in for the last 7 years (and the last 2 with Tate). Then, shortly after that was finished Tate and I moved out into a rental house and we began construction on OUR apartment. (Finally getting my dream kitchen- it’s AMAZING)

Then, in the middle of all that Carter and Nikky broke up. Nikky initiated it, and Carter was left pretty broken hearted, but you know- he will be fine…. They both will. So in the last month Carter has had to move and buy new furniture (and a 52”inch flat screen TV… classic)…

And so.

It’s only been a year, but fucking hell what a year it’s been. Tate and I finally did make it to Ireland… Which was pretty magical….

It’s just been a doosey.

But we still remain a team- even if our female numbers are dropping- (apparently I’m just gonna have to be enough woman for us all…) we stay close, and it’s the thing that has always gotten us thru, and it always will. Always.

Till next time,
You know we will remain

Team Carter

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


I've never fancied myself much a "cause walker" meaning I've never walked for diabetes or the cripple or run some horrible marathon... that's not really my speed. (and you can damn well bet that's not my fathers style either- I do get this from somewhere)

But when I found out that 170,000 people this year will be diagnosed with lung cancer, and of those 160,000 will die... it seemed that Lung Cancer needed my attention.

Well, to be fair- Nikky did. She discovered this Lung Cancer research walk in Manhattan Beach, and before we knew it we were sighed up... At that time, we thought we might push mom along in the wheelchair with us.

Obviously that didn't work out.

But we did have about 20 people with us, and we raised $2165.00 AND we had hats.... so it was a pretty sweet thing!

THen afterwards, Lydia, mom's good friend had us over to her house and she cooked us a breakfast feast extrordinaire... Let me put it this way" Creme Brule French Toast.... Fuckin' A.

Plus, we got to eat off any potentially beneficial effects the walk may have had...Thank God!

It was a really nice day to be with friends, walk for a good cause, and remember mom.

Was great.

Here are some pictures if you are so inclined.


Friday, November 16, 2007


Several people have asked to see the speeches I made at the memorials- so here they are:


Dad asked me to keep it light and not to swear. I have a feeling I am going to fail at both

How does one speak about my mother?

Where do you even begin?

A friend of ours came over the morning after mom passed and thru tears she said “god, she was just so special, and I know that that’s what people say about everyone, but it’s just not true about everyone”

And mom was special. She was a different kind of mom. But I suppose all of you know this because mom was, in many ways, a mother to just about everyone in this room.

Whether it was taking care of you when you were hung over after a night on the railroad tracks, or cooking for you, or helping you decorate your first or your 20th apartment, or sending you Christmas jams, or taking you in on a holiday when you were an orphan, or just simply listening to you in that extra special quiet way only she had. There was always a seat at moms table.

Mom and Dad’s house was a HOME, to more than just the 4 of us. It was home to hundreds of us. And it was this very thing- this ability to bring you in, and disarm you with her humor, and strength and balls out honesty- that was what brought you home. And I think it's the reason there are so many of us here today. I think it is why this room is packed. My mother always welcomed in a stranger. We have, over the years become some kind of tribe, and mom was always the first to welcome “the new guy,” and greet them into our well established world. And she did so with such kindness. Having no obligation to do so, she took so many people under her wing and cared for them without hesitation. And when you had a problem she listened carefully, examined cautiously, tendered her decision and then gave you her opinion, whether you were ready for it or not. She made no apologies for being honest, or blunt or being right, and she often was right. Fuck man, she always was.

Which was a hard thing for a daughter. Mom always being right, when I wanted to wear shorts in the winter, she told me I shouldn't and she was right. She didn't stop me, and when I froze my ass off on the way to school damn if I didn't know she was right. She guided us gracefully to find our own way- steering, shaping, nurturing us along. Always with a watch full eye so if we really blew it she would be there, to pick you up, like a toy train and place you gently back on track. And if you were really a mess, she might give you a little shove to get you moving again.

I know very few people who can say that their mother is as close to their friends as they are- but my mom was: Look at Emily and Zoƫ, at Damaris, at Shoni, at Mimi, at Jamie, these are some of my all time closest friends, and mom somehow had a way of creating a totally separate, totally important and substantial relationship with all of them. Friendship knew no age with mom.

Probably because Mom was insane- she was totally nuts. And we loved and admired her for it.

Like the time she Pooped in a napkin at a restaurant and brought it to the table on a dare.

Or the time the a guy was mean to her friends so she went into his bathroom and peed in his Listerine bottle and then put it back on the counter.

Or, the classic- the time my mom pooped in the cat box and then asked dad to clean it out. And stood howling with Lois from the window and watched him ponder and ask… uh, I think the cat might need to go to the vet???

she was a prankster, and a hooligan and a charmer and a genius.

mom had her own vocabulary too- Claudettesse. This was reserved mostly for her animals, but we too got to share in the madness

avandazias- meant tantrum.
squinty lentil noodles is the face a cat makes when he is loving you so
muckles- the squeezable bit of cheek on a dog
hurtzocovina- that was pain
loginitas- that was poop
Tony Lopez -that was peeing your pants
and bacabas- that was the sound a milkshake makes in a glass when you tap the bottom just right

ah, I’m gonna miss that.

there is a lot to consider when considering the great force that was Claudette Carter- the mom, the friend, the cook, the decorator, the business woman, the real estate tycoon, the wife, my fathers girlfriend and the great love of his life.

of all thing she taught me- and the lessons were many, I think I take from her- her love of the irreverent and her total respect for the game of life. She was a an expert at knowing the rules and taking total delight in finding the classiest way to brake them.

And I am just so grateful to have had these precious last few months, to have been with her in health and finally in sickness. Even at the end she was still classy, graceful, elegant, present, noble, proud, powerful and irreverent. She taught us how to live BETTER And in the end, she even taught me how to die.

In the end, all we have is love, and she left us with a lot of that. There was always a place at her table for all of us, and now we leave one for her at ours.

Her absence will be an enormous presence.


I got an email the other day- from a good friend of ours who wasn’t able to make it here today. And his sentiment summed up for me something I have been feeling about mom and hadn’t been able to articulate for some time- and that is this:

“Claudette was so very good to me! I don't think anyone has been that kind to me since my mother -- in fact, strangely enough, although she was younger than I, I thought of her sometimes "in loco parentis" meaning "Claudette will know what to do..." Actually, I imagine that quite a lot of people felt the same way...”

I love that phrase "Claudette will know what to do...”

My mother was right about everything.
All the time.
It was exhausting.

Mom always knew what to do. She knew how to act, in any situation. She knew how to dress and how to decorate the world around her. She knew how to swear, and how to drive fast and not get caught. Mom understood how to work hard, but never take it all too seriously. She knew how to balance this ridiculous world that is Hollywood and keep herself and those of us around her grounded in humor and playfulness and balls out in your face honesty.

Over the past 6 months I have grown quite close with a number of mom’s friends. And getting to know so many of her wonderful friends again, I have discovered something: People loved my mother. They loved her like they loved their own mother. And that love made people almost territorial about her. And by that I mean this- mom was so open, and so available for everyone that surrounded her- that one couldn’t help but feel as thought they were being let into her innermost sanctum.

Let me put it this way: What most of us reserve for family and our very best friends- mom gave away freely to everyone.

Whether you were a co worker, or a dinner guest, or an orphan on a holiday, or a recipient of one of her many jars of Peach on Earth, or whether you simply cut her hair- mom was REAL. With EVERYONE. And EVERYONE responded to her, and appreciated her and respected her. People listened to her.

I got another email from an old friend who was one of carter’s child hood best friends and she said “when I was a kid I remember thinking that your mom was the first woman that I knew people listen to like a man. I wanted to grow up and have people listen to me like that’”

And my god who didn’t? I was speaking with Missy last night and she said that in mom’s absence she has found herself thinking- What would Claudette do? And I realize I think the same thing too- What would mom do?

But I know she taught us. And so I rely on that- because everything I know is because of her.

My mother has been my north star- my point of reference- the way with which I navagate, and although she is gone – and her absence leaves an enormous presence… it is that presence with which I know find my way.

Because mom was force. She was funny, and naughty, and kind and disciplined. So disciplined. As most of you probably know, mom spent the last several years of her life on a diet. She was always so conscious of what she put in her body, and specifically she stayed away from sugar. Even though her nickname was Cupcake- cake was NOT something she indulged in.

Until about the last month of her life… I think she felt she was making up for last time because SHE WENT FOR IT. BIG TIME.

Everyday was a different delight. Rice pudding. Tapioca. Brownies. Cupcakes. Sheet cake. Tiramisu. Fudge. Cookies. Ice cream. Smoothies. Tofutti. Trips to the stone cold creamery.

One evening she announced that tomorrow she would be wanting a Coconut Cream Pie from Dupars in Hollywood. And I’m thinking –how the hell does she even know about such a thing? I mean, this is a woman who hasn’t had any sugar of any kind in YEARS. When I explained that we were going to be alone that following day and that it might be difficult for me to run to Hollywood. She replied simply- “Send someone”

Which of course I did: Nikky in fact- went and got the pie…. Thank you Nikky.

Course, I would have done anything for her. We all would have- that’s what made us a Team.

Mom led such an extraordinary life. She reinvented herself so many times. When others couldn’t see the potential in something- Mom did. She saw the good in everything, and in everyone. But more-than that: she brought the best out in everyone she touched.

I know for me- I was the best version of myself with her in these last few months. And as heart broken as I am- I am so grateful that I had these last few months with her, to be with my mom and to redefine our relationship.

She was the queen of the remodel. And I am honored to feel as though I may have been her final project. That we all were- her final remodel was to shape us all into the Team we always had the potential to be.

She taught us how to live BETTER, And how to BE BETTER, and in the end she even taught me how to die. With grace and dignity and class and style and lots and lots of Pie.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Hello everyone,


Here stops the Team Carter Newsletter Train.

I want to thank all of you for all your support and love over these past months. I sit now and can't believe the year we've had. Even now in the deafening silence that is mom's loss, I am bewildered how all of this could have happened.

I took this past weekend to go out to New Jersey and visit with mom's sister Lois, her Dad Joe, and her Aunt Tina. Tina taught me her family recipe for fruit cake and the legendary "cuccidati" the all time supreme Italian cookie.

The leaves were so bright and full. Yellow, Red, Orange, Brown, Green. A magnificent spread from Mom's childhood hometown... It was an important trip for me.

I am writing to say this will be my last group newsletter.

I wont be filling your inbox anymore with my monthly updates. I will keep writing, and you are welcome to come and read about us and ours at anytime. As always, we can right here.

So if you need a fix, have a look. But you will have to come to us, as we will no longer be coming to you in a mass mailing form.

I also thought I would give you all the link to the photos we have from both memorials.

Basalt Memorial

LA Memorial

As far as Team Carter goes we will be with the Fosters for Thanksgiving in Basalt. And then we are off to Mexico for Christmas and then back to Basalt for the new year.... so we will keep busy this holiday season, and as far away from all the xmas madness as possible!

I want to thank you all for reading all these months. I may never be able to articulate the real loss I feel. I may spend the rest of my life writing and never really explaining. But I need you all to know, how much it has helped me to know that you were all reading. Both as a friend, a writer and a girl whose mother was dying in front of her- your support has been epic.

As much as I have kept all of you together as a unified front, reading, staying abreast- being apart of this journey- It is I that was kept together by these emails: Catharsis realized.

And so I want to say thank you. For reading, for supporting, and most of all for loving my mother. I remember everyday how magical she was... everyday a little more. And I am consistently in awe of the magic she held, and spread around her- in her life and in you: all of her friends. She held you close for a reason, and after these months I feel I may know why.

Cuz you all are amazing.

And so.

Thank you all for everything.

Much love always,

and, as always we will remain,

Team Carter

Thursday, November 1, 2007


Hello everyone,

Well the time has finally come for us to hold our second and final memorial service for mom.

We will be holding the celebration this Saturday November Third at Eleven in the morning.

Dress code is california casual- which means if you are a suit and tie kinda guy go for it- if you are a jeans and blazer kinda guy thats fine too. Ladies, it is in a backyard so those itsy bitsy heals might drive you crazy, also it is up on a hill, and the sun can be pretty hot up there...

We plan to got to the Viceroy Santa Monica afterwards for drinks for those that are so inclined.

And that, is pretty much it.

I want to thank everyone who flew and drove and walked and otherwise made it to Colorado to be with us. It was such a special time and an beautiful service and we were all humbled by the turnout and extreme show of love and support.

I hope that this too will be a real celebration of a wonderful woman and a wonderful mother.

So much love and light to all.

See you Saturday, and if not we will have you in our hearts.


Chase and the rest of the team.

Saturday, October 27, 2007


Hello everyone,

Well, Team Carter arrived back in Los Angeles to find fire and brimstone aplenty. The sky is scorched red all day long casting an eerie red hot glow over an already surreal time... these days are strange indeed.

Colorado was magnificent. Decidedly cool to this decidedly hot. The mountain air was crisp, there were Bear sightings and good friends, hot coco, fires burning, autumnal bliss. Jigsaws and slippers, old friends and good food.

It was, perfect.

Being back in LA, has left a little to be desired, as you can imagine. Falling leaves and dirt roads replaced with falling ash and cement gutters, is well, less than fabulous... and yet, it is, somehow good to be home.

So then. Many of you have been asking about where to send donations to, and i apologize I have been so tardy about this... but I am finally getting down to business and sorting this and that all out.

The WYLY COMMUNITY ART CENTER is where we are having donations sent. This place is truly remarkable- it is a true labor of love, that our old friend Deb Jones has built from the ground up. It is an art center in Basalt, Colorado that holds classes for young people and teaches them to foster their creative side.

The best part of donating to this place is that it is still small enough that every little bit will help DRAMATICALLY. The Claudette Carter fund can and will make enormous things possible for them.


if you are so inclined, and i hope you are- here is the info to donate:

Make your check out to Wyly Community Art Center
and in the Memo- put Claudette Carter Fund
mail it to: PO BOX 4707 Basalt CO. 81621

Simply call in your card info at 970-927-4123. Tell them how much you'd like to donate and please make sure to remind them it is for The Claudette Carter Fund. Or you can email deb with the info at deb@wylyarts.org

as if! Actually, Deb can help you do this as well, if you want to Alpine Bank is set up for direct wire transfers, so all you do is call Deb directly and she will give you the routing number at the bank. Deb can be found at 970-927-4123.

If you'd like to check out the website feel free: http://www.wylyarts.org/

And that, is it. Thank you all so so much in advance, or if you have already donated- then I'd like to thank you!

I will be in touch again in the next day or two with the final details regarding the LA memorial next Sat the 3rd in LA at 11am.

So much love to all of you


Chase and team.