The story of Randall Carter is quite the inspirational story. Imagine being at the lowest point in your life, and feeling like there was no one out there to help you.
And then you found someone, or somewhere that helped change your life. Well that's exactly what happened to Randall Carter.
As a result, he's now probably one of the happiest guys you'll run into.
So for this week's Names and Faces, we stepped into the warehouse with Randall Carter wh says, "I love this place. It's peaceful. It's not stressful. And they say there are people that go their whole life and not find that perfect place or where you feel that you fit in. Well here I feel like I fit in. I'm content."
As KBTX's Brenda Sims stands surrounded by a lot of unique things here at the Old Bryan Marketplace, she finds out that not everything that is unique is for sell...
It's another day of work for Randall Carter, and he's perfectly content.
Linda Wiley a Bryan Marketplace Customer says, "He lights up a room. When he sees you, he is...his big smile, and he's genuinely happy to see us. So that makes me feel good, and I'm always glad to see Randall."
Whether working in the store, or in the warehouse, Randall enjoys each day, "By working here and being with this family, has been a blessing to me. It really has. I think it saved my life," says Carter.
Saved his life, because Randall feels otherwise, he'd be in a different place, "In prison or dead. Because my life was going to...it was going bad. If I wouldn't have accepted the help and understood that there are people that genuinely care for you, I think I would either be dead or in prison. Since graduating high school, Randall had been in and out of prison, and battled alcohol and drug problems. Until the day he met Kay Conlee at the Old Bryan Marketplace who gave him an ultimatum.
Carter says Kay said to him, "Randall, you're going to quit drinking or else. There's people who will help you and there's all kinds of help here. So I started going to BV-Casa. I started BV-Casa and all my meetings and everything, she went with me. She made sure I did everything that I was supposed to do. And I really got serious about getting help and learning how to ask for help.
And what has Randall Carter replaced alcohol with?
"Blue bell. That is my favorite. I know every flavor. I've sampled every flavor, just about that they have out now - unless they came out with something new today."
Randall has been clean and sober for two years, and on the anniversary of his 15th year of parole, Kay Conlee threw him a big party, attended by many customers who sometimes stop by the store just to see Randall.
He's a gentle soul. You can tell just by watching him. He's very kind.
Carter says, "I look at those bad times, and realize that I don't ever want to go back to those times. I don't ever want to be that person again. I don't want that lifestyle. I think about that lifestyle constantly because it helps me to keep going forward. It helps me to motivate myself that I want to do better. I don't want to do worse - I want to do better. I want to be come a better person."
These days, Randall Carter is giving back and helping others, just like Kay Conlee helped him. He's mentoring other people that are going through similar problems like he did, and reading scriptures with them every day.
And you know how hot it's been this summer - well, the warehouse he works in only has a couple of large fans. But his attitude is so good, that he says he doesn't mind the heat one bit. Randall says he doesn't want to be anywhere else.