Extreme Makeover's Paul DiMeo Talks Carousels and a Home Edition First
This week, Extreme travels to Lancaster, Texas, to meet Carlton Marshall and family, which includes his wife and fellow police officer Susan, daughter Jessica and young son Joseph. Carlton was a police officer who tragically lost most of his mobility and all of his hearing after being shot in the neck while serving a search warrant leading a Dallas Police Department SWAT team. But despite their myriad of difficulties and a home not suited for Carlton's needs, his and Susan's big hearts remain open to others as supporters of the nonprofit program Therapeutic Riding of Texas (TROT). Both Carlton and Susan are public servants and I think that for not just us, but for the entire community here, this is an opportunity for everyone to give back to a wonderful family and to two people who have devoted their entire lives to helping others.
After having spent some time this week with some of the officers both in SWAT, the sheriff's department and all the police that have come out to really show their support for Carlton and Susan, you kind of learn that it takes a certain person to do this. It takes a certain person to put aside their personal safety to help others. They are strong, stoic people that put fear aside. We need to honor them and that's what we were in Texas for.
One of the coolest things that we did a little bit differently was introduce the family to the people building their house before they go on vacation. We have our great builder Joey Goss surprise the family by coming down the street with a ton of blue shirts and his red-shirted crew from Cheldan Homes and we get to witness this coming together of a family and its community. Speaking of community, the donations we've received this week have been phenomenal, from someone dropping off cookies to an insurance company that has given the family money to help with bills and the upkeep of this new house. You know that with this community the Marshalls are going to be well-watched. You know how the police watch over us and now we have someone — an entire community — watching over one of our policemen and I think that's really special.
One of the fun projects I got going on this week is in Jessie's room, which is all about carousels. She loves carousels, so we're thinking of curving our walls, getting some horses in there and maybe getting some hydraulics so these horses can go up and down. We want the center of the room where you would usually put a ceiling fan to be an octagon that's mirrored that can go around and cast a reflection from light going around the room, so it gives you the effect that you're inside the carousel. She will love this and it sure wasn't an easy project.
We may not have heard much from Carlton this week; he's a man who has very few words to say. But at the end of that long day, when we brought that family home and he got up on that horse, the smile that came to his face is something I will never forget — going around in that circle and he just had this big Texas smile.