Cape Cod woman hand-paints rocks to honor her late nephew

HARWICH, Mass. — Alice Cartier finds comfort hand-painting rocks while sitting on the couch of her Harwich home. “It’s a feel-good way to give back, you know, to keep his memory alive and it’s therapeutic for me,” she said.

Alice paints rocks in honor of her nephew, Justin “J.T.” Ramshur. They’re called JT’s Rocks. J.T. was killed in an ATV crash in 2007 when he was just 16-years-old. Alice collects all the rocks on the beach in Orleans. She claims they’re flawless there. “They are all so just tumbled and smooth and oval or round. They are perfect. Nauset Beach rocks are always perfect, you can’t go wrong,” Cartier said.

Alice has painted about one-thousand rocks and leaves them in random spots all over the Cape. She hopes they brighten someone’s day. “The rocks are amazing. I have one on my desk and I have one in my car. They really mean a lot,” said Sgt. Aram Goshgarian of the Harwich Police Department.

Alice has painted rocks for every police and fire department on Cape Cod. She started donating them to first responders as way to say thanks, shortly after Yarmouth Police Sgt. Sean Gannon was killed in 2018. “Alice’s rocks to me they mean quite a bit, to have somebody to take time out of their day to walk up and her to paint that rock, it’s the person that gives you that handshake that says thank you all those little things mean a lot to us in our profession,” Goshgarian said.

They may be small rocks, but each is painted with a powerful message. “Every time someone sees JT’s Rocks they just know it’s Justin just coming out bringing a smile, so that’s why I do it,” Cartier said.

Alice ships #JTsRocks to police departments all over the country to honor fallen officers.

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