For Love of God and Beer
The Book
Take the Survey

(I wrote this in third person so it would sound like someone else wrote it about me.)

Tom Larson was born in northwestern Wisconsin sometime in the sixties, although he is unable to remember the exact moment of his birth. Tom's father was a communist-hating fundamentalist dentist who never made much money, and his mother was the wife of a communist-hating fundamentalist dentist who never made much money. Just before kindergarten Tom's family moved south to Monroe, Wisconsin, the county seat of Green County. As a young boy Tom took much pride in learning that Green County promoted itself as the "Swiss Cheese Capital of the World," a distinction once held by the country of Switzerland. Halfway through second grade Tom's family moved again, this time to the big city of Rochester, Minnesota, home of the world-famous Mayo Clinic. It was in Rochester that Tom first began his quest for social and academic anonymity, a quest that he maintained throughout the remainder of his primary and secondary education.

Upon graduating from high school, Tom enrolled at a Baptist college in St. Paul, Minnesota, for reasons not completely understood even to this day. Tom continued his tradition of social and academic anonymity at the school, Bethel College, believing it the wisest approach in an institution where one could be expelled for drinking, playing cards or attending R-rated movies. After working diligently to finish a four-year program by the end of year six, Tom graduated from Bethel in 1987 with a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing. Tom completed his studies with a cumulative GPA of 2.97, beginning a long tradition of falling just short of his goals.

In November of 1987 Tom married his best friend's little sister, and two days after the wedding the blissfully naive couple packed up a U-Haul and moved from frigid Minnesota to sunny Colorado, with no jobs and only $800 of wedding cash between them. After six months of working as a receptionist for a large telephone company, Tom landed his dream job of becoming an ad whore at the well-known advertising firm of DDB Needham Worldwide. Thus began Tom's mostly undistinguished career in advertising, a career in which he hawked such glamourous products as fiberglass insulation and accounting software.

Tom quit the advertising business in 1995 after a mountaintop spiritual high in which God "spoke" to him and gave him two directives: Quit advertising and quit smoking pot. Tom quit advertising immediately, but tried unsuccessfully for years to convince God that the second directive was a little over the top. He floundered over the next few years in activities such as making log furniture, plowing driveways, and writing the almost-Great American Novel, which remains unpublished to this day. Weary of Tom's refusal to give up his addiction, God sped up the recovery process by banishing both Tom and Dana to the island of Hispaniola in 1997, where they would serve a year of hard labor as disillusioned missionaries in a freakishly legalistic church that preached that women should not wear jewelry, make-up or pants. After surviving hurricanes, ingrown toenails and countless run-ins with corrupt Dominican policemen, the couple returned to the US and vowed to put their year in that God-forsaken country behind them and forevermore stay as far away from it as possible. It was at this point that God once again revealed his love of irony so shamelessly demonstrated in the Old Testament by sneakily coercing Tom and Dana to start a new non-profit that would work with churches in the Dominican Republic to provide safe drinking water to their communities. After exploiting Tom's naivete and using it to grow Healing Waters International to the point of having projects in 70 communities in four countries, God then let Tom know that his services would no longer be required. Tom left the organization in 2008 and began a new journey as an unemployed former non-profit executive, convinced that he'd better write down his story before his few remaining brain cells stopped working altogether.

Tom lives in the mountains west of Denver with his long-suffering wife, Dana, and their two daughters, Sara and Casey.


HomeThe BookTake the SurveyJesusAbout