…And Share Our Stories
About me: Clearly something you want to know
Shelby Smith Larsen, a leading edge baby boomer, was the first of three children, with a typical post-war suburban childhood. She had a good childhood, was perfectly miserable in high school (looking back, I think most of us were unhappy in high school about something!) went to college at Michigan State University, where she majored in Television and Radio, earning academic honors and meeting Chuck Larsen, whom she married in their senior year.
Two years, a master’s degree in education (always good to have real job qualifications if you want to work in television) their first daughter was born, followed two and a half years later by daughter number two. In the flush of the Women’s Liberation movement, and truly believing that a woman could have a successful marriage, serve as a “corporate wife”, be a wonderful mother, and also rise to the top in the business world, while volunteering in the community, in her children’s school, and in church, she attended law school. Although the difficulties in achieving all of the above, all at the same time, became apparent, (duh!) she nevertheless had a third daughter a year after graduation, and three years after that finished an advanced degree (Ll.m) in corporate securities. As her children grew, she recognized that there are time limitations in this life, and reduced her legal practice. During her youngest daughter’s teen years, she became chauffeur and personal assistant to said daughter, who, for reasons incomprehensible to her parents, became a world class swimmer and was constantly, constantly training, traveling to meets, or being drug tested. After this amazing, confusing, exhausting experience she had a mini-midlife crisis, spent a few years arguing with
God (you want me to do what? ) she went to seminary to try and figure out why her spiritual life was so dry and ended up becoming a minister. Who knew? Now, still married to college sweetheart Chuck, mother of three, grandmother of eight, and having learned at least a small lesson, she is retired from her most recent call as Associate Pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Santa Monica, and is spending time with family, with God, and on the Web.
John Richard Todd has been active in the Presbyterian ministry for the past forty years, in this country and in Scotland. Curiously enough, he has a Ph.D. in Scottish History – enough to make anyone envious! John was pastor of Pacific Palisades Presbyterian Church for 20 years. He and his wife, Jo, now reside deep in the woods outside of Normandy, Tennessee.
From 2004 through 2006 he was the Technical Advisor for the television series Charmed, a show on which he periodically appeared. He is a member of the Screen Actors’ Guild and is currently Adjunct Professor of History at Martin Methodist College in Pulaski.