About David

About the Blog Title Photo – Point Lobos near Carmel, California with Pebble Beach in background.

Dave Head Shot

I am a former trial lawyer in Arizona.  Today, I am in my 74rd year, so time is of the essence.  I have been a Christian for 52 years, this March 2023. I take no credit for that for God saved me by his grace and has kept me in his hand all these years.

In 1971, I was an agnostic or atheist. I was studying philosophy at Yale. Surprisingly to me, I was saved reading the Bible. While studying philosophy, I was intrigued by Danish existentialist philosopher Soren Kierkegaard’s discussion of “faith” and the “knight of faith” in his book Fear and Trembling, and his philosophical characterization the story of Abraham in Genesis, specifically of God’s instruction to Abraham to sacrifice and kill his only son, Isaac, as the “teleological suspension of the ethical.” In other words, Kierkegaard proposed that God suspended His moral and ethical law which would forbid killing anyone, especially a son, in order to serve a higher and final purpose, as a test of Abraham’s faith in God and willingness to obey even with such a heartbreaking order. When his son asked what they were going to sacrifice on the mountain, Abraham told him that God would provide the sacrificial animal. Abraham did not have to kill his son because God did provide a ram as a substitute just before Abraham was holding the knife over his son, preparing to stab his son in obedience to God’s instruction.

This was unlike any other philosophy book I had read, and I thought the idea of faith, as Kierkegaard expressed it, was interesting. I knew I didn’t have any faith other than in my feeble self. I decided I should look at “faith” as expressed in world religions. I read through Buddhist writings, the Hindu Vedas, Taoism – Lao Tse’s Tao Te Ching, Confucius, all of the Alan Watts books popularizing Eastern religious thought, the drug induced fantasies of Carlos Castenada, Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert (before he was Baba Ram Dass), and the Koran. I read them all. I threw the I Ching. Nothing seemed to strike me as believable. Having run out of major religions to look at, I decided I should read the Bible to be fair. I had an old Bible society hotel King James Bible in my cottage where I was living, no idea where it came from. Starting with Genesis, I read straight through the Old Testament which was not easy. The New Testament Gospels were much easier to read, and suddenly in the midst of the third Gospel, the Gospel of Luke, I believed what I was reading was true. I was standing in the middle of the living room of my cottage and God was alive and in the room with me. There was no leap of faith. There was no bells or angels singing, only a moment where before I didn’t believe it and now I did. God was a living God and He was able to hear my innermost thoughts. I spoke to him. No decision, I just believed, a work of the Holy Spirit as I now know. Jesus found me. I believed He died for my sins and was raised from the dead, and was alive, just as the Bible said. God was a living God. I repented, confessing my sins the best I could and I became a Christian. I still have that old hotel King James Bible.

I have been a lawyer for 42 years.  In January 2018 I ceased trial work, and have a limited office practice advising small businesses and employees since then. I have been happily married to Susan for 33 years this past December 2022, and have a 32 year old son, Wyatt, who is a second year law student at the Harvard Law School. Prior to law school, he was the the Digital Communications Director/Speechwriter for U. S. Senator Mark Warner, Democrat from Virginia, in Washington, DC. [Hard not to boast about him as a proud father]. God has blessed our family.

I also will have 40 years of sobriety; clean and sober since May 1983 when alcohol became unmanageable, and I asked God to take away the desire to drink alcohol, and use other intoxicating substances, and God induced me to attend my first of many AA meetings in Los Angeles.

I grew up in Omaha, Nebraska.  In 1966, I received a scholarship to attend Yale to study physics and chemistry.  I gradually moved to the social sciences and then to philosophy. When I left, I traveled and played guitar from place to place.  After four years of vagabond counterculture life from 1971 to 1975, on the road from the Spanish Mediterranean island of Ibiza to working as a fry cook in Waikiki and points between from Miami in the South to Vermont in the North, in 1976 I went to law school at the University of Kansas, intending to settle in Kansas City.  After 30 days of sub-zero weather in my first year of law school, I decided to work in a warmer climate after law school.  After obtaining my J.D. in 1979, I moved to Phoenix, where my parents had migrated to from Nebraska in 1977 or so, and worked as a tax accountant for the international accounting firm Arthur Andersen & Co. in the seventies long before it fell in the Enron scandal in the nineties.  I obtained my CPA certification back then, but have been inactive since then, practicing law instead. In the eighties, I was a corporate, securities and tax transactions lawyer in Beverly Hills, doing most of the transaction work marshaling assets for the Estate of Marvin Gaye and drafting for Hal Wallis, the producer of the film Casablanca and the Elvis Presley films among many others, his last literary purchase agreement to purchase the play of a young playwright in NYC Wallis wanted to help.  Wallis was too old then to actually produce a film, and he died a year later. While in LA, I studied acting for two years, working part-time at the law firm, at a wonderful professional acting studio, the Loft Studio, with a then famous teacher, Peggy Feury, who besides me, taught Lily Tomlin (who would come into our class to practice in her sweat clothes for her Broadway play, and we would leave for her to work privately with Peggy), Sean Penn, Nick Cage, Meg Ryan and others while I was there.  I obtained my SAG card.  One time Peggy made me get two haircuts in the same day.  She did not like my first haircut.  She said, the great leading actors had short hair, and gave me a list of famous actors.  One Friday, Peggy came to me and told me with a big smile that she was so proud of me, and thought I was ready for any role.  I was surprised, and excited of course.  I did not think she liked my acting.   Two weeks later, Peggy died suddenly and tragically in a fiery car wreck.  We mourned together at her home, with her husband, and family and Hollywood people like Jack Nicholson and Burgess Meredith and other friends of Peggy and her husband Bill Traylor.  After much soul-searching and seeking the Lord, I took that tragedy as a sign for me that God meant for me to remain a lawyer and give up the quest. I moved to Carmel, California, becoming a trial lawyer there.  I had the pleasure of presenting a real estate matter before the Carmel City Council presided by then mayor, Clint Eastwood.  Most significantly, I met and married Susan in Carmel.  I won my first jury trial there in 1989 and shortly thereafter, Susan and I moved to Arizona in 1990 where we could likely afford a house, unlike Carmel.  In 1990 I started from scratch with no clients, the solo law office in Arizona where I continue my law practice, though less so today as I am on senior status with my one man firm.  God brought us clients for 30 years, and Susan has been my paralegal for these 30 years we have been married, and many times has been “employee of the month.”  Together with the Lord’s continued blessings, we have managed to raise our son 31 year old son, Wyatt, who, as I proudly tell everyone and am repeating myself here, until last fall, he was Digital Communications Director/Speech Writer for U. S. Senator Mark Warner, Democrat from Virginia, in Washington, DC and continues to work part-time for the Senator as he attends his second year at Harvard Law School.

While worldly vocation helps to identify us and sustain us and our families, of course, most significantly and essential to my life, and for me, the true source of sustenance and direction physically and spiritually, is my faith in God, in Jesus as the atonement for my sins, and in his resurrection. As I wrote above, I have been a Christian since 1971 when I first believed while reading a hotel King James Bible in a cottage in Woodmont, Connecticut while studying philosophy at Yale.  God has blessed me with a rich and interesting life, a loving family, and more years than my father had, for which I am thankful to God.  Today, daily Bible reading, prayer, and devotions are the greatest blessing in my days in this world, a discipline I was regrettably unable to make a daily priority until I was around 54.  For recreation, I like to read and write and watch politics, news and sports on TV.  I sing, play guitar and keyboards/piano.  Not so much music these days, because when I play music, I want to drop everything, hit the road and become a professional musician. Not in this life!


My 2005 spiritual memoir, My Faith-Based Life and the Language of Heaven is here:

Spiritual Memoir

Here is the abridged version of my Spiritual Memoir, second half which records the remarkable supernatural providential events and answers to prayers in my life:

Supernatural Answers to Prayers in My Life

My wife Susan’s inspiring testimony is here.  When we met in Carmel, California in 1988, she was in therapy struggling with the suicides of both her parents, her mother when Susan was 3 and her father when she was 28. In her testimony she tells how God delivered her from her depression:

Susan Larkin’s Testimony

Making music has been very important in my life.  Here are some samples:

First, in August 2018, I made a YouTube video slide show for a song I recorded 30 years ago. In 1988, when I was a lawyer living in Carmel, California, I recorded this song, “Don’t It Make You Wanna Go Home.” I found the recording on a cassette tape in a box in the garage about 15 years ago. I had forgotten it. It was originally a country/pop hit by Joe South. My arrangement is unlike Joe’s. I recorded the song on a Portostudio 4-track, hence the recording quality. I made my own arrangement, sang and overdubbed all the vocal parts, played all the instruments: a Gibson J-50 acoustic guitar, a Gibson SG Bass Guitar, an Alesis drum machine I programmed for the song, and the electric guitar is a 1971 Gibson Les Paul Custom Deluxe which I still have. The guitar solo at about 2:10 is one of my best. I recorded the solo in one take, playing the guitar on my bed in my Carmel bedroom. In the slideshow, I used a picture of Jimmy Page playing a black Gibson Les Paul guitar similar to mine. I used Shotcut open source software to make the video. My first full coordinated slide show video with Shotcut. It was fun to make. Probably 70s music. Here is the YouTube link. The title painting is Rembrandt’s “Prodigal Son.”

Second, a music video I made on Christmas day, 2012.   It is a slide show of my two families, the family of my youth growing up in Omaha, Nebraska, and the family of my adulthood in Arizona.  I recorded “Goin’ Back,” a Carole King song, in 2002 in a Scottsdale recording studio, singing the vocals and overdubbed harmonies, and playing my 1969 Gibson J-50 acoustic, and overdubbing my vocals.

This is a music video I made a in March 2012 using Windows Movie Maker, a simple work. I wrote the song, “Summer Girls” in the 1980s. I was trying to write a Motown-like ballad. I did not finish the song, but the song and the recording came out alright. I played all the instruments and sang all the vocals overdubbing with a 4-Track Portostudio in my bedroom in Carmel, California in 1988.  One of my Yale classmates thought it should have sold billions of records.  Kind of him to say that, but I doubt it.  I never tried to sell it.

Last, this is a music video I made in August 2019 using Shotcut. I recorded the audio track of this Beatles song, Here Comes the Sun, in 2002 in a Scottsdale, Arizona recording studio along with 4 other songs. I played my 1968 Gibson J-50 acoustic guitar and overdubbed the vocals on a Thursday night. The paintings in the slide show are by Turner (2), Monet, Church, and Inness.

George Harrison displayed his genius with this song from Abbey Road. My humble tribute for the upcoming 50th Anniversary of the U.S. release of Abbey Road October 1, 1969, the Beatles 11th studio album.


Photo of David and Susan Larkin at Yale reunion in New Haven, Connecticut – 2005 [I have lost 45 pounds since these two photos were taken on doctor’s orders after diagnosis of adult onset Diabetes II.  Self-control is easier with serious health control, though never easy.  Click here for a essay on self-control I posted after the diagnosis]:

David and Susan Larkin – Christmas 2013 in Arizona

Dave and Sue Christmas


  1. Great taste in music! The Piaf film was
    a marvel (merveil?) – I need to watch it about 5 times more. Impossible not to adore this woman and her signing; impossible to not be a Cotillard

    I like the combination of spiritual/cultural/political
    in your blog. Think of linking the Hollies “The Air that I breathe?”

  2. Hey Dave:

    Thanks for posting this. I have a slightly different take on some of these events, but that’s no surprise. I bought that red VW bug from you in New Haven, after the #3 exhaust valve had burned out. I towed it to my parents’ house in the suburbs, fixed it up, then sold it (for $50.00) to a neighbor who was going to drive it to California. He got as far as the Sierra Nevada, when it died. I think he’s still mad at me!

    Do you remember how you ended up at law school in Lawrence, Kansas? I have a version of that, too.



  3. Bravo, Bravissimo, David.
    Most impressed by your creation.

  4. Sign me up

  5. Thank you for putting forth the effort, taking the time, and for transparently sharing how our heavenly Father brought you to faith in Him and to Salvation through his son Jesus Christ.

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