Remembering Wes Thomsen

News of Wes Thomsen’s sudden passing reached me Saturday afternoon at a wedding. I found myself struggling with the juxtaposition of beginnings and endings, joy and sadness — and, ultimately, future versus finality.

I’m going to remember Wes in innumerable ways: his ready smile; his unhurried manner; his palpable sense of contentment; his vision and creativity; his deft leadership skills; his deep desire to help those touched by addiction; his amazing portfolio of work at Hazelden Publishing (example here); and so forth.

Wes Thomsen (left) on set at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis, Minn., on August 3rd, 2021.

But I will mainly remember Wes as a friend surrounded by lights and cameras who blessed me with amazing conversations. ✸


Kate Gillette created a GoFundMe campaign to benefit Andrea and Margot. Please give generously.


P.S. A lovely memorial service occurred on October 1st. I appreciated the photographs of Wes, hearing the various recollections and tributes, and the remarkable closing song by Pegtop. A recording of the livestream captures most of this. I’m currently trying to find a stream of “I Believe in You,” a track on Just Us.

Addictive Substances WYNTK

Way back in August, we filmed the tenth and final installment of Hazelden Publishing’s What You Need to Know (WYNTK) Series. Our set was at the beautiful Westminster Presbyterian Church in Downtown Minneapolis.

That installment, Addictive Substances, is now out — or, as my kids would say, it “dropped.” Wes Thomsen, the senior producer, generously gave me permission to post a segment here.

I appear at 1:50
Copyright © Hazelden Publishing. Used with permission

Many thanks to Wes ThomsenSylvia JaurezBrad HadsallChris Dougherty and Jennilee Park for conceiving and producing the series. I’m looking forward to ongoing adventures! ✸

WYNTK Finale

We filmed the tenth and final installment of Hazelden Publishing’s What You Need to Know (WYNTK) Series today. Our set was at the beautiful Westminster Presbyterian Church in Downtown Minneapolis.

Many thanks to Wes Thomsen, Sylvia Jaurez, Brad Hadsall, Chris Dougherty and Jennilee Park for conceiving and producing the series. I’m looking forward to our next adventure! ✸


Postscript [08/03/2021]. “Where are you in the program overviews?” Please see Alcohol starting at 1:17 and Nicotine & Vaping starting at 2:20. And, there is much more in the full products.

Nicotine & Vaping WYNTK

I’m a longtime friend of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation and have frequently collaborated with Hazelden Publishing on various educational offerings. What You Need to Know (WYNTK) is the latest series

We filmed the Nicotine & Vaping program in late February, which seems like years ago because of Covid-19. It’s now available for preview and purchase

Hazelden Publishing

Many thanks to Wes Thomsen and his crew at Hazelden Publishing for involving me in this project. My previous appearances can be found here and here. ✸

Lights, Camera

Treatment Basics, an excellent educational DVD, is now available from Hazelden Publishing. I was fortunate to be included in the project.

Treatment Basics, an excellent educational DVD, is now available from Hazelden Publishing. It complements Addiction Basics, which appeared in 2017.

I was fortunate to be included in both projects. Many thanks to Wes Thomsen and his team for the ongoing collaboration. What’s in the hopper for 2019? §

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