I could hear the anguish in Tom's mother's voice.
With some help from colleagues at work I found his parents and I called them as soon as I could.
His mother picked up the phone. I explained who I was and asked if she was Tom’s mother.
“Yes," she said.
I then asked what she could tell me and she seemed heartbroken about Tom’s situation.
She said he experienced paranoia and it has been a difficult journey.
I felt bad because I could hear the anguish in her voice.
I then asked if Mr. Spear - Tom's father - was around and she said, “He’s on the treadmill right now.”
I was surprised because the records showed them to be in their mid-eighties. I kept the conversation short and asked if they would be willing to talk on camera about Tom and his success with foosball.
She said she would have Mr. Spear call me back.
A few weeks passed and I reached out to the Arvada Police who directed me to Barbara Parker, the secretary at The Rising Church in Olde Town Arvada.
Tom Spear in 2017.
She had a positive experience with Tom and was willing to talk about it.
She talked about Tom coming to the church to fulfill some community service obligation.
Tom had a been rejected by 13 churches until he got to Barbara.
She put him to work.
Then, she said Tom had some concerns about working in the church.
“He said that ‘I’m afraid that when I’m in here my dad will send demons,'” she said.
When I heard this my anticipation of Mr. Spear’s phone call grew. My mind went to many different places.
Seven days after coming to the church, Tom was done. Barbara got him what he needed.
He sewed her some hackey sacks, asked if he could give her a hug, and left.
In all her conversations with Tom, Barbara Parker never talked to him about foosball.
She had no idea Tom was a World Champion.
He never mentioned it to her.
She was pleasantly surprised to see him smiling in the video.