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March 22, 2007

John School

Produced by
Denise Schreiner


Norma Hotaling was a prostitute and drug addict for a decade before she turned her life around.  Then, with the help of a cop who had arrested her numerous times, she began what she calls a "John School" - the First Offender Prostitution Program.

Located in San Francisco, the school caters to men arrested soliciting sex for the first time. The men agree to pay $1,000 to attend an intense day-long session.  If they don't re-offend for a year, their records are cleared.

The most effective part of the program is a tough confrontation with a number of former prostitutes, including Norma. Norma talks to Dick about her past and why her "John School" is so effective that it's being copied around the country.      


Listener Art Mines sent an email to suggest a story. This is what he said: "I think you'll find my colleague and friend who is 93 years of age a living inspiration". He was right. His friend is Marion Downs and she is full of stories, many of which involve brushes with death.

The first story she told Dick happened when she was 21. It was 1935, Northern Montana. There was a blizzard. Her thermometer read 60 below. The gas in the furnace was frozen. Marion found herself outside with her 3 month-old child, crawling on the ground looking for a cabin.

Your Story - Richard Watson

Richard Watson called in to tell us a story from his time serving in Vietnam.  He was a "forward observer" during the war, which meant he was in charge of directing his troops safely from one point to another. One day, he nearly directed his troops right into a bluebird's nest. He still treasures the memory of how he and the troops in the battlefield skirted around the nest.

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