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Oct 8, 2014

John Hutton and I have spent hundreds of hours together watching pre-teen girls. Don’t get the wrong idea – we’re soccer coaches. At least we were for many years.

JOHN HUTTON podcast excerpt: "I had retired from banking in Newburgh, New York, and moved to Tampa, Florida, and had some free time on my hands, My brother, who passed away a couple of years ago, wrote some memoirs and genealogical tracts about our family and that inspired me. 'A Daily Dose of Innocence' has been a labor of love for the past five years."

One day, standing on the sidelines – or maybe it was on a long bus ride for an away game – John started telling me about this book he was writing. It sounded very personal, with short essays about everything from being a fraternity brother at Wake Forest to following his father into banking and from the joys of volunteering to the mysteries of fatherhood. For years, I teased my friend about finishing his book so I could read it. It literally took years, but he surprised me one day and said it was done. Now I had to read it. A new problem: what if it was terrible? What if I hated it? How would I tell this man that I had come to think of as a brother that he couldn’t write? Sometimes, my friends, I worry too much.

JOHN HUTTON podcast excerpt: "My son, Spencer, was in half-day kindergarten. It was the depths of winter in Newburgh. My wife and I both worked. He would get the bus home daily about 12 o'clock and our sitter was always at the bus stop to pick up Spencer. This one particular day, for whatever reason, the sitter forgot. It was snowing and Spencer got off the bus and no one was there. He walked right home but then he went back to the bus stop and did what he was told: Stay put. Thank goodness, my good friend Bob Patterson, who lived in the neighborhood but who NEVER came home for lunch, happened to drive home that particular day! He saw Spencer standing there, shivering in the cold, took him into his house, warmed him up, and called us. That was a moment -- and an act of friendship -- I'll never forget."

A Daily Dose of Innocence, as John calls it, is a delightful read, full of down-to-earth homilies, advice, good cheer, insight, and a spot of sadness here and there. It is remarkably reflective of my friend’s joie de vie and his ability to lift the spirits of anyone he meets. The book is faith-based without being preachy, which is a great part of its charm. Not only did I love the book but I decided to publish it myself under my new imprint, Mr. Media Books. I don’t know how I could recommend it any more strongly to you than that.

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