July 13, 2024
Audio Features
Bernstein With a Twist
This is a weekly program with commentary on current issues.
‘I’m sorry to tell you this,” e-mailed OpenWheelFan, “but your friend was taken in on a con that defrauded Home Depot.”

Tim Whitton’s phone message framed it much differently: “I just feel terrible for that guy who I feel your friend cheated.”

But Danuta Tuszynska found a recent column “heartbreaking. So much sadness… I’m glad you wrote about it even though it’s hard to read.”

The column described a mid-November encounter between a Riverside woman I’ve known for years and a stranger she met at Home Depot.

The clean-cut middle-aged man told her he needed money to feed his kids and offered to pay for her ceiling fans with credits accrued on his Home Depot cards. She would pay him back in cash. He’d give her a 25 percent discount.

She was wary, even scared, but agreed because of the guy’s kids. He paid for the fans. She owed him $360 (after the discount), but could only come up with $320. He took the money, telling her once again that he had to feed his kids.

That was the story, a bare bones sketch of a meeting between two strangers against the back drop of a failing economy.

The woman, she asked that her name not be used, told a compelling story. But what intrigued me even more is how readers looked at the identical sketch and colored in the spaces to produce starkly different portraits.

The results seem to reflect the individual “artist’s” values, high (or low) opinion of human nature, wariness and suspicion and perhaps experiences in everyday life.
Episode Date: December 24, 2008
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