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Passing the Buck on Blame

July 03, 1994

Re "I Know Where You Live--I Can Get You" (June 15): Whenever someone has a long buildup before he gets to the point, you can be sure there is a lot of self-justification going on. Don Frederick was in an especially good mood. He likes his neighbors for their differences. He was working on a sunny Saturday. He has a small son. What a great guy Don Frederick is.

So then, Frederick causes an accident. Does he get out of his car and say, "I'm sorry, sir. That was very careless of me. I will assume full responsibility for the damage I caused to your car?"

No. After the accident that he caused, Frederick was angry. He wanted to know why the other guy hadn't anticipated his blinker-less turn. He remained unrepentant. It took having a gun pulled on him to get him to apologize. Where was his responsibility? What was he thinking?

A. COOK

Santa Monica

*

Don Frederick has courage, imagination and good taste. But he surely blew it when he was faced by the young driver whose life was wrapped up in his '60 Chevy. If you don't tell the other driver that you are going to turn, by using your indicator, how can you blame him for passing you on either side?

Nothing justified the irate young man in using a gun. Frederick maybe could have avoided that encounter if he had admitted his guilt and offered to pay for the repairs of the Chevy.

RUSSELL KARL

Camarillo

*

Seems to me Don Frederick's "It began as my fault" ends with it being the other guy's. Instead of being unrepentant, why didn't he take the blame and defuse the bomb about to go off?

It worked for us when my husband and I inadvertently cut off two young men in a sports car turning onto a freeway. They cursed, yelled and honked for us to pull over. We did. They angrily approached our truck on each side.

We immediately began saying how sorry we were that we didn't see them. We said what an excellent driver the young man was, probably preventing an accident by his quick thinking. Finally when they could get a word in, they told my husband to be careful, patted one of our dogs and left.

LOUISE SWITZER

Sun City

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