A few weeks ago a date accused me of being too critical. I disagreed, of course, and we teetered on the edge of an argument, which prompted her to offer this piece of wisdom:
"Loretta Young always used to say, 'Never criticize an Indian until you've worn his moccasins for two weeks. Or something."
She had mangled the message, but I know what she meant. I should keep my mouth shut until I put myself in other other person's place to understand his point of view.
Last week I attempted to wear the moccasins of Bill Dana when he was in Cleveland to promote his television program.
I had to put myself in his shoes or else it would have been one of the shortest interviews on record. Even a person who isn't normally critical can be overly critical of "The Bill Dana Show."
Thus it was necessary to understand that at least one person – Dana – must think the program [about a hotel bellboy] is funny and that at least one person – Dana, again – still breaks up over those four well-worn words, "My name . . . Jose Jimenez."
In this agreeable frame of mind I even ordered the same meal Dana did – steak tartare, which is a fancy name for raw hamburger. He finished his; I quit after one bite. Obviously it wasn't going to be easy wearing Dana's moccasins.