Words & Banter

Girls Can Do Anything!

Design by Sawyer Pennington, Underlying photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

What do the classic movie “Gone With The Wind,” the TV sitcom “That Girl,” and Lucille Ball have in common? At first glance, the answer is easy. They were hugely popular at the time but have stood the test of time as they continue to have fans decades later. Red, a theater major and movie buff, could explain all the “artistic” reasons why, but Black has (as always) a very different perspective.

It has to do with role models and how they can come from the most unexpected places – both real and fictional. Scarlett O’Hara, a heroine from the Civil War, was a fiercely independent woman (even by today’s standards), while Marlo Thomas portrayed “That Girl” as perhaps the first “modern woman”, one living on her own in a big city and pursuing a career vs. a family. But as Black points out to Red in “RED & BLACK … Girls Can Do Anything!,” it’s Lucille Ball that’s the ultimate badass (Black’s word, not Red’s), proving that you can be an amazing actress and comedian while simultaneously being a pioneer in the TV industry and a shrewd businesswoman.

And what better time than Women’s History Month to reflect on how women can inspire other women to do amazing things? After all, Black may not admit to being a role model, but she will admit that her racing a Ferrari has inspired countless girls over the years, and women of all ages are amused when she says, “How hard can it be? Boys do it.”

Design by Sawyer Pennington, Underlying photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash


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As much of a history buff as I am, I’m embarrassed to admit that for a long time, I didn’t know March was Women’s History Month. But now that I do, I’m amazed by all the inspirational stories of women’s remarkable achievements.


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Too bad Natasha and Sawyer do not still live at home; it would be fun to start a conversation by asking them what women they find inspiring.


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I already know who they would pick. The first woman to race the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. And I’d have to agree with them. Your Ferrari racing has made an impact on so many people. But especially girls.


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Until you mentioned it several years ago, I never thought about that. In the 1970s, I was one of the few women in business school. I then made a career in the male-dominated oil and gas industry. I am used to being a “token” female.


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Trust me. I watch people whenever we’ve done speaking engagements. It’s predictable ... we put up the family tree, and Natasha and Sawyer get awws, but your two racecars get everyone’s attention.
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Were you like Red and shocked when the actor Chadwick Boseman died at the age of 43 after battling colon cancer for years? Cancer isn’t only for older people, and recent studies show more people under 50 are getting cancer. (Doctors aren’t sure why but suspect it may be due to less physical activity, more highly processed foods, and new toxins.) That’s why cancer screenings are more important than ever!

February may be Cancer Prevention Month – but we need to do it all year! Every year. And is why we’re rerunning last year’s post …



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I know that cancer isn’t the “death sentence” it used to be when we were growing up, but it’s still a very scary word. Especially if it’s heard “close to home”.


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When we were young, the word was rarely said. And if it was, it was whispered or referred to as the “ c-word.”


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Kind of like when I had my two miscarriages. No one wanted even to acknowledge, let alone talk about, them. Which made it all the more difficult to get through it, although intellectually, I knew it was not uncommon.


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Unfortunately, neither is cancer. It is the second-leading cause of death in the world, surpassed only by heart disease. But, at least, it is no longer a taboo subject.


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Please don’t make this about numbers. It’s about people. Which you should know. I’m sure you remember when Daddy was diagnosed with parotid gland cancer , which luckily was treatable. And I’ve had skin cancer, although I was very fortunate, it was caught early and easily treated.
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Even though Red’sthe warm and fuzzy one and Black’s extremely pragmatic, we both think of hearts on Valentine’s Day. Just not in quite the same way …



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Happy Valentine’s Day. And before you say anything, yes, I know you don’t celebrate holidays, so just humor me.


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But, I do “celebrate” February being American Heart Month since heart disease is the leading cause of death – for both men and women.


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Gee, that’s one way to turn a “fun” holiday into a real downer. Today’s supposed to be about letting people you love and care about know that you’re thinking of them. Think Hallmark cards, squishy teddy bears, chocolate hearts.
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