For those of you who refuse to wear a mask, guess it won't make any difference. For those who already do, hey, what's one more?!

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: A backstory? Not really. But we always have a story.

By the time Black had forwarded Red a CNET article about experts recommending we wear two masks at once, Red had already heard about it. And not from an article, but first hand, when she had taken her daughter to the pediatrician (when you play competitive volleyball, sometimes telemedicine isn't enough) and they asked them to put on a second mask.

Red agreed that the logic made perfect sense; if one's good, two would be better. And, it reminded her of cold Vermont winters where you'd layer up to protect yourself from the cold. Anyway, she commented to Black that it really wasn't a big deal since you're already wearing a mask. Although she's guessing there will still be people who'd object – probably the same people who don't even want to wear one mask.

When she asked Black if she planned to wear add a second mask in addition to the boring white surgical masks she usually wore, she should've known that Black would have something unexpected to say …

As I see it, the boring white surgical mask is no different than the boring crisp white shirts that I wear under my blazers. Now, I will have a crisp white mask peeking out from under a more interesting cover mask. It's actually the best of both worlds.

Leave it to Black to have a pragmatic approach to fashionable mask-wearing. Red prefers the comfort route, and knows the double-masking will give added protection to her "comfy" masks. Plus, she'll derive comfort in knowing that she's protecting herself and others.

A businessman, a horticulturist, and a missionary. Sounds like the start of a joke, but it's a description of the legend known as Johnny Appleseed.

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: Red, and her two daughters, learned about Johnny Appleseed (who was born John Chapman) in elementary school – a man wandering the frontier and randomly planting apple trees. Looking back, it sounds more like a Disney story (in 1948, it actually was its own video as part of the Melody Series); but Red like to think she's indebted to him because she loves all varieties of apples, especially the ones that are best in the fall, including her favorite, Honeycrisp.

Although Black vaguely remembers the folk story (she was pragmatic even as a child), she's fascinated by the real-life story of John Chapman … a strategic businessman who traveled west and found unclaimed land, planted apple nurseries (not edible apples, but ones for making apple-based alcohol which was very popular at the time) on them to claim ownership, and then later sold the trees and land. But he was about more than making money, as his values (he was a missionary, advocated for animal rights, and ultimately became a vegetarian) defined him … as a man and a legend.

P.S. – There are two dates for Johnny Appleseed Day, September 26 because it's his birthday, and March 11 because he died in March (but not on the 11th) and it coincides with prime apple planting season.

Happy Meals. Lasik surgery. A Supreme Court justice. Any idea what these three things have in common?

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: Although Hispanic Heritage Month started in 1968 as a week-long event, Red, the straight-A student and lover of history, is a bit embarrassed that she didn't know about it, but the theater major in her realizes they're under-represented (and misrepresented) in the movies. When we talked about the comparison of "In The Heights" to "West Side Story," Black wasn't only focused on the business aspects but also how it reflects the times, and now is interested in the many contributions (including patents) made by Latinx, and the need for inclusion and diversity.

P.S. – We were both curious why the month-long celebration begins mid-month (September 15) and discovered it's in honor of the anniversaries of national independence for many Latin American countries.

Can something be "new" if it's made with "old" ingredients?

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: Black's fascinated by the business and marketing aspects of food mash-ups (especially the multi-generational angle), while Red's excited that her beloved Dunkin' has collaborated with Post Cereals and there's now Dunkin' cereal (and both of us love the tag line, "Now you can have your coffee and eat it, too!). Funny thing is that we've all probably been doing our own "mash-ups" for years (ok, maybe not Black).