Photo courtesy of Black


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I’m curious, since you were recently at the Make-A-Wish conference at Disney World in Orlando, did you take your Minnie Mouse ears or oversized Mickey Mouse hands with you?


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No, but I told a few people how I wore them on “Dress as your favorite character day” when we were teaching at KIPP Houston High School.


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That was one of the funniest Red & Black classes. Ever.


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The funny thing is that other than wearing the ears and oversized hands, everything else was impromptu.

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Perhaps, but I also remember you wore a short black leather skirt and your usual Christian Louboutin black heels with red soles, except this time they were boots. Which, I might add, are the perfect Minnie Mouse colors.

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Well, there was no way I would wear a red polka dress.

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Which you proceeded to explain to the students is also how Minnie feels. That she only wears it “at work” because she’s paid to. After all, she’s a business tycoon, and prefers designer clothing to tacky dresses. Not to mention, outside of work, she’d never wear the same exact outfit every day.

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Yes, and your point is?

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That alone was funny enough but explaining it while “in character” and gesturing with those oversized white hands, just made every word hilarious.

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I did not even need to do a squeaky Minnie Mouse voice.

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All I know is that if someone had told me when we were kids and visiting Disney World shortly after they opened, that my big sister would one day entertain high school seniors with a business lesson about Minnie while “in costume”, I’d have said they were crazy.

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I cannot believe that was 50 years ago. And, that Mickey and Minnie were born on the same day and are over 90 years old. Animation is the ultimate fountain of youth.

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Is that why you like to use our animated creatures, rather than us, as often as possible?! But if they’re ageless, what determines their birthday?

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November 18, 1928, was the day “Steamboat Willy,” the animated short film that made Mickey (and his girlfriend, Minnie) famous, was released.


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Even though they were never my favorite cartoon characters, I still remember the first time I saw that film. It was somewhere on Main Street, USA at Disney World, and it was in black and white. I’ve never forgotten it.


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I am fascinated by how one animated short became an entertainment empire. And, to think that Mickey was a mouse because Walt Disney signed over the rights to his first creation, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.


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Is that why when Red & Black was first created, you refused to give over the rights to anything and everything that we created? I always assumed it was because you were a control freak.


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I admit I am a control freak, but would like to think it is selective. For example, controlling the Red & Black brand so that it represents what we stand for and believe. When you say “Disney,” it conjures up an image of being wholesome and family appropriate. And, Mickey and Minnie are an integral part of that. It is the power of a brand and has made Disney the brand it is today.


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Yes, and I remember you telling that to the students, even going so far as to explain the value of the brand as an intangible asset. It was probably the funniest explanation of the concept anyone’s ever heard, but that’s because you did it while wearing those oversized white mouse gloves.


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Who knew that Minnie could make learning so much fun?


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So, what do you think Mickey would’ve thought of that? Especially as he’s used to getting top billing.


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I know that Mickey may get most of the attention, and even his own day, but never underestimate the power of Minnie …
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As soon as Black wrote it, it became one of Red’s favorite posts, and now it’s a Red & Black Thanksgiving tradition. After all, what could be a better Turkey Day tradition than memories of a perfect turkey?

And it’s the perfect way to wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving that, as Black says below, is … filled with memories that will last a lifetime.

Today is Thanksgiving, and I cannot help but wonder why we are online. However, everyone has their own way of celebrating. I know that Red is in the kitchen cooking – and watching a marathon of "The Godfather" movies. Which is perfect as turkeys take such a long time to cook and patience is important when you want it perfectly browned. So inviting, so appetizing, so … naked?

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Photo by Aneese on iStock

Before Red’s daughter, Natasha, discovered a love of bats (and later, Natasha and Black getting matching bat tattoos), if you asked Red what comes to mind when you say, “Bats,” she would’ve replied, “Batman” – the cartoon strip, the 1950’s TV series or any of the many Hollywood movies. (Don’t get Black started on the business aspects of the franchise.) Black, on the other hand, would mention how many people associate them with Dracula and vampire bats, which may explain why many people are spooked by these nocturnal mammals, thinking they are sinister creatures of the night. But Black knows bats are good … for the environment and the economy. So, it’s the perfect time to give some respect to these misunderstood creatures (not to mention, being able to sleep upside down is impressive) because not only are they a symbol of Halloween but October’s Bat Appreciation Month.



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Thanks for sending me Natasha's Austin-inspired business plan. But while I know that's her future, I can't help but think about the first time I took her to Austin.


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All I remember is that it was love at first sight.


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It was on our way home from taking Sawyer to camp, and I told her we were making a slight "detour". She was so excited when I pulled up to the hotel as she's always loved hotels. But that night, as we walked onto Congress Avenue Bridge and saw the thousands and thousands of bats fly out into the sunset, she was mesmerized and "in love".
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The show “I Love Lucy” is truly iconic. And while it’s natural to focus on Lucy, we shouldn’t overlook her partner on the show and in business – Desi Arnaz. Taking top billing in the name of their company, Desilu Productions, Desi Arnaz is recognized as one of the most innovative TV producers, and the first Hispanic to star on prime-time TV. And what better time to celebrate these remarkable achievements than during Hispanic Heritage Month?


I Love Lucy. For many of us, myself included, those three words bring back memories of favorite episodes of the “I Love Lucy” show. And, although I would be hard-pressed to pick my favorites, some may reminisce that the show, which ran from 1951 – 1957, was from a simpler time and is dated. I would argue that the comic timing, the gags, and the chemistry of the characters have stood the test of time.

Maybe it is because they took frustrating situations in everyday life and then pushed them to the extreme – and made them hilarious along the way. For example, your young child wants a superhero at their birthday party. Reasonable. But for Lucy, after unsuccessfully trying to book Superman (Chris Reeves), she dons the costume in “ Lucy and Superman.” A classic.

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