Photo by Shane Rounce on Unsplash

I'll be quite honest. I probably would've left my British "history" in the past except for all the buzz about Oprah's interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. I'll admit that as soon it was announced, I put it on my calendar as "must-see" TV. I know, I know, I need to get a life. But in my defense, once upon a time, my life had included living in England and being married to a Brit, plus a love of Tudor history going back to when I was a teenager. In other words, I've always been interested in the Royal Family.

So, what did I expect? Remember the TV game show "Family Feud" hosted by the British comedian Richard Dawson? Well, that was my first thought. How every family has an assortment of "characters" that, by definition of their relationships and different personalities, provide endless amusement, aggravation, conflict, misunderstandings, and stories. Countless stories and different versions of those stories. So why should the Royal Family be any different?

But they ARE different. They live a larger-than-life existence and us "mere mortals" see them not only as members of the Royal Family but also as celebrities. And the British, including the many countries that comprise the British commonwealth, also see them as "civil servants" since their salary and staff are paid for by the people. All of which is to say, they play many roles – both in public and in private.

Fast-forward to the interview. I've already said quite a bit about my thoughts in our Banter Bite from earlier this week, Talk About Getting The Royal Treatment. But what I didn't include there, but what I've kept thinking about since, is how I feel that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle wasted an incredible opportunity. So, have I now become a public relations or communications expert? Hardly. But since I can't help but think about the significant issues they exposed,

I wish that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex had used their experience not to make anyone look bad but rather to merely tell their story and lay the foundation of why they're going to dedicate themselves to bringing greater awareness to incredibly important topics – racism and mental health – that apply to all of us, whether Americans or Brits.
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Red's Head

Based on the "hints" in your Ghosting post, it sounds like your recent "romance" wasn't quite a Lady GaGa "bad romance", but, well, a frustrating one.

Black's Head Black

Interesting comparison, as years ago Gaga revealed that she is drawn to bad romances, but is not sure if she goes after them or they find her. Regardless, my "relationship" ended in the dating stage and never really became a romance. Either when I dated him almost 30 years ago, or recently. Although, this time, I thought it had potential.

Red's Head

I was amazed that you were even willing to "rekindle" the relationship as you're not exactly a believer in "recycling" relationships, as I think you once phrased it. In fact, I thought you were pretty adamant about the concept of not repeating your mistakes.
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Design by Sawyer Pennington, Underlying photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

It started when Black sent Red a LinkedIn post about Louis Armstrong, asking her to "connect the dots" (one of Black's favorite things to do). Red knew that he was one of the most distinctive and talented jazz musicians in American history, but it was a complete surprise to learn that he had such a strong connection to a Jewish couple that immigrated from Lithuania and that he wore a Star of David for most of his life to honor them. That alone made it a "truth is stranger than fiction" story. The fact it's also a touching story about kindness and love makes this, at least for Red, even better than fiction.

Black, who prefers the pragmatic aspects of Armstrong's unusual journey – from being an impoverished black boy to an extraordinary career as a musician, singer, and composer – and sees it as a story of overcoming barriers, realizing your potential, and finding freedom (and she discloses an interesting connection between Armstrong and Independence Day).

Our July column, "RED & BLACK … The Sound Of Freedom," connects all those dots and is about so much more than surprising facts about Louis Armstrong. It's also about the power of music, inspiration, and hope, not to mention a very different way of looking at freedom.

Want to read other columns? Here's a list.

Everyone laughs and wants to hear the story when I mention that I was recently "ghosted" by someone I had dated. What I find interesting is that ghosting has become so prevalent in today's society (and is not restricted to dating) that there is a term to describe the sudden "disappearance" of someone who wants to avoid all future contact with you.

Going back decades, I know there have been first dates that, at the time, I thought went well. But, after getting the "I'll call you" line … I never did. As a teenager, I can remember anxiously waiting for the phone (a landline tethered to the wall – and yes, I am that old) to ring, not wanting to go out and possibly miss the call. And, being very disappointed by the silence. Now, I cannot even remember who they were.

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