Underlying image from White Mountain Puzzles

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Every Saturday morning when we post one of our animations it reminds me of growing up in New York and watching cartoons on Saturday mornings.


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Careful, you are showing your age. That was back when there were only a handful of television channels and they had specific lineups, including Saturday mornings full of children's programming. It was long before there was the Cartoon Network. And, well before you could stream cartoons or watch them on smart phones.


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I don't want the history of cartoons; I want to reminisce about the simpler times. I remember sitting in front of our black and white TV in the playroom with a bowl full of cereal watching my favorite cartoons.


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I remember Mom had all the cereal on the bottom shelf of a kitchen cabinet so that we could make our own breakfast.


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Yes, and I tried so hard not to spill any milk but invariably did.


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Well, that may explain why I have always eaten my cereal dry. And, often straight out of the box.


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Gee, you were efficient even as a kid? Although, I have a hard time imagining you sugar loading on cereal and watching cartoons. Anyway, I can't remember us ever watching cartoons together.


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You are five years younger than me which, at that age, was a huge difference. Plus, we probably did not like the same shows. What did you watch?


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That's easy! The Flintstones, Magilla Gorilla, and Mister Magoo.


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The Flintstones was one of my favorites. That and The Jetsons. Did you know that The Flintstones started out as an animated show for adults? And, was the first animated show to air on primetime?


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You really are determined to give me the history of cartoons, aren't you?


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You brought up The Flintstones, not me. Anyway, the show's creators, William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, had created Tom and Jerry, and were certain there was a market for adult animation given the success of relationship-based sitcoms. Shows like I Love Lucy, The Honeymooners, The Donna Reed Show.


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Isn't that the same logic you used when you thought you could turn my crisis into a relationship-based sitcom?

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Yes. Especially when I realized there was an entire cast of supporting characters. But, we never would have hired an animation firm if Hasbro had not suggested it when we met with them.


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True. Regardless, I love that we post our animations on Saturday mornings. It's like going full circle!


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That is fine … as long as cereal is optional.
Silsbee I.S.D.

Who knew that one of our most memorable speaking engagements would also end up being one of our absolute favorite stories, full stop. And when it comes to Red & Black, all we are … are stories, so that's saying something. But there was no way to know any of that as we set out to do a speaking engagement for high school students. And to this day, we can't decide which part of the story is our favorite … how we got there or what happened once we arrived.

Well, we were off to Silsbee High School in, where else, Silsbee, Texas. Which is about a two-hour drive from Houston and about 25 miles north of Beaumont, which was the closest city we could find to stay overnight as we were due at the school first thing in the morning for a full day (starting with a presentation to the entire senior class, and then one for the students that had used our book as the personal finance textbook in their Economics course).

STORY #1

So, off we go bright and early with me and my paper driving directions, as I'm old school and like to have everything ready in advance, plus I'm not a huge fan of technology. On the other hand, Black's busy on her iPad as we set forth on our latest student adventure. The road to Silsbee (sounds like a country western song) starts with three lanes, quickly drops to two lanes, and before I know it, I can see that it's about to go to one lane, with no signs indicating exits. And my paper directions are now useless! I turn to Black and ask her (well, really, tell her in my "panic") to see if she can find out where we are on her iPad and how to get to Silsbee, and ideally, Silsbee High School. All I can see is ruralness (Is that a word? If not, it should be) all around me, all I'm missing are some cows crossing the road. And Black's reply?

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This past weekend, although not on my "To Do" list (although maybe I should start including it), I decided to take a little time to catch up on reading. So, I grabbed the pile of newspaper articles that I've been saving to read when I have extra time (which doesn't happen often). The good news (pun intended) is that many of these articles are so old by the time I get to them, that they go straight into the recycle bin. Such as the one when Trump was still President and covered not only the pardons he had announced but also the ones that were still expected.

Anyway, I wasn't sure the subject still interested me, as obviously it was no longer relevant, but decided to give it a quick glance, which is when I saw that it mentioned how Trump had promised to "drain the swamp" when he was running for President in 2016. Before you stop reading – this post has nothing to do with politics. It's about how that phrase brought back one of my fondest memories of my Dad and a piece of paper now yellowed with age …

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We had barely introduced ourselves when the newspaper editor held up our book, gesturing to our "two-faced" logo on the front cover and said something along the lines of …

Ok, off the record, admit it, you embellished the characters in the book to be more entertaining.

When we finished laughing, we explained …

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