Welcome! You've arrived during our soft launch … and we're thrilled you're here, but hope you'll understand that we have so much content – and not enough hours in the day (good thing Black works all the time, as she's the one loading everything). Check back as we promise to have new content in this section ASAP.
Curious to see what we've already loaded? Search on the phrase "Launch Box."
Want "Red & Black Banter" in your inbox? Sign-up on the "sticky bar" at the bottom of this page!
If there were an Olympic medal for love and inspiration, Tank Schottle would hold the record for most gold medals.
BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: In this crazy world that we live in, sometimes simple, positive messages can easily get lost in all the "noise" … but they're there, and sometimes even the most pragmatic people (that'd be Black) feel the need to share them (much to Red's surprise).
It began when Black sent Red a screenshot of a Red & Black tweet that "we" posted (no one should be surprised that Black does the tweeting), "Guess who is throwing out the first pitch at tonight's @astros game … so excited for @TankSchottle because Special Olympian spreads message of love". At first, Red thought it was because Black knew Red's younger daughter had helped coach a Special Olympics volleyball team (the Fort Bend Falcons) but soon learned that Black's interest in Tank had nothing to do with that.
It turns out that for one of the least likely "warm and fuzzy" people you'll ever meet, Black was nevertheless inspired by Tank's "warm and fuzzy" attitude and approach to, well, just about everything. Suffering from an intellectual disability (or DIFF-ability as Black would say, but that's another post for another day), Tank came into his own when he was introduced to Special Olympics as a child, which led to his not only developing a greater sense of self-acceptance and pride but spreading his message of love based on his experience,
I love to spread love and hope for our country and our world. We should all love one another and bring hope and inspiration to other people.
Not someone you'd expect Black to follow, so Red asked, "Why?" (knowing that's Black's favorite word) and wasn't surprised how it started,
Some twit on Twitter decided to take issue with the punctuation or grammar of one of Tank's tweets, and I happened to follow one of the people who vehemently came to his defense, which got my initial attention. Now, I am one of the thousands of Tank's Twitter followers who finds the simplicity and sincerity of Tank's positive messages not only worth reading, but worth sharing.
Well, the more Red learned about Tank, the more she was struck at how one person can make such a difference. And there even was an instance when Tank could accomplish something no one else could with a 97-year-old veteran. And although Red initially found his words overly simple, as she watched her daughter (the one who volunteered with Special Olympics) get ready for college, she found herself echoing Tank's words (from a video that went viral several years ago),
Never give up on your dreams. Do what makes you happy. Do what makes you smile.
There's no telling what may have led up to this banter between Red and Black, but it's safe to say that Black has ALWAYS felt this way. Which is probably why from an early age she always wanted to be "That Girl"!
Curious about the "Back Story" to our animation teasers? Red's daughter, Sawyer, told us we needed to do some very short animated "teasers" … so Black said, "Great. You want to work in video production. Take the final working versions of our animation and start creating them!" So, she did!
P.S. – For those of you who've met us or seen us at speaking engagements, we'd love to know if you think the animators have accurately captured us! (You can email us at Banter@RedandBlackBooks.com.)
FULL QUESTION: Why are some people talking trash about Olympic gymnast Simone Biles withdrawing from Olympic events?
Honestly, I didn't even know they were. At first, I think we were all in shock when Simone
complete the vault as planned
, but almost immediately, there was an incredible
outpouring of support. And not only from
former Olympians, like
Michael Phelps who has long spoken of his mental health challenges, but from a wide range of people,
including mental health experts, newscasters, celebrities, and even politicians.
I'll admit that initially I questioned her decision because she had competed in previous Olympics, so I assumed she was used to the pressure. But then, the more I read, the more I learned, and the more impressed I became. Because she makes it look so easy, it's easy to forget that you can seriously injure yourself if your head isn't in the game. Finally, when I read what she said at the press conference, I came to see how her decision was the right one, not just for herself but as an example to all of us.
I am aware of some of the despicable things being said, and
although people have the right to their opinion, I refuse to give them "airtime"
by mentioning them by name. These media "personalities"
(I do not consider them journalists or even commentators) seem to say what they
do solely to stir things up, and get ratings and coverage. Whether they actually believe these things or not, who knows? Unfortunately, many of them have large (and
loyal) followings who are easily (mindlessly?) persuaded.
They are quick to criticize someone who has accomplished so much more with their life than they ever will, but maybe not in the obvious way … Simone Biles may be the GOAT in gymnastics, but her greatest accomplishment may be in shining an extremely bright light, seen worldwide, on the importance of mental health.