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I had to laugh this weekend when Sawyer asked if I still had my copy of Vogue magazine with Harry Styles on the cover. When I told her that not only did I have it, but it was still in its plastic wrapper as I hadn't read it yet, she was very happy.


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Besides it being a historic cover, is there a reason you are telling me this?


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You tell me. She asked if I could be VERY careful when I read it and to make sure not to bend any of the pages. That she wanted it to remain in pristine condition.


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Like mother, like daughter. Except I thought you were only like that with books.


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I am. But it did make me wonder if she inherited that trait from me.


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Or, learned it by watching you read a book, barely willing to open for fear of breaking the spine. I hope she realized that is not normal.


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Well, it is for me. But I'm bracing myself for when she starts college next year, wondering if she'll be like me and want all her textbooks to be brand new and remain pristine.


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I still cannot believe you did that. It never dawned on me to tell you to buy used textbooks. Not only to save money, but if you looked for ones that were carefully highlighted and had good notes in the margins, it could save time. I only wished I knew the previous owner's final grade in the course to help me "grade" their annotation skills.


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That's funny. But let's face it, you probably did it because, unlike me, you didn't want to do all the reading and studying yourself.


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Actually, it allowed me to focus on key points and the big picture. When and if necessary, I could go back for additional detail. It was efficient.


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Well, you've always been a big picture and bullet-point type person.


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And, you have always been that "straight-A student" who takes copious notes – just never directly in a book.
Rendering by porcorex on iStock


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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.


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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.


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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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