Podcast Episodes

EP – 26 Maj. General Rupertus Pt. 1

My conversation with Heather Bates, Kim Robinson, and Amy Peacock about researching their grandfather, Maj. General William Rupertus, USMC

In this episode, I talk with Heather, Kim, and Amy about the research and their drive to document and write about their grandfather, Major General William Rupertus, USMC.

This is part one of a two-part series. With this episode, the four of us dig into the methodology and research of their grandfather. In part two, we spend time going through the General’s life before joining the military and his life after joining the U.S. Marines. (William H. Rupertus on Wikipedia)

This is a great episode where we dive into the General’s life but focus on how the sisters came together to build out his life’s documented history. The sister’s discovered many interesting facts about his life, including finding out about a strong German community in the Washington D.C. area before the 20th Century.

What you will enjoy about this episode is learning about why family history is important and how the living family can grow closer to their grandparents and other ancestors who have passed away.

We also talk about how after their mother and father passed, there was a gap in knowing their own family history. Well, after you hear this episode, you will know that these sisters were not going to let that gap in their family history remain empty or misunderstood.

Below are the links that Heather, Kim, and Amy have provided as part of this episode. Many of these links will help with your own family history research.

Below is an interview with Major General Rupertus

Interview with Major General Rupertus. Major General Rupertus’ remarks start at 17.39

Resources for researching and writing about your relatives:

Self Publishing SchoolOn writing/publishing (tons of free advice and guides).

Hemingway Editor: The Hemingway App makes your writing bold and clear 

Dropbox: A great application that allows you to store and share documents, photos, media, etc. and share them with other people.

National Archives Request Military Service Records

National Archives Catalog

The U.S., Marine Corps Muster Rolls, 1798-1958

The U.S., Navy and Marine Corps Registries, 1814-1992

Speecify – Excellent application! Free! Turns any text into audio. A great way to process your research.

Fold Three – Browse military records, by Ancestry

Oral History Resources and Guidelines

How to do an oral history – from the Smithsonian

Internet Archive is a non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, websites, and more.

USMC Archives and History Division

Naval History and Heritage Command

Amy’s Facebook group – Discovering My Grandfather MajorGen. William H. Rupertus, USMC

@MajGenRupertus – Twitter

The Rifleman’s Creed – Author Major General Rupertus

EP – 25 A Grandfather and a Godfather raise a boy to be a man

My conversation with Ronnel A. Blackmon

In this episode of the Cool Grandpa Podcast, I discover how a grandfather and a godfather raised a boy to be a man. Ronnel Blackmon shares with me his powerful stories of his grandfather, Robert Hale, working with him at a young age to learn to be a man who walks with integrity and with a heart to serve others. Ronnel’s grandfather worked full-time at the Firestone plant in Akron, OH, and then spent his downtime as a full-time pastor serving his congregation and community.

Ronnel shares with us that his grandfather, early on, would take a young Ronnel with him when he was ministering to his congregation. Ronnel shares the impact of learning to love and serve others had on him as a young man.

We discuss the difficult transition that Ronnel went through when his grandfather became sick and eventually passed away while Ronnel was a freshman in high school. Ronnel was blessed a second time in that his godfather, James Sheely, stepped into the role of mentor. James was the PE teacher, track coach, and local Councilman. Ronnel speaks about how James would push him in sports to really connect with Ronnel’s full potential. James never let Ronnel back away from giving his best effort in sports and life. When Ronnel held back giving his best effort, James was there to call Ronnel out and push him to do his best.

Ronnel’s story is a powerful example of how a grandfather and godfather/mentor can keep a young man focused on growing stronger in his faith and becoming a man of character. Both his grandfather and godfather knew that young and older men are not perfect, but with love and respect, each can help one another hit their marks in life and with their faith.

Ronnel can be reached and followed at the below sites:

Ronnel’s Emcee and hosting business – More than Me LLC.

On Instagram – Ronnel Blackmon

On Twitter – Ronnel Blackmon

Ronnel’s personal website – Click Here

Here is a link to the book that Ronnel mentioned, Fathered by God

EP – 24 The importance of growing your relationship with your grandchildren

My conversation with Alexis Wynne

In this conversation, Alexis helps us understand the importance of growing with your grandchildren. We mean by this, and what Alexis helps to explain is that as our grandchildren grow and develop, it is important to recognize them at each development stage. This may seem like a “no duh” idea, but as parents and grandparents, it can be tricky to know when to adjust the relationship and how we interact with our grandchildren.

As much as we want to keep hanging on to those grandbabies, they eventually become teenagers (smelly and full of attitude) and then young adults. The expectations and interactions that we have with them at these life stages will impact our relationship with our grandchildren. Alexis shares how her cool grandpa adjusted the relationship to treat her as a growing young woman and not a little kid.

Alexis also shares the important traditions that her grandfather headed up while she was young and living in California. We learn how camping in the summer and progressive Christmas dinners made for loving and lasting memories.

We also learn that Alexis had a grandfather who was not so close to the family but made an effort to be present at birthdays and occasionally stop by for pie. These little gestures and the acts of showing that he wanted to be involved in his grandchildren’s lives laid a foundation for a growing relationship in their later years.

Alexis is a super go-getter and is a busy young mom with a fun business selling fun jewelry. Please check out the links below if you are looking for some interesting pieces as gifts for a loved one or yourself.

Alexis’ email is popandlockwithalexis@gmail.com

The web is https://paparazziaccessories.com/409101/

https://www.facebook.com/popandlocketwithalexis

EP – 23 The impact of an aviator on his grandson

My conversation with Bryan Kirkpatrick

This conversation is about the impact a self-taught aviator had on his grandson. My guest for this episode is Bryan Kirkpatrick. Bryan grew up in Wyoming and shared his grandfather’s memories, Jim Good.

Bryan describes how his grandfather enlisted in the Army at the age of 15 and was discharged at 18. Bryan’s grandfather immediately served in the occupation forces after the Victory in Europe. Once he returned home, Jim cowboyed for a while, became a welder, and started working for Amoco upon teaching himself to fly. As a pilot, Jim would fly 40 hours a week throughout Wyoming’s state, checking for any leaks or damage to the pipelines running through the state.

While working for Amoco, Jim started collecting WWII memorabilia and soon opened his own museum dedicated to WWII and general aviation. Within a hanger in Casper, Wyoming, Jim not only worked on his own growing collection of airplanes but started working and painting other War Birds collector’s planes as well.

Bryan has amazing stories of growing up on the other side of town from his grandfather. We get to hear amazing stories of how Bryan and his brother built a B-17 (WWII bomber) that his grandfather stuck into the museum’s display case next to professionally crafted models. Bryan also shares how his grandfather put him to work buffing and polishing his Reno Air Race airplane and how his grandfather displayed and taught him a strong work ethic that Bryan took into the U.S. Marines.

Be sure to check out the following links to learn more about Bryan’s Cool Grandpa and the amazing life.

Links

Good Aviation Veterans Museum

Good Aviation and Veterans Museum (current management of the Good Museum)

A video about Jim Good (Must Watch!)

Interview with Ed Good (Jim’s son) about the Good Aviation Museum

A quick tour of Good Aviation Museum

Opening of the Good Aviation and Veterans Museum

Photos

Jim Good’s home made bi-plane

Jim Good’s racing airplane. Bryanna, Jim’s great granddaughter is almost big enough to fly her great grandfather’s racer
Another picture of the racing airplane
An example of Jim’s art with his great grandchildren
The MIG 15s at the Good Aviation Museum
A close up of the black MIG 15
Jim Good with his great granddaughter, Bryanna

EP – 22 Learning about a strong relationship with Adrienne’s Grandfather

My conversation with Adrienne Davis

In this conversation, we are learning about a strong relationship with Adrienne’s grandfather. Adrienne sits down with me to discuss how she came to live with her grandfather starting at the age of one year old.

Adrienne walks us through how her grandfather helped to raise her while her mom was driving a truck on national and regional routes. We learn how important it is that when grandfathers share little things like playing checkers or pulling a youngster in a wagon while cutting the grass. Adrienne shares that those seemingly little activities allow grandchildren to both enjoy the moment but build a connection with their Cool Grandpas.

We also get into how Adrienne’s grandfather protected and guided her through challenging experiences in her middle and high school years including being expelled. Adrienne’s grandfather seemed to know just what was needed at the moment to help Adrienne through trials and troubling circumstances.

Through all the years, Adrienne was able to maintain a bond with her grandfather that resulted in them having a loving relationship through his declining years. Although that bond was not always the strongest in terms of being physically close, the bond was powerful enough that his recall of who she was, stayed with him as connections with others drifted from his mind.

You will be richly rewarded by listening to this loving tribute by a granddaughter for her grandfather.

Grandpa’s, listen to how the little things that Adrienne’s grandfather did help to guide and set a direction with Adrienne so that she can use some of the same activities with her work as Forest Therapy Guide. You can check out what Adrienne is doing as a Forest Therapy Guide by clicking on their Facebook page HERE.

Below is the list that Adrienne share with me on our conversation.

EP – 21 Creating costume fun and memories with grandchildren

My conversation with Harold Weir

In this conversation with Harold, we dive into his passion for his grandchildren and costume building. Harold shares his experiences with living with his 22-month-old grandson and his mom and dad.

Harold and I discuss how he and his grandson have developed a bond whereby the grandson is happy to comply with what grandpa wishes him to do like be still for diaper changes and going down for naps. The secret Harold says is to simply love them and make sure that THEY know they are loved and safe. The discipline really comes from the parents with the grandparents backing up the discipline but in a loving manner.

We discuss Harold’s work with a haunted train ride in this conversation where people would wait up to two hours for about a six-minute train ride. The train and haunt props, characters, and effects would be planned out almost a year in advance. We also talk about our mutual friend, Roger Hayes, who has been a guest on The Cool-Grandpa Podcast and his experience with running a nationally recognized home haunt. (Click Here to listen to Roger’s episode)

Harold and I also get to talk about his fascinating work in the documentary, Never Surrender: A Galaxy Quest Documentary. Harold shares with us his experience in selecting the Thermians as the category they would dress as for the Salt Lake Comic Con and FanX. His passion for cosplay and excellent costume creation earned him and his family a role in the documentary. (A full article about this experience can be found Here.)

Harold is using his skill as a costume maker to create fun costumes that his grandchildren and family can enjoy together. It is great to see how a grandpa’s talents and passions can be used to create enjoyment for the family and draw them closer together.

Here are some pictures of Harold and the grandchildren:

EP – 20 Memories of strong and loving Italian grandfathers

My Conversation with Vinnie Tortorich

My guest on this episode is Vinnie Tortorich. Vinnie is a successful celebrity trainer, best selling author, and entrepreneur. Vinnie has a successful podcast, Fitness Confidential and is just a cool all around good guy.

Vinnie sits down and shares his memories of his strong and loving Italian grandfathers. Vinnie and I dive into how his family immigrated to Louisiana from Italy. What his great-grandfathers and grandfathers did for a living in the bayous of Louisiana and how in just one generation the family moved from sharecroppers and immigrant fishermen into the American middle class through a lot of hard work and sacrifice.

Vinnie shares with us a touching and inspiring story about how one of his grandfathers used to work as a janitor, doing the work of three men, and then on the weekends deliver bulk mud to the oil and natural gas wells in the area. 

Through all the hard work and sacrifice Vinnie’s grandfathers experienced his biggest memory is the love they had for their family and grandchildren. 

Vinnie’s great-grandfathers and grandfathers’ example has helped to form a drive and work ethic that has lead Vinnie to start and own compaines Pure Coffee Club, Pure Vitamin Club, and NSNG Foods. (I use Vinnie’s vitamins and his UltraFat products.)

Vinnie also has two documentaries – Fat: A Documentary and Fat: A Documentary 2

Vinnie’s homepage is https://vinnietortorich.com/ and he can be found on twitter, Facebook, Instagram and just about everywhere.

EP – 19 A grandpa’s example leads to the building of a strong work ethic

Conversation with Jon Sanders

In this conversation with podcaster, firefighter, and former minister Jon Sanders you will learn first hand the effect a grandpa’s example can have on a grandson.

Jon shares with us how his grandpa’s example affected his life and what valuable lessons he learned simply by watching his grandfather. Jon was fortunate to know his grandfather for the first 37 years of Jon’s life.

We hear how Jon and his grandfather built a relationship through intentional communication, a love for the outdoors, and working side by side on many projects. 

With our conversation, we get to hear a great story of how Jon used to call up his grandfather and jokingly make plans to chase girls in Hawaii and get into trouble with his beloved grandfather. 

Jon also shares with us the powerful influence his grandfather had on him when he was able to help Jon learn many life lessons. One such powerful lesson was when his grandfather loaned him money to buy his first car. Jon’s grandfather didn’t just turn around and forgive the load but held Jon accountable for paying back every dollar. At a young age, this lesson helped to enforce the value of money, that debt is real, and that a debt MUST be repaid. 

Do yourself a favor, grab your favorite beverage, and join us as we honor another Cool Grandpa.

After listening to this podcast, be sure to share your favorite take away from our conversation with Jon. I look forward to reading your comments.

Click HERE to find Jon on Facebook

Jon’s personal website is jonsanders.org and below are Jon’s podcasts

https://thefireinsidepodcast.com/

Ep – 18 Build up a healthy you with chiropractic care

My conversation with Dr. Jay Di Vagno

“Oh, my aching back!”

This episode is all about learning the value that chiropractic care can have on a person’s quality of life. My guest is Dr. Jay Di Vagno, who has been my chiropractor since 2004. I met Dr. ‘D’ (as some folks call him) when my back was so stiff that I had trouble sitting, standing, and walking. After a few visits, he had me right as rain, and I have been seeing him ever since.

I hate to admit it but even before I was a grandpa, I was having some back and neck issues. Mostly from sitting all day at my work but I do have a few ‘war’ stories from my misspent youth that have contributed to my aches and pains. Now, as a grandpa, I want to keep those aches and pains to a minimum; so I can keep up with my grandkids.

In our conversation, we discuss the big and little physical traumas that we all experience in life and how they can lead to our joints and muscles, not working as designed over time. By adding chiropractic care into a Cool Grandpa’s routine, we can enjoy our years of chasing the grandkids around and being the healthy leaders that our families need.

Dr. D and I discuss how, along with chiropractic care, grandpas can stay healthy by adding low impact and low-stress activities to our daily lives. We both agree that it is important for Cool Grandpas to stay active as we grow older because that adage of “a rolling stone gathers no moss” applies even more to us as we age.

Click Here to visit Dr. Di Vagno’s Chiropractic Practice in Alpharetta, GA

This is the link to the Georgia Chiropractic Association’s website: https://www.gachiro.org/

The American Chiropractic Association can be found here: https://www.acatoday.org/

This is the link for my friend’s Launa’s Etsy site: https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheVintageChaser

EP – 17 How Grandpas can be more relevant by dressing their best

My conversation with Mark Fonseca

As a Cool Grandpa, have you wanted to make sure that you were on point for a family gathering, a business function, or just want to know if that black belt can be worn with those brown shoes?

If you know a Cool Grandpa, have you wanted to help them look their best without coming across as telling a “grown man” how to dress?

If so, come on in and join the conversation with Mark Fonseca and me. Mark is the leading men’s clothier in the Atlanta area. Mark has worked with on air personalities at CNN and Turner Broadcasting for five years. Mark has also worked with the renowned clothing expert and author Alan Flusser.

Mark is passionate in helping Cool Grandpas look their best and be relevant with family gatherings and social engagements.

We discuss the impact that Mark’s grandfather had on him in becoming a clothier and entrepreneur.  Mark also talks to us about how grandpas can show up and be relevant to their families and grandchildren by following simple rules that don’t break the bank. We talk about some of the dos and don’ts of putting together a look that expresses the respect we have for our families and those we interact with.  Mark also shares his tips about how to help men look put together even if they are color blind. Folks you are not going to believe how high a percentage of the population is in fact color blind or challenged to separate out colors or shades of colors.

In our conversation, Mark shares the amazing thoughts that his grandfather passed down to him and his sister, including the idea that you should be careful about what you wear because it tells others not only what you think about them but what YOU THINK of YOURSELF.

You can reach out to Mark by going to his website Dress the Man, or by sending him an email at MBF@DressTheMan.com

Alan Flusser worked with Mark on Alan’s book launch in Atlanta for Dressing the Man. Dressing the Man is considered the definitive book on what men need to know to look their best. You can access the book through the link below to Amazon

Shout out for my friend Launa’s Store

If you are looking for the link to my friend, Launa’s Etsy site, click over to my resources and guest links page here and look for The Vintage Chasser website.