EP – 55 Space to grow and explore

Our conversation with Thal Dixon

Welcome back to another fun conversation with someone from my past. Thal Dixon is a good friend of mine from our High School days. Thal is sitting down with us to have a conversation about his interesting and entertaining Grandpa Penrod.

Thal discusses how no matter where his family moved, his Grandpa and Grandma were a constant in his life. We even hear about how when Thal was going to school in Idaho he had his own room at his grandparent’s house. Thal also talks about the closeness that he had with his grandfather and how his grandfather allow Thal to grow and develop into the man he is today.

As we wrap up our conversation, we discuss Thal’s passion for poetry and writing children’s books. Thal shares how he was inspired as a young student in Hawaii by a classroom visitor who shared his poetry with Thal’s class. Today, Thal is going into classrooms to share his art and passion for writing.

Once you have listened to this conversation, be sure to like and share this podcast with a friend. Sharing with friends is the best way you can help to share this positive message about the influence of grandfathers.

Links

Thal’s Amazon author page

Thal’s “About Page”

Thal’s YouTube channel

Grumpy Publications Facebook Page

Grumpy Publications Website

Affiliate Link

Readeo

EP – 54 I Don’t Want to Turn 3

Our conversation with Gramps Jeffrey

Our conversation is with Gramps Jeffrey. Gramps Jeffrey is a children’s book author and grandfather of six. Gramps looks at the world through the lens of what has changed and evolved since he was a kid.

We discussed his book, I Don’t Want to Turn 3, and what inspired him to write this exciting and entertaining book. We talk about how important it is to read to our children and grandchildren. Reading is not simply a way of bonding with them, but it has also been documented to increase a child’s listening skills, build a varied vocabulary, and lengthen their attention span.

Let us know in the comments below what your Ah-Ha or big takeaway was from this conversation.

Be sure to check out Gramps Jeffrey’s website (link listed below) and his book.

Remember to like and share this conversation with a friend. Sharing is the best way to help support our message of the importance of grandfathers in the lives of their families.

Links

Gramps Jeffrey – Website

Gramps Jeffrey’s email address is: grampsjeffrey@gmail.com

“I Don’t Want to Turn 3” – Online purchasing options

Affiliate Link

Readeo

EP – 49 Service and Legacy

Our conversation with Sylvia Liu

Sylvia Liu, never met her grandfathers but they have had played an important role in the history of China, and most importantly, they have played a significant role in Syliva’s life through their example and influence on her mother and father. Sylvia sits down with us to discuss her grandfathers, her life as an environmental lawyer, and now as a children and young adult author.

Sylvia’s maternal grandfather was Lieutenant General Fan Hanjie. Lt. General Fan Hanjie was one of General Chiang Kai-shek’s generals and a member of the Nationist Chinese Government. As one of the key military leaders of China, Lt. General Fan Hanjie was awarded the U.S. Medal of Freedom with Silver Palm, which is the highest award that the U.S. presents to citizens and non-citizens who aided in the war effort.

Liu Yiguang, Sylvia’s grandfather on her father’s side of the family, was a Commander of Intelligence in Chiang Kai-Shek’s army. Liu Yiguang was responsible for the security and house arrest of Zhang Xueliang who was a general that kidnapped Chiang Kai-shek and forced him to sign an agreement with the Communist to halt the civil war and work together to fight the Japanese. Liu Yiguang would guard Zhang Xueliang for more than 25 years both in China and in Taiwan.

Me and Sylvia also dive into her background and upbringing including growing up in Caracas Venezuela before migrating to the United States. We discuss her professional life as an environmental lawyer for the U.S. Government and with several non-profit organizations. We also discuss her transition to being a child and young adult author with a new book, Manatee’s Best Friend, now available.

Links

Sylvia Liu’s Home Page

Sylvia’s blog about her grandfather Lt. General Fan Hanjie (Fan Hanjie (范漢傑) (1894-1976))

Sylvia’s book page (MANATEE’S BEST FRIEND, A MORNING WITH GRANDPA, etc.)

Affiliate Links

Readeo

Adulting 101

EP – 36 A Victorian Grandfather Teaches His Granddaughter the Love of Story Telling

My Conversation with Jeanne Willis

Children’s Author Jeanne Willis sits down with us for a fun conversation about her wonderful grandfather, Fredrick Willis. Fredrick was born in 1895 and was a Victorian who served in the Army in Africa as a Sapper (Army Engineer) during WWI. Jeanne talks about how her grandfather used to joke about losing his helmet while riding in a jeep in Africa. The result, according to Fedrick, was his head becoming burned and his hair falling out. Jeanne, always trying to help and show affection to her grandfather, created many homemade potions to try and restore her grandfather’s hair.

We talk about Jeanne’s early relationship years with her grandfather. Jeanne talks about walking about on stilts and signing Army songs that her grandfather taught her. Fredrick also used to walk to Jeanne’s school with a pocket of sweets to pick up Jeanne and her sister from school. Jeanne shares a wonderful story about capturing caterpillars with her grandfather and credits this experience as the basis of her love of metamorphosis. We also talk about how her grandfather and grandmother would encourage her early storytelling ventures at an early age, including Jeanne using an old typewriter and Jeanne’s sister doing the illustrations.

Jeanne and I talk about how her relationship evolved, including how she thinks that her grandfather missed the granddaughters being little girls. We talk about how we can internally break our grandparent’s hearts as our focus starts to turn from them to our friends and outside interests. Jeanne even went so far as to write her grandfather a heartfelt letter apologizing for growing up and not having the same relationship as when she was younger. We both talk about how children today can be more focused on the screens versus relationships with grandparents.

I ask Jeanne about writing children’s books and how she often has a grandfather character appear in the story without her planning on involving him. In particular, we discuss the fascinating book Stardust. In Stardust, the book is a bit more biographical in nature, where Jeanne’s sister at times received more of the attention, and Jeanne sometimes felt left out. However, in the book, as in life, granddad shares with the little girl about how we are all made of stardust, and we all shine in different ways.

As we wrap up our conversation, Jeanne talks about how her grandfather was her soulmate, mentor, and she wouldn’t have become a writer without him. Jeanne talks about how he is still with her and often bursts right into her writing.

Links:

Jeanne’s Website

Stardust – I highly recommend this book if you have little granddaughters.

EP – 35 A Case of Blue and the impact of a grandfather on a filmmaker

My conversation with Dana Glazer

This is a fun conversation with filmmaker Dana Glazer. We start our conversation by discussing how his grandfather would work with Dana over multiple summer visits to create homemade claymation stop-action movies. We explore how his grandfather nurtured Dana’s creativity and gift for filmmaking. The lessons learned about just diving in and making a project and learning along the way is something Dana has passed on to his children. Dana and I talk about his children’s projects, Blackhole Producers and No Pizza! No Cake! as well as how to encourage children’s creativity.

As Dana grew older, and created his production company called Dane-Gramp productions. This childhood creation with his grandfather manifested itself to become where his films are created, produced, and promoted. We dive into the history of how Dana’s movie A Case of Blue was developed. Dana also walks us through the relatively quick schedule to move from the story to casting, shooting, and then promotion.

Dana and I carefully talk about A Case of Blue because there is so much going on with this movie. We try very hard to give you an understanding of the movie while at the same time leaving a lot of the treasures of this movie to yet be discovered. We also talk about the lead actor, Stephen Schnetzer, and what a great job he does as a new retiree, Richard, who is faced with life-altering decisions and circumstances as well as a crisis.

We take a movement to have an enjoyable conversation about acting, actors, storytelling, and filmmaking. As part of that discussion, Dana talks about how good actors, like Stephen and Dustin Hoffman, in the film The Graduate, go into themselves to bring out the character and make the character external for the film or performance.

Dana and I wrap up our conversation with a heartwarming and funny story that Dana shared at his grandfather’s funeral. This is a fantastic conversation about grandfathers, becoming a storyteller and a filmmaker in part because of those early home movies made with his grandfather.

Links:

Blackhole Producers – Dana’s youngest son’s YouTube channel

No Pizza! No Cake – Georgia Glazer’s children’s book

A Case of Blue – Dana’s fantastic movie

Dane-Gramp Productions – Dana’s production company

Stephen Schnetzer – Stephen’s IMDB page