EP – 39 A Lieutenant General Becomes a Kid Again with His Grandchildren

My Conversation with Lieutenant General (Retired) Ralph Jodice

Welcome back! In this episode of The Cool Grandpa Podcast, we are privileged to have Retired Lieutenant General Ralph J. Jodice II join us and talk about his experience with being a grandfather. Ralph is the father of one of our past guests, Brian Jodice (A link to Brian’s conversation is down below). As you will learn, Ralph is a heck of a guy and another good example of someone who is “doing it right.”

If you thought that Generals could not get down and play with children and become children again through their interactions with their grandchildren, you would be mistaken. As you will find out in this engaging conversation, nothing makes Ralph happier than sitting down and having high tea with one of his granddaughters or playing Legos with one of his grandsons.

As you will learn, Ralph comes from a very close family that he has intentionally passed on to his children and grandchildren. Although Ralph and his wife (affectionately known as Nonna by the grandchildren) may not live close to their children and grandchildren when needed, they deploy to wherever they are needed. Grandpa takes on logistics and supply duties while Nonna takes command of the kitchen. By being intentional with the time they spend, the grandparents and grandchildren build lasting relationships that are part of a long Jodice tradition.

Ralph also shares with us the story of how while serving his country and NATO in Izmir, Turkey, he was able to balance out the news and excitement of his first granddaughter being born. We learn from Ralph that the priorities of Faith, Family, Service can sometimes become out of wack during deployments and the call of duty but that it is important to restore that balance as soon as possible.

There are heartwarming stories and lessons shared in this conversation with Ralph that we can all learn from. My biggest takeaway is the importance of the dining room table. As Ralph talks about, that is where the family laughs, loves, cry, and learns. After you listen to this conversation, be sure to leave your big takeaway in the comments below.

Links:

Lieutenant General Ralph J. Jodice II biography

Brian’s conversation about his grandfathers

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

EP – 34 Live Right, Lead Right, Leave Right. A legacy from two service-oriented grandfathers

My conversation with Brian Jodice

In this exciting conversation with Brian Jodice, we talk about his grandfathers and the lessons he learned from them. Brain shares with us stories about Pop (Jim Lepis) and Granddad (Pat Jodice). Both of these outstanding individuals were former servicemen in WWII and continued to serve their communities throughout their lives. Both grandfathers were from New Jersey (we didn’t get into what exit…New Jersey joke there).

Brian’s Pop was an aircraft mechanic in WWII and retired to the shore in Lavallette, NJ, after working in civilian life. Brian recalls family trips up to New Jersey full of cousins, noise, and, most importantly, family.

Granddad was a sonar man in the Navy during WWII and was able to see the Marines post the US Flag on top of Mt. Suribachi. Granddad also served in the Korean war. After serving his country, Granddad became a police officer in New Milford, New Jersey, where he eventually retired as the Chief of Police. Granddad retired and built a home in North Eastern North Carolina. Ganddad’s was very different in that Granddad’s house was not as crazy with just Brian’s brothers and one other cousin.

Brian clearly remembers how no matter what was going on or what grandfather’s home he was visiting, both Grandfathers were intentional about spending time with the grandchildren. We talk about how different but similar the time was at each house. You are going to love hearing the stories about Pop and Granddad, and there will be no doubt how much they loved their grandchildren.

From this conversation, you will see how Pop and Granddad loved and led their families and grandchildren. The legacy of being an intentional grandfather is evident with Brain and his brothers. Those lessons of being intentional came in many forms, from discussions around the kitchen table to working in Pop’s woodshop or just cruising around the neighborhood.

Links:

Pickup the Six website

My interview on the Pickup the Six Podcast

Pickup the Six Facebook page

Pickup the Six Instagram page

Pickup the Six Twitter page

Brian’s personal Facebook page

F3 Nation – Brian mentions F3 as a fitness group focused on Fitness, Fellowship, and Faith.

Links to the interviews I had about Maj. General Rupertus: Part 1 and Part 2

EP – 30 Two awesome grandfathers, two different worlds, one love

My conversation with Victoria Mininger

Victoria was blessed to have two awesome grandfathers that were from two very different worlds but enjoyed the love of them equally. In the fun conversation with Victoria, we learn about her early years growing up in New Mexico on a farm across from her Grandpa Ben Gomez. We learn how industrious and fun Grandpa Ben was and how he would look for ways to include Victoria in the chores and the fun of the farm.

As Victoria was growing up, her family lost their farm in New Mexico due to the pasteurization laws and not being able to comply with the new requirements. Victoria’s family moved to Virginia, and as a result, Victoria was able to deepen the relationship with her Granddaddy Orin in the hills and mountains of Virginia.

You will enjoy this conversation with Victoria as we learn about her fantastic, strong grandfathers and the many memories that she has of their loving relationships.

Victoria is an author and owner of an outdoor construction company. Please be sure to check out what Victoria is up to, and feel free to connect with her on Facebook.

Bear Creek Outdoor Living

Victoria’s Personal Website

Victoria’s Facebook Page

Victoria’s Writers Facebook Page

Amazon Link to Victoria’s Book, Daring to Fight: When Grit, Grace, & Faith Take Depression Head-On

Here is a link to Dan Miller’s 48days community where I met Victoria – Click Here

EP – 27 Encouraging your grandchild’s design

My conversation with Frank Sinclair

Encouraging his grandchildren’s innate design is what Frank Sinclair is all about. Frank is one cool grandpa and shares his insights into encouraging and leading his grandchildren with love and respect.

I was lucky to meet Frank through our mutual friend James Devine. After talking with James, he said that Frank had to be a guest and share his infectious personality and experiences with being a cool grandpa.

Frank takes his hard-won life lessons and his design to build others up into all aspects of his life, from raising children to influencing his grandchildren seriously. By seriously, I mean seriously with love, fun, and tolerance. Like so many of us, Frank has had struggles and has had to push through and grow from those struggles. These triumphs have lead Frank to believe that we all have a God-given design that needs to be encouraged to come out and shine.

Frank has grandchildren in the full spectrum of life. Grandchildren are excelling in college, and some grandchildren are toddlers, and a grandchild is on the way. You can easily tell that slowing down and taking it easy is not in Frank’s vocabulary. Through the richness of his experiences, we learn what it takes to impress our grandchildren with a strong work ethic, a strong sense of self, and how to love themselves, their family, and their community.

One of the many nuggets of wisdom that Frank shares with us is how it is important that grandparents and grandfathers, in particular, must respect the boundaries of their children. Frank believes that it is vital that grandchildren know that their grandparents respect their parent’s boundaries and goals for the family.

There are so many good insights and advice from Frank that I know you will come away from this conversation richer and with ideas of your own on how you can encourage your grandchildren, children, and those in close relationships to you to discover and then follow their personal design.

Once you have listened to this conversation, come back and leave me a comment about your own “ah-ha moment.”

Dream Again LLC – Frank’s coaching website

Frank’s Facebook Page

James Devine’s conversation with me on The Cool Grandpa Podcast

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 – 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 – 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.

EP – 16 Creating Halloween Fun with the Grandkids

My cool conversation with Roger Hayes

Ever wonder who those people are that go over the top at Halloween and have the best home haunt in the neighborhood? Meet Nationally recognized home haunt and prop designer expert Roger Hayes.

Order your drink and pull up a chair so you can join my conversation with Roger as we catch up about all things Halloween. Rog is an old friend of mine with whom I have had many adventures. Some adventures we even tell our wives about. So, come on, pull up a chair, and join us for some great conversation.

Roger and I cover basic grandkid costume safety, as well as general, trick-or-treat safety with the grandkids. BTW, Roger prefers makeup to masks. Roger also talks about how grandpas can give the neighborhood and community haunted house the ‘stiff test’ for fun and SAFETY before taking the little grand ghosts and grand goblins through a home haunt.

You would be surprised about the little details that can tip you off too if the home haunt is safe, professional, and likely to be an enjoyable experience for the grandkids.

Roger and I also talk about a few arts and crafts projects that grandpas can do with the grandkids. These arts and crafts projects can become a cool tradition that the kiddo’s get to do with grandpa each fall. We both agree that the artifacts that the kids make are going to become treasured memories of their time spent with their Cool Grandpa.

Roger is super talented as you will see when you visit his website and view the pictures below. All of the artwork that you see is original and comes from the genius of Roger’s mind.

Here are the links to Roger’s site and some cool pictures of Uncle Rog’s tombstone work.

Hayes Haunt

Roger’s Halloween Coloring Book

Hayes Haunt YouTube Video

Roger's Hayes Haunt Logo
A great example of one of Roger's tombstones for the NW Haunters Association
Roger's buddy, Harold Weir, with his personalized tombstone