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 – 41 The Grand Project

My conversation with Kitty Janvirn

Kitty Janvirn is a young woman who took a school assignment, had a passion for history, and created a podcast to capture the story of her grandparents and other grandparents. In our conversation, we learn about her mother’s father, Paul Own who to Kitty, her brothers, and her cousins is simply known as Doc. We learn that Doc was the town Pharmacist and also enjoyed getting down on his hands and knees when the grandkids were over to play ‘Monster’ and chase them all about the house. (No doubt to grandma and mom’s chagrin when they were trying to get the kids to go to bed.)

Kitty also shares tender stories about her father’s dad, Bob Janvirn. Bob is known to his grandchildren as Grandpa. We discuss how Kitty is being intentional with connecting and communicating with her Grandpa. We learn that Grandpa and that relationship has been very consistent over the years and how he enjoys working on technical and mechanical projects.

We get into the background of how and why Kitty started her project, The Grand Project. What is great about Kitty’s project is that she is not just collecting her family’s history but reaching out to other older people to gather their fascinating stories including the story of the first woman to play Little League Baseball.

Be sure to check out the links to Kitty’s projects below. Reach to her and let her know how much you enjoyed this conversation.

If you haven’t subscribed to the podcast, please subscribe and then share it with a friend.

Links

The Grand Project – Kitty’s website

The Grand Project – Kitty’s Instagram site

grandprojectpod@gmail.com – Kitty’s email. Reach out and say hello.

EP – 37 Talking Legacy with a World-Traveling Grandpa

My conversation with Scott Paton

Scott Paton is a world-traveling grandpa who, like other new(ish) grandfathers, thinks about the legacy that they will be leaving their grandchildren. Scott and I sit down and discuss his reaction to finding out that he became a step-grandpa and grandpa. Scott, like my dad, became a grandfather through marriage first, then through birth.

I was introduced to Scott by former guest of the podcast, Marc Mawhinney. (Click Here to listen to Marc’s conversation) We go through and talk about how grandfather has the opportunity to be additional sources of support and love to children entering a blended family situation. Through simple acts such as going for walks or going to the park, engaging in conversations about what the new grandchildren are interested in builds a foundation of love and security between the step-grandchildren and step-grandfathers.

Scott has the unique perspective of traveling the world and having a location-independent career. As a result of his efforts to build his online businesses, Scott spends about 9 months of the year traveling the globe. Through his travels, Scott envelopes himself in the culture of the area that he is visiting. Scott searches out the little hole-in-the-wall eateries where only the locals know where to get that one-of-a-kind flavor and experience. He also has a knack for finding those out-of-the-way waterfalls and hiking trails that you can only find when staying in one place for months at a time. All of these travels have allowed Scott to build up a “must show” list of places and peoples that one day he hopes to introduce to his grandchildren.

Through all of our discussions, we touch on the idea of legacy and what we want to leave and do for our grandchildren. Like many of us, the idea of legacy was very abstract and not something that he or I thought about much until grandchildren entered our lives. Since we have received the gift of grandchildren, we are both now thinking in terms of the legacy of travel, experiences, and how we expose our grandchildren to a larger and more interesting world through our travels and experiences.

What idea or topic struck you in our conversation? What type(s) of legacy are you wanting to leave for your grandchildren or children?

Let me know by clicking on the comments button below or by sending me an email at greg@cool-grandpa.com

Links to connect with Scott:

Scott’s Facebook Profile

Scott’s Twitter Account

Scott’s YouTube Channel

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 – 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 – 32 Returning Time

My conversation with Lauren Huff

Lauren Huff is returning time with her grandparents by showing curiosity and interest in their varied and exceptional lives. Lauren is a writer and businesswoman from the California Central Valley. She was fortunate that her grandparents, for the most part, lived close by, which resulted in a close and meaningful relationship. Lauren and I met in Dan Miller’s 48days Eagles community (see link below).

We get into the podcast by finding out about Lauren’s Papa, whose family immigrated from Sicily. We dive into Papa’s interest in history and how his family immigrated from Sicily into New Orleans and migrated to California. His family’s experience is similar to our past guest, Vinnie Tortorich’s family (Click HERE to be taken to Vinnie’s conversation). Lauren talks about how Papa’s stories would not change, but he adjusted the details based on her age and level of understanding.

Lauren also talks about her Grandpa Jerry and his woodworking shop, his love for ‘dad jokes,’ and how she spent a lot of time with him and her grandma, especially around the holidays while Lauren’s parents worked and she was out of school. We hear a funny story about how Lauren acted up as a young girl and then didn’t know how to react when her Grandpa was gently trying to discipline her.

Through all the time and effort that Lauren’s grandparents have poured into her, Lauren has developed the podcast, and blog centered on capturing her grandparent’s experiences. Lauren’s project is titled Returning Time. (See the link below) As I mentioned, the purpose behind Returning Time is to develop a family history that can be shared with other people regardless if they are grandparents or granddaughters, or grandsons. These stories are powerful and interesting conversations that bridge the gaps between generational experiences.

Links:

https://www.returningtime.com/

48 Days – Dan Miller

General Rupertus Part 1

General Rupertus Part 2

Vinnie’s conversation

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 – 28 Maj. General Rupertus Pt. 2

Welcome back! This is part 2 of my interview about Maj. General Rupertus, USMC. In this episode, Heather, Kim, and Amy join me to talk more about their extraordinary grandfather.

If you haven’t heard the first episode, I strongly recommend that you go back and listen to it. In fact, Click Here for the link to that first episode (26). In the first episode, we spend a lot of time going over the sisters’ motivation to dive into their grandfather’s story and connect with him even though they never met him.

In this fun second episode, we learn all about William H. Rupertus. Heather, Kim, and Amy take us on an exciting journey into their grandfather’s life. They share with us the fun times, the hard times, and their grandfather’s perseverance in this conversation. We learn firsthand from his loving granddaughters how he served his country, lost his first family in his country’s service and then led the First Marine Division during the early years of the War in the Pacific.

You can find many of the sisters’ helpful links to researching and documenting their grandfather’s experience in the first episode’s show notes (Click Here). Still, I am also providing a few key weblinks and references below, such as the Rifleman’s Creed.

When you want to reach out to Amy or any of the sisters with information about the China Marines in the 1930s or about the First Marine Division during the War in the Pacific, or would like to follow the development of their book on their grandfather please connect with them at:

@MajGenRupertus – Twitter

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

Let Amy and her sisters know that you have listened to their fascinating story on The Cool Grandpa Podcast and what your favorite story of theirs is with regards to their research and passion for connecting with their grandfather.

Below is an interview with Major General Rupertus

Interview with Major General Rupertus. Major General Rupertus’ remarks start at 17.39
The Rifleman’s Creed – Author Major General Rupertus
A young William Rupertus
1st Marine Div. Commander Gen. Rupertus is pointing out something on the map to the Army’s Gen. MacArthur, Maj. Gen. Chamberlain and Lt. Walter Krueger

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 – 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