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.)

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Adulting 101

EP – 48 Growing Creativity with Grandchildren

Our conversation with Dan Miller

Dan Miller joins us for a fantastic conversation about how to help our grandchildren to think creatively about education, work, and life. Learn about about Dan’s experience and expectations when he learned that he would become a grandfather. Dan was excited and viewed the grandchildren as an extension of the fun and exciting times he and his wife, Joanne, had with their children.

Our discussion then focused on helping his grandchildren learn to hold on to their creativity and passions from childhood to adulthood. We discuss how they use the game CASH FLOW as one of the fun activities that he and Joanne use to help the grandchildren think about how to create wealth.

We also talk about the use of mentors when modeling roles such as being a husband, father, and grandfather. There are many resources available to learn these roles that we take on. Dan and I also talk about how grandfathers or men of the same age group can help reframe experiences that our grandchildren and other youth have. We can help them to think differently about opportunities and find ways to find work that is meaningful, purposeful, AND profitable for them.

Dan talks to us about connecting with the grandchildren on their level and with their interests. By meeting the grandchildren where they are, we help them grow in the way they are ‘bent’ or created and not how their parents or we want them to be. By joining our grandchildren in activities that they enjoy, we as grandparents can learn from our grandchildren.

Be sure to check out the links below for resources that can help you be a Cool Grandpa AND help your grandchildren think creatively about life and work.

Links

48days.com

Dan’s about page

48 Days Eagles Community

The five books that Dan recommends his grandchildren read by the time they are 13 years old:

Acres of Diamonds

How to Win Friends and Influence People

Think and Grow Rich

See You at the Top

The Magic of Thinking Big

Dan’s Books:

48 DAYS TO THE WORK (AND LIFE) YOU LOVE

NO MORE DREADED MONDAYS

RUDDER OF THE DAY – One of my favorites

CLICK HERE to learn about the Game Cashflow that Dan mentioned on the show. This is a game developed by RICH DAD.

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Adulting 101

EP – 46 Be careful with Labels

Our Monthly One on One

Dear Mr. Venon. We accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it was we did wrong. But we think you’re crazy to make us write an essay telling you who we think we are. You see us as you want to see us: in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each one of us is a brain…and an athlete…and a basketcase…a princess…and a criminal.

– Closing monologue, The Breakfast Club (1985)

I love this movie. You can tell that I am a member of Gen X. One of the reasons I enjoy this movie is the lesson of how labels, while sometimes useful, can place people in boxes that is hard for them to get out of. At least in our perceptions of who we think they are.

In this one-on-one conversation, I talk about how grandfathers should avoid using labels when it comes to thinking and talking about their grandchildren. While labels can quickly convey a lot of information in a few words, it limits the person to that one label in our own thoughts.

Talking about or describing attributes within a context or setting is a much better way to think or talk about our grandchildren. Where labels can carry a fixed meaning, discussing attributes lets us talk and think about the parts of the personality or skills that the grandchild has compared to just thinking of them in one term.

Thinking and speaking about our grandchildren’s attributes allow them to grow and develop in our minds and does not keep them locked in as only one personality type or on a set of physical attributes.

While labels themselves are not good or bad, I would like to challenge the grandfathers and grandparents to be careful and avoid using labels and shift to thinking about and discussing the attributes that we want to praise or brag on. By shifting to calling out the attributes to describe our grandchildren, we allow them to evolve, grown, explore, and not stay fixed. After all, these precious little gifts are constantly changing and challenging themselves and their environments.

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Adulting 101

EP – 45 The examples we set

My conversation with Frank Pomata

In this conversation, Frank Pomata, aka Baba, sits down with us and talks about the impact and relationship with his grandfathers. We first learn about Carl (Carmello) and Anthony (Grandpa Tony) and what these two very different people did with Frank growing up in Brooklyn, NY. Frank had the interesting experience of living upstairs from his Grandpa Carl.

With Grandpa Carl, Frank became his driving buddy and was exposed early on to what goes on in an office environment. Frank learned some of the basics of being in an office in this environment, such as answering a phone and taking messages properly. Frank also learned some of the basics of making an office environment work.

With Grandpa Tony, Frank learned that there was a large world outside of New York through reading Grandpa Tony’s National Geographic magazines. Grandpa Tony eventually gifted Frank his own subscription and cultivated an appreciation for learning that Frank still enjoys to this day. We get to hear some great stories about Grandpa Tony, including how he loved the music of Pete Fountain.

Frank also talks about his relationship with his grandson (8 years old) and the bond that they have developed over the years. We learn how Frank is intentionally working on taking an interest in his grandson by getting down on the floor and playing with him and even finding that his grandson is igniting a former passion of Franks; collecting Hot Wheels cars.

We talk about Frank’s attitudes about how grandfathers today can change and be more engaged with their grandchildren and family. At the end of our conversation, we talk about Frank’s article (a link is below) and how grandfathers can support their grandchildren and that nurturing is not the sole province of the grandmothers.

Once you have listened to this amazing episode, remember to subscribe and share this podcast with a friend.

Links

Click HERE for Frank’s LinkedIn Profile

Frank’s article: Some Thoughts on the Value of Grandfathers

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 38 – A grandson’s passion for capturing a unique story

My Conversation with filmmaker Tyler Gildin

Capturing unique stories is what filmmakers do. Understanding and recognizing that your family has unique and impactful stories is an awesome insight and realization. Award-winning filmmaker Tyler Gildin sits down with us to discuss his grandparents and how lucky he has been to have known and experienced both grandfathers and grandmothers for most of his life.

At the start of the conversation, we talk about Tyler’s grandfather Kenny, a dentist and very active in his community. Tyler shares a great story that is an example of how his Grandpa Kenny showed up for Tyler’s birthday party hurt and with a neck brace. Even though it would have been easier to drop by and visit with Tyler on another day, Grandpa Kenny showed up and “played hurt,” which Tyler still remembers to this day.

Tyler and I continue the conversation by talking about his fantastic documentary, The Starfish. Tyler talks about how his grandfather Herb was a little embarrassed and unsure that his story would be something that people would want to hear about. The fact is, this is a fascinating story that sounds like it was right out of Hollywood based on the close calls, the toughness of young children and teenagers, and the kindness of strangers.

At a high level, Herb and his older sisters left Nazi Germany just before the outbreak of WW II after Kristallnacht. At first, Herb (10 years old) and his sisters (aged 12 and 14) left their mother and father behind and made it to Sweden with the help of HIAS. After a period of time, Herb and his sisters were transported across Russia and then Japan. Herb then made it on the last boat to reach San Fransico from Japan before the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

Tyler talks about how through these experiences, that his grandfather didn’t talk about his early childhood experiences often because he felt that Grandpa Herb didn’t want to be defined by his immigrant past. Herb wanted to be known for how he had worked hard to build several businesses in New York and raised a close family.

It is amazing that through the documentary, you get the sense that Herb would have rather spent an hour talking about YOU and what is going on in your life. It was just the way he was and what made Herb special.

In this feel-good story about surviving the holocausts, we have a very personal experience to prove that the kindness and generosity of strangers to individuals really make a difference. The poem The Starfish calls out the experience that Herb and his sisters experienced by strangers who took in the kids in Sweden and those that helped the family make the long journey to the United States. By strangers helping out Herb, it allowed him to later in his life to help out and mentor his employees, customers, and community in times of their need.

We wrap up our conversation by discussing how children and grandchildren can capture the stories of their grandparents to consume now or years down the road.

Click on The Starfish Documentary link below and be sure to watch this intriguing documentary. You will be inspired, and your faith in the goodness of strangers will be restored.

Links

The Starfish Documentary

Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS)

Tyler’s About Page

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 – 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