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 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 – 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 – 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 – 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 – 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 – 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 – 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 15 – A 2yr old’s annual review and memories with my grandpa

My Personal Check in with you and I made two new friends…alright!

I am checking in with you in this episode. We discuss my recent visit with my new granddaughter and how my wife was in heaven by getting to hold and take care of a newborn. I go into some detail about conducting my annual review with my 2 yr. old grandson. (We still have some things to work on before his 3 yr. review)

You and I sit down and you let me share some fond memories of my cool grandpa and what he meant to me and my family. I also share a story that was one of those “mom and grandma don’t need to know” stories. Those “don’t tell mom” stories somehow are the ones that stick in your memory the longest. I don’t know why but they do.

I was able to make TWO NEW FRIENDS in the podcasting universe who have been supportive and just great all-around guys.

I met Dean Showalter through Dan Miller’s 48 Days community. Dean has a fun podcast about owning and working on small piston aircraft. Even if you don’t own or work on small aircraft, Dean has some fun and interesting stories that anyone will enjoy. You can find Dean’s podcast here: http://airplaneownermaintenance.com/

I met Steve Owens by just reaching out to him after I heard his interview on Vinnie Tortorich’s podcast about health and nutrition.  Steve has an awesome podcast called Fascination Street. Steve’s podcast centers on drawing out each guest’s powerful and interesting personal story.  Some guests you will know by name and others are fantastic people that you will meet for the first time on Steve’s show. Steve’s podcast can be found here: https://fascinationstreetpod.com/