Show cover of The Cool Grandpa Podcast

The Cool Grandpa Podcast

This podcast is about the relationship between Grandfathers and their Grandchildren. We focus on interesting stories to understand and grow our own relationships. This is the perfect podcast to understand how important the role of Grandfather is to the lives of the Grandchildren and Family in general.


EP - 177 Grandchildren Choose What is Quality Time
Lee Ostler joins the conversation this week to talk about his relationship with his grandchildren. We are fortunate to hear Lee talk about building and nurturing relationships with both grandchildren and now great-grandchildren. We discuss how our identities change from being known as 'Dad' to becoming 'Grandpa.' While we enjoy the change that comes from having grandchildren, it is a bit of a mixed bag of emotions and our place within the family. Many men, when envisioning themselves as suddenly older, wonder about the value they have with their friends, family, and even professionally. Lee talks to us about the importance of building bonds and relationships with our grandchildren, starting when they are young. We also talk about the importance of having different kinds of activities with the grandchildren because we don't know what moment will be a quality moment for them. The grandchildren pick and choose which event or which time with grandpa will be impactful for them. You will enjoy hearing Lee's insights and stories about his experience as a grandfather. After you have listened to this episode, please be sure to subscribe to the podcast on your favorite podcast app. It would be great if you could share this conversation with three friends and family members. Links Lee's email should you want to connect with him: If you would like to check out what Roland is doing with the Hearts of the Fathers foundation, you can click on this link to learn more: Check out Grandparents Academy if you haven't already done so by using this link:
53:57 4/12/24
EP - 176 One To Ride The River With
He was a man to ride the river with. A long time ago, someone could get no higher compliment than to be known as one to ride the river with. It seems that this phrase came about during the time of the frontiersmen and cowboys. When exactly, no one seems to know. It might have been during the early days of the Oregon Trail or soon after that. When it came to be, it doesn't matter, but it is a phrase that at once captures the imagination of a time long gone. What I like about this phrase is that it conveys much information about a person when used. For example, if a group of cowboys was being pulled together to drive cattle north to the rail heads after the U.S. Civil War, having someone use that phrase to describe you might be all that was needed to get a very scarce job on a cattle drive. Crossing a river with wagons, cattle, or horses is dangerous. There are many hazards in a river, from soft, muddy bottoms that could get a horse or cattle stuck to deceptively fast-moving currents that could float a wagon or push the livestock down the river, where they might drown. With these many hazards, someone with experience and a good head on their shoulders was of value to any group that had to travel far. Unlike Tom Sawyer, who saw his funeral, we will not be so lucky to learn what our family and friends truly think of us. I think, therefore, we could use a phrase such as one to ride the river with as something to aspire to. This phrase encapsulates the idea that a person to ride the river with was dependable, knew a thing or two about navigating hazards, was honest, and would work well with others to complete the task. While I will not dwell too long on my eventual demise, I will try to live or continue to live a life that when my time is over, I might earn the praise of one to ride the river with. I'll consider it a bonus if this or something like it is how my grandchildren talk about me and my influence on them and their families. What phrases or thoughts, past or present, inspire you to keep going, learning, and trying to lead a good life? I want to learn more about what motivates you to be the best you can be. If you enjoyed this podcast episode, please share it with your friends and family and discuss living up to an aspirational phrase or saying. Links If you would like to watch this episode, you can click on this link to watch it on YouTube:
14:33 4/5/24
EP - 175 A Mind To Care
Simon Gidney from A Mind To Care joins us to discuss his organization and the tools he is developing to help caregivers and those needing memory and behavior care. Simon discusses how, with over 40 million unpaid caregivers in the United States, many of these caregivers need tools to help engage and, for lack of a better word, manage the loved ones in their care. We discuss Simon's background as a corporate lawyer specializing in corporate restructuring and what caused him to pivot into helping caregivers and people suffering from memory and dementia issues. On one of Simon's business trips, he met a man who was heading home to help take care of his father, who had early-onset Parkinson's. Simon and I talk about how he took over this early startup business, retooled through the COVID pandemic, and relaunched A Mind To Care. Simon and his team have developed several products that we discussed that caregivers can use not only for people with dementia and other cognitive issues but also for anyone who could respond and engage with these tools. The leading product that A Mind To Care sells is a memory or activity board that can be easily carried and set up and comes with magnetic dry-erase sheets. We also discuss the importance of helping and recognizing caregivers, many of whom are unpaid. Many of these caregivers are family members, friends, or perhaps members of a church congregation that supports the person in need. To help support the caregivers and keep track of how they and the people they care for are doing, Simon has created the great book Caring for the Caregiver. Simon's book is "a 52-week check-in caregiver journal for self-reflection, cultivating gratitude, nurturing well-being, and mastering stress management on your compassionate caregiving journey." You will enjoy this conversation with Simon, and if you are in a position of taking care of a loved one with memory and cognitive issues, I recommend that you check out Simon's website and see if any of the tools and other resources he has would work for you and your situation. Simon has been generous and provides three FREE copies of his book, Caring for the Caregiver, to the first three people commenting on our conversation. So, please leave us a comment here, on Facebook or LinkedIn, or even email us, and we will be happy to send you a FREE copy of his book. Once you have listened to this conversation, please be sure to share it with three friends or family members who would enjoy learning more about Simon and his organization, A MIND To Care. Links Here is the link to Simon's website, A Mind To Care: You can connect with Simon on Facebook by using this address: If you are on X, you can connect with Simon and his team at A Mind To Care is also on Instagram, and you can follow them by using this address: If you would like to email Simon and his team, I am sure his team would like to hear from you:
37:44 3/29/24
EP - 174 Keeping Memories Not Stuff
Matt Paxton is joining our conversation this week to discuss how we can keep AND share valuable memories but let go of stuff that doesn't serve us anymore. You might recognize Matt from the television show Hoarders or its current show, Legacy List. Matt is also an author, speaker, and all-around good guy. In this conversation with Matt, we talk about how Matt started cleaning up homes for a living and why his first few home clean-ups were not easy from the practical side and also from an emotional side. You will love hearing Matt talk about his grandfathers, Russell James Paxton and Linwood Lewis Luck. There is no doubt about these two gentlemen's impact and lasting legacy on Matt, his family, and even Matt's staff. We discuss the differences between the generations regarding what they value, how they prepared for uncertain futures, and how having an understanding heart helps Matt and his team find the treasures often hidden in the strangest places. You might be surprised to learn that adults in their 40s and 50s frequently have to go through both parents' and grandparents' possessions as we lose members of the Silent Generation and Baby Boomers. Each of these generations has different values and items that they either collect or hoard. Matt does a great job of discussing the differences between hoarders and collectors. He also shares the demographic breakdown of who makes up hoarders, what often causes hoarding, and how hoarders need help emotionally and physically to let go of items that usually provide a deep sense of security. I have provided links to Matt's webpage, book, talks, a great clip of Matt on the Jimmy Kimmel Show, and other resources below, so be sure to check those out. Matt and his team are casting for the next Legacy List season, and I have provided a link to that application process in the show notes. Once you have listened to this show, please share it with three friends and family members who will enjoy hearing Matt's story and who could possibly use some inspiration to pass on the memories and not the stuff. Links To visit Matt's website, click on this link: If you want to check out My Legacy List and apply to be on Matt's show, use this link: This clip from the Jimmy Kimmel show that includes Matt is great. Also, a quick view of how Matt works. This is a great video of Matt's TEDx talk: Here is the link for Matt's book, Keep the Memories, Lose the Stuff. This is a great book to help you organize and downsize the stuff in your life. You can connect with Matt on Facebook by using this link: If you would like to connect with him on Instagram, you can use this link: You can follow Matt on LinkedIn by using this link: Matt is on X (formally known as Twitter), and you can follow him using this link:
59:36 3/22/24
EP - 173 It's Their Turn
Cynthia Kane from It's Their Turn joins this week's conversation to discuss the importance of excellent communication between parents and grandparents. Cynthia brings her background as a genetic counselor to help parents and grandparents who are daily caregivers to their grandchildren align with the adult children's caregiving expectations. As we discuss Cynthia's background in leading complicated AND clarifying conversations, we learn that unsaid expectations or assumptions often lead to a relationship breakdown. We also discuss how grandparents usually strongly desire to know their grandchildren and be known by them. This desire can sometimes lead grandparents to use old information and assumptions about childcare. These assumptions and information are not wrong, but when it comes to new health and safety information, they can inadvertently lead to negative outcomes. Why it might seem that we are talking primarily about what grandparents need to do to increase their knowledge and understanding of current safety and caregiving information, we talk about how parents need to be sure not to make assumptions that grandparents want to be full-time child caregivers. Often, grandparents may have other expectations and plans for their time that may not involve being a full-time, daily babysitter. The misalignment of expectations causes friction in the parent-grandparent relationship. Cynthia is passionate about working with people to ensure they are on the same page regarding being respected and heard and recognizing their value. Cynthia's group, It's Their Turn, provides tools and resources that people can use to help with conversations between parents and grandparents. She also collaborated with our mutual friend, DeeDee Moore, at More than Grand by providing an advice blog for new parents and grandparents. Once you have listened to this intriguing conversation with Cynthia, please be sure to connect with her using one of the links below. Also, please share this conversation with three family members and friends who would enjoy Cynthia's wisdom and insights into building great communication bridges. Links Use this link to visit It's Their Turn: You can use this link to visit More Than Grand: This link will take you directly to Cynthia's blog, called Grand Advice: Cynthia has a great article in the Bay Area Parent, starting on page 20. You can use this link to access this online magazine:
47:23 3/15/24
EP - 172 Live Life In Crescendo
Cynthia Covey Haller joins us to discuss the book Live Life In Crescendo, which she and her late father, Steven Covey, wrote. We discuss the idea for the book and how it came about. Cynthia shares with us how her father thought that expanding a person's life was the eighth habit that would lead to a successful life. For those unfamiliar with the musical term, Crescendo means increasing loudness or intensity. The opposite of Crescendo is Diminuendo, which means a decrease in loudness or intensity. It is great to hear Cynthia's story about how she and her father came to start this book together and the path it took for Cynthia to complete and then publish it. You are going to enjoy listening to the fantastic stories that Cynthia shares about everyday people who chose to live in Crescendo and not diminuendo. If you feel stuck or have plateaued in your life, reading this book and listening to Cynthia will inspire you to look around you for opportunities to grow and grow your significance. You might feel that you are not wealthy enough or have enough influence to have much of an impact on your family, community, or a cause that you feel deeply about, but as the examples in this book point out, you need to start with yourself and the world around you. Live Life in Crescendo calls on all of us as we reach the second half of life to look to live our lives for a larger purpose. If that task falls to you, that purpose could be to raise your grandchildren. It could also be volunteering at a local reading center or other organization that needs your unique talents and gifts. Living a life in Crescendo also means continuing to grow yourself, your talents, and your abilities. This can be accomplished by taking up a new hobby, starting a new profession, or taking classes at your local university or community college. There are many ways to grow yourself, such as pouring your increase into the cups of those around you who need your wisdom, wit, and experience. After you have listened to this conversation, please share it with three family members or friends who would enjoy listening to Cynthia talk about the process of writing this important book, as well as those who need to hear this message of not fading away but building from where ever they are into a Crescendo. Links Click on this link to order this book through Amazon: Here is the link to Cynthia's LinkedIn profile should you want to reach out and connect with her:
59:14 3/8/24
EP - 171 Creative Thinking with Dan Miller
The show producer has not yet provided a description for this episode.
48:31 3/1/24
EP - 170 Substance Use Information Update 2024
This week's conversation is with adolescent substance use expert Richard Capriola. Rick joins the conversation this week to discuss the University of Michigan's annual survey of adolescent use of substances. For those of you who don't know, this survey asks middle and high schoolers about their attitudes and use of drugs. We review the latest attitudes that our children and grandchildren have towards alcohol and recreational substances. Some of the trends from pre-pandemic to post-pandemic might surprise you, including some of the newer substances that are available to adolescents. I also asked Rick about the attitudes toward Delta 8 and the risks that people take concerning fentanyl when they take drugs from unreliable sources. As always, Rick shares his proven methods on how to bring up and discuss drug and alcohol use with youth. You will learn a lot from this conversation and the previous conversations that I have had with Rick. Those conversations can be found in the links below, along with the link to Rick's website, Help the Addicted Child. Once you have listened to this episode, please share it with a friend or family member who would enjoy learning more about the attitudes and habits of adolescents when it comes to drugs and alcohol. Links You can find more information about Rick and his work at Help The Addicted Child by clicking this link: Here is the summary of the University of Michigan's annual study: Please feel free to listen to our previous conversations with Rick. EP 44: EP 123:
48:27 2/23/24
EP - 169 Bizstarters, Helping With Your Encore Business
Jeff Williams has spent over thirty years helping professionals transition from one career path to another. Started in the 1990s as a resource to help people who were being laid off during the corporate restructuring, Jeff has grown and developed a team of experts who are now working with people wanting a second or encore career. We start this informative conversation discussing Jeff's transition from a large 6 Billion dollar organization to a 6 Million dollar family business. With Bizstarters, Jeff and his team can walk people who are ready to start a second career or people who are beginning to ask if a second career makes sense for them to whichever path makes the most sense for them. Jeff prides himself on talking with each person who reaches out to Bizstarters to get to know them, their unique circumstances, and most importantly, their aspirations for an encore business. Jeff knows everyone has different goals for their next career, and through these calls, he can help individuals map out the course that makes the most sense for them. We get into a great discussion about the other tools available for people wanting to start a business. One of those tools is the Bizstarter's Virtual Concept Evaluator. This Evaluator program allows you to work with Bizstarter's team to document your concept, get feedback, and decide whether to modify your idea, create another idea, or move forward to the next step in creating your encore business. As you will hear, Jeff is an interesting and friendly person to work with who will give you solid advice and feedback on your plan. You will enjoy this conversation, and if you or anyone you know are interested in connecting with Jeff, check out the links below and reach out to him today. Once you listen to this podcast, please do me a favor and share this great information with a friend or family member. Your recommendation is the best way to help get this and other information important to grandfathers and others into their hands and ears. Links Click on the following link to visit Bizstarters and learn more about Jeff and his team: Jeff has created a great new course hosted on TikTok. The information for that course is below. "The Joy of Being an Encore Entrepreneur" A new TikTok series from Jeff Williams, Chief Coach for Bizstarters "I am pleased to share my experience living as an encore entrepreneur for the past 30 years. This series of short-form videos offers three groups of useful information: - Business Start-Up Decisions Each decision is taken from our Start Your Business NOW! online course. I am presenting more than 20 key business planning decisions in the same order you work on them in the Start Your Business NOW! program. - Interesting Case Studies Stories of the success and joy of graduates of the Start Your Business NOW! program - Inspirational "Joy" Experiences I share the wonderful world of running a business later in life. How to Watch the Series? Go to "
50:10 2/16/24
EP - 168 Grandfathers Walk
Daniel Grissom is passionate about helping men learn more about the Word of God and how to use that knowledge to lead their families. He is a great guy from Atlanta, Georgia, who works to develop sales leaders in his professional life and faith leaders in his ministry. We learn about the great work that Daniel is doing working with fathers to make the Bible accessible to digest and easy to live. Sometimes, we can make things and concepts like those in the Bible harder to adopt and implement than needed. Often, that comes from a lack of understanding of how to start living a more complete life. Daniel does a great job of helping people get started by making the complex easy because his experience has taught him that if something is complex, it is rarely implemented. You will enjoy this conversation and learn about the excellent work that Daniel is doing to help fathers and grandfathers lead themselves and their families. Once you have listened to this conversation, please be sure to share this conversation with three friends and family members. Also, be sure to check out the links and connection information below, and I encourage you to contact Daniel. Links You can visit and learn more about Fathers Walk by visiting their website at: Here is Daniel's phone number: 312.315.1591 You can connect with Daniel at LinkedIn by clicking on this link: Here is Daniel's email address: 
37:25 2/9/24
EP - 167 Our Inner Citadel
This week's episode is a solo show. I just finished Ryan Holiday's The Obstacle Is The Way. This was a great book that seemed to hit at the right time. I was recently laid off from a non-profit where I had just started working. The Obstacle Is The Way is an excellent book about Stoicism. The part of the book that hit home for me is the concept that each individual needs to have a citadel or a place within themselves that they can go to find inner peace. This citadel is where we can go within ourselves to calm our minds, meditate on the challenges that we are facing, and develop an action plan. My take on this concept of the citadel is to expand it to a system of three-ring defenses. At the center, you have the keep or citadel that was started as a tower or a structure and placed on top of a hill. As we age and the fortification matures, the owners often add an outer wall. Within this wall, you might find stables, apartments, a blacksmith shop, and the basics that the people would occupy would need if they were attacked. The longer the structure was in place, the more often a second wall or third set of defenses was put into place to provide an even larger protection area for more soldiers, merchants, and important people. To me, these three rings of defense can be considered the outer wall, your physical well-being, and your surroundings. The outer wall would include whether you are exercising, eating well, having a place to live, or having access to transportation. The inner wall would include your extended family network and personal and professional networks. Finally, your keep or inner citadel is your immediate family, your close friends, positive books, entertainment, positive podcasts, and other media. When we are in a period of stability and things are going well in our lives, this is the time to repair our walls or defenses and even look to expand them. We should strengthen ourselves physically, build our personal and professional networks, and work on mending or strengthening our closest relationships. If you want to learn more about stoicism or the concept of the inner citadel, check out the links below. Links Click here to go to Ryan Holiday's website and check out his books and articles: Here is the link for an article titled, Cultivating Your Inner Citadel by Max Frenzel, PhD:,leaders%20apart%20from%20the%20rest. Click on the following link for a great article: What is The Inner Citadel in Stoicism?
26:47 2/2/24
EP - 166 Grandparents Leave a Lasting Legacy of Love and Fun
Cindy Liljedahl joins the conversation to discuss her memories of not just her grandparents but also one of our great-grandfathers. If Cindy sounds familiar to you, that is because she is half of the AdventuRetired team. Last week, we had Cindy's husband, Curt, on the show to discuss his grandfathers. Cindy and I shared a very nice discussion centered on her grandfathers, Bill DeMoss and Bernard Twait. As I said, this conversation involved memories of all her grandparents, including her wonderful grandmothers. We talk about how Cindy has fond memories of offering back rubs to her grandpa, Twait, due to his bad back and neck. I get to ask Cindy how her relationships changed with her grandparents as she grew older, and we find out that even though her great-grandpa passed away when she was six or seven years old, she remembers playing with the toy furniture he made for her Barbies. Of course, no conversation about grandparents would be complete without some sweet memories of Cindy's grandmother, Demoss. Cindy shares touching memories of going to her grandmother's when she was older to help clean and tidy up due to her grandmother's failing eyesight. You will enjoy this conversation and learn as I did about the simple acts of kindness by grandparents and grandchildren that create lasting and loving bonds. Of course, it does take work and intentionality to create these kinds of relationships that Cindy talks about, but the work is light when it starts from a place of love. Please remember to like and subscribe to this podcast wherever you listen. Your subscription and feedback help others find these conversations and the many like them. And, if you would be so kind as to share this conversation with three friends, that would be a fantastic way to help spread the word about how important this role of being a grandfather is and can be with a little effort. Links Click on this link to visit Cindy at AdventuRetired: If you want to learn more about AdventuRetired, you can listen to my conversation with Curt and Cindy about their website and podcast by clicking on this link: Click Here if you would like to support me on Buy Me a Coffee:
36:33 1/26/24
EP - 165 A Grandfather Reflects on his Grandfathers
Curt Liljedahl from AdventuRetired is back to talk and share with us his memories of his grandfathers. Curt will introduce you to his grandfathers, James Bertelson, and JM Liljedahl. We take our time getting to know each of these gentlemen's backgrounds and their lasting influence on Curt. You will hear the fun stories of how Curt and his siblings used to roughhouse around and do things his father was not permitted to do. Curt shares a great story of going to the coffee shop/convenience store with his grandfather, and then a friend of his grandfather filled up each pocket of Curt's overalls with candy bars. We also talk about how Curt's grandfather, James Bertelson, purchased a small lakeside resort where, for years, the family and the growing extended family have been invited to come and stay. This great opportunity allows for cousins and other family members who might not see each other regularly to reconnect. You will enjoy this conversation with Curt, and be sure to check out the links to AdventuRetired and Curt's book, Fix the Problem: and Other Life Lessons from a Pragmatic Dad! Once you have listened to this conversation and checked out the links below, please be sure to rate and review the podcast on your favorite podcast subscription platform. Your feedback not only helps other people find the podcast, but I take your comments seriously and use them to help me make this podcast more enjoyable. Links Click on this link to visit Curt at AdventuRetired: You can click on this link to go to Amazon and purchase Curt's book, Fix the Problem: and other Life Lessons from a Pragmatic Dad! If you want to learn more about AdventuRetired, you can listen to my conversation with Curt and Cindy about their website and podcast by clicking on this link:
30:50 1/19/24
EP - 164 Success After Sixty
Doug Sohn from Success After Sixty joins our conversation to discuss how aging people can look around and see what their age and experience make possible. We talk with Doug about how, as a father of six and a successful lawyer. Shortly before his birthday, he experienced a series of mini-strokes that caused him to re-examine his life. Doug shares how, even though he had followed and learned from people like Tony Robbins and Earl Nightingale, he felt that he had experienced a plateau in his professional and personal life. This evaluation of where he was with his life and relationships caused him to recognize that there is societal pressure that we often listen to and that at a certain age, we should slow down. Not only should we slow down, but we should stop growing in some areas of life and stop challenging ourselves. This conversation will inspire you, and I hope it does light a fire in you to reach for new heights in whatever areas of life you want. After you listen to this conversation, I hope you will share it with three friends who will enjoy hearing Doug's message of working and finding success after sixty. Be sure to check out the links below to learn more about Doug and join us in several different groups that Doug leads. Links Click on this link to view the Success After Sixty website: To join the Success After Sixty Facebook group, you can click on this link: You can follow Doug on 'X' by clicking this link: You can follow Doug on LinkedIn by clicking on this link:
42:21 1/12/24
EP 163 - Three Challenges for Grandpas
Welcome to 2024! As we kick off this new year and new opportunities for learning, leading, and loving our families, I wanted to talk with you about navigating three challenges that Grandfathers experience when caring for grandchildren. The first challenge that I think a lot of grandfathers face is what to do about disciplining the grandkids when they are in our care. I get it. As a fun and cool grandfather, you don't want to be in the business of disciplining the grandkids. However, sometimes, reinforcing mom and dad's rules is called for. For this simple fact, when the grandkids start gaining a little independence and start testing mom and dad's boundaries, a conversation NEEDS to be had by the parents and grandparents. You need to get on the same page regarding what is permissible and what the parents consider out of bounds when it comes to course-correcting the little ones. The second challenge that grandpas tackle is the challenge of food. I'm not talking about starving the kids or not, but rather, what are our limits for the types of foods the parents want the little ones to have? I once made the mistake of giving a tortilla chip to my grandson and quickly got talked to by his mom AND grandma. Talk about getting the old 'one-two punch.' Parents are going to expect grandpas to play fast and loose with some of the rules when it comes to treats and sweets. But we should be having continuing conversations with our grandchildren's moms and dads about food. What do the grandkids like? What don't they like? Are there any allergies? If there are allergies, how severe are the reactions? What do we do when the kids don't eat all their carrots? As you can guess, communication is huge here when it comes to figuring out what is and isn't on the menu regarding feeding grandkids. That doesn't mean that you can't slip the kids an extra cookie here or long as it won't kill them, of course. The last challenge I discuss in this podcast episode is about firsts. Do you remember your first....whatever it was? A lot of times with a new baby, there is a lot of stress with young parents to be around for every first. First steps, first words, first poop in the toilet, first swear word, etc. As a grandfather, we need to be careful not to accidentally take away a first for our young parents to enjoy. Sometimes, you can't help it. The little ones do something and bang, a first has just happened that you didn't plan for. Kids are like that. Just remember that when you are doing great activities with the grandkids you haven't done before, you let the parents know what is going on. This is so they let you know that they would either like to be part of that activity or maybe want to have that moment for themselves and their child. If you can think of other challenges that grandfathers need to be careful to navigate, let me know in the comments below. If you haven't subscribed to the podcast, please do so. Also, I would appreciate it if you would share this episode and podcast with three other friends who would like to hear encouraging thoughts and information that everyone can use.
24:12 1/5/24
EP - 162 Talking about a Good Grandpa
Ted Page joins the conversation this week to discuss his work to define and capture what it means to be a "Good Grandpa." Since the last time we spoke, Ted has started a journey of writing a book that he hopes allows him to capture the different ways and attitudes of being a grandfather. In his own words, Ted hopes " harvest and share the collective wisdom of grandpas all around the world in a wide range of countries and cultures, from Cherokee Native Americans in North Carolina, to Maine fisherman, to tribal elders in Kenya, to Captains of Industry in Connecticut." As part of this quest to gather and share the wisdom of many grandfathers, Ted will ask them to distill down their responses to answer the following question: "What is the #1 thing? The most essential and powerful wisdom you’ve learned that you want the next generation to know?" During our conversation, you will learn the responses that Ted has gathered so far from Tom Brokaw and John Cleese. You may or may not be surprised, but everyone has a different "1 Thing." If you are already thinking about your answer to this question, reach out to Ted at and let him know your answer. Who knows, you might end up in his book. Once you have listened to this conversation, please share it with three friends who would enjoy listening to Ted's insights about being a Good Grandpa. Links Click on the following link to listen to my conversation with Ted as we talk about his experience with being a grandfather and his blog, Good Grandpa. To sign up for Ted's blog and to check out Good Grandpa, use this link: Check out Ted's Instagram page at: You can follow and connect with Ted on LinkedIn by clicking this link: If you would like to reach out to Ted and say hello, or better yet, talk to him about being a Good Grandpa, you can connect with him by using this email:
54:24 12/15/23
EP - 161 The Gift of YOUR Time
If you are like me, it can sometimes be confusing or downright baffling what to do for your friends and family members when it comes to Holidays, Birthdays, or heck, just when you want to do something nice for them. I know that there are all different kinds of ways that people express appreciation and love for those people close to them, but I think for most of us, it comes down to feeling like we have to "get them something." I am right there with you. Maybe a bit more. You see, I FEEL like I am showing love and appreciation by finding the perfect card, gift, or event. Nothing else seems to create that sense of having done the right thing for someone if it doesn't involve a thing, at least for me. After almost four years of talking with grandfathers, adult grandchildren, and experts on grandparenting, the thing that means the most to grandkids, and I think to other people, is time. I know what you are about to say, "I cherish the pocketknife I received when Grandpa thought I was old enough to have one." It is not that things can't mean a lot to us, but I am going to bet that what the pocketknife represents most are the memories of spending time with Grandpa learning how to whittle down a branch to use as a skewer to cook a hotdog with. Time is the one thing none of us can get back and the one thing that most of us wish we had more, especially when thinking of the time, or lack thereof, that we had to spend with close friends and family. This Christmas and Holiday season, I want to challenge you to find ways to give the gift of your time above the gifts you can purchase. To help you out, here are a few ways that I have learned from other cool grandpas to share the gift of YOU. Share a walk or a hike without earbuds or electronics. Grab a spontaneous meal and spend one-on-one time without rushing to return. Play a board game. You can find tremendous two-player games if you want that valuable one-on-one time or multi-player games. The point is to have some fun and conversations while doing something together. Play a game of 'Horse' at the local school or playground. 'Horse' is excellent for us old guys because you are doing something that allows the grandchild to show off some athletic skills while still not risking life and limb if you haven't been active lately. If available, get in a canoe or row boat and paddle around with your grandchild. Being in a boat is a great way to talk and NOT have to look at each other, especially if you want to talk about heavier subjects. Find a car show and walk around talking about cars, girls, growing up, etc. Whatever is on your mind and theirs. Make a fire. Having a fire is a great way to relax and let the magic of the fire take over and guide the conversation. Don't have a backyard where you can have a fire; it's not a big deal. Get yourself a small portable firepit or stove. Trust me, there is something about a fire that lends itself to conversation. Read a book to the grandchildren. If you have younger grandchildren, they may not be able to participate in some of the other activities...yet. However, reading a book or story to them is an excellent way for grandchildren to become interested in the story AND you. Much of what I have suggested on this list are activities you can do with your adult friends and family. At the end of the day, the people that I have cared most about are the people that I would like to have had more time with. More time to shoot the stuff with. More time to sing with. More time to be around with. So, this season, as we are looking for the be-all-end-all-gift that says we are thinking of someone. Do them and YOU a favor and give the gift of YOUR TIME. If you have enjoyed this conversation, please do me a favor and share it with three friends who would like this podcast episode.
23:33 12/8/23
EP - 160 Firepit Men's Group
Todd Howard joins our conversation to talk about the importance of men finding connections and friendship. Todd is a great guy from North Atlanta. You are going to find that Todd is as passionate as I am about supporting men in building and maintaining friendships as we grow older and take on more responsibilities in our lives. What is excellent about Todd is that he wasn't content to see a problem and talk about it. No, he went out and created a solution. A solution that is not therapy (nothing wrong with going to and being active in therapy), not churchy (nothing wrong with spirituality or church), but a solution that is as easy as having a fire in the backyard or middle of the culdesac with guys that live right in your neighborhood. We walk through the process that Todd has created that anyone can implement where they live. This is a simple process that will help you build a tighter community, create lasting friendships, AND make sure that YOU know that you are not alone on your journey through life. Once you have listened to this fantastic conversation, please share it with three friends who would like to hear Todd's message about the importance of friendship and how to build closer relationships with those great people who live around us. Links Click on this link to learn more about Todd and Firepit Men's Group:
40:27 12/1/23
EP - 159 Thanks for YOU
This week is Thanksgiving here in the United States. I am spending much of this week with my family AND knocking out items on my to-do list. I did want to take this opportunity to make sure that you and I got connected for a short conversation that hopefully hits home for you. First, I want to remind you that if you haven't set your goals for this year, I encourage you to do so. While creating goals, I encourage you to use Zig Zigler's Wheel of Life and use that list to build goals around. Here is the link to Zig Zigler's Wheel of Life if you have forgotten those topics/spokes. ( I like to think of goals as the strategic plan, with the actions I need to take as the tactical plan. So, after you create your goal(s), sit down and think about the tactics or tasks you will need to implement to reach or progress towards your goal. Secondly, I want to thank you. I want to thank you for participating in this conversation. Without YOU, I am just whistling in the wind. Talking about grandfathers and topics that impact grandfathers is my way of trying to strengthen families AND other grandfathers. We can all use a bit of encouragement, and hopefully, this is what you are getting from my show. I want to give a special thank you to my wife, Karen Mangum, and all of those people who said yes when I asked to talk to them about their experience with being a grandfather, their memories of their grandfathers, or experts on topics that grandfathers and others need some more information about. Lastly, I want to give a special thanks to two gents who have helped me format and, hopefully, over the years, improve the show. Those gents are Steve Owens and Erik K. Johnson. I am putting links to their shows in the LINKS section below, so please check these two out and subscribe to them if you want to learn how to plan and launch a great podcast. I hope you have had a great Thanksgiving if you are in the United States, and if you are not in the U.S., I hope you have had a great week and have some fantastic plans for the weekend. Thanks again for being awesome and supporting me. Links Click on this link to review Zig Ziglar's Wheel of Life: Here is the link to Erik K. Johnson's Podcast Talent Coach website: Check out Steve Owen's fantastic podcast, Fasciation Street, by clicking on this link:
10:19 11/24/23
EP - 158 Grandfathers Can Provide Balance and Support
Stephen Gomes joins us this week to talk about his grandfather's impact on him while growing up. We talk about how, between Stephen's father and grandfather, he had a well-rounded environment to grow up in. Stephen and I talked about how lucky he was to have a grandfather who would spend a day or half a week focused on him and what was happening in his world. We had a fun discussion about Stephen's activities and how having a grandfather helped balance out his loving father's business pursuits that often went over into the weekend. As Stephen grew older, he could use his 1967 Camero, which his father helped him to restore, to travel to his grandfather's house for a visit. Stephen shares with us the wisdom that he was able to gather from his grandfather about life and relationships that were shared with him as Stephen was entering high school. Stephen also shares with us about what an incredible grandfather his dad became as Stephen had children. I was lucky to have Stephen previously on the show, where we talked about Flex Mortgages and some financing options available to seniors. I have provided the link to that show in the links below. Once you have listened to this conversation, please share it with three friends or family members who would enjoy hearing these fun memories and lessons of a fantastic grandfather. Links You can listen to Stephen's conversation with me about Flex Mortgages by clicking on this link: Here is the link to OPTIO Financing: You can follow OPTIO Financing on Facebook by clicking this link: If you want to follow OPTIO Financing on LinkedIn, you can use this link:
36:49 11/17/23
EP - 157 Discussing Grief
Brittany Johns joins our conversation this week to discuss the important topic of grief. Brittany has been working in the healthcare industry for over 13 years and is certified in grief counseling. She runs and operates New Beginnings Grief Recovery in Bend, Oregon. During our conversation, we talked about what grief is and is not. An important area for grandparents and parents to understand is that grief with children doesn't always show up as it does with adults. Although everyone grieves differently, children are sometimes prone to sudden bursts of emotion and what can sometimes seem strange statements. Brittany does a great job of explaining how grief in a child can be expressed and how, as grandparents, we can help them navigate their feelings and their processing of a loss. We also talk about how, as grandparents, it is essential to be honest with grandchildren about the loss of someone, a pet, or any loss. Grieving, as Brittany explained, isn't just about someone close to us passing away. That sense of loss can be about a move, a change in living circumstances, or anything really that causes a disruption to our lives that will not be returning to us. It is essential to recognize the loss, and that is where a grief counselor, in particular, can be helpful to us or our grandchildren in coming to terms with and processing the change that is either happening now or that will occur in the future. Once you have listened to this episode, please remember to share it with three friends or family members who would benefit from listening to the wisdom that Brittany shares with us. Links Click here to visit Brittany's website: If you would like to Call Brittany's office, she has provided her phone number - 425.293.7166 You can follow Brittany on Facebook by clicking this link: Brittany's email address is: Brittany is available on LinkedIn by clicking here:  
36:10 11/10/23
EP - 156 The Importance of Traditions
My wife, Karen Mangum, joins our conversation to talk to us about the traditions that she and her family had during the end-of-the-year celebrations. Karen talks about how, at Thanksgiving, there would be up to 30 people at her grandparents' house. Even with those numbers, Karen remembers that the house would be quiet enough for meaningful conversations among family members. Some of Karen's other memories were of the family playing football with her uncles and then watching the Thanksgiving parade followed by the Twilight Zone marathon on their local TV channel. While living in Los Angeles didn't afford many of the other natural indicators of the holiday season starting, Karen remembers how her mother and grandmother would start pulling out their pie pans to make their famous pies. One of the fun traditions that Karen's family had was that when the children turned thirteen, they would move to the "grown-up" or "la-de-da" table. Karen tells a fun story about what the Christmas season was like growing up in Los Angeles and how if the family wanted to have a makeshift snowman, they would need to go out and capture tumbleweeds, tie them together, and then paint them white. Karen's memories of their family's traditions at Christmas also revolved around having family around and sharing space and conversations. That is not to say that there were not some great activities that included Grandpa reading stories and leading the family in prayers around the big family meal on Christmas Eve. As we wrap up our conversation, Karen stresses that the traditions and rituals helped to bond the family members together. The members of the family that lived far away felt connected to the whole family because of a few repeated activities that were just part of what the family did and part of what all the family members participated in. After you have listened to this conversation, please share it with three friends or family members who would enjoy hearing how rituals and traditions can be used to build family bonds that last a lifetime. Links You can click on this link to hear a past conversation about how important traditions are in helping to build strong family connections: This is another one-on-one conversation about Traditions and Rituals:
32:50 11/3/23
EP - 155 Brotherhood of Fatherhood
Scott Rammage joins the conversation this week to talk about his grandfathers and his project, The Brotherhood of Fatherhood, that seeks to help men be the leaders and whole men they intended to be. As we begin our discussion, Scott talks about his two grandfathers. His mother's father was a janitor and worked hard to provide for his family. We learn how his grandfather was a lightning rod for blame and negative feelings about being poor and having a difficult life. We also learn about Scott's grandfather from his dad's side of the family. Scott recalls spending much time on Dimond Lake in the Oregon mountains. You will enjoy learning about the impact of these two hard-working men who found ways to spend time with Scott. Scott and I pivot during our conversation to discuss fathers and the challenges and opportunities men have as fathers to instruct and lead their children and families. During our conversation, we discussed how grandfathers and mentors can work hand in glove with the fathers and families to provide a longer-term view of children's growth, where parents are often faced and react more tactically. We also understand how older fathers and grandfathers can support their adult sons through troubling times by being vulnerable and open about our struggles and shortcomings. Scott suggests that when we, as fathers, open ourselves up, our children are more likely to share their struggles, which allows for healing and resolution. Once you have listened to this conversation, be sure to share this important episode with three friends who would benefit from Scott's wisdom and insights. To hear the conversation that I had on Scott's podcast, click on this link: Links Check out The Brotherhood of Father Hood at this link: If you want to join Scott's Facebook group, click this link: Scott has an Instagram page you can check out and follow: Here is the Amazon link for the book Discipline is Destiny: Here is the link to my conversation from The Brotherhood of Fatherhood podcast:
55:43 10/27/23
EP - 154 See Differently
Our conversation with Renee Balcom Renee is one of these folks who take a career turn and unexpectedly find their passion in service and educating others. You will enjoy hearing how Renee started in Silicon Valley in the 1970s and quickly rose to the ranks of the CEO of a technology company in the 1980s. After having enough of Silicon Valley, she moved what she refers to as her tribe to Southwest Oregon. After economic and personal setbacks, Renee started to work in the adult care industry. One of the attendees of an event that Renee spoke at asked Renee to attend a doctor's appointment. Soon, the doctor's office had several other patients that the doctor thought could use Renee's blend of empathy and business smarts. Renee quickly found a real need in the world to have someone outside the healthcare crisis or care who could advise the patient on navigating the different treatment options. This person or healthcare advocate supports the patient and family through the diagnosis and care plan process. You are going to enjoy this conversation with Renee. She does a great job of making this complex topic simple to understand. Whether you are in the "sandwich generation" or someone who is getting a little older, there is some fantastic AND actionable information that you can use to be proactive in creating a care plan for you or your loved ones. Once you have listened to this conversation, be sure to share it with three friends or family members who would benefit from listening to this conversation with Rene. Links If you want to check out Renee and Company and download The Advocacy Tip Sheet, you can click on this link: To reach out and email Renee and her team, you can contact her at this email address: You can also call Renee's team by using this phone number: (844) 661-2369.
62:43 10/20/23
EP - 153 Learning about Flex Mortgages
Our conversation with Stephen Gomes Stephen Gomes joins us this week to talk about Reverse and Flex Mortgages. Stephen does a great job explaining how the different lending options or products are a step up from what was available back in the 1970s and 1980s. Like many of you, I didn't know how much these products had changed or if they had changed from their early incarnations. I brought up with Stephen many of the preconceived ideas and stories that I had heard about reverse mortgages. You will enjoy and appreciate how Stephen uses everyday examples and easy-to-understand language to step us through the many different options and scenarios he and his group, OPTIO Financing, work with every week. It was so great talking with Stephen that I invited him to come back on the podcast to discuss his grandfather's influence on him while he was growing up. After you listen to this episode, please remember to share it with three friends or family members who would benefit from listening to this episode. Also, check out the links below to get in contact with OPTIO Financing and Stephen. Links Here is the link to OPTIO Financing: You can follow OPTIO Financing on Facebook by clicking this link: If you want to follow OPTIO Financing on LinkedIn, you can use this link:
46:26 10/13/23
EP - 152 Fall Storytelling for Grandchildren
Our conversation with Debra Weller With Autumn starting to turn the leaves colorful and leaving a bit of an evening chill in the air, our thoughts begin to turn towards festivals and the end of the year. Debra Weller, a master storyteller, joins us again to discuss the great traditions of end-of-the-year storytelling. Debra discusses the rich traditions that just about all cultures have for gathering in the harvest, preparing for the winter, and the celebrations of successful hunts. Stories around campfires, kitchen tables, and large mead halls entertain us, scare us, and can also teach us. As a professional storyteller, Debra shares her experiences using stories to build connections with grandchildren, whether young or old. She talks to us about setting the stage and setting for stories and how we can use and develop gifts for storytelling. A great tip Debra discusses is that retelling classic stories with our personalities and twists can be a fun and easy way to share stories with our grandchildren and other family members. Be sure to check out the link below to Debra's first visit with us for even more helpful tips and insightful lessons about the power of storytelling. Once you have listened to this podcast episode, please remember to share it with three friends who would enjoy listening to Debra's storytelling wisdom and advice. Links Here is the link to our previous conversation with Debra: To check out Debra's YouTube Channel, click this link: This is the link to Debra's website: I am sure you will enjoy following Debra on Facebook. Here is the link for you to get in touch with her on that site:
41:24 10/6/23
EP - 151 Your Next Year
Our Monthly One-on-One Conversation This month's conversation is about goals. I know this isn't November or December, the usual months when we start thinking about goals or New Year Resolutions. I felt that we needed to talk about goals as we head into the last quarter of the year so that our thoughts about goals and their importance don't get lost in the shuffle of holidays, visits with grandchildren, and just the general year-end hustle and bustle. As part of Dan Miller's 48 Days group, he challenged us to listen to the audio recording of The Strangest Secret. (Here is the YouTube Link: Our challenge was to listen to this recording for 30 days straight. I will have heard this program for 30 days when this podcast is released. Over the last few years, I have shifted my perspective about goals. Most of the time, when I heard about goals, it was in the context of a manager telling me what I needed to address or improve at work. I never really embraced that power of goals before listening to some classic thinkers and writers, such as Zig Zigler, Dan Miller, Dale Carnegie, Napoleon Hill, and many others. I can tell you that last year, I created 12 different goals for myself. Almost all of them were ambitious and probably too much so. Several were related to physical activities that, now looking back, were not so realistic. But the thing is, that doesn't matter. It doesn't matter because having those goals and reading them often on the cards I wrote them out made me think constantly about how I could achieve them. This year, though, I want you to join me in this exercise, and then next year, at this time, let's see where you and I end up. I want you to write out one goal in each of the following areas of your life. Mental Spiritual Physical Family Financial Personal Career Don't create any more than these seven. Anything more and you will dilute your ability to focus, exercise faith, imagine how you will achieve the goal, and then work towards that goal. At the end of the day, though, I want you to use what works for you. If that is my suggestion of having one vision of yourself for next year that the seven spokes of the wheel of life support, great. Suppose you find or have used something else awesome. The main point is to move towards something instead of being a "wandering generality." Be sure to listen to this podcast for more information about the importance of setting, creating, and working towards goals. Also, in the podcast, I will share ideas about using one or two goals with your grandchildren to build a connection point, have fun, and share mutual progress towards a worthy end. I have some helpful links to information you can use to create your goals for this coming year. Remember, we want to have the goals by the end of October. Links The Strangest Secret on YouTube: Zig Ziglar's Wheel of Life: Access to Dan Miller's Worksheets:
19:36 9/29/23
EP - 150 Becoming a Sage
Our conversation with Chris Bruno Chris Bruno from ReStory Counseling joins us today to discuss men entering their second stage of life. We discuss how this second stage of life can be the most powerful in our story. While we will undoubtedly experience decline in many different areas, IF we are open to working on ourselves, we CAN use these years to, as Obi-Wan Kenobi said, "...become more powerful than you ever imagined." Chris wrote a book called Sage: A Man's Guide Into His Second Passage. As you will hear in the conversation, I read this book and was deeply impacted by Chris's invitation to men to work to become a sage. I have felt but was unable to explain, as well as Chris, that as we head into our second half, we could play a larger role in our world and not simply age and fade away. Grandfathers and men can and should take up the mantle of sage, guide, and quiet leader and use this position to build up and lead the following generation of men and women. Perhaps if enough of us quietly go about our lives as sages, some, not all, of the troubles that others experience can be lessened. If we can't lessen them, maybe as a sage, we can help guide our adult children, grandchildren, and others through their challenges with quiet love and wisdom. You will enjoy this conversation. Once you have listened to it, please check out the links below AND share this conversation with three friends who need to hear Chris's fantastic message and call. Links Chris has an awesome gathering for men coming up in January of 2024. Here is the link to sign up for this experience: I can't recommend this book enough. Sage: A Man's Guide Into His Second Passage is an incredible experience. I would recommend this book for yourself or for the men in your life who are entering their second half: If you would like to learn more about Chris and the work that his team at The ReStory Counseling group does, please click on this link: To learn more about the Restoration Project, click on this link:
50:57 9/22/23
EP - 149 AdventuRetired
Our conversation with Curt and Cindy Liljedahl This week's conversation is with a very cool couple. Curt and Cindy join us to talk about the importance of adventures as part of our retired lives. We hear a great story about their experience of becoming grandparents. Curt does his best to embarrass Cindy with his story, which any good husband does. It is great learning about how Curt and Cindy experienced adventures while growing up before they had children (BC) and now that they are retired. We talk about how Cindy's grandparents would take her, her siblings, and cousins and travel to the Ozarks camping. Curt's grandparents bought a family-owned resort in Minnesota where family members would come and go all summer long. Curt and Cindy have a great podcast, AdventuRetired, where they interview people about their adventures in retirement. Cindy and Curt shared an important point that adventures don't have to start as treks along the Pacific Crest Trail. Adventures can be smaller, especially if you are starting to ramp things up. A great adventure could be going to your local state or National Park and car camping. Another example they provided is that you could go in with family members and rent or buy box seats at a sporting event and let everyone enjoy time in a city, taking in a ball game and exploring the city with the family. Whatever you decide to do with you, your spouse, or your family, the mindset of making an activity an adventure can add to the experience. Certainly, using the vocabulary of an adventure will leave a lasting impression on the grandchildren. It is those memories of experiences with Grandma and Grandpa that will last longer than any toy that they receive. Once you have listened to this conversation, be sure to share it with three friends or family members who will enjoy listening to Curt and Cindy's stories and insights about the importance of having adventures. Also, please subscribe to Curt and Cindy's podcast. The link to their show is listed below. Links Click on this link to visit AdventuRetired, and don't forget to sign up for the podcast. You can use this link to follow Curt and Cindy on Instagram: If you would like to follow AdventuRetired on Facebook, you can use this link:
45:37 9/15/23
EP - 148 The Importance of Having a Senior Living Plan
Working with your parents or loved ones on managing their aging process can be challenging. It makes you ask personal and possibly embarrassing questions about every part of someone's life. These topics are often areas that "we" don't talk about. These tough topics can include money, physical and mental well-being, estate planning, and many more. Annalee Kruger is passionate about helping family and friends work through the emotions and the details of creating a senior living plan. What Annalee is working with families to avoid is the crisis that so often appears when an unexpected event occurs. That event often causes the family to rally together, and oftentimes, having to choose the least bad of multiple bad options causes even more emotional AND financial pain for the family. To help families create a plan, Annalee has developed many tools that will empower families to calmly face any situation. One such tool is the 'Grab and Go Binder.' The 'Grab and Go Binder' is a fantastic tool to place all important documents such as a Living Will, caregiving Instructions, Financial information, and so much more so the family members who need to make quick decisions on care, level of care, etc. have the documents and information they need to direct any health care and social work providers. Annalee provides us with great information and suggestions on developing an aging plan to support all parties involved in creating and carrying out a senior living plan. Once you have listened to this episode, please share it with friends who would benefit from our conversation. Links The link to Annalee's website is: You can find Annalee's book, The Invisible Patcient can be found here: If you would like to connect with Care Right Inc. on Facebook, you can use this link: Care Right Inc.'s LinkedIn information can be found using this link:
61:11 9/8/23