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Your History Your Story

Your History Your Story

By James Gardner
“A podcast that discovers, investigates and celebrates fascinating people and their stories”

Music: "With Loved Ones" Jay Man
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S3 Ep02 Rudy's: Where Neighbors Become Family

Your History Your Story

S5 Ep11 First Ladies and Daughters of the American Revolution
When George Washington became the first President of the United States in 1789, his wife Martha, like her husband, had no predecessor to model for her new role. Initially, she did not have a title, but soon became known as “Lady Washington”. It wasn’t until many years later that the term “First Lady” was used on a regular basis to identify the wife of the President and / or the White House hostess. Over the past 233 years the First Ladies of the United States have performed many duties to support the President and his administration. In additional to upholding many traditions set by previous First Ladies, they had to adapt their roles to fit the times and circumstances of their stay in the White House.  Some of our nation’s First Ladies have also been members of The Daughters of the American Revolution, commonly known as the DAR. The DAR was formed in 1890 and is a women’s organization made up of direct descendants of patriots of the American Revolution.  Since its’ founding, the DAR has continued to initiate and support projects that include promoting patriotism, education, historic preservation and conservation. In this episode of Your History Your Story, our guest is historian Larry Cook, author of “Symbols of Patriotism, First Ladies and Daughters of the American Revolution”, a book that tells the stories of twelve First Ladies who were and are, also members of the DAR.  In addition to being an author, speaker and historian, Larry is a serious collector of Presidential memorabilia, with a collection that includes over 8,000 fascinating items. YHYS YouTube channel - Photo(s): Courtesy of Larry Cook Music: "With Loved Ones" Jay Man
June 20, 2022
S5 Ep10 Primo Carnera, Boxing Champion and Gentle Giant
On June 29, 1933, at the Garden Bowl in Long Island City, New York, an imposing six foot six Italian boxer named Primo Carnera knocked out a smaller but highly skilled and more experienced Jack Sharkey to become the World Heavyweight Boxing Champion.  Primo was born in 1906 in a small village in the northeastern corner of Italy. A large baby at birth, Primo continued to grow at  an alarming rate and by the time he was a teenager, towered over his family and all the other residents of his village!  Eventually, he was asked to leave his home because his parents could no longer afford to provide the food necessary to satisfy his ravenous appetite. After setting out on his own, Primo worked odd jobs and after a while found work as a circus strong man in France, where he was able to earn a living, eat well and grow even bigger and stronger. While performing as a circus strong man, twenty two year-old Primo was discovered by a boxing promoter named Leon See who had been told of Carnera’s enormous size and incredible strength. Thus began Primo Carnera’s professional boxing career which would take him across Europe and to the United States, where he would earn the nickname “The Ambling Alp” and would go on to win the World Heavyweight Boxing title a little less than five years after his first professional fight. He would also accumulate a record setting seventy two wins by knockout! In this episode of Your History Your Story, we will be speaking with Primo Carnera’s granddaughter Anne Hibbetts. Anne will share family stories about her grandfather’s life, including his early years as a hungry teenager, his incredible boxing career which included bouts against such greats as Jack Sharkey, Max Baer and Joe Louis, and his acting career which included small parts in movies such as “The Prizefighter and the Lady” and “Mighty Joe Young” in which he had a tug of war scene with the giant gorilla.  In this heart-felt interview, Anne will explain that despite her grandfather’s enormous size, physical strength, and knock-out punch, he was really a gentle giant who loved his family and treated others with gentleness and kindness, She will also explain, that despite allegations of mob involvement in the outcomes of some of Primo’s fights, he was rightfully deserving of the World Heavyweight title that he received.  Photo(s): Courtesy of Anne Hibbetts Music: "With Loved Ones" Jay Man
June 06, 2022
S5 Ep09 From Despair to Hope on the Golden Gate Bridge
On March 11, 2005, twenty two year old Kevin Berthia stood on a narrow pipe on the outside railing of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, 220 feet above the cold water of the bay. Kevin, who had struggled most of his life with a major depression disorder, woke up feeling hopeless that morning and could only think about stopping the pain he was feeling. A recent job loss and mounting bills had pushed him to his limit. As Kevin was preparing to carry out his plan, he suddenly heard a voice call out to him. That voice belonged to California Highway Patrolman, Kevin Briggs.  Over the next ninety two minutes, Officer Briggs provided a caring, listening ear and offered words of hope to Kevin Berthia. At first, Kevin felt anger toward the voice on the other side of the railing because it was interrupting his plan to get out of pain. However, things began to change the longer Kevin spoke and Officer Briggs listened. Kevin eventually felt enough hope to climb back over the railing to safety. In this episode of Your History Your Story, we will be speaking with both, Kevin Berthia and Kevin Briggs, who retired from the California Highway Patrol in 2013 after 20 years of service. The two men will recount the events of that day in 2005 & their subsequent reunion in 2013. Today, these two men, who have become close friends, are mental health and suicide prevention advocates and speakers, who work tirelessly, both individually and together to help bring hope to others and save lives. Note: This episode discusses suicide prevention. If you or someone you know is in need of help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.  1.800.273.TALK(8225) Photo(s): Courtesy of Kevin Berthia and Kevin Briggs Music: "With Loved Ones" Jay Man
May 16, 2022
S5 Ep08 Love Shines through the Clouds of Covid
In early 2021, life was really good for Brian and Dorothy Bayford. Married for over 20 years, they had a blended family of eight children, three of whom they adopted together. They also had many grandchildren. Dorothy was very active at her church and in her community and together with Brian had recently launched a new business.  Later in 2021 life changed for the Bayford’s when both Brian and Dorothy contracted Covid. Brian recovered from the illness, but Dorothy’s health declined and she was eventually hospitalized due to severe problems breathing. Because Dorothy was loved by so many friends and family, Brian found it difficult to keep up with all the calls and messages from those people seeking updates on Dorothy’s condition. It was then that Brian decided to begin posting daily video messages on Facebook, many from Dorothy’s hospital room to keep everybody updated. Sadly, after a courageous struggle of ten weeks, Dorothy succumbed to her illness.  On the day Dorothy passed, Brian’s post was titled “My bride, my best friend, my world”.  In this episode of Your History Your Story, we will be speaking with Brian Bayford about his wife Dorothy and her fervent love of God, family and country. He will also tell how, in addition to updating friends and loved ones, his posts helped him express the deep love he had for his wife. As Brian seeks to carry on his wife’s legacy, he draws strength from his faith & family and is determined to encourage others to show love to one another each and every day!  Photo(s) Courtesy of: Brian Bayford Music: "With Loved Ones" Jay Man
May 02, 2022
S5 Ep07 Bud Anderson: WW2 Triple Ace Fighter Pilot
In this episode of Your History Your Story, we will be speaking with the last living US Triple Ace fighter pilot from World War 2, Clarence E. “Bud” Anderson. Bud, who celebrated his 100th birthday on January 13, 2022, began his fascination with airplanes after hearing about Charles Lindbergh’s famous flight across the Atlantic Ocean in 1927.  As a boy in rural California,  Bud spent hours with a friend watching bi-planes take off and land at a local air strip.  Bud’s love of airplanes eventually led him to join the US Army Aviation Cadet Program on his 20th birthday, one month after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the United States’ entry into WW2. After receiving his wings, Bud entered the war in Europe as a fighter pilot. From November 1943 through January 1945, Bud flew 116 combat missions in his P-51 Mustang, which he nicknamed “Old Crow” and was credited with destroying 16 1/4 enemy aircraft. Bud will be sharing with us stories from his life and 30 year career in the US Army Air Corps and US Air Force, which will include vivid accounts of aerial combat against the German Luftwaffe, his combat tour in Vietnam and his friendship with a German fighter pilot which developed many years after WW2. Photo(s): Courtesy of Bud Anderson / Jim Anderson Music: "With Loved Ones" Jay Man
April 18, 2022
S5 Ep06 Who Was Jefferson Davis?
Have you ever heard of Jefferson Davis? If so, perhaps you learned from a high school history book that he was the President of the Confederacy during the American Civil War.  In this episode of Your History Your Story, we will be speaking with Jefferson Davis’ great, great grandson, Bertram Hayes-Davis, who, along with his wife Carol, own Vicksburg Old Town Tours. The tours showcase historic Vicksburg, Mississippi. Bertram admits that he, like many others, knew little of his famous ancestor except for his role as the head of the Confederate government. However, in 1976, that all changed when he was elected  President of the Davis Family Foundation, whose mission is to support programs, organizations and events to educate people about Jefferson Davis and his life.  From that point on, Bertram began a journey  that enabled him to uncover the entire story of the life of his great great grandfather. Through his research, Bertram discovered that in addition to being the President of the Confederacy,  Davis was also a plantation owner, slaveholder, West Point graduate, war hero,  U.S. Senator, Congressman, Secretary of War and author. Additionally, Bertram found that Davis had experienced some great personal tragedies in his life including the death of his first wife and several children. Bertram firmly believes in the importance of sharing all of the facts when telling history and will be sharing a full account of his great great grandfather’s life, so the listener can weigh the facts for themselves and ultimately answer the question… Who was Jefferson Davis? Photo(s): Courtesy of Bertram Hayes-Davis Music: "With Loved Ones" Jay Man
April 04, 2022
S5 Ep05 America Taken Off Guard, Pearl Harbor and September 11th
December 7, 1941 and September 11, 2001 are two dates that will live in infamy. Although 60 years apart, they both represent defining moments in US History.   Our guests on this episode, Dorinda Nicholson and Lieutenant Colonel Robert Darling, United States Marine Corps (retired), were eyewitnesses (respectively) to the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the response of America’s leadership from within the White House bunker to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.  Dorinda Nicholson was born in Hawaii to a Hawaiian mother and a Caucasian father from Missouri. On December 7, 1941, Dorinda, whose family lived near the tip of the Pearl City Peninsula, was six years old when she witnessed the bombing of Pearl Harbor by Imperial Japan. Her home was only a few hundred yards from the USS Utah, the first ship to be attacked on that fateful day.  After fleeing  their home to take refuge in a sugar cane field, she and her family had a panoramic view of the attacks on the entire American fleet.  Dorinda, who went on to become a mental health professional, is a sought after speaker and author of books such as “Pearl Harbor Child” and “Pearl Harbor Warriors”. One of Dorinda’s passions is to bring awareness to the suffering of civilian populations, particularly children during times of war.   As an officer in the USMC, Robert Darling piloted Cobra attack helicopters during Desert Shield and Desert Storm during the 1st Gulf War and in Somalia, Africa in support of Operation Restore Hope. He was later selected to fly as a Presidential pilot with Marine Helicopter Squadron 1  and in the year 2000, he was chosen to work for The White House Military Office, Airlift Operations Department.  While serving in that capacity on 9/11/2001, during the terrorist attacks on America, Darling responded to the underground White House bunker, known as the President’s Emergency Operations Center. From that location, he directly supported the Vice-President and the National Security Adviser during the critical moments of that day.  Lieutenant Colonel Robert Darling retired from the USMC in 2007 after 20 years of service. He is now a professional speaker in crisis leadership and decision making and is the author of “24 Hours Inside the President’s Bunker, 9/11/01 The White House”  In this episode of Your History Your Story, Dorinda and Robert will recount their experiences on those two historic days in American history and will tell how those events have impacted their lives. They will also share their thoughts on what we, as a country, can learn about leadership in crisis, war, and its’ impact on human lives.  Photo(s): Courtesy of Dorinda Nicholson and Robert Darling  Music: "With Loved Ones" Jay Man
March 21, 2022
S5 Ep04 The Real "Zuzu Bailey", Karolyn Grimes
Six year old Karolyn Grimes was selected by director, Frank Capra for the role of Zuzu Bailey in the 1946 classic holiday movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life”, where she worked closely with Jimmy Stewart who played her father, George Bailey. As a child actress in Hollywood in the 1940’s and early 1950’s, Karolyn had the opportunity to appear in many other movies with stars such as, Cary Grant, Loretta Young, John Wayne, Lon Chaney, Jr.,  and David Niven.  Sadly, Karolyn’s life changed dramatically following the death of both her parents within one year of each other. Orphaned at 15, Karolyn left Hollywood and was sent to live with relatives in Missouri.  Though she was extremely unhappy in her new household, she eventually thrived with the loving support of her new, small town community. She went on to college and  a successful career as a medical technologist. She also married and raised a family. At the age of forty, Karolyn was approached by someone wanting to interview her about her role as Zuzu Bailey. It wasn’t until then  that she sat down to watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” for the very  first time. Since then, she’s been an ambassador for the movie and the positive, uplifting message it gives…this is her story. Photo(s): Courtesy of Karolyn Grimes Music: "With Loved Ones" Jay Man
March 07, 2022
S5 Ep03 In Blind Sight
Born in the mid-1950’s, Bob Gumson grew up on the bustling streets of Canarsie, Brooklyn, where, as a young boy, he loved to participate in a wide variety of sports and games with his neighborhood friends. Bob’s life was fun and uncomplicated. Then, following a routine kindergarten eye exam, Bob and his family learned that he had a progressive eye disease that would render him completely blind by the time he reached his early teens.   Although Bob’s disability would present many challenges for him over the years, it never prevented him from having an exciting and purposeful life that has included many adventures as well as achievements such as his induction into the New York State Disability Rights Hall of Fame. In this episode, Bob, whose autobiography “In Blind Sight” was published in 2021, will tell his amazing story, which he hopes will inspire others, especially those with disabilities, to “strive, persevere and overcome” and live life to its’ fullest. Photo(s): Courtesy of Bob Gumson Music: "With Loved Ones" Jay Man
February 21, 2022
S5 Ep02 Following Your Passions
The word “passion” can be defined as: “an intense desire or enthusiasm for something”. For some people, that may be gardening, for others it might be music, art or a host of other interests or hobbies.  Our guests, Rick Curti and Chris LaRosa have each reached out to Your History Your Story to share how they are each actively pursuing their passions, while inspiring others to do the same.  Rick Curti, who was originally from Southern California, has always had a passion for baseball. Though he admittedly wasn’t very good at playing the game, that never dampened his love of the sport. Now residing in Charlotte, NC, Rick is using his enthusiasm, artistic ability and networking skills to advocate bringing a MLB team to his newly adopted city. Chris LaRosa, who lives in Southern New Jersey, began to seriously explore his family’s roots several years ago, following the passing of his mother. Genealogy has since become a labor of love, that has led to hours of mystery solving, connecting with relatives and unlocking treasure troves of stories about generations of his family.  Chris hopes to expand his passion for genealogy by helping others discover their family roots. In this episode, “Following Your Passions”, Rick and Chris will each tell their stories, which we know will inspire you to follow YOUR passions too! Photo(s): Courtesy of Rick Curti / Chris LaRosa Music: "With Loved Ones" Jay Man
February 07, 2022
S5 Ep01 Dred Scott: A Fight for Freedom
On April 6th 1846 the “Dred Scott Case” first went to trial in St. Louis, Missouri’s Old Court House. The case involved an enslaved couple, Dred and Harriet Scott, who filed suit against their owner to gain their freedom.  They did this based on the fact that they had once lived in “free territory” and should therefore have been emancipated based on the doctrine of “once free, always free”, previously recognized by Missouri courts. Little did the Scott’s know, that eleven years and several court cases later, the question of their freedom would be brought before the US Supreme Court and would result in the horrendous “Dred Scott Decision”.  That decision would serve as a major catalyst for the turbulent events leading up to the American Civil War. In this episode of Your History Your Story, our guest is Lynne Jackson, the great, great granddaughter of Dred and Harriet Scott and the President & Founder of the Dred Scott Heritage Foundation.  Lynne will be sharing the fascinating story of her courageous ancestors who persevered in their pursuit of freedom.  Picture(s): Courtesy of Lynne Jackson Music: "With Loved Ones" Jay Man
January 17, 2022
S4 Ep11 Nellie Oleson, The Character We All Loved to Hate
Nellie Oleson was the arch nemesis of Laura Ingalls on the hit television series, Little House on the Prairie which ran from 1974 until 1983. Nellie, who was played by Alison Arngrim, was the character we all loved to hate!  In this episode of Your History Your Story, we will be speaking with Alison, who, in addition to being an actress , is also an accomplished  stand up comedienne and New York Times best selling author of “Confessions of a Prairie Bitch: How I survived Nellie Oleson and Learned to Love Being Hated”.  Alison has a passion for humanitarian causes and is currently serving as President, National Spokesperson and Founding Board Member of The National Association to Protect Children. Alison is here today to share her story with us. Photo(s): Courtesy of Alison Arngrim Music: "With Loved Ones" Jay Man
December 20, 2021
S4 Ep10 A Hollywood Classic: Cora Sue Collins
If you are a fan of great movies from Hollywood’s golden era of the 1930’s and 40’s, you are really going to enjoy this episode.  Our guest, Cora Sue Collins, was born in Beckley, West Virginia in 1927 and at age three moved with her mother and older sister to Los Angeles, California. Almost immediately after arriving in Los Angeles, she was cast in a lead role in the motion picture, “The Unexpected Father” alongside former silent film stars Zasu Pitts and Slim Summerville.  Cora Sue then went on to act in dozens of films over the next twelve years, working with celebrities like Greta Garbo, Lionel Barrymore, Jackie Cooper, Lana Turner, Max Baer and Jack Dempsey, some of whom became her personal friends.   In this episode, Cora Sue will share her memories of her life as a child actress in Hollywood, more than eighty years ago! Photo(s): courtesy of Cora Sue Collins Music: "With Loved Ones" Jay Man
December 06, 2021
S4 Ep09 Life Interrupted: Facing Cancer at 24
In 2016, Matt was a 185lb, health conscious, personal trainer. He had just met his future fiancé and was filled with hopes and dreams for a great future. However, his life was suddenly interrupted by a devastating diagnosis of stage 3-C testicular cancer. Matt would undergo chemotherapy and a series of five major surgeries due to complications of his cancer. His disease and treatments took a tremendous toll on his body, reducing his weight to 110lbs in eight months. This situation rocked him to the core. Today, Matt is healthy, energetic and enthusiastic about life. He is now a transformation coach and a sought after speaker who uses his experience and victories in his fight against cancer to help others transform their mind, body and spirit and to live their lives with purpose.  This is Matt’s story. Photo(s): Courtesy of Matt Ode Music: "With Loved Ones" Jay Man
November 15, 2021
S4 Ep08 Mentally Tough & Physically Fit
Our guest in this episode of Your History Your Story, is Laura Eiman, a successful business owner and a certified Unbeatable Mind coach, trained by retired Navy SEAL commander, Mark Divine.  She also competed and won a gold medal in Olympic weightlifting at the PanAm Games in 2017 at age 64! Laura’s journey to success, began over twenty years ago. At that time, she was overweight, newly divorced, unemployed and lacked direction in her life. She was also addicted to sugar. She felt she had hit rock bottom, but wanted better for herself and her children.  One day, while eating a bag of cookies, she watched a documentary about the Navy Seals and her life began to change... This is Laura's story. Photo(s): Courtesy of Laura Eiman Music: "With Loved Ones" Jay Man
November 01, 2021
S4 Ep07 When Alzheimer's Hits Home"
According to the National Institute on Aging, “Alzheimer’s Disease is a brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills and eventually, the ability to carry out the simplest of tasks.” The Institute also states that “estimates suggest more than six million Americans, most of them age 65 or older, may have dementia caused by Alzheimer’s.”  In this episode, our guest will be Judy Levy, an occupational therapist with over forty years of experience.  She holds a master’s degree in Allied Health Education from Rutger’s University and is an award winning author of the book, “Activities to do With Your Parent Who Has Alzheimer’s Dementia”. While being a dedicated professional helping others, Judy was suddenly faced with managing the care of her own mother who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Dementia. It was a journey that lasted for ten years. As a caregiver, Judy had to learn how to help her mother navigate her disease and give her the best quality of life while managing her own feelings. This journey inspired Judy to write her book and share with others the lessons she learned along the way as both an occupational therapist and family member. Photo(s): Courtesy of Judith Levy Music: "With Loved Ones" Jay Man
October 18, 2021
S4 Ep06 "The Buck Stops Here" Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman became the 33rd President of the United States after the unforeseen death of his predecessor, Franklin D. Roosevelt on April 12, 1945. Truman, who rarely interacted with Roosevelt during his brief time as his vice-president, was suddenly left in charge of his country during the waning days of WWII. It was a time when decisions had to be made about the future of war devastated Europe, the rise of communism and the use of the atomic bomb to bring an end to the war in the Pacific. In this episode, our guest, Clifton Truman Daniel, eldest grandson of Harry Truman, will be speaking with us about his grandfather’s life and presidency.   Clifton is the honorary chairman of the board of the Truman Library Institute and is an author, lecturer and actor. He is currently portraying his grandfather in the play “Give ‘Em Hell Harry” by Samuel Gallu. Photo(s): Courtesy of Clifton Truman Daniel Music: "With Loved Ones" Jay Man
October 11, 2021
S4 Ep05 Finding The Artist Within Me
In this episode, our guest is designer, illustrator and author, Mike Brennan.  As a boy growing up in New York, Mike created heartwarming greeting cards that lit up the faces of his family and friends.  He always had an innate sense that his art was a way to serve others.  Mike went on to study at The Fashion Institute of Technology and The School of Visual Arts in New York City. After completing his schooling, Mike begin his career as a graphic designer. However, after a time, he began to suffer from some depression and found that he needed to rediscover his artistic abilities and use them to encourage and inspire others.  Mike now helps fellow creatives and content creators through public speaking, an online community and a course called Your Artist Journey. This is Mike’s story. Photo(s): Courtesy of Mike Brennan Music: "With Loved Ones" Jay Man
October 04, 2021
S4 Ep04 Creating a Culture of Happiness for Children
In this episode, we will be speaking with author, speaker and Latina entrepreneur, Lisa Caprelli. Lisa grew up with humble beginnings in El Paso, Texas. Shy as a child, Lisa had a vivid imagination and a gift for writing and went on to be the first in her generation to graduate from college, where she studied Social Psychology.  As an entrepreneur, Lisa spent twenty-five years in marketing, during which time she helped many CEO’s turn their businesses into meaningful brands.  Today, Lisa is focusing her attention on her passion for helping and inspiring children through a book series called “Unicorn Jazz” and an Amazon TV show called “Unicorn Jazz Presents: The Thing I Do”.  Through her books and TV show, which include puppets, music, art and other entertainment, Lisa hopes to inspire kids to learn, discover their uniqueness and encourage them to show kindness to others. Photo(s): Courtesy of Lisa Caprelli Music: "With Loved Ones" Jay Man
September 27, 2021
S4 Ep03 Helping People Chase Their Possible
Delilah Bardlette, who is a successful manager at United Airlines, is also the founder of “The Leader Appears”, which provides executive coaching for life, career or ministry.  Additionally, Delilah has created and produces a vlog and daily devotional called “Delilah’s Downloads” that offers encouragement and inspiration. As a child growing up in Chicago in the 1970’s and 80’s, Delilah thrived academically in a community where she felt safe under the watchful eyes of friends and neighbors. However, as a teenager, Delilah dropped out of high school and  became a single mom at the age of nineteen, requiring her to go on welfare.   In this episode, Delilah will share how her determination and faith and support from others, helped her to excel in her career and experience healing in her relationships. She will also tell how she now uses the lessons she’s learned to help others to avoid pitfalls, realize their potential and “chase their possible”. Photo(s): Courtesy of Delilah Bardlette Music: "With Loved Ones" Jay Man
September 20, 2021
S4 Ep02 Memories of 9.11.01
September 11, 2001: If you are above thirty years of age, the terrible events of that day are most likely etched in your memory and will be for years to come.  Many people today are able to remember exactly where they were, what they were doing  and how they found out that the United States of America had been attacked by terrorists. In this 20th anniversary tribute to the victims and survivors of the 9/11 attacks, we will be speaking with three individuals, Neil, Amy and Marty who will share how their lives were directly impacted by the events of that day. Neil’s story - Neil was working at his office on the 35th floor of the North Tower of the WTC when the first plane struck his building.  Amy’s story - Amy was a student at Bloomfield College in northern New Jersey when she received a misdirected call from a WTC survivor who was desperately trying to reach loved ones. Marty’s story - Marty was a retired Wanaque, NJ police officer when he answered the call to assist NYPD (as a volunteer) in recovery efforts at and around the WTC. Photo(s): Courtesy of Neil L., Amy P. & Marty S. Music: "With Loved Ones" Jay Man
September 13, 2021
S4 Ep01 A Man, His Guide Dog & Their Escape From the North Tower
It was a beautiful, sunny Tuesday morning in New York City on September 11, 2001. Michael Hingson, blind since birth, and his guide dog, Roselle had arrived early at his office on the 78th floor of the North Tower of the World Trade Center to set up for a meeting.  Little did Michael know that their building and the South Tower, were about to be struck by airplanes commandeered by terrorists. What ensued, would test both Michael and his dog in ways he could never have imagined. In this episode, marking the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, our guest Michael Hingson, will tell us how a lifetime of learning, determination and reliance on his other senses along with Roselle’s training helped prepare them to navigate over 1400 stairs, which led them out of the building and eventually to safety. Photo(s): Courtesy of Michael Hingson Music: "With Loved Ones" Jay Man
September 06, 2021
S3 Ep18 Seeking To Make a Difference
Our guest today is Monica Navarro-Leonard, who is a professional photographer and independent contractor from Baltimore, Maryland. As a teenager growing up in New Jersey, Monica was actively engaged in various activities at her church and was very outgoing. However, she also struggled with anxiety & depression and felt the need to please others.  Monica didn’t want to be just another kid wrapped up in typical teenage concerns. Instead, she felt the need to channel her anxious energy into something productive and become part of something bigger than herself and make a difference for good in this world.     In this episode, Monica will explain how, by immersing herself in a faith-based organization, she learned  how to be responsible, self sufficient and a leader. However, she will also explain how some experiences in that same organization touched-off some unsettledness in her heart that would eventually lead her to a more complete understanding of herself, her relationship with others and most importantly, God’s grace.  Photo(s): Courtesy of Monica Navarro-Leonard Music: "With Loved Ones" Jay Man
August 30, 2021
S3 Ep17 America Comes Together in Marshfield, Missouri
The annual Cherry Blossom Festival has been an important event in Marshfield, Missouri for the past sixteen seasons.  The festival was born out of a dream from one of Marshfield’s very own residents, Nicholas Inman. Each year this three day festival draws people from across the United States and other countries.  Guests and visitors include, presidential and other historical descendants, classic television, movie and music personalities and others. All of them come together in an atmosphere of warmth, community and friendship in the heartland of America, Marshfield, Missouri. In this episode, our guest is Nicholas Inman, Director and Founder of the Cherry Blossom Festival.  He also serves as Senior Minister of Elkland Independent Methodist Church and is the Director of the Laura Ingalls Wilder  Historic Home and Museum. Photo(s): Courtesy of Nicholas Inman Music: "With Loved Ones" Jay Man
August 23, 2021
S3 Ep16 New Jersey's Underground Railroad
The Underground Railroad was a network of secret routes and safe houses used by enslaved people, with the aid of abolitionists to escape to free states and Canada prior to the passing of the 13th amendment, which abolished slavery in the United States in 1865.  In this episode, our guest is architect and historian, Frank Gerard Godlewski. Frank, whose career as an architect brought him to Italy, where he lived and worked for more than twenty years, always maintained a deep interest in the history of his hometown of Montclair, New Jersey and more specifically, black history and the story of the Underground Railroad in that area. This interest was sparked in him early in life through a dear friend of the family, Dr. Evelyn Darrell, who was a clinical psychologist, scholar and black historian who mentored Frank and inspired his passion for black history. Frank, who now lives back in northern New Jersey, will tell us about his quest to discover, share and document the complicated and little known stories about New Jersey’s history with slavery and its’ Underground Railroad. Photo: Courtesy of Bud Endress Music: "With Loved Ones" Jay Man
August 16, 2021
S3 Ep15 The Titanic: A Story of a Survivor and her Baby
On April 10, 1912, The RMS Titanic, which was declared to be unsinkable, set sail on its maiden voyage from Southampton England to New York City.  Four days into its’ journey on April 14th @ 11:40pm, the ship struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic Ocean, causing the ship to sink within three hours.  Tragically, approximately 1,500 of the ships’ 2,200 passengers and crew members perished in the icy cold water. Hours later, the survivors were rescued by The RMS Carpathia and were brought to safety in New York City. Two of those survivors were a young mother, Leah Aks & her 10 month old son, Phillip.  Leah & Phillip, who lived in England, were on their way to join Leah’s husband, Sam to start a new life together in the United States. In this episode, our guest is Leah’s great granddaughter, Shelley Binder. Shelley, an accomplished flutist and retired professor from the University of Tennessee, will share the story of her great grandmother’s terrifying experiences on that fateful night aboard the Titanic and its’ later impact on her life and the lives of her family.  Photo(s): Courtesy of Shelley Binder Music: "With Loved Ones" Jay Man
August 09, 2021
S3 Ep14 A Passion for Presidential History
In this episode, A Passion for Presidential History, we will be speaking with award winning author, adjunct professor of history and Presidential historian, Louis Picone. Louis, whose early interest in history was fostered by his parents through road trips to historic places, continued that tradition with his own children, often visiting the birthplaces of U.S. Presidents.  As a result of those visits, Louis began to develop a fascination with the lives and times of our nation’s Commanders in Chief, which lead him to become a teacher and writer of Presidential history.   Louis, who has authored three books to date, will share interesting and little known stories he uncovered while visiting presidential landmarks and researching his books. Photo(s): Courtesy of Louis Picone Music: "With Loved Ones" Jay Man
August 02, 2021
S3 Ep13 Capturing The Green River Killer
In the summer of 1982,  homicide detective, Dave Reichert, of the King County, Washington, Sheriff’s Department was assigned to investigate multiple murders. The victims were found in and around the Green River in that county.  This, for Dave, began a twenty year hunt for one of the most prolific and elusive serial killers in US history, dubbed “The Green River Killer”. In this episode, Dave, who became Sheriff of King County in 1997 and later served fourteen years as a member of the US House of Representatives, will tell us about his involvement in investigating the murders, as the lead investigator, task force member and sheriff. He will also share how the loss of life and urgency to find the killer, took an emotional toll on him, other law enforcement task force members and especially the families of the victims. Finally, Dave will explain how the Green River killer, Gary Ridgeway, was eventually caught and brought to justice through the use of DNA testing, which linked him to evidence from the crime scenes. Ridgeway was subsequently convicted of forty nine homicides and is now serving multiple life sentences. Photo(s): Courtesy of Dave Reichert Music: "With Loved Ones" Jay Man *WARNING: Contains accounts of sex crime / murder investigations, listener discretion strongly advised.
July 26, 2021
S3 Ep12 Discovering the Heart of Ulysses S. Grant
In this episode, our guest will be author, speaker and former Chief Curator of the Newark Museum in Newark, New Jersey, Ulysses Grant Dietz. Mr. Dietz, who retired from the Newark Museum at the end of 2017 after thirty seven years of service, is also the great-great grandson of Civil War General and 18th President of the United States, Ulysses S. Grant. Mr. Dietz will share stories from his family tree and will tell us about his personal journey to learn about the life and heart of his famous ancestor and namesake. Photo(s): courtesy of Ulysses Grant Dietz Music: "With Loved Ones" Jay Man
July 19, 2021
S3 Ep11 General Jimmy Doolittle, An American Hero
On April 18, 1942, sixteen B25 Bombers, manned by eighty airmen, took off from the aircraft carrier, “USS Hornet”.  Their mission, which was extremely dangerous, was to bomb Japanese military and industrial targets in retaliation for that nation’s attack on Pearl Harbor the previous December. Lt. Colonel James “Jimmy” Doolittle, (who was later promoted to General) a well-known aviation pioneer, was chosen to lead that mission, which ultimately boosted morale in the United States and forced Japan into a more defensive strategy. In this episode, we will be speaking with Doolittle’s granddaughter, Jonna Doolittle Hoppes, who will share stories about her grandfather’s early years, education, his contribution to early aviation and his war experiences, which included receiving the Medal of Honor from Franklin D. Roosevelt. Jonna, who is an author and educator, will also tell us what it was like growing up as a grandchild of General Doolittle and his wife, Josephine. Photo(s): Courtesy of Jonna Doolittle Hoppes Music: "With Loved Ones" Jay Man
July 12, 2021
S3 Ep10 A Fiction Writer's Quest for the Truth
Our guest today is Kory Shrum, who also goes by the name, KB Marie. She is a USA Today best selling fiction author and poet. Kory will share her life and inspirations that led her to become a successful writer of fiction, which include supernatural thrillers, science fiction and mysteries.  She will also tell how her career in fiction collided with the reality of the tragic death of her mother in July of 2020, which started her into an investigation to find the truth that led to her mother’s death.  To chronicle her quest for the truth, Kory wrote and narrated a 16 episode podcast called “Who Killed My Mother”.  Today, she will share a little about that podcast as well. *Listener discretion - this episode contains some discussion about sexual abuse (not graphic)*  Music: "With Loved Ones" Jay Man Photo(s): Courtesy of Kory Shrum
July 05, 2021
S3 Ep09 My Dad Survived the Holocaust: A Story of Faith, Strength and Courage
In this episode, “My Dad Survived the Holocaust: A story of Faith, Strength & Courage”, we will be speaking with David Fogel about the life of his father, Eugene. Born in Satu Mare, Romania in 1926, one of eleven children of Shimon and Mattel Fogel, Eugene was raised in a religious, Jewish home. Eugene had completed his schooling and had begun working, when, in 1944, the Nazis entered Satu Mare and Eugene’s life was changed forever.  He and his family were sent to a ghetto and shortly thereafter transferred to the Auschwitz Concentration Camp complex in Poland, where most of his family perished. Eugene’s son David, will share stories about his father’s life and how his faith and personal strength helped him survive one of the most horrific periods in human history. Photo(s): Courtesy of David Fogel Music: "With Loved Ones" Jay Man
June 28, 2021
S3 Ep08 Team Hoyt - Yes You Can!
In this episode, “Team Hoyt - Yes, You Can!”, we will be speaking with brothers, Rick and Russ Hoyt.  Rick, who was born with Cerebral Palsy, grew up in a loving family where he was treated no differently than his two brothers, Rob and Russ.  When he was 16 years old, Rick approached his dad, Dick, and asked him if they could enter a race together to benefit an athlete at his school who had become paralyzed.  Rick wanted to demonstrate that life could be lived fully, despite a persons’ disability.  Rick’s dad agreed and from that point on, father and son became known as Team Hoyt, which competed in over 1,100 endurance events, such as, 5K’s, marathons, triathlons and Iron-man competitions.  In March of 2021, Dick Hoyt, passed away at age 80. Their mom, Judy, who passed away in 2010, was a big advocate for her son, Rick and championed education reform to ensure the inclusion of people with disabilities in the state of Massachusetts. Rick and his brother Russ will tell stories about their family, Team Hoyt’s racing career and the Hoyt Foundation, a non-profit organization, founded to help disabled young people through inclusion in all facets of daily life.
June 21, 2021
S3 Ep07 Our Dads, An Enduring Legacy of Friendship
In this episode, our host, James Gardner  will be joined by his lifelong friend, John Sellar. Together, they will be sharing memories of their fathers Alistair Sellar and Jack Gardner.  Al and Jack met in 1925 when they were in second grade in Bloomfield, New Jersey. They had a rare friendship that lasted their entire lives.  Both men’s lives exemplified the strength, courage and determination of the “greatest generation”.  John and James will tell stories of how their dads’ friendship continued throughout the years and eventually grew to include their wives and children.  On this Father’s Day, they have the honor of telling about a friendship between their two families that began almost a century ago and continues to this day. Photo(s): Courtesy of the Sellar & Gardner families Music: "With Loved Ones", Jay Man
June 14, 2021
S3 Ep06 My Brooklyn, My Way
Marty was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. His recently released book, “My Brooklyn, My Way From Brownsville to Canarsie in the 1950’s” chronicles his childhood through a series of short stories and poems. In today's episode, Marty will share some of his most cherished recollections about his early years, including stories about his family, friends, neighbors, local shops, vacations in the Catskills and summertime fun. Marty is a master storyteller who will transport you to a simpler time and place where people made the most of what little they had and found joy in relationships with each other.  With enthusiasm and descriptive language, Marty will tell of the wonderful times he had, such as playing stick ball with old broom handles, hot summer days at Betsy Head Pool, trips to Coney Island and hanging around at the local candy stores. Photo(s): Courtesy of Martin Blumberg Music: "With Loved Ones" Jay Man
June 07, 2021
S3 Ep05 "The Measure of Life is not its' Duration, But its' Donation"
“The Measure of Life is not its’ Duration, but its’ Donation”  In this episode, you’ll hear the story of Nancy Saulter,  a person whose life and legacy of stepping up to meet the needs of others, epitomized the quote by Peter Marshall.  Tragically losing her father to suicide when she was nine years old, Nancy and her family were comforted by the kindness of their extended family and neighbors.  It was this kindness that inspired her to help and care for others  her entire life.  Nancy’s daughter, Janet, will tell how her mother opened not only her heart, but her home to others, especially those who were lonely or in need. The apple didn’t fall far from the tree. Janet, like her mother, feels the same passion to step up in many ways, including  donating one of her kidneys to a friend. Since donating her kidney, she has been actively involved with an organization called the Transplant Games of America and participates as an athlete. Music: "With Loved Ones" Jay Man Photo(s): Courtesy of Janet Saulter-Hemmer
May 31, 2021
S3 Ep04 Her Life Was Saved in Prison
At age fifteen, Amanda began drinking alcohol, which started her on a destructive path toward addiction, homelessness and dangerous relationships that lasted many years and led to her arrest and conviction for the part she played in an armed robbery. Amanda was sent to prison for her crime and it was there, behind bars, that she found hope, which ultimately changed the course of her life. Hear her inspirational story and how she now counsels women and men to turn away from the harmful path she had taken earlier in her life. Music: "With Loved Ones" Jay Man Photo(s): Courtesy of Amanda Rector
May 24, 2021
S3 Ep03 Carrying The Torch of History
The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island are iconic symbols of freedom in American history. Imagine if your company was the one selected to do major construction and restoration projects at these landmarks? In this episode, “Carrying the Torch of History”, we will be speaking with Doug Phelps, owner of Phelps Construction Group. It was Doug and his team who were awarded these challenging and exciting projects.  Doug tells of the many experiences his team had during these projects, such as, the construction of The Statue of Liberty Museum, which included moving the original torch from the base of the statue to the new museum, the building of “The Peopling of America Center” on Ellis Island and the significant delays caused by Hurricane Sandy.  Doug explains how all of their work had to proceed under the watchful eyes of archeologists to ensure that all historic treasures were properly preserved and documented.   Although Doug’s ancestors came to this country prior to the construction of Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, he will share how these projects had a major impact on him and his appreciation of the liberties he has as an American. Music: "With Loved Ones" Jay Man Photo(s): Courtesy of Doug Phelps
May 17, 2021
S3 Ep02 Rudy's: Where Neighbors Become Family
In this episode, "Rudy's: Where Neighbors Become Family", we will be speaking with Toni Binanti, the owner of Rudy's Bakery and Cafe, located in the Ridgewood section of Queens, New York, close to the border of Brooklyn. Toni immigrated from Italy as a young teenager and worked alongside her uncle in the family bakery business. Not only did Toni have to learn the English language, but also all aspects of the bakery business and sought to develop relationships with bakery's customers and neighbors. Following her Uncle Ralph's passing eighteen years ago, Toni became the new owner of the family business. Over the years, Rudy's Bakery and Cafe has built many relationships and this year, 2021, they celebrated forty years in their community. Toni considers Rudy's neighbor's and customers as her "family" and it shows each and every day, as she provides a warm welcome to all who come through the door of her beloved bakery and cafe. Music: "With Loved Ones" Jay Man Photo(s): Courtesy of Toni Binanti
May 10, 2021
S3 Ep01 Celebrating a Few Special Moms
In this Mother’s Day episode, "Celebrating a Few Special Moms", we will be speaking with several guests who will be telling us stories about their moms.   Our guests today are:   Ron Koustas from New Jersey,  in honor of his mom, Mary.  Wendy VanderHart from Massachusetts, in memory of her mom, Barbara.  Gustavo Lanata from Budapest, Hungary, in honor of his mom, Nellie.  Brothers, Anthony & Neil Lentine from New Jersey & Florida (respectively), in memory of their mom, Anna.  And lastly, our grandson, Hudson Piwowarski from New Jersey, in honor of his mom, Jennifer.   We hope this episode will inspire you to think of your moms this coming week and on behalf of Your History Your Story, we want to wish all moms a happy and healthy Mother’s Day!  Intro / Outro Music: "With Loved Ones" Jay Man
May 03, 2021
S2 Ep17 Always an Encouraging Word: Mark's Story
Mark Teshkoyan, who passed away at the age of 60 in January of 2021, was a high school wood shop teacher and coach from Caldwell, New Jersey, whose career spanned almost four decades. At age twenty seven, he was diagnosed with severe kidney disease, which eventually led to dialysis treatments three times a week for thirty years. Refusing to let his disease defeat him, he lived life to the fullest with humor & selflessness and always gave encouragement to his students, athletes, friends and family. In this episode, “Always an Encouraging Word: Mark’s Story”, we are joined by Mark’s brother, Mike, who is also a teacher and coach. Together, they were an extremely successful coaching duo. Mike will be sharing stories about his brother’s life and the positive impact he had on all who knew him. Photo: Courtesy of Mike Teshkoyan Music: "With Loved Ones" Jay Man
April 26, 2021
S2 Ep16 A Woman Apart, Murder and Mayhem in Plymouth Colony
In this episode, we will be speaking with Anita Martin-Harvey, author of the historical novel, "A Woman Apart, Murder and Mayhem in Plymouth Colony". Anita's novel is based on the life of her ancestor, Ellinor Billington, who traveled with her family from England to the New World on the Mayflower in 1620. While researching her ancestor's story, Anita discovered that Elinor's life was filled with heartache and loss, particularly as a member of the struggling Plymouth Colony. However,  Anita also found, that despite the hardships she experienced, Ellinor's courage and determination was evident throughout her life! Anita will describe how she first learned of her famous ancestor and how her desire to learn more, turned into a passion to tell Ellinor's story! Photo: Courtesy of Author, Anita Martin-Harvey Music: "With Loved Ones" Jay Man
April 19, 2021
S2 Ep15 My Grandfather, President Grover Cleveland
Grover Cleveland, whose full name was Stephen Grover Cleveland, was the only President of the United States to serve two non-consecutive terms in office and the only president born in the State of New Jersey. In this episode, "My Grandfather, President Grover Cleveland", Grover's grandson, George Cleveland, will share stories about his grandfather, including highlights of his presidency, his love of hunting and fishing and his strong belief in fulfilling his responsibilities. George will tell how his grandfather, years prior to his presidency, took on the terrible task of executing two men while serving as Sheriff of Erie County New York, because he did not believe in delegating a job that he would not do himself. George will also include stories about his grandmother, Frances Folsom Cleveland, who, at the age of twenty one, became the youngest 1st Lady of the United States.  Photo: By permission: NJDEP. Photographer, Bruce White Music: "With Loved Ones" Jay Man
April 12, 2021
S2 Ep14 You Will Become What You Think About
In this episode, "You Will Become What You Think About", we will be speaking with accomplished movie and Broadway producer, radio host, and pioneer of cable television through satellite technology, Al Parinello.  Al, who is an entrepreneur, is also the owner of the historic Surflight Theater located in Long Beach Island at the Jersey shore. He will share stories of his humble early years in Hoboken, NJ and his path to success that was filled with hard work and challenges. Al will also tell about the friends and mentors who helped him achieve the dreams he had since he was a child. Al will include a story about his close friendship with comedian, Andy Kaufman, who was famous for his role as Latka Gravas on the hit television show Taxi, which aired in the late 1970's through the early 1980's. Photo: courtesy of Al Parinello Music: "With Loved Ones" Jay Man
April 05, 2021
S2 Ep13 Bright Skies and Warm Memories with John Elliott
In today's episode, "Bright Skies and Warm Memories", we will be speaking with John Elliott, forecaster and reporter for WCBS TV in New York. John is a multi-Emmy winning reporter, whose career spans over 28 years. The son of a cabinetmaker, John was born in Michigan and is one of eight children. We'll hear his memories of life growing up in a large family and how that influenced him to enter the field of communications and broadcasting. John, who has covered many significant events during his career, will also share stories about those experiences which include presidential campaign trails, dust storms in the west, hurricanes in the south and Superstorm Sandy in the NY area.
March 29, 2021
S2 Ep12 There's Hope in Recovery
In this episode, we will be speaking with Lisa Waknin Murphy. She is the founder and CEO of Silver Sands Recovery in Prescott, Arizona.  Lisa, who was born and raised in NYC, had a thriving career in the fashion industry when she discovered one of her daughters was struggling with a severe drug addiction.  Lisa committed to do whatever it took to help rescue her daughter from the grips of addiction.  Thankfully, today, Lisa’s daughter is now in recovery as a result of the help she received at a rehabilitation center in Arizona.  Lisa was so grateful that her daughter’s life had been saved, that she felt led to pay it forward. After a time, she left her career in the fashion industry and the NY area to found Silver Sands Recovery. Photo: Courtesy of Lisa Waknin Murphy Music: "With Loved Ones" Jay Man
March 22, 2021
S2 Ep11 My German-American Family
In this episode, “My German-American Family”, we will be speaking with high school math and engineering teacher, Pete Schornstaedt.  Pete’s parents, Hans & Ingrid, emigrated to the United States from Germany in the 1950’s as young, single adults. They later met, married and raised a family in NJ. Pete will tell how his parents, as children, experienced the effects of WWII in Germany and the devastation left in its’ wake.  He describes their journey to the United States as well as the challenges and opportunities they experienced in their new homeland. Pete will also share about his life growing up in a German-American home, including the traditions, food, personalities and other memories. Photo: Courtesy of P. Schornstaedt Music: "With Loved Ones" Jay Man
March 15, 2021
S2 Ep10 Drumming to the Beat of Recovery
In this episode, you’ll be hearing from Jim Sonefeld, drummer from the well known rock band, “Hootie and the Blowfish”. In his younger years, Jim was an avid soccer player and pursued the sport with great fervor. However, Jim also had a passion for music from an early age which continued to grow and he knew it would become a big part of his life. Jim was asked to join Hootie and the Blowfish in 1989 and by 1994 the band skyrocketed to stardom with hits such as: “Hold My Hand”, “Let Her Cry” and “Only Wanna Be With You”. He enjoyed the band’s success, but along the way the partying lifestyle, which often accompanied life on the road, resulted in an addiction to alcohol and drugs. Jim will share the story of his life, including his time with the band, his struggle with addiction and ultimately his journey to recovery. Photo: Courtesy of Jim Sonefeld Music: "With Loved Ones" Jay Man
March 08, 2021
S2 Ep09 Dr. Carl Weiss Sr.: Assassin or Not?
In this episode, I will be speaking with the three grandchildren of Dr. Carl Weiss Sr. Weiss was accused of shooting the powerful and controversial Senator Huey Long from Louisiana at the State Capital building in Baton Rouge on September 8, 1935. Weiss was immediately killed by sixty one bullets fired by Long's bodyguards and Senator Long died two days later of his wounds. Our guests will share the story of how their family dealt with the fallout of this tragedy and how their father, great-uncle and a forensic specialist uncovered evidence, which they believe vindicates their grandfather and the Weiss family name. Photo of Dr. Carl Weiss Sr. - Courtesy of the Weiss Family Music: "With Loved Ones" Jay Man
March 01, 2021
S2 Ep08 Forever A Munchkin
In this episode, “Forever A Munchkin”, we will be speaking to Betty Ann Bruno. Betty Ann is one of the last surviving cast members from one of the most beloved movies of all time, The Wizard of Oz, which was released in 1939.  She was just 7 years old when she was cast as a Munchkin. Betty Ann will share stories about her experiences during the filming of The Wizard of Oz, the discovery and celebration of her ethnicity and her career as a television reporter. She will also tell the story of the Oakland, CA. firestorm of 1991 that consumed thousands of homes, including her own. Finally, she will share about her passion for hula dancing and where it has taken her today. You will be fascinated by the life of Betty Ann Bruno, she is resilient, kind and a lot of fun! Her recently published book, "The Munchkin Diary, My Personal Yellow Brick Road", will also be discussed. Photo: Courtesy of Betty Ann Bruno Music: "With Loved One" Jay Man
February 22, 2021
S2 Ep07 My Home on an Iowa Farm
In this episode, Reverend Gerry Vander Hart recounts his early years growing up in Mahaska County, Iowa from the mid 1930’s through the early 1950’s. Gerry shares stories of what farm life was like at that time, including tending to farm animals, field work, family life, church, school and local activities. He will also recount how, when his father was a young man, the community church and school were burned to the ground by individuals who mistrusted the dutch speaking community during World War 1. Gerry’s story will transport you to a simpler time and place in the American Midwest. Photo: courtesy of the Vander Hart family Music: "With Loved Ones" Jay Man
February 15, 2021
S2 Ep06 Good Family Bones
In this episode, Karen E. Laine, of HGTV’s Good Bones, tells stories about her family, childhood, people and experiences that have helped shape the person she is today.  In the show, Good Bones, Karen and her daughter, Mina Starsiak, team up to renovate and restore homes in and around the Indianapolis, Indiana area near where they both live. Photo: Courtesy of Karen E. Laine Music: "With Loved Ones" Jay Man
February 08, 2021
S2 Ep05 Freeborn Bill, 91 Years Young
In this episode, we will be speaking with 91 year old, William Franklin Conlon, who goes by the nickname, "Freeborn Bill". Freeborn, a veteran of both the US Army and Navy, shares stories of his life's adventures and struggles. The stories include his childhood during the Great Depression and his experiences as a military guard at the Tokyo War Crimes Trial. 
February 01, 2021
S2 Ep04 The Light of Love
In this episode, you'll be hearing the story of author, special-education teacher and mother of five, Arline Murphy, told by her son, John.  Arline had a deep passion for helping others, but as a child of a broken home, she had a particular, heartfelt calling to reach out and sooth the pain for other children of divorce. She sought to accomplish this by writing a book, "The Light of Love, Hope for Children of Divorce". Sadly, a debilitating, progressive illness prevented her from having it published...that is, until her husband, Jim, stepped in to help her complete her dream!
January 25, 2021
S2 Ep03 The Tyler Family Story: 1790-2020 In Three Generations
Many history buffs and followers of the news, may have heard of the recent passing of Lyon Gardiner Tyler, Jr., one of two remaining grandsons of John Tyler, who served as president of the U.S. from 1841-1845.  This news was well publicized due to the amazing fact that 230 years separated the birth of President Tyler and the passing of his grandson, Lyon. In this episode, Lyon's daughter, Susan Tyler, shares wonderful stories about her dad and other members of her famous family. Music: "With Loved Ones" Jay Man Photo: Courtesy of Susan Tyler
January 18, 2021
S2 Ep02 A Union Soldier Changed My Life
In this episode, we will be speaking with former family therapist, Doug Dobbs. He is now a high school history teacher and Civil War reenactor. Hear how Doug's life and career changed after he began researching his great-great grandfather, James Dow, a Union soldier, who served and was killed during the Civil War. Doug will also share his extensive knowledge of what it was like to be an ordinary soldier during the war between the states.
January 11, 2021
S2 Ep01 The Silent Servant
In this episode, we will be speaking with MaryBeth Lentine about her father, Jim Tucker.  Jim was a dedicated and skilled physical therapist, a devoted family man and friend. His life was dramatically impacted by a massive stroke, which took away his ability to speak. MaryBeth will tell us how her father confronted his disability and continued to live a full life as a humble, caring servant to others. Music: "With Loved Ones" Jay Mann Photo: Courtesy of MB Lentine
January 04, 2021
S1 Ep13 Simply Christmas
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of our listeners!  In this special Christmas episode, our host, James Gardner is joined by his wife, Kelly and daughters, Jennifer, Katie and Jamie. They will be sharing stories of Christmases past from their family tree, that exemplify the value of simple, heartfelt, gift giving.   Music: "With Loved Ones" Jay Mann Photo: Courtesy of Gardner Family
December 25, 2020
S1 Ep12 Walking Away From the Mob
In this episode, I had the opportunity to speak with Michael Franzese, once a high-ranking official of a major crime family. Michael tells his story of how he walked away from the mob and changed his family legacy.
December 18, 2020
S1 Ep11 My Dad, Lou Costello
Today, I will be speaking with Chris Costello, daughter of Lou Costello; who, along with his partner, Bud Abbott, made up the legendary comedy duo. They entertained millions of people on stage, radio and film from the 1930's through the 1950's.  Their timeless comedy continues to entertain many people to this day!  Chris will be sharing many stories and also introducing us to her recently released, audio book, "Lou's On First".
December 11, 2020
S1 Ep10 Kreskin's Amazing Life
Our guest today is known worldwide as "The Amazing Kreskin". He is a thought-reader or mentalist, who, for six decades has wowed crowds with his gift of mind reading. Kreskin will be sharing stories about his family roots, life, career and his amazing gift.
December 04, 2020
S1 Ep09 Tipping the Scale Toward Confidence
In today’s episode, I’ll be speaking with Jennifer Rush Jacobs who was a former contestant, along with her dad, on NBC’s The Biggest Loser show in season 11.  Jen joins us to share not only her experiences on the show, but how she’s gained confidence through that journey and from the people in her life. Photo: Courtesy of Jennifer Rush Jacobs
November 27, 2020
S1 Ep08 Tony Ventresca, An Extraordinary Man
In this episode, I’ll be speaking with MaryBeth Borkowski about her dad, Tony Ventresca.  A child of Italian immigrants, Tony, who excelled in high school athletics and had an offer to try out for a professional football team, chose to enlist in the US Marine Corps after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.  Tony was severely wounded in battle, but his positive outlook prevailed for the rest of his life, creating a wonderful legacy for his family. Photo: Courtesy of MaryBeth Borkowski
November 20, 2020
S1 Ep07 Ray Hunt: Uncle, Coach and Mentor
In this episode, we’ll be exploring the life of my wife, Kelly’s, Uncle  Ray.  You will hear stories of  how Ray coached many young men from Brooklyn, NY in canoeing and kayaking.  Ray not only coached these young  men, but also took them on memorable wilderness trips to remote areas of Canada; trips they would remember for the rest of their lives.  Three of these men join us to share their experiences…50 years later!
November 13, 2020
S1 Ep06 The Soldier Mechanic
Paul Hemmer, of the 447th Ordnance Heavy Auto Maintenance Company, US Army, was responsible for retrieving and repairing military vehicles and equipment from the battlefields of Europe during the final years of WWII. In this episode, Paul's son, Tom, tells of his father's experiences which include the liberation of the Bergen Belsen Concentration Camp and an encounter with General George "Blood & Guts" Patton.
November 06, 2020
S1 Ep05 Rescue in the Philippines
In this episode, we'll be hearing from Dave Brooks, who will be telling us the story about his missionary grandparents and their children, (including Dave's father), who became prisoners of the Japanese in the Philippines during WWII. Dave's story will include the heroic and dramatic rescue of his family by US Paratroopers and Philippine Guerrillas. Photo: Courtesy of Dave Brooks Music: "With Loved Ones" Jay Man
October 30, 2020
S1 Ep04 Once Upon A Canvas Sky
In this episode, we will explore the life, times and inspiration behind the art of Rea Redifer, through the recollections of his grandson, Max Hunt. Rea's art included painting, poetry, screen and play writing. Music Credit: "With Loved Ones", Jay Man
October 23, 2020
S1 Ep03 The Old '76 House
In this episode, Robert Norden, owner of the Old 76’ House, tells the story of New York’s oldest tavern. You will hear stories ranging from the imprisonment of British spy, Major Andre to other fascinating events that took place within the walls of this establishment during and after the American Revolution. For more information, visit
October 16, 2020
S1 Ep02 Heroes of The Aircraft Carrier USS Enterprise
In this episode, you will hear from Marty Singer, who was a sailor aboard the USS Enterprise when it suffered a series of catastrophic  explosions in the Pacific Ocean during the Vietnam War.
October 16, 2020
S1 Ep01 The Bare-Knuckle Fighter
For our first episode of Your History Your Story, we explore the life of my great-grand uncle, the notorious prize fighter Orville “Awful” Gardner. Born near Newburgh, New York, he lived much of his life in NYC, where he became known as a fearsome prize fighter, emigrant runner and bully.  However, following the drowning death of his seven year old son, his life changed dramatically. In his later years, he helped found one of the earliest alcohol recovery support groups in the country. He also inspired one of the first homeless rescue missions in NYC.  Photo(s): Courtesy of James Gardner, illustrated by Jamie Conlon Music: "With Loved Ones" Jay Man
October 16, 2020
S1 Ep00 YHYS Promo, Host Bio
This promo lets you get to know the host of YHYS and his motivation for our podcast! Music credit: "With Loved Ones' - Jay Man
October 14, 2020