April 21, 2022

How Art Saved My Life With Michael Cariglio


On this episode of Uncensored Advice For Men we have a conversation with Michael Cariglio to share his journey from war and destruction to a life of creativity and life.  

A bit about PappyLand
Pappy Drewitt (portrayed by Michael Cariglio) is an artist and host of the series who loves to draw, He was dressed in a hat, suspenders, glasses, a green bandana, yellow shirt, and khaki pants; similar to the appearance of a forty-niner. The theme song suggests that he created Pappyland; although the season 5 episode "Grandpappy's Day for Drawing", which aired in 1997, suggests that Pappy's father or possibly Grandfather, Grandpappy Drewitt who was also played by Cariglio created Pappyland rather than Pappy himself. He lives in Pappyland and has many friends who live there. A running gag in the series was that whenever he coloured the picture he drew earlier in the episode, he would break one of his crayons. This was done so Pappy could teach kids that you don't have to throw away a crayon just because it breaks. On occasion, when he colored in the picture, he also went outside the lines, thus teaching kids that it's all right to go outside the lines when coloring. In the original VHS, he was portrayed as a hillbilly. To get to various places in Pappyland, Pappy makes use of different modes of transportation like the Pappy Pad Express, the Much More Door, the Wishing Wheel, the Pappyscope, and the Color Copter.

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Transcript

Josh:

Good day fellows. Welcome to uncensored advice for men. I'm sitting across from a guy that I've known probably for about a year, and he shares some similarities to my father. Who's now passed and were having a conversation. I saw a sticker on the side of his car. Would they scream in Eagle? I said, Hey man, I know that SIG symbol, my dad used that back in the day when he packed shoots in Vietnam. We started talking and I said, man, we need to record this and get this on the show. Dudes, I want to welcome you to my friend Pappy.

Mike:

Pappy. It is my real name is Mike, but people call me Pappy only because I did the children's television program back in the 97 to 2004. So I lost my name. It's now Pappy. My real name is Michael and it's kind of a love, hate kind of thing because I really miss hearing my name when I'm dealing with people, but they all call me Pappy. So I've accepted that. Yeah.

Josh:

So, so Pappy, you were a screaming Eagles.

Mike:

I was with the hundred first airborne division. Now back during the day when were getting drafted, your dad probably went through a jump school. He did the whole thing. Okay. That's where I didn't do that. When the Vietnam war was in process, they drafted guys and they just put them where they had to. Some guys went to the big red one. Some guys went into a first cavalry. Some guys went into the hundred and first, and that's how I, and I went into the hundred and first, but they called me a leg. That's what they would call a guy who didn't go to jump school. He was, I was still in the hunting first and I earned my, accolades because I was in the hundred and first, so I, I that's my division, but I was a leg, which means I didn't jump the, so they have the advantage over that, over me on that one. Yeah.

Josh:

So, why don't you give a us guys of idea of who you are.

Mike:

I'm a, I'm an artist. I've been an illustrator artist, painter all my life. It all started after I got out of the service. Things were kind of taught after I got out of the service and I didn't know exactly what to do with myself. When we left, I left Vietnam and I was, out of the army. I remember the guy at the, that was discharging me. He, I said, what do I do with myself? He said, well, he says just party. After Vietnam, and that was back in 1969, I partied and I think I party too much. It took a good portion of my life. It didn't really speak to who I was because I didn't know who I was after Vietnam. I was kinda like, I don't know a lot of, were called baby killers and all that. That kind of put me in this mindset of like, I'm not worth anything, ? And it was a sad time. I kinda like just partied for like a lot of years. That was in, like I said, I got out in 69, so 1970 all the way to, up to the eighties, I just kinda like wasted time in it. And I look back on it now. I'm very sad that I wasted that kind of time. Because as an artist, that's who I am, I should have been doing creative things at that point. And I, I wasn't doing that. So that's who I am. I'm an artist and I love to paint. I love to draw. I eventually evolved into doing this Pappy character and the, in the nineties and basically saved my life because I, it kept me busy. I was, we managed to get on a lot of PBS stations across the country and turned out to be a successful a period of my life. Yeah. It's over now, but I'm, I'm surviving doing art and other things.

Josh:

Yeah. Do you mind if I call you Pappy? Cause that's all I know you,

Mike:

I know that's all, everybody knows me as it's fine. It's.

Josh:

It's and I did this for a specific reason. I'm calling you Pappy is, when you said you got out of the military in 1969, you had a hard time finding out who you were, who you was, who you are, right. Yes. And the guy's like, just go party. You made it back. You've been over there as a hero, came back as a baby killer, right? Like that's the, the, the mindset shifts of what the media did and what things were going on here, state side. Right. And my dad experienced that too. It drew my dad into a really dark place. Like how did that affect you? When you went over there to serve, you went over there to, to do something that you thought was right. Coming back with that kind of change.

Mike:

So how did I deal with it?

Josh:

Yeah. Like, especially when it comes to your identity. Cause I, I think we're going to talk a lot about identity today and who you are, but you went over there, one thing hero came back, something different in the public's mind.

Mike:

I was, before I went to Vietnam, I was a really, I thought I was going to be first. I wanted to be a magician.

Josh:

No kidding.

Mike:

And yeah. I mean, as a kid though, which I didn't know any tricks or anything like that, it was just a mindset that I wanted to be a magician, but that faded away. I was kind of a very, I was pretty moral. My family brought me up pretty good. I know there's a lot of dysfunctional families there. I feel for that situation for them, because it's not a good thing when you have, siblings that you don't love or your parents are divorced or this or that and this and that. I had a pretty good bringing up in my, my dad was wonderful to me. My mom was great. My dad passed away when I was 13 years old. He didn't, I didn't have much time with my dad. Anyways, after Vietnam, like you said, I always liked disgruntled. I didn't know what to do. I was partying too much. I, I didn't even know what my identity was at that point in time. It got to the point where I actually had a bad accident and I drove my car off this 15 foot and bank that didn't have any guardrails on there at the time. My car flipped and went upside down in the Creek. That was the point in my life where I said, I have to stop doing this partying thing. I have to change my life. I, it kind of brought me closer to God to believe. It says from a spiritual standpoint, it really changed my mindset. I says, I have to do something different. I have to start hanging around people that aren't doing all the wrong things all the time, because they were really influencing me. And, and so that's, that's what happened to me after Vietnam. It, put me in this a bad place.

Josh:

When you were over in, in, did you step into this? Cause you grew up a way and then you go over there, they hand you a gun and they say, they'll shoot bad guys. Right. What was going, what was going on in your life, in nom while you were.

Mike:

Constantly fear? There is a constant fear factor going on because I was only like 18 to CA I didn't think I didn't, I wasn't afraid of dying. I didn't even know what death was about. I didn't even, it didn't even feel real Vietnam. I just felt like I was there with a bunch of guys and were walking around in the jungle. It was just weird. When the poop hit the fan yeah. That's when things started to get bad, and I realized that this is a life and death scenario here, and I better, I prayed pretty God that I'd get out of this place. Cause it was, it's a beautiful place, but it's a rat hole at the same time. Yeah.

Josh:

Yeah. Now when you're in the jungle and you said constant fear, how did you cope with that constant fear? Because I think, even here I am stateside 2022, there's not a lot of like, guns going off right now and such like that. So, but I still have fears that I deal with. Right. How did you deal with that constant fear?

Mike:

Well, I had, first of all, I'm a spiritual guy. I have a belief that, there's a reason for why things happen. I thought that I knew that I had a very good talent as an artist. I kept on saying to myself, geez, I hope I know. I said, what's the point of me being here. If you've given me this talent to draw and create, and then I'm going to die in Vietnam. So I just kept the faith. In fact that I love my family and stuff and I miss my brother and that brother was in Korea at the time. I just, I just held on to the belief that I'm going to see my family again and again, I stayed alert. Our model in the hundred first division was stay alert, stay alive. It was posted up all over the place when we would go back to the rear for stand downs and hot meals. It was a mindset that you had to just stay focused, stay alert. And that's what I did. I never fell asleep on guard. I, I was always in the right place at the right time. Somebody else gets shot. I didn't get shot. People go, how come you never got hurt? Because I was either lucky or blessed or whatever you want to call it. I never got shot, but people around me got shot. So I'm lucky. I said, well, then I started saying to myself, there is a plan for me. There is a plan for me. I'm going to make it, I'm going to make it.

Josh:

Yeah. Yeah. Now being in the right place, right time, staying alert, staying alive, in those scenarios, what do you think helped keep you life? What helped you stay positive? Because some guys came back and it really affected their life. They weren't able to recover. Like how did you went through a decade of partying and such like that,

Mike:

How.

Josh:

Did you switch over?

Mike:

Well, I had to find God in a sense, I had to find my, I had to change my life. What I did was I started going to a, one of the, a vineyard church in Syracuse, New York, which is a non-denominational church. Cause I'm not into that religious aspect of spirituality. I'm into chess. It's a personal thing between me and God. That's not what, that's my belief system. It's a personal thing. It's a personal walk. And, and that's what I, what happened. I, I started to get involved with like-minded people like that. And they changed me. I mean, I had a buddy, he used to follow me around in a bar and he knew that I was like down and out at that point in my life. He kept on, I kept on seeing him. He showed up all the time and I god, is he stalking me or something? What's this dude doing? And here he was any, we'd always have these conversations. And he changed me. He literally changed me. I changed, kinda gave myself over to God, ? I just tried to do the right thing. I'm not perfect. Don't get me wrong. I make mistakes. I'm not as bad as I was at that point in my life.

Josh:

Yeah. For, for guys like you, me, my father and other guys who, I was, I grew up trained by my father. Right. I got into the fire service and doing stuff with that. There's something in my brain that was always kind of the aggressive, the run towards danger, the, the adventurous, the high adrenaline kind of thing, high risk. That's kind of in my spirit and my core, but guys like me, and I'd love to know your thoughts. It took me near death experiences. It took me to the brink of almost suicide, took me through depression and all this stuff to surrender and to find God myself, like why,

Mike:

Exactly Josh, you have to hit bottom.

Josh:

I had hip.

Mike:

Hop, hit button before we can go up. Yeah. That's what happened to me when I drove my car over a ledge. Yeah. That's because I was playing ping pong at a bar and I had, I was drinking too much. I was indulging too much. Somebody gave me what they call a Quaalude and I foolishly took it. As I was driving home, I mean, I was intoxicated. My house was only like five minutes away. That quite Lou was a horse tranquilizer basically. It knocked my butt out right in the middle of me and negotiating that curve that I was telling you about out. The next thing my, the wheel was just spinning and I, and what's going on. I was literally in the air because had went off the road. The wheel just spins when that happens, it just like, you can't touch it. It's spinning. Then, boom, I also have my crash into the water. At that point, a state trooper, a few days later, he said, another guy did that. He broke his neck and died. He says, you're one of the lucky ones. That was another, a wake up call for me. Like, look at God made you survive. You survived Vietnam. Now you've survived. This incredible crash. You should have died in that crash. But I didn't. I, so I kept on saying to myself, I've got to change my ways because somebody is keeping me going here. I've got to change my life. That's when I really started to change my life. But I had downfall, excuse me, Josh. I had downfalls. I was, I was always called the wild man. Like you said, I know what you might.

Josh:

Be. Twin brothers.

Mike:

I mean, I was like, I was wild. I mean, I was like the life of the party. I was, I wasn't, I mean, after Vietnam, I didn't fear anything. I don't care how big the guy was. If he wanted to challenge, I didn't care. I figured, well, he's going to get hurt too, but I'm going to here. I know I am, but that's how it was. I, I had to, so I went to counseling for anger management. It 13 years, a lot of people don't realize that I went through anger management after Vietnam. I couldn't understand because I would get angry over the trivial things, ? I remember my girlfriend saying, oh my, my uncle just passed away. I, I remember I was so cold. I couldn't find my heart. I didn't have a heart. I would say, well, better him than me. That was what I told her. I mean, it was a cold callous thing to say to someone who's just lost a loved one. I knew I was in a bad way at that point. And, and really through the grace of God, I, I went through the anger management and when I got out, I kind of learned some techniques to kind of keep it to a even keel. As I get older, I'm an older guy now. So I'm more melanoma, more relaxed. I'm more of a, kind of a loving guy. Now. I love people. I love kids. I just love being around happy people, ? It's I had to do that in order to survive. So,

Josh:

Oh, this is an interesting Testament that I want to kind of dig into about your story is going from shooting and being shot at right To, partying, popping Quaaludes.

Mike:

Yup.

Josh:

Anger at everything.

Mike:

Anger was big, took.

Josh:

About 13 years to get through that training. Huh?

Mike:

That was terrible.

Josh:

Yeah. Too, on the flip side of that, finding God, finding people and then providing hope and inspiration to kids through.

Mike:

Yes. Well, let me, let me reiterate something that you mentioned, you talked about earlier, what happened in Vietnam? Yeah. That kinda changed my, the kind of, how I survive that? Well, were in an ambush one night and before that ambush, we get to kind of just kind of hang around. We, we check our gear, we make sure that the animals, everything's good. We just check everything and make sure we're ready for that ambush. Anyways, I was talking to a friend of mine. His name was Charles Hall and I, and were just standing by this banana tree and I said, Hey, Charles, they go, you believe in God. He goes, no, I don't believe in God. I says, you don't believe in God, excuse me. You don't believe in God. And he says, nah, I'm an atheist. I go, and I wasn't very knowledgeable about all this terminology. And I said, what's an atheist. He goes, I ain't got it. Doesn't believe in anything. I says, I don't believe that. I said, Charles, give me a break. I said, if you've got, if you just got shot in the chest right now, the first thing out of your mouth would be, and I've heard it before in other wounded soldiers. I said, I've heard it before. The first thing out of your mouth is going to be, oh God, help me all. I see you're connected. Whether you know it or not. I said deep down, there's a seed of that kind of, I don't know, belief whether it or not, it's there. You may not act it out, but it's there. I've heard it from so many wounded guys just going. I mean, I heard it. I'm going, okay, you denounce him, but now you're acting for them. Now.

Josh:

You need them when you need them.

Mike:

Right. So that night I pulled my guard. When he came back, I went to sleep. Cause I pull my guard. I waked up, I woke up the next dude. He went to the position and I just covered myself with my poncho because I wasn't on guard at that point. So I needed to get sleep. It just seemed like I was in a dead sleep. All of a sudden I hear AK 47 automatic weapons firing in our position. I, I remember just like shot that. Just like, I didn't want to jump up because I knew it was like weapon, AK 47 foyer on full automatic. I'm going, I didn't know what to expect that, in fact that was my first ambush, by the way. Cause I was just in country for about three weeks to a month and I just kinda like flipped out and I started firing my M 79. The guy said, put them on all third curricular. I poked by, was putting out the MSLT and right. To make a long story short in the essence of what I'm trying to say is the only guy that got shot was the guy that denounced God that day, the guy I had the conversation with. Now you have to realize that there's two, we found out the next morning because we blew the Claymore mine and there was two dead soldiers. I don't like to use the word, that they used to call them. Two dead, simple, like local DC and one guy was 32. We checked his ID. One guy was 32 and the kid was 13. They were both carrying Nikki 47. They snuck up on a position because the guy that I told to go on guard fell asleep. That's how that happened. He fell asleep. They came upon our position. There was nobody to say, Hey look, there's somebody coming down the trail. They just came to our position and they just opened up on us. You got to imagine two people firing full automatic and was only six of us in this. Cause I was with a special outfit called tiger force and only six of us. The only guy out of all that firing was the guy I had the conversation with them. Boy did that shake my spirit up. That really blew my mind. From that time on, I said, I believe.

Josh:

Yeah. Yeah. What I, what I just laughed. I get a nervous laugh every once in a while. Like when I'm talking about things that are sensitive or things, and I've been in situations, nothing like that, but in a fire situation, running into a burning.

Mike:

Building really heavy duty too though.

Josh:

Yeah. Death never seemed real to me until I pulled out the first body.

Mike:

Exactly.

Josh:

Or I saw someone breathed their last breath and then I was like, holy s**t. Like this is real this life and death stuff because I was invincible. Yeah.

Mike:

Well that's a good point because in Vietnam we thought that nothing could happen to us. We didn't care. We, I mean, think about that at my age right now. Can you imagine this as Mike and let you go in that jungle and there's guys out there with weapons that want to kill you. Let's go out at and just walk around. I I'd go.

Josh:

What? No,

Mike:

No way. Yeah. You shouldn't.

Josh:

Be.

Mike:

So it was a that's right. You had to be like fearless and when you're 18, you're fearless anyways. That incident right there shook my whole essence up and after that. The funny thing is that only lasted for a while because when I got out of Vietnam, I did all the wrong things wore off. Finally I crashed my car and almost had a near death situation there. Yeah. That's when I started to change my life and go to counseling, Vietnam, veteran counseling. That's when I went to anger management and also other counseling for my psyche and stuff. Yeah. And it really saved my butt. It really did.

Josh:

I, I should have started out this way. Thank you for your service.

Mike:

Oh, well, thank you. Thank you for your service. Cause the fireman that, I got a lot of respect for those guys going to burn buildings academy.

Josh:

Yeah, man. For everybody out there, police, fire, military frontline workers. Thank you all for your service. I appreciate you guys staying in salute. Yeah.

Mike:

Welcome back. All you veterans out there.

Josh:

Yeah. Glad you made it back home. The first time I experienced a life or death situation or experienced someone dying in front of me, life and death had a new meaning for me. Right. It more often than I was invincible again. It seems like every once in a while, I have to be reminded of it. When you saw that life and death was real. What, what were the conversations that you started having in this?

Mike:

Oh, that's when I finally said that's when the essence and the reality of fear, that's when it set in it. When I first got there, it was, to me, it was kind of fun. I mean, that was walking on the jungle. Beautiful. I sold.

Josh:

Done.

Mike:

Yeah. I got the weapons on me like John Wayne, everybody was just, it was just like, unfortunately though, when you're carrying weapons, you can't insult anybody or push them in the wrong direction or say the wrong things that we might aggravate them because the guy in my outfit use the N word on a brother in our outfit and he was a Marine guarding, a bridge. We worked with the Marines, see the a hundred first, sometimes we'd work with other divisions. We work with the Marines and they were guarding the Troy bridge and a place called Kwong tree near way. I remember were all in a compound, a French compound there and were cleaning our weapons and we saw one of my buddies, the M 60 guy, he was like, he was like all nervous. Like, he was really p****d off and were all looking at him like, I'm gonna put you on with him, ? And he grabbed his M 60. I remember he popped open the, the chamber thing. He put the, he actually took a belt, a M 60 round and broke it. He just had about 15 rounds on Ernie, put it in and he close it and he goes, any locked and loaded. Yeah. He walked away and we didn't think anything of it. Were just, and all of a sudden we hear a burst of machine gun burst. Well, he went and he killed that Marine who called him the N word. He literally came back, got his weapon, went back and killed the Marine. We saw him at a trunk that deuce and a half just going away. Were looking at him and we're going, what happened? Yeah. Well, he was so you can't miss him. We're all were all brothers. Yeah. That's, that's what I wish would happen now. That's why I'm not a racist. I hear all this stuff on a media about being called white racist and this and that. That's not true to, with everybody. I mean, were brothers in Vietnam. We had every faction, every type of person was in Vietnam. I mean, we had a guy called Larry Terry. I mean, this guy was a hairdresser and here he is in Vietnam. One of the bravest guys I ever met, I'm serious. Winery guy kind of skinny, but boy, I tell ya, you could count on him. It's just amazing. I wish that's how it would be now where everybody would just stop this, putting everybody down and separating themselves from other, ,

Josh:

It creates division and something about being in bad situations in firefights or running into fires or whatever. It creates a, a likeness of mine. Cause we're a part of a team. You have to put aside what you look like. You have to put aside your background, you have to put aside that stuff because you got a mission in front of you. Right. I think that as a society, we might've gotten too comfortable and now we could, we can bicker. We could talk about, like this or that rather than what's our mission here in, ,

Mike:

One thing I learned through counseling is treat people with respect, treat them the way you would want to be treated. On the other side of that, as far as what my drive in life would be is just to be the best that I can be, do the best that I can do, ?

Josh:

Yeah.

Mike:

And it wouldn't let me oh, okay. I just wanted to think, I think we're going to evolve into something here.

Josh:

We'll take us where you want, man. Well,

Mike:

No, I was just thinking that I think all the things that happened in my life brought me to this children's television program, Pappy land. That's that's the cherry on the top right there. That's when I said, well, oh wow, here. I hear everything came full circle. It's now 90, 19 96 and the eighties and the seventies had done them all at just degregation, all the bad stuff, let's just put it that way, that stuff. Yeah. I was renting spaceman photographer in and it was the best part of my life. I was actually an illustrator finally. I was working on doing commercial art for a lot of the agencies in Syracuse, New York. A guy came, the guy that I was renting space from the photographer came in, he said, I got a fellow here that would like to meet you. And I says, yeah, who is he? His name is John Napa. I said, okay, what's your bring him in? He came in and he was a producer in LA and he worked with Todd Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, the actress from the forties, from the fifties and sixties and seventies and Todd Fisher, that was his son. Well, he managed the studio and he happened to be living in Syracuse now. He came over and he goes, so you're an artist. He goes, yeah. And he said, what are you doing? Well, yeah, I'm a producer. I go really? What can I got a great idea for a kid show? I told them, I said, great idea. I says, there's this old guy, this old codger, he's got a beard. He was, got a turned up hat and he's got the, and he lives in this magical land called Pappy land. He drew pap and everything had Pappy land as his creation. So that's what papilloma is all about. And his name was Pappy, drew it. I go get it, drew it, Pappy, drew it. And he got all excited about that. The next thing him and I collaborated on a pilot. After we did the pilot, the rest is history. We managed to get a, some funding. And we did 60. We did, we did with him, I did 26 shows, but then he left and I went with another, another group, another, Another company sorta speak that kind of man. Cause we had investors and stuff. Now the investors like where my God, because they controlled everything. They paid me. They didn't even want to give me money to do Pappy land unless they had 51%. So I only had 49. That was the biggest mistake I made during that time is because I'm the creator of the show. Yet I've got 49% and he's got 51, but money talks and I had no money. So it was fun. It was lucrative for me. I mean, I got paid and I managed to do 65 total episodes. They were on PBS all across the country, Florida, Tennessee, Georgia, Kansas, California, New York city, New Jersey everywhere. I got mail from everywhere. I got mail from Barain. I got mail from France. I got mail from Gaza strip. Can you believe that causes stress. Super cool. Yeah. That's what turned me around Josh is the Pappy and lamp project. And I love working with kids.

Josh:

From anger management to Pappy drew it. Right. Talk to us about in this transformation, you said you did anger management for about 13 years,

Mike:

13 years.

Josh:

Why did it take so long? Right.

Mike:

Because I had other things that I was dealing with besides Vietnam. I was dealing with the death of my dad. I always thought that I was going to die when I hit 43 because my dad died at 43.

Josh:

That's interesting. I want to go back.

Mike:

Okay. Well, what that scared me almost more than Vietnam. I said, my gosh, I'm going to die at 43. Cause my dad died at 43 and then also I'm on 43 and I didn't die. My counselor goes, he goes, you're not dead. I thought you said you were going to die when you hit 43. I said, no. I said, I thought I was, I really did. I thought I was going to die at 43. I just, for some reason I had this psyche that because my dad died at 43, I must be, I'm going to die at 43 and it didn't happen. That kind of fear really haunted me for a long time. And I'm over that now? Way past.

Josh:

Your old man. Now I'm an.

Mike:

Old man.

Josh:

Before we get into like what you learned and maybe some advice that you have for guys about dealing with anger, dealing with maybe things that they've, maybe they've experienced some trauma in their life, whether being in military police, fire, frontline, I've got a quote. I've got a thought is I grew up and I think it was a sick joke that my dad and I would have that we wouldn't live long. Right. My dad passed away at 73, but there was something in my head that Josh was going to die early. And it was almost like a joke. Like, yeah, I'm going to go out, bull fighting in my fifties or sixties. Like I don't want to live a long life. And that forced me. Maybe not force me influenced me too, because I knew I wasn't going to live long in my head. I was super risky with my investments. I didn't want any longterm relationships with any committed relationships long-term because I thought I was going to die. To that mindset of I'm not going to live long, effected my jobs, my careers, my relationships. How did you come out of that?

Mike:

Again? I indulged in alcohol and I realize now why I was doing that. I thought I was just having fun, but I think it was trying to hide my feelings. I was trying to mask the way I felt totally. Until I alleviate, got rid of that advice, things weren't going to change. The thing that's really weird about anger is you have to find out what the root of your anger is. Once you find out what is the root of your anger is because of the loss of a loved one. It because you feel you're not good enough? You've got pressure that you feel you're just not good enough. I don't know who put that in their mind that mindset could have came from the parents could have came from other people, bullying what have you. Anger is something that once you find the root cause of anger, once what that causes, now you can work on the solution. And, and if you, some of the basic things from a spiritual standpoint is to love your neighbor as yourself. I mean, that's a big rule. In other words, just love on people, man. I mean, just treat them with respect. Don't put anybody down and they'll respect you. All of a sudden now you've got all this respect and love now compounding because everybody with that mindset is going to do that. Now it's compounding and it's growing, but that's, unfortunately that's not what happens. People get angry, they want to kill themselves. I mean, I thought of suicide, but I, I have two beautiful daughters and a son and a stepson and I just, there's no way I'm going to kill myself because of that. That's what kept me from doing anything negative, bad to hurt myself. Yeah.

Josh:

That's what I was standing on a bridge. I was thinking of a swine Swan diving off the bridge one time. I thought of, I don't know if my daughter was born yet or maybe wife was pregnant and I know the statistics cause being a firefighter and seeing that kind of stuff, I knew first of all, what it would look like when I hit the ground. Second, I knew that my daughter's likelihood of also committing suicide or life challenges if she had a father that committed. The only, I mean, I think one of the main reasons I walked away off that bridge was the thought, I don't want my daughter to suffer because of my,

Mike:

Exactly.

Josh:

My.

Mike:

Issue, my central shortcomings or whatever.

Josh:

Yeah. Man, I, I used to think counseling was for wimps. I used to think therapy was for wimps.

Mike:

Well, Vietnam constantly is different because the trauma we experienced in Vietnam was different than maybe, just using, losing a loved one or, experiencing bullying. I mean that, were watching people die and seeing, seeing things, but it's, to me, it's a mindset, you can either decide to change your life or you continue in the way that you're going and nothing will be ever solved. But, and there's nothing you can do about the past to keep she the past always runes the future. When you dwell on the past, you can destroy your future. That's what I had to get rid of because I'm still, I still have thoughts of Vietnam. I still have thoughts of what it would be like to have it dad, because I was 13. That really wasn't the most important years. That'd be the most important years where the father is like, when you're 14 and 50 and you're going fishing and you're going hunting, you're doing this. Or you're doing that. I never had that, bumpy was gone. It's just, I dunno, life is tough. Life is tough. It's always a challenge, but just stay trying to stay relaxed too. Stress is such a killer. It's stressed. It kills people, stress, worrying about everything. Don't worry about everything. Let each day take care of itself. That's the rule. You can't change. What's going to happen today. So don't worry about it. You just be yourself, try and be the person that you want to be. Like I said, just treat people with respect and just go about your business. That's mean simple stuff to me now, I look at it like it's not that big deal, how to handle people and how to, when I say handle people I could go into, I remember I had the kind of mindset Josh did. I can go into a biker bar. I'm serious. And these guys were all wacky. I went in there and I was next thing they were buying me drinks because I, because the way I treated them, the way I could just get to know people. So fluently. It's like, I have that kind of neck to do that. I think that's a gift I'm telling you.

Josh:

Well, you're here at our local entrepreneur center. Every time I see you're around, the young guys here and you're playing,

Mike:

I love to be around the young guys, man, the young folks, young women, young men, because they incur, they just make me feel alive. When you're living in a gated community and you have all these older folks, it's depressing and they're not me. I'm kind of a different animal. I've always kind of stayed in shape so that when I got to this stage of my life, I'd be able to function. A lot of guys, I see in my neighborhood there and walking around, like they're just waiting to die and that's not me.

Josh:

Yeah. You know, you're very, you give life.

Mike:

Energy. I'm energetic. It comes to people and doing art and creating things and just talking to people, ? And, and don't get me wrong though. Guys like you, when I first met you, I mean, you just come off with this, really this like joy in life or something. And you're like, you're joyful. I know you there's times that you weren't that way, but you come off. Like you like people, you love people. You love your children. I could see that in you. It's like an aura about you. And I like that about people. That's why I think I kind of gravitated to you at first. I said, I liked that guy, Josh. He's, he's a nice guy, you know? Because some people can rub you the wrong way on your first to parents, I've had that happen to her. I didn't even want to be around this guy and I don't even know him, but you can tell he's just not, I dunno. I'm.

Josh:

Telling you we're twin brothers, Maybe.

Mike:

Eight years older. Yeah.

Josh:

So let's, let's run a scenario. You and me get to go back on the landing strip, where you're coming back from Vietnam and Maine. You get to have a, a quick chat with Michael. As he's getting off the plane from Vietnam, we get to have breakfast or coffee with him and we can share some wisdom. What would you say to younger? Michael? Just getting off the plane from Vietnam.

Mike:

I mean, as if it was me now, you mean.

Josh:

You now get to talk with Michael.

Mike:

See what you're saying? That's cool. That's cool. I would say. Focus, focus on what need to do for your career and who you are. If you're an artist Mike, I'd like to see you pursue that, set a goal for yourself and move forward with it. That was what I would say to myself because nobody said that the guy told me, pardon? Just party and boy, that's what I did. And then I lost myself. I lost my goals in life. I'm an artist I should have been creating instead. I wasting my time and it really hurt me. It hurt my psyche. Like you wouldn't believe I just couldn't stand that period of my life. Yeah. I look back now. Just to further the point I look back now and my brother who passed away last year, he said, I said, I don't understand. I wasted all those years, 15 years. It just wasted time. He goes, no, he says that had to happen to bring you here to this point. I said, yeah, that's a good point. That's a good thing. He said, Joe, I like that. Yeah.

Josh:

That's a good point, Joe. Good job, Joe.

Mike:

That's that's a little wisdom from a guy who was partying with me, ?

Josh:

I bet you guys had a blast, man.

Mike:

Oh, he was my best friend. My brother. I miss him.

Josh:

Yeah, man.

Mike:

Anyway, so yeah, I would say, because you see, when you get out of Vietnam, you're already have a scar. You're scarred already. Whether you like it or not, you've got a problem. And, but you don't know what that problem is. That's why you ended up going to counseling because you don't know what's going on. Why am I acting this way? Why am I angry all the time? Why, why, why do I treat people that like that? It's not me. I never was like that. That's what I'd say to a younger Mike, just push forward, man, and forget about trying to hurt yourself and hurt others. Find a goal and pursue it. A dream, you have a dream, you're an artist pursue it. I lost all that. When I got out of Vietnam. That's why I would tell a younger man, I'd say, Hey, come on, let's stop the nonsense. And let's get move forward here. You know?

Josh:

Yeah. Guys, guys like us, we need to have goals. We need to have dreams. We need to have something to work towards. Or, or we find ourselves missing decades. I missed a few decades because I've made some, I made some poor decisions when it came to relationships and when it came to businesses, because first of all, I didn't think I was going to live a long time. So I was super risky. And then, yeah. When I saw one of my heroes take a fall morally, I said, f**k it. And I went crazy. Went great. Yeah. In this process of moving forward, having a goal, having a dream, cause that's who I am, man. I'm a dreamer, I'm a creator. I'm a, I like to see things evolve and see people grow. Right. There was a period of time when I was going through depression or anxiety or whatever.

Mike:

It's just,

Josh:

You could lose that.

Mike:

Yeah. It just, it destroys you before you even have a chance to live. Here you are a young man still. I mean, you're lucky that you're at this point now it took me a long time to get rid of that 15 years of just ridiculous wasted time. That's a long time, phone time I could have been, I could have done if I know what I know now, if I knew what I know now, back then, of course, everybody says that, that's not the way it is. You should learn what you want to know then. Yeah. You know what I mean? Don't wait to come back and say, gee, I wish I would've known what I know. You know? Oh, I wish I could have done that when I, showed up, do it now, do it while you're young, do it while you, whatever. I don't care how old you are. Stay positive. That's the key. You gotta stay positive. If you don't stay positive bump depression sets in. Totally.

Josh:

And it happens fast. It's, it's fast to get into depression. It's a long time to get out of depression. Anxiety. Yeah.

Mike:

Yeah. Ferments, it's like, if you leave a bottle of wine there, it's just going to turn into vinegar at one point. Cause it's for main thing and you're not doing anything to change that. Totally.

Josh:

So let's do this puppy. This shows uncensored advice for men. So this is a show for men. I ran you through a scenario. If you saw yourself getting off that plane, there's a lot of police, fire, military guys listening in. They're just about to get off the plane and come back or just get off duty or just get off whatever. You could share a piece of advice to them.

Mike:

It'd be the same. I'll tell you why it'd be the same. If you chose, if you choose a path, okay, and you want to be a fireman or you want to be a policeman and you chose that path, then you be the best that you can be at it and you push forward and just believe in yourself that you can be a good cop. You can be a good policeman. You can be a good firefighter. A lot of people go, if you don't go in there with the baggage. You have to get rid of the baggage, meager your baggage at your house and then go to your job and pursue it with a total 100% positive point of view. That's the key. Soon as you start thinking about the baggage, I don't know, am I good enough to do this to you? Is, am I, you start beating yourself up? See, that was my problem. And that's what I would say. Don't beat yourself up. A lot of people, there's going to be problems. They're going to be pitfalls, tend to be downfalls, but you have to just float to the top man, like the, just let it float to the top and be who you want to be and go for it and just be the best that you can be. That's such a good term. Just be the best that you can be. I mean, am I being the best I can be when I go, let's say there's a party after work or something and everybody's partying. I go there instead of just have few drinks, I decided to drink like five or six, next thing I'm driving intoxicated. I might scrape somebody's car, go home and know that identified somebody's car. I took off or something like that, and stuff like that. It's happened to me in the past. I mean, I've done stupid things and it's all because I didn't grasp, pick a direction and move. We used to say that, in Vietnam a lot, pick a direction and move, don't stumble around, pick a direction and move in that direction. Yet people to be focused because we're losing focus in society today because then maybe the foods we eat, maybe it's because it's just a way that, everything's happening in the world. It's like, it's like crushing, it can crush you the news and everything else. It's hard to get rid of all that stuff and live your life free, without all that I call it baggage, ? Totally.

Josh:

So Pappy two more things. First of all, once again, thank you for your service. Thank you for coming and sharing your story here on this show. Thank you. What questions should I have asked you during this interview that I screwed up and I didn't ask.

Mike:

I think he asked a lot of good questions. I don't think there's anything you can add to this. Cause you asked me about my psyche. How, what maybe doing I did. What, what advice could I give somebody a after the fact? I mean, I think he covered a lot of ground here. The only thing I could say, I really didn't talk a lot about my Pappy land experience. I mean, I, I kinda gave you an interlude of how I got into it or I kind of gave you a little, kind of overview of, how it started. Pappy land was the best part of my life. I mean, I'm working with kids. I would go out and kids would just like smooth over me cause they watched Pappy land every morning. That kind of love just, it just filled my whole psyche and it just makes you feel so good knowing that you did some good things that affected a lot of children. I get a lot of mail, Josh. I get email still. I went on Tik TOK and I'm getting thousands. Thousands of people that are 30 to 33 years old who were five and six when I was doing Pappy land. They're telling me, oh, Pappy, I love you, man. You taught me how to draw. I went to art school because you going, wow, oh man, you taught me how I get that. So many. That's the main one you taught me how to draw. Now I'm an artist because if you and I'm going, wow, because there was a part of me again, the baggage comes back sometimes now I'm done with Pappy. A lot, it's a lot of time in my head for the old tapes to start popping in there again. And they do. I'm going at, what did I do? I go, geez, I did a show. What the heck? You know, look at me. I didn't, where's all the royalties in the big house and the cars that I should have had because bad management is what hurt me. That's how I didn't get to that point products. We had products, and we had a big meeting in New Jersey for toys and stuff. The guy, the executive producer comes in they're loaded and he ruined the deal. There's things that happened in Papillon that kind of hurt me, ? Yeah. In spite of it all, when I see these positive emails, Boyd has that just make me feel tremendous. I go, wow. I did do something. What did I do? People say to themselves, what good am I, what am I doing? What purpose do I have? How did I affect somebody else's life? You know what I mean? It was, I was I instrumental in helping somebody or did I hurt? In this case, after reading these emails, there's a lot of Pappy love out there. Yeah. A lot of it, man. It's like, it's invigorating for my spirit. I love it. I feel like God, I did it. I did something good. Now I'm hearing the side effects of that. I love it.

Josh:

Super cool, man. Man, for guys in the audience who want to connect with you, maybe you inspired them to become an artist and maybe they want to just give you some their testimony of how you impacted their life. What, what's a good way for people to connect with you?

Mike:

I have a YouTube channel. I'm also on tic-tac. I have a YouTube.

Josh:

Tik.

Mike:

TOK. Can you believe that? I tell you, I don't have like, 15 or 20 hits, I get like 3,007,000 hits. On the last stuff I do, and I, like I said, I'm on YouTube, I'm on Facebook. You can find, like I said, a lot of fun stuff on tic-tac and that's probably about it. I'm on, I like to keep a lot of my information private. I don't get flooded by a lot of, unwanted mail and stuff like that. You can go and see all my fun videos on YouTube and so forth. So.

Josh:

How about we do this, man? How about you? Give me the links for your YouTube and your take talk. We'll put that in the show notes of,

Mike:

Yeah, just go to, if you go to YouTube and you just type in Michael Corigliano,

Josh:

Nobody could spell that.

Mike:

Nobody can spell that if you typed in Pappy land type, just type in Pappy land and everything under the sun is going to pop up everything. For a lot of the Christians out there, I have a show called Mike's inspiration station, which I did 39 episodes. They're out there floating around on YouTube too. A lot of the home schoolers love that because they would use that as a tool for the half hour, they were dealing with their church, the kids, the students, and they would show because all my Mike's inspiration episodes are about arts and crafts. Super cool.

Josh:

Well, we'll put those links in the show notes dudes out there. Thanks for listening. As always reach out to our guests, follow what they're doing. If you guys are struggling with something, man, if you are going through something in your life, you're not alone. Head on over to uncensored advice for men, there's a little microphone in the bottom right corner. You could leave me a message. I respond to all the messages there, or you can, there's a contact button. You could also, shoot a quick form. We've had guys reach out, thinking about suicide, gone through massive breakup, trying to find their fit in this world. So, my goal is I can put you with one of my past guests. I could put you with some resources or just maybe hop on a phone and pray with you. Like the purpose of the show is to bring light hope and inspiration to you guys. For myself included through other people, getting an advice through other people. If you're going through something uncensored advice for men.com and we'll, we'll go through this together. On the flip side, I think Pappy has one more thing.

Mike:

I want to say one more thing. That is that wonderful thing you just said about what you're doing. The purpose of this whole podcast is just, I would like to say thank you for giving me the opportunity to talk about these things, because that's the problem that a lot of people have. They don't talk to anybody about their problems. They keep it bent up inside and that's, what's going to destroy you. His advice about reaching out and talking, if you want to talk about something, this is a great opportunity for you to do that through this podcast or through your friends or through counselors or what have you don't keep it dent up inside, let it out, feel free to talk to people. I have mentors and I, you need mentors, people that understand. So thank you for the opportunity, Josh. Yeah,

Josh:

I mean, I had dudes love you guys. Where to find me peace out. We'll talk to you all on the next episode. See you guys.