Episode Summary

In this episode of the Control Your Cash podcast, hosts Olivia Kirk and Tim Yurek dive into a stimulating conversation with Bob Cordaro, a local attorney, influential radio show host, and business personality. They discuss Bob’s journey through high school, his time in College, his experience in the financial world, and his expeditions in the legal, media, and political landscape. Bob opens up about his transformational time in prison, his influential advocacy towards fairness and people-focused policies, and his philosophy on viewing life as an ongoing, observer-beneficiary documentary. The episode offers the listeners value in terms of understanding resilience, self-sustainability, and maintaining a positive outlook during difficult times.

Key Takeaways

Learning from Challenges:

  • Bob sees challenges as opportunities for learning and growth, emphasizing the importance of extracting lessons from difficult situations.

Finding Positivity:

  • Despite facing setbacks, Bob maintains a positive attitude and encourages others to focus on the good things in life.

Happiness as a Decision:

  • Bob believes that happiness is a decision and not merely a reaction to circumstances. He shares personal observations and life lessons about choosing to be happy.

Maintaining Perspective:

  • He encourages putting life events into perspective, acknowledging that some people face more significant tragedies. This outlook helps him navigate challenges without getting upset.


Olivia: Hello and welcome to the control your cash podcast. I’m your host, Olivia Kirk.

Tim: And I’m Tim Yurek.

Olivia: Today, we have a great show in store for you. We have Bob Cordaro with us, who’s…

Bob: You’re assuming it’ll be great. That’s an assumption.

Olivia: From what I understand, this is going to be a great podcast. I heard that Bob is a great storyteller and also very influential in his space. He has a, a Bob Cordaro show on a local radio station, WILK.

Tim: Yeah, so uh, Dunmore High School. Played football for the incomparable Jack Henzes, University…

Bob: Won the championship that our senior year. 

Tim: Of course, well you guys were loaded too that year. Uh, and then of course, uh, University of Rochester. Academic All American. Uh, Phi Beta Kappa. I mean you check all the boxes, Bob.

Bob: And I mean all of them. I just continue and you’ll get there.

Tim: Yes. So, uh, local attorney, University of Pennsylvania Law School, local attorney, practicing mostly in business.

Bob: Mostly business. Ham and eggs though, I would say. It was a ham and egg guy. The things that once, the lawyers start being allowed to advertise, which I didn’t believe in, the personal injury and those kinds of things sort of went away.

So you, you, you re-concentrated and I always enjoyed business anyway. So I became a mostly business attorney, but I did ham and eggs. I did wills and estates and all kinds of whatever. Neighbors and friends and people needed small criminal cases, some decent sized criminal cases, a lot of stuff. So, 

Tim: So, you had a good business career as far as a lawyer, but that didn’t seem to rock your boat.

Bob: No, it did. 

Tim: It did? 

Bob: Yeah. I loved it. I liked the radio business. We built, two stations from the ground up. Rebuilt a third, I had five, radio stations and a billboard company at, at a, one particular time. And oddly enough, I’m flying to Madison, Wisconsin to look at a wireless cable company and a  radio station that had gone bankrupt.

And I said, I’m going to, I got five kids. And I got to be one of these guys that misses everything because he’s going to be on a plane. And I came home from that trip, actually my wife was on it with me, and I started selling the radio stations and the billboard company over the next few years. 

Tim: Right. 

Bob: And I said, I can make plenty of money as a lawyer, I don’t need to, I don’t need to get on this treadmill.

As enjoyable as it would be, your first responsibility is your kids, period. So, unfortunately, I had the Sisters Filippini, these Catholic nuns and they always told you to do your duty and, you know, you’re going to go to hell if you don’t and so forth. So I thought my duty once I was secure financially was to run for office and I did.

And then I won and that was, that was the worst of it.

Tim: Well, the first, the first time. You ran was for Congress, right?

Bob: Congress in 1988 as a Democrat.

Tim: In a Republican, jurisdiction, right. District, right. So one of the things, and you, I know you remember this is, tell, tell everybody about the ladder.

Bob: Oh, well, we were running against a guy named Joe McDade and he’d been in office for 26 years and he seldom even came home and I was doing an okay job, but I just thought our areas in trouble. I mean, like people can’t find jobs. They, young kids can’t stay here, all those kinds of things. So he’s not doing enough.

And, they asked me, the Democrat party asked me. Would you run in this primary because there’s a guy called Lyndon LaRouche and one of his disciples was going to be the nominee and he would be the first nominee from this Lyndon LaRouche, long lost Lyndon LaRouche wing of the Democrat Party to, to be a national candidate and it would give him a forum and it’d be embarrassing, Bob, would you do this for us?

I said, okay. I said, but if I’m going to do this, I’m going to tell people I’m not running in the fall. I just started one of my radio stations. We had a kid and a kid on the way. And so I, you know, I said, I don’t want to run in the fall. They said, but you have to say, you’re going to run the fall. And I said, but if I say I’m going to run in the fall, I’m going to run in the fall.

Well, you have to say it. And so I ended up running in the fall against McDade, which I knew I couldn’t win unless some insane miracle happened. But I figured we’re, we’re in this, we’re going to have fun with it. So we discovered that Joe McDade had, and I liked Joe McDade, I knew him before I’d worked on Capitol Hill.

I knew him, I’d see him around, I was at fundraisers of his and so forth. But, now I’m running against him. And, we discover that not only does he not come home, there were like 23 or 24 occasions where he either voted absentee or just so he didn’t even come home on election day. And there was two times he didn’t even vote for himself. He didn’t vote at all.

So, he had this fake house that was his address up in Clark Summit, so we went up there and I, funny, one of the people that went up with me is current Democrat Congressman Matt Cartwright. And we go up and WBRE’s there and they film us from the time we get out of the car. And we walk up and we’re standing on the sidewalk in front of his house and we have this voting record where he didn’t vote, didn’t vote, didn’t vote.

And, you know, that he truly isn’t from the area. So, he then comes home, and he said that, I was a peeping Tom. I was looking in his house, and he had a ladder he put up against the, the window of the second floor. And, it was pretty funny. And, that was a, that was a, I guess the highlight of the campaign, because it was both humorous and, even though I was going to get destroyed in the election, it got him to come home and actually campaign.

Olivia: So he just had this fake address, is that what you’re saying?

Bob: Basically. He would stay at a Ramada Inn in Clark Summit when he came home, which was not often. And, but he had to have an address. 

Olivia: Okay. So where was he actually, where was he actually from?

Bob: He was originally from here. 

Olivia: Okay.

Bob: The family was from Scranton. They were in the coal business.

Olivia: Okay. 

Bob: Neat house in Greenridge section of Scranton. 

Olivia: There are neat houses up there, aren’t there?

Bob: Yeah, and, yeah, but look he was a good guy, but I figured if I’m running against him, I’m going to run against him. 

Olivia: I’m bringing the news with me.

Bob: So I did. And we had some fun. There was a lot of things that would irritate you as a 26, 27 year old kid versus now they’re just totally humorous.

Olivia: So you ended up losing against him…

Bob: Yes, yes we lost.  

Olivia: And then running again for office.

Bob: Well, the funny thing I, and sadly Joe McDade’s no longer with us, but my friend Mark Walsh, he was taking me around to all the voting booths, all the voting places, that day. And I mean, they did everything but lay palms in front of me going, you know, going to visit and so forth.

So he’s going, Bob, he goes, I think we’re going to win. Let’s keep going. It was like six o’clock at night. We’ve been doing it since eight in the morning. I said, Mark, enough. I said, we’re not going to win. He goes, come on. Let’s… I said. Just because they’re being nice doesn’t mean they voted for me. Okay? And, and that night we did lose.

Substantially, I might add. So. 

Olivia: It was a good effort though. That’s a long day.

Bob: It was, it was fun and it was, but the, the district was sprawling, it still is. And you’d go up Route 6, which is the, the nickname for it is Sullivan’s Trail from an army general that marched that route. , I don’t even remember the war at this point.

Olivia: Mm-Hmm. 

Bob: But Route six that goes from, uh, like somewhere in Stroudsburg, but it’s runs through Scranton. Goes all the way up to Potter County where Adelphia cable was from at the time. 

Tim: Right. 

Bob: I mean, it was nine hours. End to end. It was. So I did a lot of driving. 

Olivia: Wow. 

Bob: And I would go and I would. We’d call ahead, and we’d get an interview with the local newspaper if they weren’t afraid of him, some of them were.

And, and go to a local radio station, and I’d do an interview, and I’d do the newspaper, and they’d take a picture. And that’s what the presence we had, and we, we tweaked, we tweaked Joe McDade pretty good.

Tim: Now, how. How were you received by him subsequent to the election?

Bob: We became friendly again. 

Tim: Oh, good.

Bob: Yeah. Yeah. There was an instance where, there was an event for Frank Carlucci, the defense secretary and just this extraordinary businessman/public servant from this area. And, it was up at Montage and sort of these confederates said Bob you got to be there, so we go my wife and I are there and we’re in this long receiving line and I wanted to meet Frank Carlucci.

I didn’t like want to make anything out of it. What was gonna happen and they, we get about, somebody comes up and it was one of Joe McDade’s aides ago. Oh, you’re Bob. Oh, yeah I’m so and so from Jake something from McDade’s office two seconds when we get within of Carlucci, they sent the, you know, they shut the reception line down.

And there was people behind us that wanted to meet Carlucci too. I go, don’t do, don’t shut down the line for me. I’ll, I just, I’ll get out of it. But they shut it down. It was, it was all those kinds of things.

Olivia: They were waiting for an excuse.

Bob: Yeah. It was just old school, old school politics. I remember we had the Scranton Tribune, the Scranton Times at the time.

Two newspapers, so I’m getting coverage in the papers because they’re competing with each other and McDade has never given them stories and McDade stopped giving the Tribune, which was theoretically the Republican paper. He stopped giving them his best press releases and given them to the Scranton Times.

Because even though the line of family was Democrats, they were neighbors, you know, when they grew up. So he starts giving the stories to the Times. Well, the Tribune calls me in and they do this huge profile in what was called the Scrantonian, the Sunday edition. I, you know, and they let me say whatever I wanted to say and how mediocre Joe McDay’s job was and everything.

And he just goes after them like a ton of bricks. And they say, so I figured I got entree with the Scranton Tribune. You know, at least I got one of the newspapers and he starts giving them the same news releases and attention and everything else. They got his attention with that interview with me. And we go back and I’m telling him about some event I had, and I think it was of significance.

I don’t remember what it was now. And the guy goes, who will be unnamed, he says, you know, we have a policy. I said, what is that? He goes an inch for an inch. I said, I’m lost. He goes, well, you have to buy an inch of advertising to get an inch of, editorial. And I said, Oh, well, we had no money for the campaign.

So they cut me off then. Joe got them back. But it was, it was really funny going against really all the powers that be. And it was an eye opener. And it was enjoyable. And there was some really negative things around a recent divorce Joe had and some other scandalous things. The FBI was investigating him.

And, actually somebody from the FBI came to me and said, would you like this information? You know, here’s what’s going on. 

Tim: Wow.

Bob: And I said, that’s your job. That’s not mine, which I think set me down the wrong path with the FBI, by the way. But that’s another, that’s a story for a few years later. But I said, that’s your job, not mine.

I’m realizing I’m going to two things. Number one, I just didn’t think it was right. Number two. And I knew they were using me. They wanted to publicize it for their own purposes, not to help me. So I didn’t talk about the impending, indictment of Joe McDade. And I didn’t talk about his personal life either.

And, and the good thing about that was even though I lost, I made a lot of friends and didn’t make any major enemies. So, but he, you know, it was funny the night of the campaign. He said that I ran a negative campaign. Well, yeah, on your job. And I said, I said to the reporter, I said, I could have scorched the earth.

That was my, and they actually quoted me in the paper the next day. I could have scorched the earth and nobody knew what I was talking about. But then…

Olivia: But then it came out.

Bob: To stick me the FBI, like, I think less than a week after the election headlines, Joe McDade target of FBI probe. And he had been raided before the election. His house. 


Bob: And, so I, I learned how the big boys play politics, which was, it was humorous to me. Everything’s…

Olivia: Humorous on your end. 

Bob: Everything’s funny to me. I, but you know, it was, well, I, I told my kids when I was in all those years I was in prison, I said, listen, I said, just because it’s about you, because it’s you doesn’t mean it’s not funny.

Olivia: That’s a great attitude, actually, you know, not taking yourself too seriously. 

Bob: Well, dear God, how could I? 

Tim: So after that campaign…

Bob: But that made me hate politics. Because I found myself, there was something called one of the issues that was in that race that year was the, the, I’m forgetting what they call them, but like the gap babies, there was people who got, were born in a couple of years in the 1920s were for some statistical reason, getting less social security than other people.

Olivia: Okay.

Bob: And I got asked about it and I pandered. Instead of saying, well, people who make too much money shouldn’t get any social security. You’ve done well for yourself, we’re happy for you, but the system’s going bankrupt. Now this is 1988, you could see it coming. Instead of giving my true answer, I said, well, I’m going to really work hard for the gap.

And I walked out of this thing, it was up in Bradford County. And in, how am I forgetting the town, but you know, this is our age. And I left there and I was physically ill where I had to pull over the side of the road and I go, I just, I just said what she wanted to hear instead of what I believed. And from all of those experiences combined, I said, I, politics is not for me.

I may feel compelled to do it at some point, which I did. When I ran for County Commissioner and got asked to run for Congress again. But, it, it, it made me see that politics was not, uh, this, uh, glorious thing that everybody’s out there trying to do the right thing. 

Tim: Well, so, you know, and that, that makes a good point.

So think about like business, either you got it or you don’t, right? It, you know, whether you’re selling something or you’re making something, it either, it, it, it’s good and it works or it doesn’t. And the consumer will vote for you if it’s good for them and it works for them. 

Bob: Yeah.

Tim: But in politics, all those rules are, you know, it’s, it’s not the best person that wins.

Bob: I talk to people on my radio show all the time. I said, you know, we’ve got a current Democrat party that everything they do is against the people they claim it’s for gas prices, food prices, you know, switch to a battery powered cars, all of everything they’re doing is, but people are wedded to that tradition and what is and politics is very different than the reality that that most business people live today, you know.

Tim: Yeah, I would say like business is more a meritocracy.

And politics, I don’t even know what the hell you would call it. 

Bob: Well look at some of the clowns that are in office now. 

Tim: Oh my god. 

Bob: It’s frightening. Keep it up. I go from the, starts from the president on down here you say. Really?

You gotta be kidding me. 

Tim: Who wiped his ass today?

Bob: By the way, I got Joe Biden toilet paper for Christmas. And I said, I can’t see what it’s doing back there. So I just blow my nose with it. 

Tim: So let’s talk. So, so now that being said about politics. How did you get into the commissioner’s race? 

Bob: Our area needs leadership. And it did very much then. And I saw a county that was headed towards insolvency. There’s no such thing as bankruptcy. You could just raise the taxes. And terrible leadership.

And I said I’m running for commissioner because as a commissioner it’s an executive position. Not like this silly county council down or county council down here. If you win with your partner, you are the legislature. You are the executive at the same time. So, you know, you could actually affect change immediately and constantly during your time.

So I said, I’ll run for commissioner. And I could still even work part time, you know, as a lawyer. I had already, as I told you, disengaging from the radio business, so I just said it’s my duty to do it, and, and, so I, so I, we ran. And my partner, years before, sort of unbeknownst to us before the election started, had been pulled over for a, he wasn’t driving, he was a passenger in his own car the night that one of his children was born, and he had cocaine in his wallet, and so it was a cocaine stop. Now he was with the Democrats at the time, so they covered it up and it didn’t get publicized and whatever, but they always held it in case they needed it and they came out with it that election. So even though it was a very close election for majority minority, we lost by a couple thousand votes and I became the minority commissioner in 2000.

Tim: And then, what was it, 2004?

Bob: 2003 election, 2004, you know, we took office as majority, myself and,  A. J. Munchak. 

Tim: Okay. So you mentioned earlier prison, so talk to us about, not, not so much that experience or even how you got there, but when you came out, right? It’s a new world. You know, when, when you think about technology, think about.

Bob: I’m not an early adapter anyway, you know, or adopter. I’m not, I’m not. So I could always be comfortable a few years behind. I did eight years, five months and come out on a home confinement. I got out, eight years, five months to the day. I had done 11 different prisons, a lot of transportation. They said, wanted me to talk and I didn’t.

And so bouncing you around a lot was one of the, side effects of that and, because I mean, you know, theoretically, I was told I don’t even have to get indicted. So I said, well, if I don’t have to get indicted, why would you indict me? The answer without being answered was because we can. But I saw the, I saw the, the, the fearsome discretion and power of the federal government.

During that whole time, and it reinforced a lot of beliefs I had about government and any accumulation of power because of human nature, not even because of evil or good or whatever, just human nature is to grab power and to assert it. And some people get burned in that process. In some cases, many people get burned.

So it was, I mean, it was a lesson there. And of course, when you’re under the. The jackboot of prison guards and prison officials for all that time. I mean, two o’clock in the morning, cause some jackass was smuggling stuff into the prison. You’re all rousted from bed and sent out in the snow in t-shirts to stand there for an hour and a half.

And this would happen all the time. It was a, it was a crazy, experience. And you were under no control. And I spent, during that prison time, I spent over six months in, solitary confinement. Or what they would call the SHU, it’s Special Housing Unit. So I saw, I was at penitentiary, I was at medium security, I was at low security, I was at camps, I was at Philadelphia, I was at Brooklyn.

So, among those 11 prisons, I sort of saw it all. 

Olivia: On the country tour. 

Bob: A tour of the great northeast.

Tim: So when you came out, I’m assuming, you know, probably money was tight when you came out. Yeah. Yeah. So, you know, our show is the Control Your Cash show.

Bob: I was saying on the radio show before this, I said, I’m probably the, I don’t have any cash. So therefore, well, when I did, I was pretty good with it. 

Tim: You were. So the point is, and what our audience wants to hear is…

Bob: Full disclosure.

You were one of my insurance agents so…

Tim: I guess that’s good. 

Bob: The Guardian. 

[Ad Break]

Tim: So the, the, the point is though. When you had a start over, you got knocked on your butt. How do you, how do you get back up? And what lessons do you learn through that whole process? 

Bob: I mean, but you have to put everything in perspective.

The primary perspective, well to get religious, not, I was going to say to not get religious, well to get religious. Is that the way I look at life is, you know, I’m Catholic. Jesus dies, gives us the opportunity to go to heaven. We can never control our circumstances. It’s how we react to them and deal with them that we succeed, which is going to heaven.

It has not very little to do with what actually happens on the ground here because we’re not in control of it. So, I’m just, I just never thought there was anything to get upset about. I never thought I was on my ass. I was just in places I didn’t want to be. Quite realistic. I didn’t. So I thought to myself, well, how do you behave when you’re confronted with a circumstance?

And I’ve got to put that in perspective. I even said it. As I was being, you know, frog marched around and, and, you know, these perp walks that they made me do three of, they re-indicted me and then re-indicted me. And I said, look, I know people who’ve had children die. Their parents die when they were young and they were dependent upon.

Like I know people with cancer. I know real tragedies. This is a man made tragedy and I’ve got my complicity in that, whether there’s people out to get me or not, whether it was stupid, stupidity, naïveté. And so, you know, why would I ever think this is a tragedy? Why? Because I can’t practice law because I can’t drink scotch.

I, you know, I can’t have a cigar. I mean, really, it was just never to me in my way of thinking there was never anything to be upset about or to whine about. And I had a guy tell me and, you know, you got a lot of advice when you’re going to prison or you, you know, but the one guy said, your children are watching, he said, and by the way, a lot of other people.

And they want to see how you react to this because it’s going to teach them. How to react to the indictment and the press and the newspaper and all of these kinds of things.

Olivia: That’s powerful.

Bob: And so I said, I’m gonna yeah, I’m gonna teach people how to how you should react or at least as best I can and so that was all of those things starting with you know, my my Catholic beliefs were the foundation of anything, not just going to prison, not just being indicted, not just I remember they had this hour long press conference when I got indicted and this hour long thing about how bad of a person I was and all this on the radio, it was live on the radio, so I was driving around in my car, listening to it, because what else am I going to do, you know, I’m driving around Route 81 and whatever, and after it was over, I called my lawyer.

I said, is that all they got?

Look it again, just because it’s happening to you doesn’t mean it’s not funny.

And nothing is life and death, except life and death. And again, so many people that we all know, particularly as we get older, that the tragedies that they’re living through the, you know, whether it’s a relative with Alzheimer’s, you could name the tragedies that outweigh what I was facing. And it just never bothered me, to be honest.

I, it just, whatever. So I, I don’t like when you say someone asked me, he said, geez, you know, you’re always laughing, whatever. I said, well, I’ll be laughing in prison too. By the way, I used to piss a lot of prisoners off when I was laughing. You’re not supposed to be having fun in prison. You’re not supposed to be happy, I guess, whatever.

But, happiness is a decision.

Olivia: Yeah.

Bob: It’s not a reaction to circumstances. And the part of that decision is, I, I, I sent my kids, uh, a couple of letters during my incarceration, or a letter, and, and it had, one of them had, If by Rudyard Kipling, that amazing poem, and another had, Teddy Roosevelt, Man in the Arena, and another was my own personal observation, which is that life, or happiness is a decision, and so, if I look at the whole package, well, you know, I, I, I compared it to a kid in a basketball game and, and, and his teammates are throwing the ball in the stands and the refs are making unfair calls and all this.

And he’s still smiling because he knows he could win. It’s in his control to win, which would be getting to heaven. And so I said, that’s the way you should look at it. Most people, unfortunately. They try to fill the gap of not having that belief. They try to fill that with things. And nobody loves things more than me.

Nobody loves booze and food and a great car and a great house. Nobody loves them more than me. But they’re not the be all, the end all. They’re good things, but they’re not the altar to worship on. And people try to fill that gap that they don’t have because they don’t have a core. I believe faith in God, to rely on.

And so, well, what’ll make me feel better now? Is it, is it sex? Is it, is it drugs? Is it money? Is it a car? Is it a nightclub? And it’s all just silliness. 

Olivia: Yeah, you could have all the things and still not be happy. It’s that conscious decision to be happy and not be victimized by circumstances. That really is going to make the difference at the end of the day. 

Bob: You said it well. And at the end of every day. 

Olivia: Yeah.

Bob: Not just the day. 

Tim: It’s true. 

Olivia: Yeah. 

Tim: It’s so, it’s so true and you, and you think about… 

Bob: You have to internalize it too. 

Tim: Yeah. 

Bob: So that it’s, and I, I think I did before prison. 

Olivia: It sounds like it.

Bob: But prison, like it let you prison sort of let you, be say, you know…

Olivia: Be with yourself. 

Bob: I was sort of right about that.

Olivia: Yeah. 

Bob: You know? Yeah. That is the right way to approach things and, so I got a lot of verification of what I believed going in. And during the process. And, the other thing I did is I sort of looked at it as part, which I do life in general, but part of me is observing everything that I’m in. I’m in a, you know, we’re all in a documentary, which we’re the camera.

And, so you’re part observer, part participant and that helps you watch what you’re doing as you’re doing it. And it’s, it’s sort of fun. 

Olivia: That’s interesting. Where’d you get that idea? I mean, cause I mean, in a, in a sense it’s true. 

Tim: It is true

Olivia: I know, but like, I’ve never, I…

Bob: I can’t say it’s, I can’t say it’s, it is original to me.

I can’t say it’s just my idea, but that’s the way I look at life. 

Olivia: Yeah. That’s pretty cool.

Tim: It’s a great perspective, and I think if you use that. 

Bob: But it’s a documentary most people don’t want to watch. 

Tim: Or sometimes it’s cringeworthy for sure. 

Bob: Oh man, I had a lot of cringeworthy.

Tim: So talk to us about how you, you know, once you got out, you came and, you know, what’d you do for, like…

Bob: Did you ever hear someone say, and I know I told my kids. If I had to start at zero, if I had to start at McDonald’s, I think I’d work my way up and I’m sort of a lazy type. So maybe I’d only be the hamburger flipper, but, you know, there’s nothing wrong with starting at zero.

I had no debt either. So it was sort of like…

Olivia: An absolute zero.

Bob: Well, I had debt to the federal government. They’re still torturing me, but that’s another story. But, but, I, I looked at it as a challenge and an opportunity and a clean slate and, I mean, there’s nothing to be afraid of I mean, if I, if I need a meal, I could go to my mother’s house, you know, I’m not going to starve on the street.

Tim: Who cooks better than mom? 

Even if she didn’t cook well, I’m going to eat. I mean, this is not existential. None of this is. So. I just didn’t think there was anything to worry about because you have zero particularly wouldn’t, and my family was great. They stuck by me tons of friends visit, tons of family visit, and and so and and tons, tons writing, tons sending messages, so I mean I always knew that I had a lot of friends out there and that it was a wonderful life still and so, starting over again…

Olivia: You ended up back in radio.

Bob: Yeah.

Olivia: Which is ironic.

Bob: Because I was on home confinement for 13 months. And so my family, the last thing they wanted me to do was be in the media again, because I’m not going to not say what I think. So they’re like, Oh, we’re going to do this again. And I applied for a student teaching jobs. Which many of them are controlled by Kelly services.

So I went three days filling out all these insane things. And there’s nothing I hate more than filling out forms on a computer, but I do, I do it. And then they even had incentives if you were a felon, but they figured they didn’t want the headache of some school answering to the media as to why I was there teaching as this horrible criminal.

And so they said, guess what? You can’t do it. And then you can’t work for your family. You can’t work for yourself and you couldn’t do any job on home confinement where you didn’t just go from your home, to the job, and then back. There was no flexibility on that whatsoever. So a number of friends had reached out.

Oh, would you like to do sales for us? Would you like to do sales management? Would you like to run this company? And I couldn’t do it because I could only go to the office and home. And so I finally realized I’m going to have to do, I’d thought about it in prison quite a bit too. I’m going to have to do a radio show.

And I called WILK and agreed. Frank Andrews was actually on the air in the afternoon. He wanted to do an interview and they said, well, why don’t you come on and do a, you know, guest host the Morning Show one day. And I did, I got permission. Then I did. And then they said, well, how about if you substitute every, you know, every so often when somebody’s sick or vacation or whatever.

So I did that for a little while. And then after a few months, so April of what, 21, I guess, they offered me a job. And so I took it and I’ve, so we’re negotiating the contract. They’ve been great down there too. I’m negotiating the contract with the general manager. And I forget what he asked me and I said, well, right.

What am I going to tell you? I have an ankle bracelet. How am I going to, I’m going to tell you what I’m going to do. So, so I, I got into, you know, to the radio gig and, uh, it is not about. Me getting back at anybody. I don’t see, I don’t see it that way. I have a lot of people screwed me. I mean, there’s no doubt about that, but that’s just not, you can’t, I don’t know you, I can’t live my life focused or even paying attention to that because there’ll always be people trying to screw me.

And it’s not, by the way, I, I always talk about things like racism and these other issues that they try to isolate to, to this category. No. People just like to keep other people down.

Tim: Yeah

Bob: It has nothing to do with race. It has nothing to do with anything except, Oh, this guy might be getting ahead. Let’s screw him.

I mean, it’s just, so that’s always going to be a condition of life. It’s always going to be a factor of life. And, so the show is about what I believe the, incredibly wrong track the country is on. And it’s hopefully educational, hopefully do it in a fun way, in a funny way, an entertaining way.

But it’s, it’s a passion project, I guess you’d say, because it’s not a lot of money. It’s just, you know, a living wage.

Olivia: Nice.

Tim: So, now how, how many years are you doing that now, Bob?

Bob: Full time. I started, the it was the Monday after Easter in 2021. So like April 5th, I think I can’t remember the specific date, but yeah.

Tim: Yeah. And you know, I’ve listened to many, many episodes and I’ve actually called in a couple of times and I thought, I figured you recognize my voice.

Bob: I didn’t know. 

Tim: No, really? 

Bob: No, I would have called you out. 

Tim: So a couple of times I called in, but, I mean, you got a really engaged audience and, and, you know, I know that… 

Bob: It’s enjoyable.

You know, it’s, it’s like hanging around and some of them don’t even like me, you know, the people listening, they’ll always send him, you know, I, I remember the one time when we start, when I, particularly when I started doing it, they would say, Oh yeah, great. Coming from an ex-convict. And I was like, well, let’s get something clear here.

I tried to have my conviction overturned and failed. I’m a convict. I would be an ex-convict if I got my conviction overturned. But I’m not. So I mean…

Olivia: If you’re going to insult me, do it formally. 

Bob: Yeah, do it accurately. Let’s use the English language the way it’s supposed to be. But, I don’t duck that. I’m not ashamed of it, frankly.

That part of my life was very educational, whether I liked it or not. And, and so I hope the shoe, the show is about truth, fact, and reality, which a lot of people who lead us don’t see and don’t want to see for their own benefit or, or comfort or whatever. And, so, I mean I get to do that every day and people, they are very responsive.

Positive and negative, but it doesn’t matter to me and they’re very involved and they’re enjoying themselves and they’re laughing and they’re fired up and all that kind of thing. I say when I did the television show, which was nonpolitical and I enjoy that and I may go back to that, but the radio show, I said, if, if, I get a tear to my eye at least once during the show, if I get, worked up in a lather at least once during the show, and if I laugh once during the show, I know that it was a pretty good show.

Tim: Jim Valvano. 

Bob: Does he say that? 

Tim: Well, he said in his  ESPY speech. 

Bob: Oh. 

Tim: If, if you cry once a day, if you laugh once a day, and think once a day, you’ve had a full day. 

Bob: Yeah. 

Tim: And, uh…

Bob: That’s great. 

Tim: Yeah. 

Bob: And it’s, you know, it’s how I approach the show. I know, I feel like I accomplished something that day and we do a veterans tribute, which is very important to me.

In fact, that’s the reason I continued to do the show. Many times it’s just off the obituaries of veterans who’ve passed away, but very often it’s, you know, families and others who I encourage, like, you know, send me information on your family member. I don’t care. It was peacetime. I don’t care if they were a war hero.

And, and so you get to do that and you get to publicize businesses that you could really believe in. You get to publicize events that you are excited about for other people. And, it’s, it’s a great, platform and they let me say anything I want. I’m sure there’s a point at which they’d fire me, but I don’t…

Olivia: I haven’t reached it yet.

Bob: I haven’t held. Well, I haven’t held back either. So.

Tim: Right. But, you know, Bob, knowing you…

Bob: Well, I say, the other part is, this is the truth of it, it beats working. I’ve seen people work. I know what they do. 

Tim: Right. 

Bob: Guys in construction and, I mean, they really, they, people in factories, they actually work. This is not work.

Tim: Isn’t that great? Now, when you think about that, so first, well, two things. Number one, it’s not work. I’ve never, ever known you to hold back, so that’s just not going to happen. But number two, and I’ve told my kids this over and over throughout their lives, is find out, like, figure out something you love to do, find a way to get paid for it, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life. And seriously, it seems like you’ve found that.

Bob: Some of that’s true. Well, I mean. I like to get paid. So that’s why I did the TV show and that worked out well. But it ran its course with channel 16. So now we’re looking at other options, but, I say, I’m starting to say we, if I start referring to myself in the third person, just smash me in the head, would you with this skull over here.

Looking at other options to bring the TV show back, cause that was designed to be all positive and, and to, to bring people together and, about great things that are happening and really interesting people that are happening. I do that on the TV, the radio show, but people are afraid of the political side of it.

Cause this area is so Democrat and, and for whatever reason, I always find myself going after the majority and so, you know, they’re afraid to sometimes to do things on the show because it is so opinionated and, but I mean, I don’t care what your politics is, if you’re doing something interesting or if you’re a charity, so there’s a lot of interaction on that front, which is again, as I said earlier, a fun part of the show.

Olivia: So, so what is your TV show about?

Bob: The TV show, we, we interviewed everybody from Bo Dietl with his movie projects. We had, uh, like maybe one of the, Steve Vacendak, who was one of the greatest basketball players from this area. We had people who ran Goodwill Industries and St. Joseph Center. And they’re all on all of the episodes of war heroes, combat veterans of Korean War, World War Two.

Really an interesting montage of people, a sports writer at age is like mid nineties. Now we had a lot of interesting guests. It was fun to do and it was, and it was nonpolitical. Which I liked too. I mean, I said, I could listen to myself talking about politics for five days, not six. And it was very popular.

We were lucky to have a position right out of, after the great show, Pennsylvania Outdoor Life. And so we had a lot of eyeballs watching, and it had a lot of reach, and so it was very enjoyable. It was very enjoyable. 

Olivia: Awesome. And all of those are available on YouTube.

Bob: On YouTube. Under the Bob Codaro Show on TV.

Olivia: Okay. 

Bob: Yeah, we’re gonna, we’ll come back with, I’m sure I’ll come back with some TV. I’ve had, been having discussions about it. 

Olivia: Yeah, it’s in the works. 

Bob: Yeah. 

Tim: Well, it seems like you, you’ve always had an affinity for media. Just I don’t know, just like since I’ve known you, you seem to have an affinity for media and it seems like you’re back where you belong.

Bob: Maybe so. Maybe so. And it’s much better than owning. I don’t have to make payroll every Friday, they do it. I remember like going up to, I remember this one time we’re, we’re going up to, I had to make payroll and I used to call, uh, my friend X.E. McAndrew, we lost unfortunately John McAndrew and I would call him up on Thursday nights and go, X, payroll tomorrow.

He goes, eh, we’ll get it done somehow. And so I, at one time driving with one of my salesmen. And, and you can’t look desperate to your advertisers, but I go, my, my old guy, my old buddy, Ed Connick, I go, Ed, I really need the money for Friday. We drive up to the Ray Price and they had a car dealership on Mount Pocono and he gave us the money.

It was nice of him. It really was. He didn’t have to pay because you have 60, 90 days to pay radio and media. And he paid us ahead of time and I made payroll that day, that week. 

Tim: Wow. But, you know, that’s the great thing about, you know, about business though is the wonderful people you meet and the, and, and the impact that you could have.

Bob: I think about, about anything your interactions are. 

Tim: True. 

Bob: And it’s easier to sit at home, which I frankly prefer to do, but you would have missed so much. 

Olivia: Mhmm.

Tim: Exactly. 

Bob: Whether it’s prison or politics. Uh, although I, I said. I would, uh, rely on the 1200 prisoners I’m with out at Allenwood inside the fence. More than 1200 people in politics any day.

So true. Because there, there were real consequences for lying and screwing somebody in prison, there are no consequences in politics. 

Olivia: That’s a great point. 

Tim: That’s great. 

Bob: I would, I would think of myself, boy, if they tried that in here,

I wouldn’t even have to do anything. 

Olivia: Well, Bob, this has been a great show as, as promised, you delivered and we appreciate you so much for, for joining us today and our audience, I’m sure, appreciates it also your stories and very captivating.

So tell them how they could, find you, you know, when we talked about the YouTube channel and the radio, how could they, how could they get in front of you? 

Bob: To see the, I think we have 45 to 48 editions of the television show. It’s under the Bob Cordaro show on TV. And you can see other, if you go to YouTube, you’re going to see other stuff that interviews with Joe Snedeker, that kind of thing that you’ll, so there’s, there’s that stuff.

And then on, I’m on WILK news radio. You go to WILK news radio.com. If you don’t get the signal 103.1FM and 910 and 980AM, uh, every day, nine to noon. And, it’s, I, I can be found,

Tim: Bob. I can’t tell you how good it was. Number one to see you. 

Bob: It was great talking to you. I said, I don’t know if this is for the broadcast or not, but I mean, I, I met him when he was getting recruited at the University of Rochester to play football and we’ve been fast friends ever since I, like, immediate, immediate, he was such a good teddy bear of a guy.

And I love your dad. I do. It was like we were talking the other day. The first time after 15, 18, 20 years, whatever. 

Tim: Yeah. 

Bob: It was like we had just spoken the day before. 

Olivia: Oh, that’s the best. 

Tim: Exactly. That’s the best, right? So there’s people that I haven’t seen since high school. And I saw a really good friend, Eddie Rubel.

He, he played football with us in high school and, he moved out to Colorado. I haven’t seen Eddie in 40 years and we saw him this summer and it was like, wow, we just picked it right up, you know? 

Bob: Yeah, that is nice. 

Tim: Yeah. So, Bob, thanks so much for being with, being here as our guest, and I’m sure our audience got a lot out of it because I did.

And I know it was…

Bob: Who is the audience? 

Olivia: We’re talking to business owners all across the country.

Bob: Oh okay, neat, neat. Yeah. That’s good. Well, it’s neat that you do this and extend beyond your, your normal, business modes, even if it doesn’t necessarily assist with business. But it’s, it’s, it’s important that you do this.

This is great. 

Olivia: Yeah. We, we aim to add value to our audience and, and spread knowledge from other business owners and professionals. And. Convicts. 

Bob: You know, I, you give them an inch, they take a yard. 

Tim: I know, how about that?

Bob: Do you see this, do you see this? That’s my line. It’s like I tell my producers on the radio show I tell…

Olivia: Well its accurate I heard.

Bob: I tell the jokes around here, okay? 

Tim: That’s right. 

Bob: I’m the one with the lines. Not you. 

Olivia: I’m back in my place.

Tim: There you go. He liked you better when you didn’t say anything. 

Bob: No. You know what? Yeah. If you have a good line, use it as long as you’re willing to accept the consequences. 

Tim: There you go. 

Olivia: Words to live by. Thank you so much again, Bob, for joining us.

Bob: Thank you. Pleasure to see you guys and be with you.