Empowering Veterans and Nurturing Wellness: A Journey with Oscar Robinson and Damon Byrd

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Unknown Speaker 0:00
This is a KU envy studios original program. You're listening to special programming sponsored by making moves life coaching services. The content of this program does not reflect the views or opinions of 91.5 Jazz and more the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, or the Board of Regents of the Nevada System of Higher Education.

Unknown Speaker 0:27
Good morning, Las Vegas. This is Veterans Affairs plus, so 91.5, jazz and more. I'm Dave Washington, your host. And I'll make a few announcements. Then we'll bring in brother Oscar Robertson, who was most recently in town with his 11th annual Kevin in the desert show. So we'll be getting with Brother Oscar shortly. In terms of announcements, I just want you guys to know that as soon as possible to get these particular folks lined up. William Melville. He's the housing case manager for the Salvation Army, and he does veterans work. They have a veteran center out in the city of North Las Vegas, and I went out there made a quick visit I want to get there. Their leader, they're the Scala Veterans Services Coordinator, Walter, the scannow. I want to get him on the show. So we're getting those lined up. So stay tuned for that, in terms of condolences, surely want to express condolences. And somehow I forgot to do that on last week's show. But we had three soldiers to lose their lives over in the Middle East. So I just wanted to express express condolences to those families. And then in the US, we had, of course, five soldiers from from the base here that went out to Southern California and had a major incident in which they lost their lives. So I'm going to talk more about both of those two issues in next week's show. So remember, we got Tony Marshall, who was also out at that service center that I was telling you about out in North Las Vegas. So we want to make sure that we make contact with Tony because he's always working in the interests of veterans. So with that being said, I want to bring in now Mr. Oscar Robinson, I do an Oscar.

Unknown Speaker 2:18
I'm great. How are you?

Unknown Speaker 2:19
I'm doing well. Man. I can hear a little bit of noise. But I think our engineer can deal with it. You know, things happen as much, much better. So how you doing Oscar?

Unknown Speaker 2:30
I'm doing great. How you doing, sir?

Unknown Speaker 2:32
I'm doing well doing well. Look, I want to give have you and I'll give you an opportunity to give some background to our listening audience. Give us a little bit about who is Oscar Robertson?

Unknown Speaker 2:45
Well, among other things, I am a producer and director of live stage productions. I came to Las Vegas in 1992. In 1994, I established the first professional community back Theatre Company in Las Vegas called platinum productions. And before the West Las Vegas Library theater was opened in 1995. We used to do productions in the West Las Vegas, the library conference room. Amb. I remember that in that day. Yes, sir. And then once I was the I was the program specialist at the West Las Vegas Library, theater, I came I came before Joyce Thomas, okay, before Yanni, Japan. Before Miss China Hudson, it was Oscar Robinson holding it down baby.

Unknown Speaker 3:32
Oh, you have a rich history then, in fact, I sit on the building committees board when they were getting ready to build the theater at the library. And we went round and round with the library district because they want to give us 150 seats. And myself along with Barbara Robinson. And who else we have deceased. Reverend Jesse Scott, we raised so much came in they gave up 299 seats, they give us 299. And then they you know, I guess you would know this kind of stuff, though, in terms of the backside of the theater where all the actors and actresses in performance who would gather, you have to have so much size back there based upon the number of seats out front, which I knew nothing about that kind of stuff. So anyway, they said, Look, since we got to do that, we're going to rebid the, for the completion of we told them no, in fact, it was Lou Richardson. You remember Lu Richardson as a contract. He died a couple years ago now. But we told him no, we want we want to keep blue. And they he had four men and then they went on acquiescing gave us what we thought was the best thing to do if you start with a new contractor, they got to redo this all they had to redo the plans for the backside and build it a little bit larger, which is what they did, and but ultimately, we had to fight and we we won, and I know that they're planning on doing something even bigger for the library in West Las Vegas, which is great. So with that rich history, how did you to begin with Oscar, how did you get into into the theater business?

Unknown Speaker 5:12
into theater? Well, I tell people, I'm not in theater theater is in me, was born. I was born into it. I don't even know what it was. But I knew I had to give. I've been performing professionally since a fit since the age of 15 years old. We had I'm from Memphis and Memphis is a very historic and a very, very, very talented city. And we had a summer youth program called the CETA program, and we will sing and dance and act and I'm just like, you gotta pay me to do this for free. So that's that lunch, my career was in the newspaper, news cameras come out, when the papers came out, came out, they always wanted to interview me. And I was always the one in the paper and on the television, I guess, because of my my personality and my all of my energy. And so that's how, that's how I got started. And so I studied under great leadership, great, great mentors, I had great mentors, they were simply the best. And then I decided to go to college to really learn my craft. So I went to Shaw University, Shaw University was with the best school to go to theater, black theater, back in the day, because Shaw University. Back in the day, we used to have an organization called NASA National Association of dramatic speech and art, where all the black colleges and universities competed in theater. And we would go to Grambling you might go to you might go to Hampton, you might go to Howard, and it was a national competition. And Shaw was always the best even before we got there. It was the best. So when I got to Shaw, we ushered in some new fresh talent from Memphis. And we wouldn't always win first, but we were always the best. They said they can't win every year. And so that's I guess that's I'm well trained. I've studied under been well trained. So that sets me apart from everyone else.

Unknown Speaker 6:59
That's very interesting. Because, you know, I know that you're very good. And I watch how you would he call it when you get into whatever, there's a term for it. No, I don't want to butcher it. But when when somebody realize

Unknown Speaker 7:10
I internalize what I'm doing, right,

Unknown Speaker 7:12
and you get into to whatever, whatever character you're into, you bring in and I've watched you so many times and bringing forth that energy. And I had no idea of, of true I know you I know of you. I had no idea of your actual formal training in this industry, which is pretty cool. And if I'm not mistaken, historical black college.

Unknown Speaker 7:36
Shaw was the first black college founded after the Civil War. My professors HB and PC cable was a husband and wife team, and they were very dynamic. They are the ones who are responsible if, if you remember the Jefferson still right, Jefferson. You remember Janie on the Jefferson, Jenny? Yes. My professors taught her in high school and groomed her up. Yes, I she got that role. So my professor was simply the best they were husband, wife, team.

Unknown Speaker 8:03
Oh, excellent. So you moved to Vegas and stayed here for a while before going back. And then ultimately, you and Brother may slip in. Franklin, G. Franklin G you guys put together until our listening audience a little bit more about that. In fact, I failed to see your flyer that you had sent out because I certainly will, would have a next year. We got to make sure we make contact. And I know that you've gotten a lot of support from Dr. Ridley here at UNLV in promoting his idea here you're spot on any 1.5 Jazz and more. And in between those jazz and all the rest of that good music? I did hear some promotions for for Kim it in the desert. So please tell our listening audience about that program. And again, how long have you been doing it?

Unknown Speaker 8:53
This is our this is our 11th annual came in in desert series. It was this year was February 9 and 10th. Traditionally, it's always been on the third weekend in February when I was at the West Las Vegas rivalry theater. Coming into desert series was the brainchild of Miss Lisa Mosley who planted a seed in the spirit of Franklin G, who manifested what is known as Kemet in the desert today. It was established in 2013 and 2014. Franklin G called me in to be the emcee. But what he really needed was a stage director in 2015. Franklin's company near productions and my company platinum productions collaborated and develop what is known as Kevin in the desert today. In 2019. Franklin was inducted into the Nevada Brock passes Hall of Fame Franklin had to talk shows or KCP like it is radio and the breakdown, and he was inducted into the Nevada broadcast Hall of Fame in 2019. The day before He was inducted. He's inducted on a Friday that on a Saturday, the day before he was inducted, he was in a car accident, right? I recall that. Okay. And so, so that was that was in August. We released him, and he transitioned in October 2019. And so, Dr. Anelka Rashidi, our first master teacher, he was transitioned in 2021. In Egypt, no less. So we honor them both right. And we, we request their presence and their spirit, as we have given, there's always at least a two day series, right? That's a series. And so that's how it was established. When I came in, when Franklin transitioned, was quite the transition, certain people tried to steal came in in the desert, when even cold in the ground. I will not call the names today on this battle, but I will expose them at some point. So So when when Franklin had came into desert, it was not a legal entity. Once he transitioned, it was that was the 2019 COVID hit and 2020 Right now, after he transitioned and 2020, I started making candidates illegal I established kidney disease Inc. in 2020. And a couple of years ago, I started this kidney and did the series, which is the nonprofit entity of given in the desert. So that's the history of human endeavor.

Unknown Speaker 11:24
Right? You've done your good, you have done great work, young man, and we appreciate you and we'll get you back on the show sometime soon. Because I think you have a lot to offer. And don't give up the spirit, your heart and your and your hard work for bringing that show to Las Vegas on an annual basis. We appreciate you so much brother Oscar, and I will certainly be in touch. Keep that energy.

Unknown Speaker 11:45
Thank you so much. And I just want to say to last Las Vegas, this is something special is always free and open to the general public. So if you miss came into the desert, you've really missed something special. You've missed a lot of information. And, and most cities would love to have opportunity to see all these master teachers come in these masters come teachers come in have they speak on the history of Egypt and Africa and enlightened sunlights the community and the people need to hear

Unknown Speaker 12:12
it. All right. Thank you, sir. We will be in touch because again, we'll get you back on the show. Thank you so much. This Veterans Affairs plus on 91.5. Jazz and more on The Voice that you heard was Mr. Oscar Robinson. We'll get him back on the show again to further give us some detail about Kemet in the desert.

Unknown Speaker 12:34
Good morning, once again, Las Vegas. This is Veterans Affairs plus on 91.5 Jazz and more. Oh, the first part of our show was very exciting. We had Mr. Oscar Robinson who did talk a lot about what he had brought to town and had been doing it for 11 years. And that's coming in the desert over at the West Las Vegas Library theater. Very, very nice show that he put on each year. Now we're going to swing into a young man, Damian and Damian Byrd is a veteran. Damon, how're you doing today?

Unknown Speaker 13:09
I'm good, sir. How are you?

Unknown Speaker 13:10
I'm doing okay. So please, enlighten our listening audience. What branch Did you serve in and how long?

Unknown Speaker 13:18
I was in the United States Air Force for just over 20 years. I did. I did. I did about eight years and eight months and and as an enlisted services in the services career field. And I separated just before 911 about 20 days before 911 in the stop loss hit. And I got out. I got out to finish college. I joined Air Force ROTC. And I came back in with the Commission in September of two in the acquisitions career field.

Unknown Speaker 13:58
So you were a manager. So you were an enlisted man originally got out with and came back as a commissioned officer. That's correct. Very interest. So what's your degree?

Unknown Speaker 14:14
Finance. I have an undergrad and Master's in finance.

Unknown Speaker 14:19
Excellent, excellent. So we will assume that your assignments while in the military.

Unknown Speaker 14:27
So I had I didn't have as many assignments as the typical 20 year retiree would. My first assignment was direct Grand Forks, North Dakota. And then from there, I went into I went to Okinawa, Japan. Grand Forks I was there about four and a half little over four, four and a half years. And then I got an assignment to Okinawa, Japan for four years. And from there, that's where I separated to go to College to get out and go to college. And when I came back and as a as an officer, I was in San Antonio, Texas for about three and a half years. And then I went to Los Angeles for a little over five years. And I retired out of Robins Air Force Base in Georgia

Unknown Speaker 15:19
in once again, what was your job assignment?

Unknown Speaker 15:24
My commission job was program manager I was in the acquisition career field.

Unknown Speaker 15:29
Okay. So different materials, supplies, equipment, etc, for service me.

Unknown Speaker 15:37
Absolutely. Yep. Absolutely.

Unknown Speaker 15:39
And where are you originally from?

Unknown Speaker 15:42
Toledo, Ohio, to lead

Unknown Speaker 15:43
Ohio. So share with our listening audience. What you feel you gain during your your time in the military that help you as you transition over to civilian life? And I should say that to our listening audience, my, our oldest daughter, April, hooked us up so we could have this conversation. Go ahead.

Unknown Speaker 16:08
Yes, I'm very thankful for the connection. April, May with us. I would say, especially from my enlisted days, the the Air Force prepared me prepared me for civilian life, because it just kind of opened opened my eyes to the world. Right, in all honesty, you know, when you're young, and you know, I grew up in a very close family, and, you know, all that mattered was being home and being being around my family. But, but once I got into the military, and just started realizing that, you know, I'm adequate, right, you know, you always have a lot of, you know, self doubt, in a lot of ways, or at least I did, right, I had some self doubt about, you know, who I was as a person and some confidence issues. But as I as I got around other people, and being around people from literally all over the world, and things like that, I realized that it's just, you know, we're all just human beings. Right? And, and, you know, and it and it prepared me to learn, right, it prepared me to learn, and lead and be receptive and really blossom into who I Who hoo, I really was all those years, right? When I was doubting myself. So, so it really, you know, you know, it helped me tap into my entrepreneurial spirits, entrepreneurial spirit, honestly. Because I felt like, once I, once I retired, and having gone through the process of even getting a commission, I felt like, I could do anything, right. I felt like I could accomplish anything in a lot of ways. So it gave me help, it helped me, you know, blossom into my confidence and, and my leadership and and, yeah, I would say those are the two things that stand out the most. Excellent,

Unknown Speaker 18:07
you know, and that's a perfect segue into, what are you doing right now, and we don't get into pricing and numbers and all that kind of stuff. But you have some business interests that you highly involved with? Tell us our listening audience about that, if you would?

Unknown Speaker 18:23
Sure. So I own a company with a couple of family members called only three snacks. And we are a health we are a health and wellness snack company. And, and we're, we're accessible to really anyone who wants to have better snacking options, you know, I, we're, we're plant based, of course. But but the but the thing that really sets us apart is our fantastic ingredients. Right? When you listen when you when you look at a lot of quote unquote, healthy snack options. You know, they may they may use the vegan vegan tagline or the plant based tagline. But if you look at the ingredients, they really don't help your body. Right, and one of the things I'm really proud of is every snack in our product line. All of the ingredients actually help your body so I've been a vegan for for for nearly seven years now. It'd be seven years in May. And my inspiration for this snack line or this or this company, was one that when I converted to veganism back in May of 2017 The hardest part of my transition was just in between meals and snacks.

Unknown Speaker 19:46
So so when you started your product line you and you say family members, yes. So where would one if they wanted to check out your on how would they do that?

Unknown Speaker 20:02
So we we ship online, we ship online, our website is only three snacks that calm. That's only the number three snacks.com. We also do farmers markets in the Las Vegas area. I do I do the vegan market every month at Lulus vegan market, which is where I met April. And, you know, scheduled for meeting I do prevail marketplace with a gentleman named Drew was well, and I've done a couple of others, but those are those are my primary means of getting my product out there. But to be quite honest, we're looking to get placed and really any anyone who's looking to expand their their healthy choice options, whether that be convenience stores, restaurants, you know, just about one place, I'm really looking to get into our stadiums, right? You know, and I know this from experience, when you go to a game, whether it's here locally or out of town, as a person who was really conscious about what I put in my body. You know, these these companies and these, these vendors missed out on a lot of a lot of business because all they have are, you know, the typical m&ms and Snickers, Doritos, things like that. And I just most of the time when I go out, when I go out, I don't I don't buy anything, because there isn't anything for me to have, right? I don't all of my products, I use all natural sweetener. So I don't use sugar, use organic agave or date, sugar and all of our products. You know, if you look up the benefits of those two items, they're they're much, much better for you than processed white sugar. So,

Unknown Speaker 21:58
you know, I mentioned to my wife many, many times, she's a lover of sweets, and she accused me of being the same, which I am, to be honest. But I know that sugar is a main cancer causer. And there's other other things that they put into these so called healthy products that are not really good for us. So how long? How long have you you guys been in business?

Unknown Speaker 22:24
So like I mentioned earlier, we originally started under a new under a different LLC back in 2000. We were registered in Ohio, even though operations were in the Vegas area. But we've we've officially been registered and in Las Vegas, or the Clark County area since September 30 of 2022. So we're still relatively young, and looking looking to grow and, you know, provide provide the public with really healthy choices, right? You know, honestly, honestly, healthy choices. And if I could just one thing, the way that we came up with our name is our original original snack, which was the original and seesaw. There were only three ingredients in that option. Bellflower, spring water and seesaw. And all of our chips are made with grapeseed oil. So that's how we came up with the name only three and it just kind of stuck. You know, we kind of, you know, made it made it our business name. Right,

Unknown Speaker 23:31
right. No, that's that's very interesting and very cool. We have a little more time, I just got a little sign from my producer director with so tell me until our listening audience once again. What was your greatest inspiration? Outside of you? And I know, you mentioned that you couldn't find stuff that you wanted, when you go to different places. So I know that's one is there anything else that that was that inspiration for you? And whomever other family members you have that got you involved? And do you have any mass production capabilities.

Unknown Speaker 24:15
We have some pretty good equipment to where we could we could plus up I think if if if we if we got a pretty decent sized purchase order we'd be able to handle it pretty well. But the inspiration is it's just service right? Even even though I'm retired now. One of the things I've done in retirement is I've been a school teacher for for few years in different capacities. I've also I've also been a basketball coach and I do a lot of training and in private development and camps and things of that nature. So even even in retirement, I felt like I've lived, lived and continue to live a life of service. So you Once I kind of found this snack, actually in 2018, I kind of came up with the recipe in 2018. And, you know, we're a, we'd like to say that we're a company that was born during the quarantine, right? Because when I find when I, when I stumbled on the recipe in 2018, I knew I felt very confident right away that this was something that I should be selling to other people like myself, right, but I dragged my feet, and I just really didn't press the gas on it. But when when the world shut down, I really didn't have any excuses. You know, we all had time. So you know, we started, we started our group out more as a financial financial mentorship group with with just five of us that led to us deciding to go into business together. And that's how it became a family business. There's only three of us now. And I'm the principal owner, and, and the originator of all of our products and recipes. But we're still we're still family based. But to get back to your original question, yeah, just just service. And, you know, of course, we all want to improve financially. But in addition to that, I believe our products actually help people. And, and that is the story that I probably tell more than anything, when I'm out at the markets is introducing, you know, a lot of these different ingredients that, in all honesty are not commonplace in big box supermarkets. Most of most of my most of my job is convincing people that health benefits and what something like bellflower actually is and it's very popular with with bakers. It's an ancient grain. And it has numerous, numerous health benefits, but you can use it almost exactly the same way you use all purpose, white flour without all of the bleaching and processing and all of those things. So well. That's my goal and motivation.

Unknown Speaker 27:19
Okay, great as we wind down, why don't you use that website, again, how people can and the locations where you're currently operating from.

Unknown Speaker 27:30
Okay, so so we process our our products out of a 4d commissario McLeod. Website is only three snacks. That's O N ly, the number three snacks.com. You can also find us on Instagram at only three snacks on Instagram, and we'll be at our next vegan market on on February 18, at Lulus vegan market loss, Las Vegas Boulevard.

Unknown Speaker 28:03
So you mentioned some other ones, even though you won't be there right away. But there's several other locations I thought I heard you mentioned. Where are they? Even though you're not there yet?

Unknown Speaker 28:14
Yeah, well, in March, we're, we're looking to add to our schedule, we'll be at the cornerstone market. We're probably even though that market is open. Every Saturday, we'll probably do it a couple of Saturdays in March, as well as look into getting into the dollar loan center as well.

Unknown Speaker 28:35
Excellent work on Mondays as well. That's excellent work. And thank you so much, for sure. Trying to get us all to eat a little bit healthier, I think is going to be good for me and Ken and I can tell you your term and your word of service, I think. And I'm not a big student of the Bible. I do know a little bit. And I know that God wants us all to be serving one another. And I think that's important and you wanting to do that. I think you will go a long way. Just keep staying the fight young man, and do your best to keep doing it. This is Veterans Affairs.

Unknown Speaker 29:11
Yeah, just don't say I take that very seriously. So thank you for mentioning that.

Unknown Speaker 29:14
Sure. This is Veterans Affairs plus on 91.5, jazz and more. We're signing off until next week, so you veterans out there who may have any need. Tony marshal is at 301-537-9465 Tony Marshals Service officer and he does have an actual office out at that North Las Vegas Resource Center. We are in north west part of town. Anyway, thank you all and we'll talk to you next week on Veterans Affairs plus JSA

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Empowering Veterans and Nurturing Wellness: A Journey with Oscar Robinson and Damon Byrd
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