Veteran's Affairs Plus W/ David L. Washington November 25, 2023

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what's going on? What's going on? Good morning, Las Vegas. This is Veterans Affairs plus on 91.5, jazz and more. I am pleased and honored to have two longtime friends in the studio today to talk about a great loss that we had. And we also got another colleague and friend on the line. However, before we get started with them, I just want to acknowledge once again, our brother Leonard lad who we had the services for him just this past two weeks. And the gentleman we want to talk about the day icon community activist businessman, Mr. Sami Armstrong, which I mentioned last week, as well also mentioned that I would have three gentlemen, as Mr. Elgin Simpson and Mr. Alfonso Eason and Mr. Bob Connors. Bob was unable to make it. So we have Eugene Campbell, my colleague in the fire service chief Campbell, got his notice. Five minutes ago. LG, LG. It falls they got this four hours ago. But look, man, I just I just thought it was important. Again, this is a veteran show. And phones. I know that you are a veteran. So please let our audience know what branch you served in and how long after

Unknown Speaker 2:05
then the US Army. Two years, I was drafted and have served most of it in 18 months in Vietnam, Vietnam.

Unknown Speaker 2:18
Yeah, I was telling our last on the last show last week, Dr. Crab who has a bed as well. She is one of those Marines and she actually went into the theater and I told her I was pleased and thank God that I didn't go into the war zone. Thank God. You think I'm crazy that people think I'm crazy. Five year Real Net? Chief Campbell. Chief Campbell,

Unknown Speaker 2:49
sir, I'm here

Unknown Speaker 2:51
yet. David? I'm doing well. Gee, what brings you sir?

Unknown Speaker 2:57
United States Air Force five years.

Unknown Speaker 3:01
And Elgin, I don't believe you were in the military. But no, I wasn't. But you did a lot of work around this doggone community. Yes, he did. And one thing I want to say and then we're gonna go deep dive into some of the Sam's work in our community. But one thing that I already knew eligible we got much closer together as Jean can attest to when we were working with camp. Not camp brotherhood. Community Community peace oh my goodness man had us out in in Red Dog Oh jackets man I'm like man, orange Yeah, they were orange MAN And we out there Jean and I are we fire service people. We are out there and he had these we have put together his teams of people man even had a policeman I have a news media on our team. And we went out into the thick of things man and got the community to settle down when a gene was you want to run when when the when the fire started after the Rodney King

Unknown Speaker 3:57
pow Yeah, yeah, I was I was on before they started shooting. Dave I was responding. And they got over there to the band's lounge to put the fire out and then they started we had a firefighter the roof collapsed and the roof collapsed and they started shooting over the bill.

Unknown Speaker 4:19
But Ain't that something June Jean out there getting shot it and then we go back out on ARM Denise thanks to Elgin and his dog on Orange windbreakers bed dealing with all in the developments with marble Manor. Gerson we was out there, man. But anyway, they'll just tell us a little bit about you and who you are and what you've been up to.

Unknown Speaker 4:42
My name is Elena Simpson. I'm a Navy of Nevada and I was born here 78 years ago, and I was born in West Side last West Las Vegas and I have always felt it was my responsibility to give back to the community and I was raised that way. And so there wasn't we if something went wrong in the community, when I was a kid, my mom and dad always stepped up. And so it just became human nature for me to do the same thing when I had an opportunity.

Unknown Speaker 5:17
Now, I want to open the gates up on our friend, our friend just transition when fox came over to the house, who he was all upset, got me upset. I'm like, Man, I had just talked to see. Anyway. Let's talk about Sam, as a businessman first, and then we'll talk about some of his overall community activities. So why don't you start please?

Unknown Speaker 5:47
Sam came to me. Well, I met Sam Armstrong in 1963, when he came here from California, and we've been friends ever since. And he came to me and he had him and Douglas Ray McCain and Dames Enos and Bob condors had been talking about a business idea. So Bob, and James, kind of back out. So him and Doug formed a company called Ray and Ross transport. And he needed some help. And we both worked at transportation and limited at the time. So cars actually Sam taught me how to drive a bus. I knew how to drive a truck, but I couldn't drive a bus and like it was supposed to be driven. So when he asked for help, I volunteered my services. And so when they signed the corporate papers, I was the witness to that. And so from being on, my job was to help him develop his company and his ideas. And Sam had a handful. Right. Right. And so it took us some time, but we had some battles with the Public Service Commission. And but we finally figured out what we needed to do and started building the company. No, and I helped negotiate contracts, we had contracts with Nellis Air Force Base, and then we developed deal with the unions. Because at that time, genocide workers, only the white collar workers were transported up to the site, blesses construction workers had to figure out how to work their way to get there, right. And so we developed a system of them paying us they bought into tickets from home Monday, that they could ride the bus through Monday through Friday, to work and back home from work. Every day, we developed that. And Sam got, well, actually, a friend of ours came to us and said, the government was going to start transporting the construction workers. And we said, Wait a minute, you can't do that even a friend what our business. So a friend of ours, called and said, meet me. We met him at a bar, he explained that that was something in the law that said about government infringing on private enterprise when they were doing something, right. So we, and Holly told us what what that was a lot. We had to find it. So we went back and started looking through the books and everything and found found a law challenged him on it. They said, Okay, and so they devised a set aside for us small business, and they gave us three buses. Two out of the breast of the contract that had with with LTL. And in gave Westside three buses. And then about three months later, they came back and gave us three more. And so we started scrambling around to find money to buy additional buses. And from there, we just kept growing and as excellent we kept negotiating contract after contract.

Unknown Speaker 9:24
So funds you was with the company for a period of time or were you not yesterday. What were you doing?

Unknown Speaker 9:34
I came in as a helper in the chat. So I wondered the guy's got sick in the porch room. His name was Tommy dare. And in car burns, he comes to me. He said found I've been watching you in his boardroom and he said, Man, you got everything down. Why did You don't his room as the Well I learned in Vietnam, you know, on the he's a helicopter. So he went to Sam. And he told them he say, man, he saved funds. He really show up in the boardroom. And so I got shot. And I was off work. And he asked elder Nim Hoover Newports room, and they said Fonzo and Sam told me, he's the man had been running around having problems all the time. And he you used to come in, and I didn't know, right. So, and I kind of made me feel good. And after that, and you know, we get closer and closer and closer and closer. You know, when I first met Sam, I met him on the golf course. I was working for the Sands Hotel. And we were that they're cooking steaks and everything. And the bus drivers were just standing there. Right? So I walked up to Sam, I said, Sam, if you're hungry, you want to eat SAMSA Yeah. And all the bus drivers beat Sam down to the tent. And Sampson man he's saying I had to get him out you know, beautiful time to go and extend the evening big New York. You know, so Sam and I we've been friends man. He's a very you know, he was my mentor. He everything Sam did. I did we travel? Oh, man.

Unknown Speaker 11:51
Let me ask you this because I want to segue into SAM as a horseman when you're horsemen as well. And the reason why I'm said waking because I know that Jean was a horseman. In fact jeans when his horses stepped on my toe still messed up. Come on and Jean. And tell us about Sam as a horseman?

Unknown Speaker 12:14
Well, you know, it's funny that how we all met Sam, I met Sam I can't remember how I met Sam whether I was a president of black firefighters. Or you know, working with the with the snow we're just here snow gliders trying to get the kids up on the mountains with his bus company but right can do a period of time when Sam somehow started thinking about this all he started thinking about home or whatever. And you know, we had that connection already. So we started working with this gentleman, I can't think of his name. Now. He used to live on Decatur he used to have horses and I had horses and so we started talking about horses. And then Sam got his place out there on Farm road. And you know we started doing this horse thing and then lo and below and I just went as you call me Dave I random office and put out articles of incorporation for the Buffalo Soldiers here in 2005. And Sam was our president. So you know it goes way back to talking about Tennessee walkers with Sam quarter horses and just ride around before all that Northwest was just desert, right? Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 13:25
you know what I recall going out there to the ranch and, and, you know, I went because I like to ride never owned a horse. So Sam said, Can you ride? So yeah, I can ride. Man, I got a phone that horse man took off me and it was like, and then he said, since you'd like to read come over and check this out. As Jeanne mentioned, the Tennessee walk. Oh my goodness. You ain't never been on a horse that was that smooth, man. You said Man, this one. Do you read it off? Did you? I do. Oh, would you like rate fees to get outdoors?

Unknown Speaker 13:59
I I didn't have a horse but I you know, I wrote. And plus, when I moved over to Sam, I took care of sounds. Oh, you took care of me chewy ate. I'll be out here, right? I mean, she she ate and everything. When Sam left new home and I've been in thrips since I was there. You

Unknown Speaker 14:24
know, Jean raised

Unknown Speaker 14:26
with horses. Right? You were I was Mr. Reyes had holes. We used to go right.

Unknown Speaker 14:34
I remember this gene you mentioned and I wanted to definitely talk a little bit about this. You mentioned the Buffalo Soldiers. So Sam was instrumental. I assume and I don't I don't think Sam went to the military. But he was a driver. I don't think doctor was named for the university. I'm not Community College.

Unknown Speaker 14:57
I just pulled up the picture that I had. I Pull up ahead. Dr. Misha microfossils was was part of that. It was quite a few brothers even Leonard lad, the brother You had mentioned earlier, he was a member of the Buffalo Soldiers. Because we all started getting those uniforms and then salmons get the white uniforms with the right insignia, you know, if he were doing the research, and then they went, I started speaking to kids in the school. Oh, yeah. Oh, man. You know, that's all a part who Sam Sam was given back?

Unknown Speaker 15:27
Absolutely. Great. You know, that's when it was a very exciting, very interesting, when you go out and you teach the kids, you know

Unknown Speaker 15:41
what, man, I'm admiring the way you've come about now, because you're coming in with a wimp sound. Gene, you should have heard me

Unknown Speaker 15:48
speak up to do it. But you know, we go in schools and and it was just that. I didn't know nothing about the Buffalo Soldiers at first, right? And Sam gave me a book and say he'll read it. And I got to read it and read it. The next thing I know, man he ever was Sam when I would do

Unknown Speaker 16:13
a follow up. So you did become a member? Let's go. Oh, yeah. Excellent. Elgin was talking about some other community activities, because I know y'all did some big banquets. As I recall, we re enroll. So

Unknown Speaker 16:27
we had fundraisers for the Armstrong. Scholarship, okay. And we did fundraisers at Cashman field.

Unknown Speaker 16:41
A number of years. I remember that big show.

Unknown Speaker 16:44
And we also went to schools, we would still take our buses to schools, especially in West Las Vegas, because we wanted kids to see people like us right as businessmen that you if you want this, you can get it. That's right. You just got to go out and work for us. Right. Yeah, that's right. And so we, we were involved in a lot of things. I, community peace took up a lot of my time from 1992 to probably 1996. And

Unknown Speaker 17:18
you know what that tells me what kind of man he was, because I'm telling you, in theory, I would even a fire chief, but I told my boss, I said, Look, I go to these meetings, and I just take a little time off. He said, No, you've represented us. So what you have to do and what she was doing. Sam just gave you the nod man, because that is he knew what

Unknown Speaker 17:38
it was about. Right? Yeah, we had discussed it. The night of the riot. We were at the office when everything started happening, whether or not we saw it coming because that's it. Samsung's going to go wrong. Because they were they were attempting to go to downtown tomorrow. And the cops Baca and I got a phone call that said, Something's about to jump off, called Sam called ducks and get in the off. I went back to the office, and we sat there. And soon, not 10 minutes later, everything all hell broke loose. And we decided what we needed to do. Sam got on the phone and call somebody at Nevada power. I call somebody at Southwest gas. Doug knew somebody over the phone company. And we said look, the power is out over here. Some people don't have gas and some people's phones are not working. What do you need to do to get crews? They say we intend and I cruise over there without some protection. I said just hang on a minute. I call my friend at the police department. He put me on the phone with the chair and said we'll guarantee to take care of them if you guys will allow them in and we'll make sure to get protected. You guys can be a part of it. Right? And we did. And we the next day about a power head the screws there. Southwest gas center telephone. We got everybody noon that day we were barbecuing because we had all the power back on.

Unknown Speaker 19:30
Phones and you David I remember when you do about the fire truck and you grabbed a mag guy to Twibbon jelly fam. And you see it. Let me tell y'all some hamady putting out fires and you're shooting data that and as he walked in after that, I think they did Cease fire.

Unknown Speaker 19:58
You embellished I wasn't quite like that. But I did get on with. Yeah. Oh, no, no, I didn't snatch anyone's mic. But But. But she put the mic in my face and tell her what time it was. But I can tell you that gene will tell you that he and I was, I don't know where we were. But anyway, Metro day more or less to the neighbor as a gene. I grew up over here. I know every day can't cover every street. So by Tammy and Jean get to chaise and we split up going home, I get a call from John Atman. That, you know, that you have left. And then the president of the NAACP at the time, God this is so Jesse Scott said, We'd never shoot at firefight, Tommy Grayson on another channel pointing at the holes in the fire. So everybody scurried out, man. But the bottom line is that what came out of that, ultimately was community peace. And it brought us settling to the community. And I realized the work that you had got, but see things about relationships, man, that relationship that y'all had with him different utilities, was able to make the call the sheriff, I'm telling you, that's how things work, man, because for another example, I'm kneeling on the grounds with John, with some civilians, fighting to find an office to come up with with it was a squad, what's a 1314 B, whatever it is, and he tells you I got to stand down. I say, oh, Lieutenant, he knew me and I knew him. He said, Look, they we got to sweep this. That's our orders. And these guys going crazy cussing so man, shut up. I want to go home to my family, let them do their job. And they didn't they said wouldn't go back to fight in the fire. But man, that was a heck of a night. And like I said, he tried to stop me. And we both laugh, man, we know what I make our way through this neighborhood. But gene back to that horseman thing. Gene You still there?

Unknown Speaker 22:00
Yeah, absolutely. Well, I just you know, Sam, and a lot of a lot of fun with him. After a while we started going to events, you know, we went to the part of the bill picking rodeos, Sam supporting those folks when they came out. And it just became a way not only for the for the effort, but for people to learn how to ride up Sam, sandwich, we try to encourage young people to get on the horses. You know, the one thing I like to say switching up really quick, though, and we haven't touched on but we kind of fast talked about it a little bit about Sam being a mentor. Sam was a mentor to a lot of folks. Oh, yeah. You know, one of the things in business, you know, Sam and I had several business dealings together. And it's kind of like I was young, going along with the school gentleman, whose own property all around town from the strip out to the northwest, to the west side, you name it Stram. Sam owned it. And you know, just listening to the way he would talk to people about deals and looking at deals was was it mystery, something that people have learned about? So sand did a lot for a lot of people that have some of those things. I just wanted to bring that up to

Unknown Speaker 23:09
know I think that's excellent point, Jean. In fact, on the political side, Sam was very astute. And people say, if he supported you dollar wise, he wouldn't too nice to have on Rafa county commission sale, you know, he made a contribution. And I know that this is people, you have to be careful where you put your money and understand it. But also know that if you're going to be in business, you must have some kind of relationship with elected officials. And sometimes you don't get all that you want. But I know Sam, as you say a gene, he was very astute helped a lot of people to include myself, man, we are going to miss that brother. As we prepare to close things down. We still got another five minutes or so. But I'd like to get some thoughts, some closing remarks. And I guess we'll start with Eugene. And again, we got about five minutes. So you don't have to be quick, quick, quick. But Wes will give me some signals when we get down to the time. So go ahead, Jean. Just some thoughts.

Unknown Speaker 24:10
You know, only thing I could say is that I wish I wish I would have had some more time to spend with Sam. I really appreciate his family. I want to shout out to Dustin the rest of the family and the grandchildren. Yes, over the years. I seen him out there duress, whatever. They're probably grown adults now. But I just want to just want to tell you my heart and my prayers are with you. And you had a great father, grandfather, Uncle husband, you name it. I just want to say those things about Sam. Great,

Unknown Speaker 24:40
thank you Gee, phones.

Unknown Speaker 24:43
Man that just I don't know what to start man, but I know I'm gonna miss them. You know, he's just oh man about the crap button.

Unknown Speaker 24:56
Sorry, man. I mean, I understand. Because like I say when you walked up to It hasn't told me man, I'm like, What? No,

Unknown Speaker 25:02
no, but I'm trying to drive home and you'll

Unknown Speaker 25:08
be alright me and Sal want us all to be. But I just thought today he just came on my heart man that I need to get some guys here on the show to talk about Sam and his contribution to our community. And I really knew and you guys all came straight to me and you guys came immediately to my man and in Elgin threw in Bob Connor, I knew he was very big and, and played a tight role because they were with a brother in law's

Unknown Speaker 25:35
didn't just, it was it

Unknown Speaker 25:38
was three, three free. James's

Unknown Speaker 25:41
Bob Connors

Unknown Speaker 25:43
and Sam, okay. And tight buddies. And they came in, and he caught the most beautiful three women's in town. And after that, you know, you know, like they use the potty, Cadillac, everywhere. And every time you threw a party,

Unknown Speaker 26:05
I was in Elgin, I see you got sales book, which I have as well, I can tell you. There's some things I learned about Sam in that book that I didn't know. And this brother was a he was just a natural go getter. Because sometimes I think God gives us certain strengths and certain skills and abilities man that we just take off.

Unknown Speaker 26:27
Well, Sam was a guy that loved people, no. And he had a big heart. He wasn't perfect. No, it was not flawless. But he and I just got done working on the project with the West at school foundation to do the 100th anniversary of Westside school. And we just finished that up at the end of September. And we spent, I don't know how many hours, Sam didn't go to Westside school, went to school in Arkansas. And so, but he was willing to help. And so we helped Brenda put together the process, and it kicked it off. And it turned out to be fantastic, great celebration. But that was just from Sam Armstrong, what you cared about the community and he cared about the people in it. Absolutely. And I appreciate you giving us the opportunity to talk about

Unknown Speaker 27:28
well, you know, I just thought it was important in I had I had a vacancy in my schedule. I'm like, because me and Marsha was in June, we were in Oklahoma City, this past weekend working on our retreat for the Carl Holmes executive development institute. And when I looked at my thing last night, I'm like, oh, man, I gotta hope because I try to come in here. And again, people know his tape. I tried to come in here, I don't want to come to the university four times a month and try to come to tab. But I didn't schedule my second show, which this is the second show that will air the day after Thanksgiving. Or that Saturday after Thanksgiving. So again, man, I can't thank you guys enough. And I know that you would bring some some valuable insight that will be shared with the veterans and others out there in our community. Because I think it's important for us to Sam had one heck of a legacy that we cannot allow. So I will come back again sometime down the road and continue to talk about this man.

Unknown Speaker 28:28
Let me say this about Sam. Sam couldn't dance, right. And he had a birthday party. So everybody dancing and he was up in the corner. So I go over and I grabbed his hand and put him in the middle. And everybody stopped. And Sam started dancing in the party was over.

Unknown Speaker 28:53
Thank you. Once again, this is Veterans Affairs plus on 91.5, jazz and more. I had friends of brother Sammy Armstrong, elder Simpson, Mr. Alfonso Eason and Mr. Eugene Campbell, Chief Eugene Campbell. And Wes is telling me the time is now so thank you all and look forward and certainly want to extend again. condolences to the family is Sammy Armstrong Take care everyone talk to you next.

Unknown Speaker 29:31
Time. Smoking the tilde Hey. All the way

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Veteran's Affairs Plus W/ David L. Washington November 25, 2023
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