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Uncle Russell
~ Jason Newsom 



I know in advance that the stories in this

issue will encompass diverse memories

of friendships, activism, and charity work.

My recollections of Uncle Russell are

centered on support, guidance, and

countless laughs because sometimes I

just couldn’t believe the words that came

out of his mouth!

If you ever had the chance to attend one of Uncle's events or parties, I have no doubt you still vividly remember it. At some point, you likely said to yourself, "Wow, what a great party," or "Wow, I can't believe he thought of that." He had a remarkable knack for making people enjoy themselves.

This memory revolves around Uncle's ability to bring friends and family together while supporting those he loved. At times, he assumed the role of a conductor, envisioning a harmonious symphony and orchestrating the talents of those around him to bring his visions to life. Every event he orchestrated wasn't just a cause for celebration; it was an opportunity for personal growth and shared enjoyment among friends and family. Uncle Russell's unique talent lay in seeing the true essence of individuals and bringing out their best qualities. His genuine belief in people's potential allowed him to exploit their strengths for the collective benefit of everyone involved.

Uncle Russ, of course, worked on large scale events and conventions in Las Vegas so he knew first hand how to create a memorable event. In my previous career as a magician, Uncle provided numerous opportunities for me to perform at events such as birthday, Christmas, and New Year's parties. Many of my early memories involve doing magic at "Uncle's events." One cherished memory was Aboriginal Day in June 2019. Held in a casino on our reservation in Canada, the experience was nothing short of a Vegas extravaganza. Uncle flew in native entertainers from across Canada and the US, creating a vibrant celebration filled with laughter, music, and magic. The giant crystal chandelier backdrop, the extravagant raffle, and the handpicked catered menu all contributed to an unforgettable experience that still resonates in conversations today. It's one of those moments that make you pause and say, "Wow, how did he pull all of that together?" The answer, I believe, lies in his ability to see opportunities, understand everyone's unique abilities, and seamlessly bring them together to craft lasting memories.

I would also like to mention that my life, along with my Mom and brother’s lives, is significantly better because of Uncle Russell. In 1989, Uncle helped pack up my Mom’s car and drove the three of us to Las Vegas, where we started a new life in a safe and stable household. Growing up in Las Vegas provided so much potential. Mom seized the opportunity Uncle provided, and my family is better because of it.

Uncle Russell's legacy is one of warmth and appreciation. He not only brought people together but also created opportunities for personal and collective joy, leaving an indelible mark on the hearts of those fortunate enough to be part of his world.