Friday, January 27, 2012

Private Investigators and Good Times

I apologize for the time between blogs but unfortunately I have to work for a living and this has been a busier week than others. An idea came to me last night that I’d like to share with you all. Russ' mom and I have been playing phone tag. She left me a message wondering what radio station had all the comments about Taylor. I believe she is talking about Twitter. She lives in East Texas and doesn't really get good phone reception and is not really a computer person. I have not even shared with her that I was writing this blog. I left her a message to call me and let's get together and go eat and talk about a lot of the information we have concerning Taylor and why some of the stories Taylor has been spreading about Russ don't hold water with all the facts we have. Here’s where my idea comes in. I'm going to ask her what she wants to say to the public which I’ll share with you via this blog. I can tell you she had been caught off guard when Taylor started bashing Russ just days after his death. She didn't want to say anything negative to the media about Taylor because of Kennedy. It was important to her to maintain what little relationship Taylor has allowed her to have with Kennedy but saw the writing on the wall very quickly. It's a fact Taylor was not good to Russ' mom even when he was alive. Why would things get better? Then Taylor begins torturing her, after the worst thing that could ever happen to a parent happens, with her lies about Russ and propaganda. So I want everyone to know I am going to give his mom a chance to think about what she would like to say. I will then write whatever it is she has to say about Russ, Taylor, etc… and I’m sure she will have plenty to say. In fact I know she does have a lot to say but don't know how much will want to share here. also sent me a link this week which I think was from Taylor's book. In it Taylor says Russ had her investigated before they got married. Truth is that she did later find out that it was someone else that had her investigated and it was not Russ after all. Taylor knows who it was but does not offer up this information in the book instead letting the reader believe it was Russ. It's just one more thing she is claiming Russ did and because he is not here to defend himself there is no argument. It's become a pattern of Taylor.
Here’s another story from the past I wanted to share with you. The first time I spent the night over at Russ' house we had just started ninth grade. We were both 14. One of our friends who lived in Russ' development was having a party because his mom was out of town. When I got over to Russ’ house he told me his mom said we can't go since there were no parents home but said we would just sneak out later. I figured we would wait a while and then sneak out. We walked into his room he opened the window and said "let's go". I remember questioning him about the timing and he just laughed. I always thought of that window as our doorway to many good times and adventures. We experienced many firsts together. For me that was the first time I had ever snuck out. The next morning we were at the breakfast table and Russ' stepdad who was very sharp said, "sure was quiet last night" to which Russ replied "we turned in early". I am pretty sure his mom was trying to keep from laughing. Looking back it's obvious they knew but we thought we had pulled it off sitting there in our fourteen year old heads. Good times!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Next Blog

Sorry I have had a very busy work week and have not had time to write. I will have a new blog written by Friday. Follow me on twitter for conversations between blogs entries. Twitter=randye30

I want to thank you for not only reading my blog but sharing it with your friends. I would like to thank those of you who comment as well.


Saturday, January 21, 2012

My Feelings

I had tweeted some of my thoughts from this whole experience today. Before I had thought that this blog is not about my feelings it's about Russ. Today I realize that my feelings and thoughts about Russ' life, death and feelings since are very relavent to Russ. I have pretty strong feelings about what Taylor Armstrong and Bravo have done to my friend's name. Russ and I were close before we could drive. We were good friends our whole life. Russ told me things not many people knew about Taylor. I know why certain things Taylor says are lies. For instance he first attacked her because she had not given his boys vegetables with their pizza. In fact both the boy's mothers and the rest of Russ' family know that is a lie because of one fact. One of the boys only eats cheese pizza. Russ told me stories such as the one Taylor strangled him as they were driving down the road with two kids in the car. I first saw Taylor's story about the attack involving pizza and vegetables on the set of Dr. Phil. I had heard all her accusations but was not watching any of the press because I was so upset by not just his death but his character assasination. They can say what they want but I recently watched a clip where someone from Bravo was on a show saying Russ was a monster because he had a domestic violence arrest at an earlier date and that means Taylor is telling the truth. I would venture more than half the males in America have an arrest and it might not always tell the whole story. If you have not seen the interview with Russ' first wife Barbara on Inside Edition I encourage you to watch it. She has told me over and over there is no way Russ did that to Taylor. As most readers know I don't watch Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. I hardly saw any of the ones that were on when Russ was alive much less the tasteless episodes they went ahead and ran after his death. It's not like it was Bravo's tribute to Russell Armstrong much like "The Crow" was for Brandon Lee. To use some of Russ' final words to me, "Everybody is piling on". Russ had no idea Bravo would continue to pile on along with Taylor after his death. He would get the opposite of a tribute. He would have his legacy torn to shreads because he lost his rights when he died. No the less I am angray with Taylor and Bravo. I found out about Russ' death at work. I went straiht home and stood in one place for hours. I called another one of Russ' closest friends and had a break down. I called Russ' sister to give her support and broke down. Keep in mind I have worked in a gym most of my adult life. I'm about as tough of a person as your going to meet. I obviously have a sensitive side but I don't have emotional melt downs. 99% of the time I am the one calm person when everyone else is freaking out. Then to hear Taylor and Bravo take advantage of the fact Russ was dead and couldn't speak for himself. Bravo wants the public to think Russ was a monstor sickens me. Now I hear from regular watchers of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills that the other housewives originally didn't believe her but as I recall Taylor said something like it was an "open secret" among the cast. Which is it? They didn't believe her or it was an open secret. I don't want to go into all my questions in this blog but get to my point. I had back surgery two summers ago. I just had my shoulder replaced last month. I am looking at a back fusion as soon as my shoulder heels and both my knees need replaced. A few years ago I had a business partnership end on a bad note that has caused ongoing stress. I am trying to get a new business going since training people in my gym is probably not a very good plan for my future. I work at least twelve hours a day with bilatteral siatica by the end of each day. I'm not a reality star or anyone famous. I am a small business owner who has worked in gyms most of his life. I am just a regular guy. The guy who I speant more free time with and had a closer friendship with than anyone else in my life happened to be someone who ended up with a little fame in life and more in death. Russ had something Taylor never had or any of the executives at Bravo I would venture to guess. Russ has a friend who he still means enough to that he will take time out of his life that is filled with an overwelming amount of stress and physical pain to try to change the perception of people a hand full at a time, while trying to give readers a glimpse of his true personality. Could the Russ Bravo and Taylor have shown to the public have ever had that kind of friendship? Of course not.

One quick story. I was a lot more judgemental of people when I was young as most people are. When we were about 15 I referred to someone as being a loser for whatever reason. Russ stopped me and said they were not losers and in words long forgotten explained to me that we didn't know their situation. Wise words coming from a 15 year old who would be portrayed as "heartless" on Reality tv.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Straight to The Point

I know of no other way to write this blog other than by just taking the straightforward approach. What I want to address here is what Russ said about some of Taylor's claims so that you can hear his side of the story. I found out after his death that Russ had told this same story to at least one other friend of ours. Russ stated that Taylor was claiming that he punched her in the eye when he swore he did not. The night in question he said they had been out at a nightclub dancing and drinking and then went back to their hotel suite at the end of the night. He and Taylor were in their bedroom of the suite and that there was another couple in another room of the suite. Russ said he confronted her about her lesbian affair and she blew up, punched him, and jumped on top of him. He pushed her off of him but she claimed (after his death) that he punched her and did damage to her eye. My question is: if he punched her and did damage to her eye, why did the other people not hear it and respond, and why are they not supporting her story? Did they not see the damage to her eye? Russ did tell me that he did not injure her eye when he pushed her off of him during her attack on him.

I feel like Russ felt like he had already been judged in the court of public opinion as well as by some people he thought were his friends. Unfortunately Russ isn't here to defend himself against Taylor or Bravo's portrayal of him.

A final thought - Does a person with four or five name changes have any credibility anywhere but on a reality TV show or a soap opera?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Before the Circus came to Town

It's been a struggle the past couple of days trying to decide where to start. I have read the comments on the blog so far and I know people would like to know about Russ before the circus came to town. By the way, I find it amusing that one reader was questioning me over the fact I stated I had only watched one full episode. She asked how I knew if the character Bravo portrayed was accurate if I had only seen one episode. What she failed to remember is I went on to say I had seen segments when channel surfing. I still don't know whether those snippets would even add up to two full episodes if you edited them all together but I do know it was enough for me to know if it was my best friend or not. So if that was not clear, my apologies. Interesting battle for someone to choose but I appreciate the respectful way it was asked and appreciate all your comments. While I'm on the topic of segments I did see, I'm going to talk about a specific segment that really hurt Russ. It's the only segment he ever contacted me about. He called me the day after it aired. We had discussed others but this time he felt like he just needed to talk to me about it.  It was the segment in which Taylor was talking about all her plastic surgery. She said she had to do it or Russ might leave her for a 21 year old or something of that nature. I received texts from Russ the next day. I remember he said "like I'm going to leave her for a twenty-one year old". He also complained that the show was making him "look like an asshole". I agreed with him. He then shrugged it off and said "that's reality TV."  The character Bravo TV created made Russ seem introverted and selfish. I have known people from two high schools, college, after college ,his parents, stepdad, sister and both his grandmothers and across the board one hundred percent I promise you everyone one of them would say that description of Russ is laughable and he was the complete opposite of that description. Russ always had a big smile on his face and he loved to joke around. One of the first jokes I remember him playing on me was on the way home from a football scrimmage on a school bus. We were passing Texas Stadium on a Thursday night and the lights were on. A few of the kids started talking about why the lights would be on. Russ tells us it's a new semipro football team called the Nicotines. We were 14 and dumb. Nobody questioned him. I went as far as to look in the paper for a score. I told him I had looked and he busted out laughing telling me he was kidding and said something like "you believed me?". When Russ would play a joke on you he would always get the same smile on his face when you knew he had got you. While we were in high school Russ' little sister Laurie who is two years younger than Russ and I had a crush on me like a lot of little sisters have on their older brother's best friend. We went on a date my senior year to see a movie. Russ was not going to let this opportunity pass by without having some fun. Russ answers the door wearing shorts, no shirt and a guitar. By the way, he didn't play the guitar. He starts wailing on the guitar singing "he took her out on a date, he brought her home late" over and over laughing the whole time. His mom was saying; "Russ" and trying not to laugh. Laurie was red telling him to shut up and I was laughing but ready to get out of their house. Funny how such an embarrassing moment at 18 is a cherished memory at 48. I don't remember being around Russ when we were not laughing and joking. Another segment I saw was when Taylor was hosting a party at their house. I believe it was a 20's costume party. Russ never came off well when a camera was in his face. He had sent me other links he had done that had nothing to do with the show. He could talk to a wall but put a camera in his face and he came off stiff. Anyway of course I was watching Russ even when he wasn't in the main scene. I noticed when he was in the background he was walking around engaging people in the room, laughing with them and having fun. I remember thinking there is Russ. I wanted everyone tuned in to see Russ in the background and see what he was really like but I knew everyone was watching which housewife was mad at which housewife and hoping for a fight. Does anybody out there have a group of friends who fight and argue like those ladies? Would you stay in a group like that? I don't think anybody would in "Real Life". This whole experience with Russell has affected the way I see the media and the world of information we are provided. I am no longer as quick to pass judgment on anything I hear in any form of media. I knew we could influence people but I had no idea to what extent. I was told by a friend Wendy Williams once called Russ a "disgusting human being". I'm sure it hurt Russ. I know it upset me. She should be ashamed of saying something about someone she knows absolutely nothing about based only on what she had heard and seen from print or television. This kind of irresponsibility has been driving the Bravo ratings machine.  
  Before I go I want to address those calling me out on my Twitter "randye30" for promoting my business. I have been promoting my business and have been very outspoken about Bravo and Taylor on
Twitter since Taylor first started spreading her lies just days after Russell’s death. Back then 90% of my following on the different social media avenues my Twitter is connected to actually knew Rusty Armstrong before the Real Housewives show. Just because you have chose to follow me does not mean I should change what I have always done long before Russ' death.
  Keep the comments coming. Good or bad they remind me of why I am here and will help keep the content fresh.

Q&A on New Years Day

Monday, January 9, 2012

A letter I wrote to D magazine after Russell's Death

I appreciate the comments after my first blog entry. I'm glad to hear people want to hear about Russ before Taylor. Don't let the haters get to you. There were individuals in the house with Russ and Taylor and as one reader pointed out I was not there. The thing is neither were they.

Russ and I by Randy Edwards

I met Russell "Rusty" Armstrong when I was 11. We played on the same little league football team. We competed on a few different sports teams together such as football, basketball and track and field. We attended the same junior high and began high school together. It wasn't until we started ninth grade that we became close. From ninth grade until our early twenties we would proclaim to everyone we were best friends. I think that proclamation is more important to young boys and young men. Russ and I stayed close until his death. I spoke to him just two days before his death. His last words to me were, "Randy, I really appreciate your support". Since Russ cannot speak for himself against Taylor Armstrong's false claims and explain some events Bravo has used to deflect wrong doing by their network I have decided to write this blog. The "character" Bravo created on RHWOBH was the opposite of the "REAL" Russ Armstrong. Immediately after Russ' death Taylor chose to bash Russ and tell lies. It was easy to do because Russ couldn't talk. What she didn't know was Russ had told me stories of the "Real" Taylor Armstrong and what went on behind closed doors. People ask how I know the truth because I wasn't there but some of the events have been witnessed. If you have never seen Aiden Armstrong's interview on Inside Edition I encourage you to watch it on youtube. I will never quote anything any of the kids have said or their mother's without their mother's permission because I have made that promise to them. I will tell stories of one of the most engaging people I have met to this day and private conversations Russ and I had regarding Taylor Armstrong. I know a lot has been said or printed about Russ and Taylor but you will find out facts on my blog unlike any you have heard before. I will leave you with this final thought today. The Taylor and Russell Armstrong characters Bravo created  were just that, characters. Neither one of them were or are as they have been presented. Their portrayal of Russ was so far off I never watched another full episode after the first episode so I can't address very many scenes on that ficticious show. In the words of Russell Armstrong. "Get ready for a wild ride".