Taking Twenty with the Virginian Brethren

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Thu Oct 30 08:27:14 EDT 2008

Last night I had the pleasure of "Takin' Twenty" with seven of
the Brethren and Friends of the Virginian Railway. We signed a Happy
Birthday Card for Landon Gregory who started at Abilene, VA in 1956
as an operator with the VGN, and is retired from Norfolk Southern as
Chief Dispatcher, Virginia Division with 37 years service. Landon
turns 72 next week on a Cruise to Panama with his lovely wife Sondra.

I gave a report of last Saturday's Annual October Gathering with
the Brethren in Victoria. There were 54 attending. Our Roanoke group
totaled 5. Master of Ceremonies Ryland Marston, VGN brakeman who was
hired by "Slick" Inge, opened with his usual quote of Stuart Saunders
of 1959. Saunders said "in 10 years all of you Virginian guys will
be gone". Marston added "Well, we're still here, 49 years later!" He
then read the names of those "who have taken the westbound" since
last year: Tommy Wright, Stanley Harris, Jimmy Whittaker, J. T.
Jones, Russell "Slick" Inge, Jake Roop, Walter Grigg, E. G. "Hoot"
Gibson, Marvin Clark and G. C. Shepherd. Next year's October
Gathering in Victoria will be the first Saturday to coincide with
Autumn Days and the 100th Anniversary of the town of Victoria.

Passed around were two photos: 1988 Bob Lyndall fall foliage
photo of the N&W 611 in Oneida, TN railpictures.net photo #257674,
probably the very best fall rail photo ever taken; and a Ross
Fotheringham shot at Everett, WA showing a BN brakeman chatting with
bikini-clad Tatyana about trains and a nearby beach, railpictures.net
photo #257334. Also passed was the December "The Roanoker" magazine
with their 31st annual "Train Wreck Awards". This year's awards
included recognition for VMT selling the 763 to the Ohio Central; N&W
917 steam locomotive being "hauled off to a Ohio restaurant" and that
Montgomery County VA is to sue the State of VA over the $50 Million
intermodal freight transfer station site at Elliston.

Bill Turner told about being hired on the VGN after returning
from his Korean War Tour in 1957. He was on furlough from the "W"
before the War and when asked if he had any rail experience, he
explained to the clerk about his work on the N&W Maintenance of Way
gang in great detail. Bill said that the clerk "looked like a calf
staring at a new gate". He was hired on the spot.

We also talked about NS setting a record of 49.67 million tons
of coal hauled in the third quarter 2008. This is an all time
quarterly high that includes an 8.8% reduction in transit time.

The ebay report includes a 1911 VGN Timetable for $59.88; a 1945
VGN Safety Rule Book for $27, and a VGN A&W short globe "VGNRY"
lantern selling for only $158.

Someone mentioned that they had been sitting too long and their
butt went to sleep. Cornbread said "I know, I heard it snore 3

I challenged the Brethren, and now you, to be sure to exercise
one of your most precious rights next Tuesday, and vote in probably
the most important election in our lifetime.

Time to pull the pin on this one.

Departing Now from V248,

Skip Salmon

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