"Taking Twenty" with the Virginian Brethren

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Thu Jan 22 08:30:00 EST 2009

Last night I had the pleasure of "Takin' Twenty" with 13 of the
Brethren and Friends of the Virginian Railway. We signed a Happy
Birthday card for Glen McLain who is turning 82. Glen was born
beside the line in Moneta and started work with the VGN in 1944 as a
call boy. He worked various positions including yard checker,
roundhouse clerk, weighmaster, ticket agent and barney yard clerk as
well as Chief Clerk to Mr. Cunningham at Sewells Point. After the
N&W-VGN merger in December, 1959, Glen did not like the N&W, so he
resigned in 1960 and worked for Sperry Computers until he retired.
When asked what his "favorite memory of his Virginian Railway
experience was", he said "The day I left". Ken is our supplier of
jokes for each session. The Brethren look forward each week for what
he downloads form the internet to show them.

Rufus Wingfield identified #17 on our South Yard Photo of the
new Yard Office opening as H. H. Holiday. Billy Daniel brought an
old photo showing his grandfather, George Daniel, who was
Superintendent and others, posing at a desk that Ruf said looked like
the Yard Office at Victoria. We are trying to ID the others in this
photo also.

Raymond East brought a book recently purchased for him by his
wife at a local book store. It is Bill Archer's "Images of Rail, The
Virginian Railway". This is the book that identifies an EL-C lying
on her side in the Roanoke River near Kumis as "a diesel".

I passed on to the Brethren more of Noah Tickle's comments about
his experiences with his father who worked for the L&M Tannery in
Salem. Noah was a tool room machinist at Shaffers Crossing who
retired from Norfolk Southern 12-1-04 with 41 years service. As a
lad, Noah would go to L&M with his father, who was a night watchman
and "punch the clock" for him on occasion. He said that after the
chestnut tree bark ran out, the tannery started using pecan hulls to
make the tanning solution. Noah said that he would go through the
boxes of pecans and pick out "goodies" to take home for his Mom to
make pies. He also remembered going with his Dad on Saturdays for
extra work unloading the hides from box cars for 5 cents per hide.
Noah has two relatives who worked for the VGN. They are Henry Cecil
Rice and Walter Wingfield Scott Tickle.

W. W. Scott was back with us last night after surgery. "Scotty"
mentioned to Ruf that his surgeon was Dr. Henryetta and that his
grandfather was a conductor on the VGN. Ruf remembered calling T. J.
Henryetta for the west bound VGN Passenger Train #3.

Harry Bundy was with us and got several comments about how
he "made it through the 'Orange Ave. 500' from Bonsack". Harry's
response was "They shouldn't let women drive". Raymond East then
added "Kroger should have a 'male and female day' because of the way
women shop. "Four women can tie up the checkout lines for the whole

Last night I tried out my new very small digital video camera.
I "hid it in the greenery" for the first hour and recorded the
session. I then identified with a close up, each of the Brethren and
had some of them tell one of their favorite stories. I am planning
to make CDs of such future sessions and interviews and make them
available from the N&W (and VGN) Historical Society's Archives.

We discussed what the Brethren would like to see on January 30
from the N&W HS Archives Open House for them. Also I passed a flyer
for the April 18 train trip on the NC Rails that the Roanoke Chapter
of the NRHS is sponsoring. Details about the trip can be found on
the Chapter's web site.

There was a lot on TV this week about our US Presidents, so I
could not resist asking the Brethren if they heard the following
question. I asked and none could give the correct answer, so I will
ask you also: What US President, while in office, was issued a
speeding ticket by a DC Police Officer? Answer next week.

Time to pull the pin on this one!

Departing from V248,

Skip Salmon


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