"Takin' Twenty" with the Virginian Brethren by Skip Salmon
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Fri Nov 25 09:17:15 EST 2016
Last night I had the honor of "Takin Twenty" with five of the Brethren and
Friends of the Virginian Railway. We discussed what we were thankful for
on the eve of Thanksgiving. Since the average age of the Brethren is now
about 90, almost all said they were "thankful for being able to get around
at my age". Greely Wyatt got some "flack" about a comment he made in a
previous report when he stated he was not familiar using a phone when he
started with the VGN as a Callboy. "We had a few phones around Mullens by
our family did not. I remember that the bank's number was "3-0" and the
Railroad's was "3-6-6". He was asked why the bank only had two numbers and
the RR had three. "The bank was there first" was his reply.
For Show and Tell, and as a contribution to our artifacts at the newly
restored VGN Station in Roanoke, Greely presented me with several Virginian
Railway re-imbursment forms he used as a fill-in contract supervisor in the
50's. One was for mileage when he had to travel out of Mullens and the
other was for meals and lodging. He had a 1953 Ford and the authorized
allowance was a nickel a mile. The average cost of meals on these reports
were about ninety cents for breakfast, a dollar and quarter for lunch and
two dollars for supper. Lodging averaged about four dollars a night. The
instructions for VGN form #173 stated in #5 "Chair car fares, tips,
laundry, etc. will not be allowed." Greely also shared a story from 1960's
when he was in the Motive Power as a trouble shooter for the Mechanical
Department getting a call from Manager MP Walter Grigg on a Sunday to "pack
a bag and come get a staff car for Decatur Ill. The Wabash Cannonball is
having some trouble". I asked Greely if he fixed it...he said " I came
back to Roanoke didn't I."
For Show and tell I took my latest ebay buy, a pewter and leather belt
buckle with the Virginian Railway logo and "A Sure way to be Sure, Route
Virginian" stamped into it. Also I took the winter "Classic Trains" that
has on page 7 two of my photographs of the Virginian Station in Roanoke,
one before and one after restoration.
Then there's this: Charlie-Bob was entertaining his city-cousin, Randall,
during Thanksgiving by giving him a tour of the farm. They came to a field
with a medium sized cow and Randall asked "What kind of cow is that?"
Charlie-Bob answered "That's our new heifer". Randall immediately asked
"Why is it called a heifer?" "Heifer is an old English word for a female
cow, at least a year old, that has not borne a calf yet", Charlie-bob
answered. "Well then," said Randall, "What do you call a female cow that
has had a calf already?" Trying to use terms that a city-cousin would
understand, Charlie-Bob answered "She would be called decaffeinated".
Time to pull the pin on this one.
Departing Now fro V248,
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