"Takin' Twenty with the Virginian Brethren"

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Thu Sep 18 09:24:32 EDT 2008

Last night I had the pleasure of "Takin' Twenty" with a dozen of
the Brethren and Friends of the Virginian Railway. I passed around a
January 1962 South Roanoke Terminal Seniority Roster of Yard
Engineers and Firemen. I found this list last week at our monthly
work session at the N&W (and VGN) Historical Society. This prompted a
discussion of all of the names listed which included our own George
Raymond East. For most of us, this was the first time we knew that
Raymond was also a "George". The list also included Lynwood G.
Glenn, one of our regulars.

Bob Rowland told a story about another listed engineer Thomas L.
Gallion. During a practice baseball game of VGN and N&W workers, Bob
was playing third base and Gallion hit a triple. When he slid unto
third under the throw, Bob said "he flattened me like a yoyo".

Also shown was a photo found last week of workers on a stone
bridge over a track. On the back of the photo is listed "Altavista,
1907 Southern Ry over VGN". I showed the photo to Raymond East
AKA "George", who grew up in Altavista and he said that the photo was
NOT from the area. I will post it on "Skip's Photos" to see if
anyone out there in computer land recognizes the location.

Another photo that I showed was one in the news lately
of "Pingping", the world's shortest man at 29" tall. He is standing
between the legs of a Russian blond lady Svetlana in a blue dress,
who has the longest legs of any female in the world (52"). This has
absolutely nothing to do with the VGN Railway but the Brethren
thought is was "better than bringing in #3 on the advertised".

The ebay report was given: original VGN RWY Safety lapel pin
$43; Adams & Westlake red globe lantern "VRR" $304; and a 1929 Annual
Report $23.58.

A couple other items were passed as we do monthly. The
October "Trains" magazine got no response but the September
NS "Newsbreak" got comments from the two engineers in the group,
Raymond East and William Scott. The front page listed ways that NS
is reducing fuel consumption to save $5 million annually, and one of
the items caught the attention of the engineers. NS is asking
engineers to "avoid stretch braking where automatic brakes on each
rail car are applied as the train is moving, which creates drag and
increased fuel use". Raymond and Scotty said that they regularly used
this method along with throttle movements to control trains.

As per Lloyd Lewis, I asked the Brethren about VGN flagman,
brakeman and conductor J. R. Reid. Rufus Wingfield and Tom Victory
remembered him but could only recall that they thought he collected
old cars. This is another time I really miss Slick Inge, who would
almost always could give a detailed biography of road crew members...

Of course the conversation of the night eventually turned to the
stock market numbers and upcoming election. Someone mentioned that
our tax system needed overhaul and the term "flat tax" was
mentioned. This prompted Cornbread to say "I don't think women
should be discriminated against because they have small breasts".

Time to pull the pin on this one!

Departing Now from V248,

Skip Salmon


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