"Taking Twenty with the Virginian Brethren"

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Thu Oct 23 21:45:13 EDT 2008

Last night I had the pleasure of "Takin' Twenty" with 14 of the
Brethren and Friends of the Virginian Railway. We signed two Happy
Birthday Cards. The first was for Jeff Sanders, who is currently
working for Norfolk Southern in the Roanoke Yards. Jeff is a long time
member of the Roanoke Chapter NRHS and on their Board. He is also on
the Virginain Station Renovation Committee and a true Friend of the
Virginian Railway. The other was for Dewey Houch, who started out with
the Virginian as a surveyor and is now working on projects to save
parts of our Fallen Flag in Mullens. Dewey will be 74 tomorrow.
Attending was our good friend and VGN clerk Robert "Little Abner" Glass
from Norfolk. "Abner" was in town visiting family and picking up some
our fine locally grown apples.

We made the final plans for our "Road Trip" this Saturday to the
Annual Gathering of Virginian Brethren in Victoria.

Landon, Ed Cake and I shared with the Brethren an account of our
showing at the Lawrence Gallery on Tuesday where we share space with
the Messimer Collection at the Virginia Museum of Transportation
with "Virginian, Roanoke's Other Railway". We are not 100% finished
with the VGN display but had enough ready for the opening. We have
some VGN artifacts, models, photos, drawings, and information that
would be worth a trip for you to visit already, with more to come...

This week's ebay report includes the following: VGN Heartshaped
Lock $985; 1910 Color System Timetable $128.75 and a 1927 "Railway Age"
article about VGN Electrification sold for $27.75.

"Abner" Glass brought some photos for the Brethren to see.
Included was one of VGN AG 900, some from his service in Korea and
another was a very large ocean ship "Hundai". He supervised the
loaders that put coal into ships and this extra large one got filled
only in every other hold. When the "Hundai" left Norfolk, she
proceeded to Brazil and took on iron ore in the holds not already
filled with coal. After leaving Brazil, something happened and the
ship went aground. "Abner" said that "the railroad hired cranes and
workers in Brazil to salvage a lot of the coal". "Abner" talked to the
Brethren a lot about his loading of coal. He said that he could load 55
cars an hour and sometimes 60. He remembers several times
averting "hot coal", reported to him by car pecks, to the ground,
preventing a major disaster if it got into the "belly of a large
ship". He also remembers crews putting protective shields on the air
hoses to keep them from melting on the hoppers when they were run
through the car thawing plant in winter. He said when there was a lot
of ice on the Bay, "coal loading would slow down so that the Railway
would never have to say that it had stopped".

We don't know why, but "Cornbread" revealed to us his middle
name. It is "Nielson"....could he be connected with the famous TV
rating company? He also said that last week he visited his doctor with
a running nose and aching feet. His doctor after examining him
said "Nielson, since your nose is running and your feet smell, I think
you were built up side down"!

Time to pull the pin on this one!

Departing Now From V248,

Skip Salmon

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