"Taking Twenty with the Virginian Brethren"

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Fri Nov 7 07:29:09 EST 2008

Last night I had the pleasure of "Takin' Twenty" with seven of the
Brethren and Friends of the Virginian Railway. We prepared a card for
VGN clerk Keith "Slim" Sowder who is in the Veteran's Hospital in Salem.

I gave out to the Brethren a "New Sign of a Stroke" sheet which
highlights a fourth sign of a stroke. Ask the person to "stick" out
his tongue. If the tongue is "crooked" or goes to one side or the
other it is an indicator of a stroke. The others are: Ask for a SMILE,
ask for a SENTENCE and ask to RAISE BOTH ARMS. Trouble with any of
these indicate signs of a stroke.

Even though a lot of the discussion on this night was about the
election results, this report is not the place for it. I will say that
most were Democrats when the Virginian was in service...

Passed around were December 2008 "Trains" Magazine, Winter 2008
NRHS Bulletin and photos of the new Norfolk Southern ES44AC locomotives
just purchased from GE. This is the very first order of AC traction
locomotives bought by NS. They already have 17 AC SD80MAC 5000 HP EMDs
(7200-7216) that came with the Conrail purchase. The new GEs will be
rated at 4400 HP unlike the Dash 9s that are derated from 4400 to 4000
HP. These high efficiency state-of-the-art units are numbered 8000-
8023. They still have the cab headlights "high and horizontal" instead
of the standard "nose and vertical" version.

The ebay report includes an EL-2B #139 slide for $16.29, EL-2B
#125 8x10 for $32.28; 12 5x7 photos of VGN electrics for $37.00 and a
copy of the December 1959 "N&W Magazine" highlighting the VGN-N&W
merger for $16.05.

I also showed the Brethren a photo that I took yesterday of
Norfolk Southern local, North Delivery, working the new yard of Mennel
Mills, relocated from across Jefferson Street near the old Virginian
Roundhouse to Starkey. This photo was of the Shaffer's Crossing
freshly painted bright red, with a white roof, C31P caboose #555551.
Rumor has it that "there is a new Sheriff (Superintendent) in town" and
he (or she) didn't like the crummy old "crummies" working in Roanoke
looking like they had not been painted since "Racehorse" Smith was
president of N&W. Cornbread said "it sure looks spiffy".

Cornbread and Raymond East talked about some of their old
automobiles. Raymond recalled his Straight-8 Packard that one fellow
VGN worker commented "sounds like one of those 900s". Cornbread
remembered an old Buick and said that one night when he was working
the "hoot-owl" he was heading to South Yard and felt "something strange
breathing near his neck". His old coon hound had been sleeping in
backseat of the Buick and woke up and "wanted to see where we were

Our resident golfer, engineer William Scott, joined us a little
late and it was obvious that he came straight from the golf course with
the outfit he was wearing. Glen McLain told Scotty "those pants are so
loud, they look like someone shot a couch, skinned it and made them out
of its hide".

Time to pull the pin on this one!

Departing Now from V248,

Skip Salmon

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