"Taking Twenty" with the Virginian Brethren

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Thu Feb 5 08:26:40 EST 2009

Last night I had the pleasure of "Takin' Twenty" with 11 of the
Brethren and Friends of the Virginian Railway. A lot of the
discussion was about last Friday's Open House for them at the N&W
(and VGN) Historical Society's Archives, when 14 of the Brethren
attended. Most of them took notice right off of the tall pendulum
clock that once was their master clock for setting time pieces at VGN
South Yard. It was not so much about the clock's appearance or use,
as it was about how it disappeared one night, and prompted another
covert action to get them a replacement. For the sake of the
innocent, I will mention no names, but tell you that the replacement
clock came out of the N&W Passenger Station! All were greatly
impressed with our display for them and John Snidow and Louis Newton
made all feel "right at home". I made a video of their visit and
will make it available soon through the Archives. Snidow, Archives
Director told the Brethren about the over 1500 members of the Society
from all around the world, who appreciate their contribution to the
wealth of history of the VGN that each of them had a part in making.
He also stressed that from the beginning, the Society represents the
Virginian Railway as well as the N&W. Each of the Brethren were
given a packet containing "The Arrow" magazine, "The Commissary"
showing all items available for sale, brochures and a copy of Paul K.
Withers "Norfolk Southern Locomotive Directory".

Chad Jordan, NS Engineer and son-in-law of Bill Daniel, told
the Brethren about making up a Clover coal train in South Yard this
week of all new electronically controlled pneumatic ECP hoppers. Coal
trains on the VGN have come a long way in 100 years!

The March 2009 "Trains" Magazine was passed around.

Wes Sowder brought several photos he took in August, 1951 of the
wreck of a VGN merchandise train near Huddleston, VA. Visible in the
wreckage are B&O, N&W and Burlington 50 foot box cars. Also seen are
the old water tower and the original bridge over the Roanoke River at
Huddleston. You may see some of these in future calendars!

I told the Brethren of the recent passing of VGN Engineer
Bernard E. "Curley" Newsome from Mullens. Ruf Wingfield remembered
calling him for trains and said that he was called "Curley" because
he was bald.

I passed a photo off the internet of a recently killed nine
foot, 97 pound North Carolina rattle snake. This prompted Ruf and
others to tell snake killin' stories of yore. Ruf recalled VGN
brakeman Ohmer Duff shooting one six times at his home once, and
missing every shot only to have his wife kill it with a hoe. Raymond
East said "there are only two kinds of snakes I dislike: big ones and
little ones". I remember Slick Inge once telling us about finding one
in a VGN phone box.

Bill Daniels brought a family scrap book for "show and tell".
It is a history of his grandfather, George C. Daniel who was a VGN
Superintendent. It contained VGN news articles, VGN and other rail
annual passes. photos and many letters of promotion. Bill's
grandmother once had lunch in the White House with FDR. Bill promised
to bring the book back for more study.

I told the Brethren about a revelation I had this week at Food
Lion. We have a calico house cat, inherited from our middle son.
Until I met "Beeker" I really was not fond of cats, but she has won
me over. At the Food Lion I noticed that her favorite canned food,
we've tried hundreds but she only likes one, had risen in price from
50 cents for a 3 ounce can to 65 cents, in just two weeks. This is
when it hit me. I just bought several 5 ounce cans of tuna fish for
75 cents a can...now "Beeker" and I sometimes share lunch.

Time to pull the pin on this one!

Departing Now from V248,

Skip Salmon

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