[VirginianRailwayEnthusiasts] "Takin' Twenty" with the Virginian Brethren by Skip Salmon

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Thu Dec 23 12:15:10 EST 2010


I can only answer Amen! to your serious note.

A word about the whistle signal for grade crossings. Today it is a long long short long; but orignially it was a long long short short. Engineers were told to time the signal to end at the crossing, but that was difficult to do because this required to judging the train speed to end the signal at the grade crossing. Later the last part was changed from short to long and the engineers were told to hold the long until the engine reached the grade crossing. This was told to me by S. R. Winegard, retired RFE. I think it only coincidence that the grade crossing and morse code are related in any way.

Merry Christmas!

Bud Jeffries

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Sent: Thursday, December 23, 2010 6:26 AM
Subject: Fwd: [VirginianRailwayEnthusiasts] "Takin' Twenty" with the Virginian Brethren by Skip Salmon


To: VirginianRailwayEnthusiasts at yahoogroups.com
From: "skipsalmonvgn" <gkholine at cox.net>
Date: Thu, 23 Dec 2010 11:16:05 -0000
Subject: [VirginianRailwayEnthusiasts] "Takin' Twenty" with the Virginian Brethren by Skip Salmon

Last night I had the pleasure of "Takin' Twenty" with ten of the Brethren and Friends of the Virginian Railway. We signed a Happy Birthday card for W. W. "Scotty" Scott who turns 71 on Christmas Eve. We also signed a Sympathy card for Russell McDaniel who lost his wife of 68 years last Friday. Luella McDaniel was quite a lady and friend of mine. The day before she passed away, even though she was almost blind, she sent individual messages in Christmas cards from her and Russ to family and friends. I received mine on Friday and will never forget it. I remember taking a photo of the Virginian Railway provided house that Russ and Lou made a home in Victoria, when he was Master Mechanic at the merger, and giving it to her. She told me many stories of their "trials and tribulations" serving there.

Since this was the last meeting before Christmas, I brought my favorite Lionel Christmas tree complete with presents, lights and Virginian Passenger train circling it. I have posted a photo on this site on "Skip's Photos" (also you can see it by clicking on "New Photos") This tree also plays Jingle Bells as the train goes around it. It even stops at places like Nutbush, Kumis and Mullens if I want it to! Todd, the manager of Country Cookin' provided us with a set of Norfolk Southern tumblers as a door prize. Santa sent presents for the Brethren from the Norfolk Southern Company Store and a good time was had by all.

I showed the Brethren a drawing I found at the N&W(and VGN) Archives of a Virginian cinder loading tower similar to the coal loading towers. The cinders were recycled and used as ballast on sidings and yards. Louis Newton told me that Section Foremen loved to see the special cinder designated cars (old coal hoppers) stenciled "Cinder Loading Only-Not for Regular Service" on their districts.

The Jewel from the Past is from December 2, 2004: "I asked if the Virginian ever gave the employees a ham or turkey, or such, at Christmas. After much laughter, Wis Sowder said he remembered the company posted a Christmas card wishing all employees a Merry Christmas and 'that the same card was probably sent from Norfolk to Deepwater'. However, most remembered there was a lot of Christmas 'cheer' though. Once Jerome Duncan was called on Christmas Eve and he stated that 'he was too drunk to come in'. He was told to report anyway....he did". Jimmy Whittaker told me once he was "pressed into service on Christmas Eve and rode to Princeton and back as a fireman even though he had no training was only a call boy".

In res ponce to an inquiry from Mike Shockley of Peoria, IL ("but native Virginian") about the letter "Q" in Morse Code being the same as a whistle blowing for a crossing signal(dash dash dot dash or long long short long). Landon Gregory, our Morse Code "expert", said "as far as I know, it is only a good coincidence".

I passed around an e-mail ebay sale of a VIRGINIAN Keystone Casey Railroad Lantern (tall globe raised letters) that on December 19 this year sold for $3,316.61. WOW! There were 34 bids. WOW! Also passed was a photo of an NS model locomotive with 10 inter modal rail cars leading the way at the base of this year's National Christmas Tree at the Ellipse in Washington DC south of the White House.

I leave you today with a serious note. Let's NOT take Christ out of Christmas and wish a "Happy Holidays" or "Good Solstice" or some other "politically correct faux greeting".

Time to pull the pin on this one!

Wishing you a Merry CHRISTmas from V248,

Skip Salmon

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