"Takin' Twenty" with the Virginian Brethren by Skip Salmon
NW Mailing List
nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Thu Jul 21 08:26:45 EDT 2011
Last night I had the pleasure of "Takin Twenty" with eight of the
Brethren and Friends of the Virginian Railway. We discussed an email
about the first load of coal leaving the Affinity mine of United Coal
near Sophia on NS, that was once served by the VGN. Affinity has
invested $111 million to restart the old Winding Gulf Branch mine. Plans
are to hire 250 miners. NS will get 95% of the coal and CSX will get 5%.
This is very high quality coal for making coke.
Landon Gregory brought for "Show and Tell" a 1974 "History of West
Virginia" textbook that his wife Sandra found recently in a Charleston
thrift store. In the section about railroads "H. H. Rogers was
responsible for two railroads in West Virginia: Short Line and
Virginian. The Short Line ran from Clarksburg to the New Martinsville
coal fields of the Monongahela Valley to upper Ohio with the possibility
of extending to the Great Lakes and was completed in 1901. The largest
was the Virginian from Deepwater to Norfolk, VA which Rogers used the
trains' own weight and gravity to move them toward the Atlantic, like
barges that floated on inland waters".
The Brethren talked about when and how they got their driver's licenses.
Each described the auto used: Landon Gregory a 1931 Model A Ford Coup;
Gibby Davis a 1951 Ford; Bill Turner a 1939 Pontiac; Raymond East could
not remember; Wis Sowder a 1936 Plymouth; Ron Victory a 1952 Chevrolet
and Glen McLain a 1934 Dodge.
The Jewel from the Past is from May 12, 2005: "'Slick' Inge recalled an
occasion at Pax, just after signals were added to that area, two trains
facing each other had 'green' signals. Seems that when the pusher
prepared for the oncoming shoving operation, he had laid down sand,
which insulated the circuit. Inge remembers telling LLoyd Lewis' Dad the
problem and Mr. Lewis immediately diagnosed what was the cause".
Several photos were passed around. The first was from Abe Barnett of a a
Viscose Box Car. The Roanoke Viscose Plant which made rayon and was
called "The Silk Mill" was serviced by the VGN. Also shown was a photo
of Viscose Co. #6 steamer used in Roanoke. Immediately Dr. "Gibby" Davis
recalled that this locomotive was engineered by Mr. Stratiff, who was a
neighbor of his Grandfather. The last photo was one by Bob Drake from
Tom Sink's collection of VGN 4-6-2 # 212 at Victoria Station November
1955. To see this photo go to:
Country Cookin' Restaurant has new "standing" menus and last night one
of the Brethren noticed that one item on the menu needed an explanation:
"SCARED STEAK". We had a lot of fun with our waitress Princess about why
and how one would scare a steak. The owner came by, as he often does to
greet the Brethren, and said he "sneaks up behind them and says 'BOO' to
every one". Actually it was a misprint and should have said SEARED steak.
We also discussed the new "Smartway Bus" that started running from
Roanoke to Lynchburg on Tuesday. This bus carries passengers for the
Amtrak train that runs all the way to Boston and for $4 one way you can
meet this train.
Then there's this: "Tommy had to have his tonsils removed. His parents
got to thinking. Tommy was never circumcised, so why not have that done
while he was knocked out. He would never know. So that is what they did.
Afterward, Tommy's friend Billy, missed him at school for a couple of
weeks and was worried about him. Finally, Tommy came back to school and
Billy asked if he was all right and if there were any problems. Tommy
said 'everything went pretty well, he guessed, but I'll tell you one
thing...those tonsils ain't where we thought they were!"
Time to pull the pin on this one!
Departing Now from V248,
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