"Takin' Twenty" with the Virginian Brethren by Skip Salmon

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Thu Sep 6 08:11:55 EDT 2012

Last night I had the pleasure of "Takin' Twenty" with nine of the Brethren
and Friends of the Virginian Railway. We talked about Saturday's
Grandparent's Day at the Virginia Museum of Transportation, starting at 10
AM. Come join us with your grandchildren and ride the Roanoke Chapter NRHS
train behind the Alco T-6 #41. Available to ride will be two N&W cabooses
and the Chapter's dinette #1148 "Devil's Lake".

Thanks for several corrections from last week about the Franklin County
movie story. This is an example of my writing "BC", Before Coffee. I
mentioned several VGN timetable locations being IN Franklin County when I
should have said NEAR-BY. H. Bundy reported that "there are 10 stations on
the N&W IN Franklin County (where the 'moon' comes over the mountain in
fruit jars) and the N&W 's Auditor of Revenues was summoned to Rocky Mount
in 1926 to show tonnages for certain commodities received from Boone's Mill
to a point near Henry, VA. Statistically, it showed that Franklin County
had terminated 90% more yeast than the city of Richmond".

The Jewel from the Past is from April 13, 2006: "I asked if there were any
special problems associated with the hot wires overhead above every track
in the yard. Cornbread said they were especially low at the Passenger
Station, and once a fireman who was using a grate hook, got into the line.
He also said the power to the offices were tapped off the 11,000 volt
system with most devices using 240 volts. Once he played 'The Tool Man' and
tried to fix an electric heater that wasn't working in the yard office, and
set the desk on fire".

Passed around were the October "Trains" magazine and the latest Roanoke
Chapter "Turntable Times" with up to date Chapter events and news. The
"Trains", page 60 under the "Preservation section", has a great Ken Miller
photo of the C&W #663 after cosmetic restoration with the C&W #662 that is
still in rust. This issue is mostly about how the old Conrail System is
doing, and how CSX and NS have used it.

Jeff Sanders brought several photos he purchased on Labor Day week end at
the big Hillsville, VA Flea Market. They were taken when Dwight D.
Eisenhower was campaigning for president for the first time in the early
1950s, and his train stopped in Roanoke. This prompted the Brethren to
remember the train, even though it was on the N&W (pulled with double
headed J class power); it was parked in nearby Maher Field just south of
the Virginian Yard for Ike's speech. Cornbread told me a story once about
this train. The Yardmaster told all yard crews to be especially quiet that
day and to keep the black smoke to a minimum, since the press were
following the train. Cornbread said that his crew, "being good 'Blue Dog
Democrats', made all the noise and smoke they could". I recall my
grandfather telling me that when the train was "prepped" in Roanoke, he was
on a crew that "hand picked" all of the coal that went into the tenders for
the trip out of Roanoke.

The ebay report this time includes the following VGN items sold: VGN
porcelain logo pin for $9.99; 100 photo VGN CD for $13.95; Negative of
4-6-2 #210 Pacific for $8.00; "Virginian in Color" for $41.00; 8X10 photo
of 2-8-2 #460 for $7.99; Negative of VGN hopper car #9009 $9.99; and
Negative of VGN Box Car #63143 in Portsmouth in 1965 for $9.99.

Then there's this from Noel Cosby: Sister Mary Ann, who worked for a home
health agency, was out making her rounds visiting homebound patients when
she ran out of gas. As luck would have it, a Texaco Gasoline station was
just a block away. She walked to the station to borrow a gas can and buy
some gas. The attendant told her that the only gas can he owned had been
loaned out, but she could wait until it was returned. Since Sister Mary Ann
was on the way to see a patient, she decided not to wait, and to walk back
to her car. She looked for something in her car that she could be filled
with gas, and spotted the bedpan she was taking to the patient. Always
resourceful, she carried the bedpan to the station, filled it with gasoline
and carefully carried the full bedpan back to her car. As she was pouring
the gas into her tank, two Baptists watched from across the street...one of
them turned to the other and said, "If it starts, I'm turning Catholic"!!!.

Time to pull the pin on this one!

Departing Now from V248,

Skip Salmon


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