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

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Thu Oct 25 07:04:22 EDT 2012

Last night I had the pleasure of "Takin Twenty" with nine of the Brethren
and Friends of the Virginian Railway. We signed a Happy Birthday Card for
former Virginian Railway Surveyor Dewey Houck. Dewey started with the VGN
in Mullens May 17,1956 as a Chain-man for the Surveyor Gang. He surveyed
VGN property and right-of-way from Charleston, WV to Sewells Point, Va, and
took part in "sounding' channel depths for Sewells Point Coal Pier
colliers. Dewey worked on the Pocahontas Division of the N&W in Materials
Management and retired from Norfolk Southern in 1990 in Atlanta, GA as
Assistant Manager-Material, with 34 years service. He has since started the
Rural Appalachian Improvement League (RAIL) "bringing communities together
to engage the root causes of poverty in southern West Virginia" with
projects in and around Mullens. This includes the Jack Feller Community
Center and others. Dewey turned 78 yesterday.

Most of the talk of the night concerned our "Road Trip" to Victoria this
Saturday for the VGN Reunion of retired employees. We all are looking
forward to seeing old friends and once again visiting the Victoria site and
Rail Park.

The Jewel from the Past is from June 28, 2006: "The discussion turned to
different freight cars (other than coal hoppers) that were common on the
VGN. It was pointed out that there were several peanut plants, other than
Planters, that served Suffolk, VA. The Lane Furniture Plant at Altavista
got designated clean box cars (for their famous cedar chests). 'Abner'
Glass, VGN Clerk, remembered there were a lot of cigarettes hauled out of
Richmond, and when a car was set off at Jarrett, a Special Agent had to be
assigned to guard it before it was unloaded. He also remembered a lot of
times, the seal on a cigarette box car would not be fastened during the day
and at night some were 'released' before the seal was fastened. He and Ken
McLain recalled a lot of military items being shipped during the war. One
of the most unusual was boxcars full of 'canned horsemeat with gravy' that
were delivered to the Navy yards.'"

The ebay report this time includes the following Virginian Railway items
sold: Original Slide of 1957 EL-2b #127 for $124.72; Reproduction tall
Globe marked "VIRGINIAN" yellow/orange for $125.00; Slide of VGN #420 2-8-2
for $82.00; 1923 Pass of M. D. Baker for $12.00; Photo of VGN Derrick B19
(1858) for $14.95 and a Photo at Elmore in 1958 for $14.95.

Passed around was the Oct/Nov/Dec N&W (and VGN) Historical Society "The
Arrow" magazine for the Brethren to peruse. Highlighted winners of the VGN
RWY model contest for the recent N&W HS Convention in Lynchburg were Pat
Ryan for his model of VGN SA #4 (last of VGN steam) and Charlie Long for
his BX-12 #63073 VGN box car. Several VGN RWY items are "in the hopper" for
future "The Arrow" issues.

Robert "Little Abner" Glass, VGN Clerk, is planning to attend the Saturday
event in Victoria, from Norfolk, and travel east on to Roanoke to visit and
"take twenty" with us next Wednesday night. He sent this one: "Two little
boys, ages 8 and 6, are excessively mischievous, always getting into
trouble and their parents know if any mischief occurs in their town, the
two boys are probably involved. The boys' mother heard that a preacher in
town had been successful in discipline children, so she asked if he would
speak with her boys. The preacher agreed, but asked to see them
individually. The mother sent the 6 year old in the morning, with the older
boy to see him in the afternoon. The preacher, a huge man with a deep
booming voice, sat the younger boy down and asked him sternly, 'Do you know
where God is, son?'. The boy's mouth dropped open, but he made no response.
So the preacher repeated the question in an even sterner tone 'Where is
God!' Again the boy made no attempt to answer. The preacher raised his
voice even more, and shook his finger in the boy's face and bellowed, WHERE
IS GOD!? The boy screamed and bolted from the room, ran directly home and
dove into his closet, slamming the door behind him. when his older brother
found him in the closet, he asked,'What happened?' The younger brother,
gasping for breath, replied, 'We are in BIG trouble this time!' "God is
missing and they think WE did it!'"

Time to pull the pin on this one!

Departing Now from V248,

Skip Salmon


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