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

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Thu Mar 14 08:52:47 EDT 2013

Last night I had the pleasure of "Takin' Twenty" with seven of the Brethren
and Friends of the Virginian Railway. It was just after the Catholic Church
picked their 266th Pope. None of the those present are Catholic but all
were impressed with this historical event and how is was covered in the
news. Congratulations to all our Catholic friends out there.

We talked about the NS Steam program that will run trains out of Roanoke
this weekend. Original plans called for two trips Saturday, one in the
morning to Walton and return, and one afternoon trip to Lynchburg. Because
of the response, there will now be a trip to Lynchburg (11 AM departure) on
Sunday. Landon Gregory and I will be car hosts and the Roanoke Chapter's
Powhatan Arrow coach will be a part of the consist. If you aren't riding
but live nearby, watch out for the smoke! Incidentally local news
personality, Joe DeShields sat at a nearby table with us last night and
told us of his station's plans to cover the trips. Joe works for WDBJ
Channel 7, Roanoke and has covered news about our trains and restoration of
the Station.

Passed around for the Brethren to peruse was the April 2013 "Trains"
magazine. Page 68 and 69 of this issue is a spread of an outstanding photo
taken by our friend Samuel Phillips of the NRHS Roanoke Chapter's Fall
Excursion Train, designated Amtrak #010,traveling south from Shenandoah.
The shot was taken at Solitude, near Arcadia, VA with our good friend Jimmy
Lisle at the throttle of the GE P42DC,making his last run as a Norfolk
Southern Engineer. This photo is worth the cost of the issue. Also on page
73 is a photo of Virginian Railway H24-66 Trainmaster #71, in N&W colors
and numbered #171, October 1973 at a C&O interchange at Carlisle, WV.

The Jewel from the Past is from an article I wrote in the N&W (and VGN)
Historical Society magazine "The Arrow" of Nov/Dec 2006 back cover "Friends
of the Virginian Railway @ Mile-Post 2006". I had asked each of the 6
Brethren on Stage at the O.Winston Link Museum to tell one of their
stories. "Slick" Inge was asked what was the most hair-raising thing he
ever saw on the Virginian Railway? "Slick is 91 but as quick as a cat. He
immediately answered, once as a conductor he was riding on a cut of cars
near Clark's Gap one night about 2 AM. He said he was on a gondola with his
nose just above the top of the car when he suddenly saw a pair of eyes
appear level with his. The person inside the gon asked 'Is this train going
to Charleston?'".

Thanks to the responses from last week about the famous Slusher brothers
who worked on the VGN and N&W. This report is yours as much as it is mine,
so please feel free to comment on anything I write about.

For Show and Tell I took my latest ebay purchase, a color map of the
Virginian Railway put out by the VGN March 1958. It is about 18"X 24" and
will be framed and put on display at the Virginian Station. It may be the
last issued map, before the merger in December 1959, put out by the VGN RWY.

Since the Catholic Church has been in the news lately getting a new Pope
and since St. Patrick's Day is coming up, I agreed to pass on to you this
one from a Catholic friend of mine: An Irishman goes into the confessional
box after years of being away from the Church. Inside he finds a fully
equipped bar with Guinness on tap. On one wall there's a row of decanters
with fine Irish Whiskey and Waterford crystal glasses. On the other wall is
a dazzling array of the finest cigars and chocolates. Then the Priest comes
in. "Father, forgive me, for it's been a very long time since I've been to
confession, but I must first admit that the confessional box is much more
inviting than it used to be." The Priest replies: "Get out, you moron,
you're on my side".

Time to pull the pin on this one!

Departing Now from V248,

Skip Salmon


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