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

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Thu Apr 25 12:57:48 EDT 2013

Last night I had the pleasure of "Takin' Twenty" with ten of the Brethren
and Friends of the Virginian Railway. We celebrated the birthday of former
VGN Clerk, Wis Sowder. Wis served as a Clerk on the VGN and N&W and retired
from Norfolk Southern with 36 years service. He said "I was cut off every
summer when the miners took their vacation, and it took me over 40 years to
get the 36 years service". I asked him what was the place he worked on the
railroad that he like the least? He did not hesitate: "Norfolk, working the
trains in the winter. With the wind blowing off the ocean all the time, you
couldn't put on enough clothes to keep warm!" Wis turned 87 yesterday.

For a while I have been wearing a brace on my left wrist because of a fall
I took several weeks ago during a "senior moment". Dr. Gibby Davis, one of
our "regulars", observed that I may have a "Bible Bump" and proceeded to
examine my wrist. "Nope" he said, "just a bad sprain". "What's a Bible
Bump?" I asked. He told us about gangoidal cysts and the like, that form
near joints and explained that the remedy was to take a Bible (usually the
largest book in the home or who would be upset if you gave first aid with
God's word?)and flatten the growth. Last night I looked up Bible Bump and
there are a lot of videos of this cure in action on the Internet!
Incidentally, Dr. Davis is a retied gynecologist...

Passed around for the Brethren to peruse were the March-April 2013 BIZ-NS
and Fall 2012 (hot off the presses) NRHS Bulletin. The BIZ-NS has a great
photo in the Archives section on the inside back cover of an N&W track gang
at Glenvar in May 1944. It does not show the VGN that is in the background,
but WE KNOW IT'S THERE! The NRHS Bulletin showed a lot of western trains as

Dr. Davis who borrowed my copy of the "Voices from Eastern Montgomery
County by those who lived there" last week and returned it last night. He
visited the museum at Shawsville yesterday and bought a couple copies of
the great history book that includes a lot about the VGN. For those who
asked, the book can be purchased at the Meadowbrook Museum, PO Box 426,
Shawsville, VA 24162 (540 268 5047). "Gibby" spent time with the museum
staff, and they made copies of several photos of the 1941 wreck at Kumis
for him. He passed them on to me and I have posted three of them on this
site under "Skip's Photos".

The Jewel from the Past is from January 11, 2007: "The photo of the
Superintendent's house (in Victoria, VA) that is on this site, was shown to
Lou McDaniel, wife of Russell R. McDaniel, Master Mechanic at Victoria at
the merger, by me, this week. She remembered living in it and making pies
from pecans picked from the tree in the front yard and cherries in the back
yard. Russell told me that they paid $34 per month rent, but had to
maintain the house".

Then there's this": I passed around a list of questions and answers
received from last year's GED examination from 16 year olds who took the
test. The Brethren picked out their favorites: What are steroids? Answer:
"Things for keeping carpets still on the stairs". What is terminal illness?
Answer "When you are sick at the airport". What does the word 'benign'
mean? Answer: "Benign is what you will be after you be eight". And I my
favorite question: What happens to a boy when he reaches puberty? Answer:
"He says goodbye to his boyhood and looks forward to his adultery".

Time to pull the pin on this one!

Departing Now from V248,

Skip Salmon


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