"Takin' Twenty with the Virginian Brethren by Skip Salmon

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Thu May 9 14:01:18 EDT 2013

Last night I had the pleasure of "Takin' Twenty" with nine of the Brethren
and Friends of the Virginian Railway. It was good to have Bill Spencer and
Felix Price with us again. Bill has moved across town to an assisted living
facility and Felix has had an illness keeping him home.

We signed a Happy Birthday card for Ronald "Scotty" Hunter who was a
Virginian Railway Hostler at Elmore. "Scotty" handled VGN steam engines,
electrics as well as diesels in his career. He turned 86 on Monday this

We were all saddened to hear about the passing of our good friend Jack
Feller over the weekend. Jack was a true Friend of the Virginian Railway,
as well as being Historian of Mullens, and Caretaker of the VGN caboose
museum there. Jack was always willing to share his knowledge and himself
for the remembrance of our beloved fallen flag rail line.

Passed around for the Brethren to peruse was the Summer 2013 "Classic
Trains" magazine. Page 8 has an article about N&W K Class #137 with twin
headlight exactly like the one that J Class #611 sported during her
excursion run in the 1980s. Page 16-19 has our good Friend of the Virginian
pal Robert Reisweber article "The flag that fell, only to rise again" about
the original Norfolk Southern (Norfolk to Charlotte). Page 72 is "The
Mountaineer Limited, Going to Cass in Style" about the C&O May 1968 11-car
special that opened the Bald Know portion of the Scenic Cass Railroad.

Last Saturday, my youngest Son, Josh, was married at the Catawba Equestrian
Center in Catawba, VA. As Best Man, I was asked to make the official toast
to the bride and groom, and tell a story about each during the toast.
Josh's bride, Carmen, is a Physician's Assistant at the Cardio-Thoracic
Intensive Care Department at Carilion Hospital in Roanoke. This is the very
definition of compassion. Last year, one of the Virginian Brethren, Landon
Gregory, had a heart by-pass and his surgery was performed at Carilion
Hospital. Carmen reads my "Takin' Twenty" Reports and is familiar with
Landon's stories. When he was in recovery after surgery, Carmen greeted him
upon his waking with "Landon, how about takin' twenty". Later, Landon told
me that the first thing he remembered after his by-pass was waking up in a
very clean, bright room, with an angel calling him by name, and asking him
about "takin' twenty". He said "I thought I had died and gone to Heaven,
and actually for a second, looked around the room for some of the other
Brethren who had gone first..."

I told the Brethren about the train rides this Saturday and Sunday at the
Virginia Museum of Transportation pulled by New Hope Valley's little tank
steam engine. Also next week end one can experience actually running the
little tanker. Contact VMT web site for more details.

The Jewel from the Past is from January 25, 2005: "Cornbread told us about
a cat that came to his home and would not leave. He decided to take it
several miles away and 'drop it off'. When he arrived back home, the cat
was sitting in his driveway. He then took it to a very secluded part of the
county and 'dropped it off'. After waiting for a while, he headed back home
and got confused, so he called his son Ronnie to come get him. When Ronnie
answered the phone, he said 'Dad, I thought you were going to get rid of
that cat. It's on the front porch'. Cornbread answered 'Put the cat on the
phone, I'm lost, maybe he can tell me the way to get home".

Time to pull the pin on this one!

Departing Now from V248,

Skip Salmon


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