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

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Thu Mar 26 08:59:37 EDT 2015

Last night I had the pleasure of "Takin' Twenty" with five of the Brethren
and Friends of the Virginian Railway.  Wis Sowder brought several VGN and
N&W Seniority Lists from 1952 to 1977 for me to copy and enter  into the
N&W (and VGN) Historical Society Archives data base.  These lists prompted
a lot of interesting discussion.  One VGN Operator, G. H. Robbins "would
not leave the office until the relieving Operator signed the Train
Register" Landon Gregory said.  Wis Sowder and Landon recalled M. L. Grigg
Agent at Purdy who was Walter Grigg's father.  Landon and Raymond East
remembered Terminal Trainmaster E. A. Baum who once purchased an army
surplus jeep after the war and Landon towed it with Maum bundled up (jeep
had no top) to Naggs Head, NC on the Outer Banks.  Wis especially
remembered Norfolk Terminal Trainmaster Charlie Carter who introduced him
and the other VGN Clerks to a new delicacy, "pizza pies".  Wis said "I had
never heard of one and when I got back to Roanoke, no one there had

 I brought a map that our good friend Steve Smith donated to the Station
project.  It is a Norfolk Southern Engineering Design and Construction
Geographic Information Systems aerial map of Norfolk, VA.  All of the
Brethren enjoyed looking at spots like bridges Landon worked as Operator,
Sewells Point, yard limits, Naval Base and other VGN locations shown.  More
on this later.

 Thanks to Don Corbin who wrote a letter to the editor of the Roanoke paper
asking why the committee looking for a place for the Amtrak Station in
Roanoke don't consider a Station already there:  "The old Virginian station
would take very little modification for the passengers showing up to ride
and it's located in a growing area with easy accessibility as well".

 Most of the Brethren enjoy the "Pickles" comic strip by Brian Crane.  I
took a small bag of Cheerios last night and asked if they knew what they
were for and several laughed.  Pickles' wife Opal suggested he use Cheerios
to help their grandson  Nelson play a game where he tries to sink the
Cheerios and improve his aim in the bathroom.  Opal suggested that Pickles
play the game also....

 The Jewel from the Past is from July 10, 2008:  "We discussed a question
from Ed King's comment that 'diesels and electrics were 'units', steam
locomotives are NOT units'.  The Brethren agreed that they always referred
to steam as individual locomotives, sometimes by their numbers, i.e.
'500''s' and  '800''s' but never called them units.  They enjoyed a comment
passed on concerning an inspection trip of Stuart Saunders to Blue field,
when he saw a K2a after diesels were assigned there, and said 'that nasty
hunk of junk had better NOT be here when I come back'.  Most of the
Brethren consider Saunders the 'Darth Vader' of Railroading and 'Father of
Cutworms'.  The term 'cutworms' was used by VGN employees to describe
diesel locomotives, since when diesels were put into service, many
employees were cut from the payroll'.

 Then there's this:  "Medicare Part G, Nursing Home Plan".  Say you are an
older senior citizen and can no longer take care of yourself and the
government says there is no Nursing Home care available for you.  So. what
do you do?  You opt for Medicare Part G.  The plan gives anyone 75 or older
a gun (Part G) and one bullet.  you are allowed to shoot one worthless
politician.  This means you will be sent to prison for the rest of your
life where you will receive three meals a day, a roof over your head,
central heating and air conditioning, cable TV, a library, and all the
Health Care you need.  Need new teeth? No problem.  Need glasses? That's
great.  Need a hearing aid, new hip, knees, kidney, lungs, sex change, or
heart?  They are all covered!  As an added bonus, your kids can come and
visit you at least as often as they do now!  And,who will be paying for all
of this?  The same government that just told you they can't afford for you
to go into a nursing home.  And you will get rid of a useless politicians
while you are at it.  And now, because you are a prisoner, you don't have
to pay any more income taxes!

 Time to Pull the pin on this one!

 Departing Now from V248,

 Skip Salmon.

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