"Takin' Twenty" with the Virginian Brethren by Skip Salmon
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Fri Jul 31 06:13:45 EDT 2015
Last night I had the pleasure of "Takin' Twenty" with seven of the Brethren
and Friends of the Virginian Railway. Most of the talk was about a Casey
Thompson, NS Photographer, photo I brought, taken this week near the
Chattanooga National Cemetery. The NS Diesel Shop there cleaned up the
SD60 6920 (NS tribute to Veterans) and 9-1-1 (tribute to first responders)
and positioned them near the entrance to the cemetery on the Chattanooga
Belt Line for the funeral procession of recently slain 2nd Class Petty
Officer Randall Scott Smith, one of five who were gunned down at the
military recruitment center nearby. Raymond East, who actually fired
Virginian Steam engines and who served IN COMBAT during the Korean War, and
Wis Sowder, Virginian Clerk whose troop ship was attacked by a Japanese
Kamikaze during WWII, were appalled at these deaths. When I told them that
our government prohibited them from being armed (remember the famous "no
guns" sticker" on the door), this prompted more conversation. Gordon
Hamilton told of seeing in the Bluefield newspaper a photo of armed
citizens in Princeton guarding the recruitment center there.
Landon Gregory brought several "Dispatcher's Records of movement of
trains" from Coleman Place given to him by a friend who rescued them
recently. The N&W one was "Sewells Point Branch of 8-23-70. This one told
of an 8:30 PM lightning storm that "fouled the plant at Carolina until
trouble cleared at 9:15 PM". The Southern version of 12-1-75 showed
original Norfolk Southern Beach District from Coleman Place to Virginia
Beach that was reported to Chief Dispatcher P. B. Powell.
I also took a downloaded version (thanks to Jeff Sanders) of the famous
article by our recently departed Friend of the Virginian Lloyd Lewis"Before
the Wires Came Down", the story of Virginian electrification. This June
1963 article was published in "Railroad" magazine when Lloyd was a 17 year
old high school senior in Princeton. This prompted Gordon Hamilton to tell
of the original sight picked by Westinghouse for the power plant for
Virginian Electrics was Glen Lyn, VA. The spot was across the New River
from the Appalachian Power plant that was recently taken off the line and
doors nailed shut.
The Jewel from the Past like those in a 17 jeweled Seth Thomas size 18 is
from September 25, 2008: "Rufus Wingfield told a story about Yardmaster
Earl Fisher, who often dyed his hair and when it rained, he would 'leak'.
Ruf said Earl always carried a piece of white chalk in his pocket. Once
Ruf 'caught' him writing 'J. B. King Esq.' on the side of a hopper. This
famous graffito was seen across the nation on railcars and some think it
was started by a famous hobo."
I told the Brethren about the City of Roanoke and VDOT approving our
latest round of bids for Phase II to complete the restoration of the
Virginian Station in Roanoke. It looks like we are now on track to start
on finishing this project sometime later this year.....Praise the Lord!
Then there's this: A blond was driving home after a game and got caught
in a really bad hailstorm. Her car was covered with dents, so the next day
she took it to a repair shop. The shop owner saw that she was a blond, so
he decided to have some fun... He told her to go home and blow into the
tail pipe really hard, and all the dents would pop out. So, the blond went
home, got down on her hands and knees and started blowing into her
tailpipe. Nothing happened. So she blew a litter harder, and still
nothing happened. Her blond roommate saw her and asked, "What are you
doing?" The first blond told her how the repairman had instructed her to
blow into the tail pipe in order to get all the dents to pop out. The
roommate rolled her eyes and said "Duh, like hello! You need to roll up
the windows first".
Time to pull the pin on this one!
Departing Now from V248,
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