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

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Thu Dec 31 08:51:16 EST 2015

Last night I had the pleasure of "Takin' Twenty" with five of the Brethren
and Friends of the Virginian Railway. We talked about Christmas and what we
got.  All seemed to be happy even though none of got the "Vincent Black
Lightning 1952" from Santa, and I haven't found that perfect dalmatian
puppy yet!

 Raymond East is now in rehab after his recent surgery and is recovering
well.  We signed Happy Birthday cards for Dr. Gibson Davis who is now 79
and for Ronnie Victory (AKA "1943 tax deduction baby") who turns 72 today.

 I told the Brethren about the recent news on the Internet about NS double
tracking from Altavista to Gretna and possible clear cutting tunnels for
double stacks in the area.

 Also the N&W Historical Society now has a new 2015  "Vintage Steam of the
Norfolk & Western" DVD in color by Anchor Videos of Montague, NJ.  This
outstanding new release has several minutes of the Virginian in color at
Roanoke, Princeton and the Huckleberry Trail.  EL-2b, H16-44 etc...

 The Jewel from the Past, like those in a 1889 Columbus "Railway King" 16
jewel with a size #18 swing ring case is from November 27, 2008:  "The
conversation turned to Thanksgiving and somehow Rufus Wingfield remembered
VGN Brakeman Bill Hughs who 'sported a gold tooth that kept falling out'.
Ruf said he would loose it and yell 'Stop everybody, I've lost my tooth'.
He was very thankful when someone then hollered 'Here it is Bill'".

 We discussed the ongoing talk about CP and NS merging and what would
happen to the old VGN.  Wis Sowder remembered similar talk in 1959!

 For Show and Tell I took the 2016 January "Trains".   Pages 70-71 have the
best photo of the issue showing the Pennsylvania NS Heritage unit#8102
leading a coal train past a waterfall at Falls Mills, VA (Sam Phillips
photo). Page 64 has information relating to a question we recently got
about the railroads "painting" the smoke box.  The smoke box is a
non-jacketed area, which means paint would only burn off.  Railroads
routinely used mixtures of graphite powder and oil to cover these surfaces,
which protected the surface from rusting and give it a rich sheen.  The
amount of graphite used with oil determined if the coating was dark or
light or "silver".

 I've been asked to end today's report with the following "Then there's
this":  Two nuns were shopping at a 7-11.  As they passed by the beer
cooler, one nun said to the other, "wouldn't a nice cool beer or two taste
wonderful on a hot summer evening?"  The second nun answered, "indeed it
would, sister, but I would not feel comfortable buying beer, since I am
certain it would cause a scene at the checkout stand."  "I can handle that
without a problem," the other nun replied, and she picked up a six-pack and
headed for the check-out.  The cashier had a surprised look on his face
when the two nuns arrived with a six-pack of beer.  "We use beer for
washing our hair" the nun said. "Back at our nunnery, we call it catholic
shampoo".  Without blinking an eye, the cashier reached under the counter,
pulled out a package of pretzel sticks, and placed them in the bag with the
beer.  He then looked the nun straight in the eye, smiled, and said: "the
curlers are on the house."

 Time to pull the pin on this one!

 Departing Now from V248 with HAPPY NEW YEAR,

 Skip Salmon


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