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

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Thu May 5 07:15:07 EDT 2016

Last night I had the pleasure of "Takin' Twenty" with four of the Brethren
and Friends of the Virginian Railway. We talked about the three week gap
since the last Report.  My wife and I were both sick the first week and her
sickness developed into pneumonia and caused her to be hospitalized for 11
days.  She had some complications, so I needed to be with her and could not
attend our sessions.  She is home now and doing much better.

 We talked about the recent passing of our good friend Ben Hancock, VGN
Clerk, who met with us regularly for many years until several years ago.
Ben was a gentle "ladies man" who was liked well by all.  He turned 89
April 6 and passed away just two days later.

 Also we discussed that Wis Sowder, VGN Clerk, one of the "faithful" who
has been attending regularly for the last 12 years, was born on the same
day as Queen Elizabeth and turned 90 recently.

 The Brethren are looking forward to seeing the 611 excursion trains in and
out of Roanoke this weekend with trips Saturday and Sunday to Lynchburg in
the mornings and Walton in the afternoons.  If you are in the area, be
careful when taking photos and watch out for the "foamers".

 The ebay report this time includes the following VGN items sold:  A set of
reproduction Conductor buttons went for $65.00 (This is one of the sets I
had made in 2008 as a fundraiser for the VGN Station Project in Roanoke.
They are made from the same dies that made the original VGN buttons); "VGN
Railroad Rules and Regulations Operating Department 12/1/1918 for $75; VGN
Shop Force photo of 1914 for $36.50; Public VGN Timetable 9/1/1937 for
$27.22 and a "Virginian Railway Locomotives" paperback by Lloyd Lewis for

 The Jewel from the Past is from January 22, 2009:  " I passed on to the
Brethren more of Noah Tickle's comments about his experiences with his
father who worked for the L&M Tannery in Salem, VA (serviced by the VGN
RWY).  Noah was a tool room Machinist at Shaffers Crossing who retired from
NS 12/1/2004 with 41 years service.  As a lad, Noah would go to L&M with
his father, who was a night watchman and 'punch the clock' for him on
occasion.  He said after the chestnut tree bark ran out, the tannery
started using pecan hulls to make the tanning solution.  Noah said he would
go through the boxes of pecans and pick out 'goodies' to take home for his
Mom to make pies.  He also remembered going with his Dad on Saturdays for
extra work unloading the hides from box cars for 5 cents per hide.  Noah
has two relatives who worked for the VGN. They are Henry Cecil Rice and
Walter Wingfield Scott Tickle."  I recall "Slick" Inge telling the Brethren
that no waybills were needed for these box cars because you could smell the
ones meant to go to L&M Tannery.

 For Show and Tell I took the April/May/June "The Arrow" magazine of the
N&W (and VGN) Historical Society. The Brethren especially enjoyed the story
on pages 6 and 7 about "The Lost Engineer" by our good friend Kent Womack
III, about his Dad, Kent Womack, Jr. VGN Engineer.  The story is about a
January 17, 1956 incident when Thomas Elswick fell off an EL-2B into the
honeysuckle near Yateman's Bridge west of Wabun, and made it to the Yard
Office before the train did.  Elswick fell off when his hat came off and
the engine "lurched". Great Story, but to hear what the Brethren have been
telling about this for years, contact me at gkholine at cox.net or send $50
attached to a Fender Stratocaster to my home address.

 Then there's this:  This Sunday is Mother's Day.  If yours is alive, be
sure to honor her in some way.  I really like a new TV ad that says this
better than I can:  "Remember, there are over 2 billion Mothers in the
world and you got the best one!"

 Time to pull the pin on this one.

 Departing Now from V248,

 Skip Salmon


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