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

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Thu May 12 08:16:59 EDT 2016

Last night I had the pleasure of "Takin' Twenty" with seven of the Brethren
and Friends of the Virginian Railway.  We welcomed Harold Castleman and his
son Dave.  Harold is a retired SEPIA Engineer and member of the Roanoke
Chapter NRHS.  He is in town from Eddystone, PA to work on last week end's
611 excursions. This was Dave's first time "Takin' Twenty".  Harold shared
some of his experiences with the Brethren. We also talked about this
Saturday's Train Lover's day at the Virginia Museum of Transportation where
the 611 will be on display under steam.  We will also be giving rides on
cabooses and one N&W coach.  Come join us if you can.

 The Jewel from the Past like those in a Hamilton 992B 1947 with a
Montgomery Dial is from January 29, 2009:  "Rufus Wingfield and Raymond
East talked about various happenings in the VGN Yard.  Ruf remembered James
"Missy" Marvin who was a color blind Yard Engineer who 'would brush is
teeth for about 30 minutes before starting a shift'.  Raymond told about
Lonnie 'LL' Hager who 'left a caboose at the Box Plant without setting the
hand brake, and had to call the Station for its unscheduled arrival'".

 I told the Brethren about progress at the VGN Station restoration and that
we should receive a Certificate of Occupancy sometime in June.  Also we
have decided to use the tablet from the Narrows Power Plant as our "focal
point" in the land scaping of the station grounds and the Brethren's
"Virginian rose bush" will also be high lighted.

 For Show and tell I took a recent ebay purchase, a 2-1/2" X 4-1/2" black
and white snapshot of VGN Class BA #507 2-8-4 with "1957 VGN Roanoke Yd"
marked in pencil on the back. It is definitely posed at a turntable. I have
posted this photo on this site under "Skip's Photos".  Please respond with
comments about the house in the photo or questions.

 Landon Gregory brought 6 similar photos of the wreck in the 1940s at
Colosse, VA ( milepost V37.2).  There were no injuries and no locomotives
were involved.  The pictures  were taken by the wife of VGN Operator Jimmy
Bradshaw at the scene.  Landon, Gordon Hamilton and Harold Castleman got
into a discussion about how Morse Code was used at that time as
communication and how today's youth are engrossed in cell phones beyond any
expectations of our generation.

 Then there's this:  John invited his Mother over for dinner.  She couldn't
help noticing how beautiful John's roommate Julie was. She had long been
suspicious of a relationship between John and his roommate, and this made
her more curious.  While watching the two interact, she started to wonder
if there was more between John and Julie than met the eye.  Reading his
Mom's thoughts, John volunteered, "I know what you must be thinking but I
assure you, Julie and I are just roommates.:  About a week later, Julia
told John, "Ever since your mother came to dinner, I can't find the
beautiful silver gravy ladle.  You don't suppose she took it, do you?"
John replied "Well I doubt it, but I'll write here a letter just to be
sure.  So John wrote:  "Dear Mother, I'm not saying you 'did' take a gravy
ladle from my house, and 'I'm not saying you 'did not' take it, but the
fact remains one has been missing ever since you were here for dinner.
Love, John".  Several days later, John received a letter from his Mother:
"Dear Son,  I'm not saying you 'do' sleep with Julie, and I'm not saying
you 'do not' sleep with Julie.  But the fact remains that if she were
sleeping in her own bed, she would have found the gravy ladle by now".

 Time to pull the pin on  this one!

 Departing Now from V248,

 Skip Salmon


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