"Takin' Twenty" with the Virginian Brethren by Skip Salmon
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Thu Oct 6 12:06:13 EDT 2016
Last night I had the pleasure of "Takin' Twenty" with four of the Brethren
and Friends of the Virginian Railway. We signed a Happy Birthday card for
Virginian Engineer Raymond East. Raymond is one of the last hoggers alive
who actually used a short-handled shovel to fire a steam engine. He
retired from Norfolk Southern as a yard Engineer, ironically operating Alco
C-630's with former Virginian F-M Train Masters that were converted to
slugs. Raymond told us about early birthdays as a lad in Alta Vista, VA
working for his Dad who ran a trucking company that served both the VGN and
Southern lines in the area. His family owned a large farm that had land
under the famous Southern trestle and I suspect they grew corn and sold it
"by the gallon" in the area. Raymond turns 92 on Friday. Last night he
was talking about "making it to the century mark!".
Thanks for all of the best wishes for by rehab from recent surgery.
Today I posted a photo on this sight showing our Virginian Railway
Heritage sign at the Virginian Station in Roanoke. It is at the left front
of the station directly under the "ROANOKE" sign and Mill Mountain Star.
We held the first public event at the Station on September 24, a picnic for
members of the Roanoke Chapter National Railway Historical Society, now
owners of the newly restored beauty. Many attending the picnic signed a
time capsule book with messages to those who will open it in the year
2066. We are now planning a special Grand Opening for our major donors and
VIPs after Election Day with an opening with the public invited for
November 12, 2066. We would love to see you there that Saturday.
For Show and Tell I took the latest "Turntable Times" quarterly newsletter
of the Roanoke Chapter NRHS that features our Station. The cover has a
photo I took on the fourth of July fireworks display that the City of
Roanoke had this year, with a lucky shot of a burst sitting on top of the
east end of our Station. I am using this photo in my Friends of the
Virginian Railway 2017 calendar. More on the ca lender in next week's
The Jewel from the Past is from May 21, 2009: "I asked the Brethren about
the discussion lately of different grades of lamp oil used on RR lanterns.
They only remembered 'getting kerosene from cab supply cans'. Raymond East
recalled 'carpecks using VGN issued carbide headlamps to inspect trains'.
This led to Ruf Wingfield telling about using 'waste' dampened with 'coal
oil' to start the fire in the Yard Office Warm Morning stove. This
prompted Jeff Sanders to tell about his wife, Susan, taking some of Jeff's
' waste (multicolored cotton balls of string used to fire steam engines and
to pack wheel bearings). to a lady's contest for the 'most useless item in
the house' contest. She won first place!"
Then there's this: A Baptist Pastor was attending a National Church
Convention in NY City when he was asked to speak at a fancy banquet. He
ordered a tuxedo and as he was getting ready to get dressed discovered it
came with a bow tie that had to be hand tied. He did not know how to tie
it so he called the Convention leader and asked for help. In a few minutes
there was a knock at the Pastor's door. The Pastor answered the door and
the man said he was there to tie the tie. "Lay down on the couch" the man
and the Pastor did and the man proceeded to tie the bow tie. The Pastor
asked him why he had to tie it with him lying down? "At home I'm an
Undertaker", was his reply.
Time to pull the pin on this one!
Departing Now from V248,
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