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

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Thu Oct 13 08:32:21 EDT 2016

Last night I had the pleasure of "Takin' Twenty" with five of the Brethren
and Friends of the Virginian Railway. Landon Gregory got some kidding when
he had to "draw and quarter" the large hamburger he ordered.  He got the
last laugh though when Wis Sowder's son, Tony, saw it and ordered the same

 I asked the Brethren if the change the weather like it has been this week
with the cool nights, was a problem when they worked on the VGN.  Landon
told us a story about Clay Nelson who was a fireman at the time not being
able to get the 60 pounds of brake pipe pressure on the rear of a VGN coal
train because of the cold. He asked Pete Atkenson, veteran Engineer about
what to do to "get 'er done".  Pete gave the answer which involved the feed
valve on the air brake system "cheating".  This led to a discussion,
lengthily I might add, about why this should NOT be done...

 The ebay report this time has the following Virginian Railway items sold:
color negative of a VGN 55 ton hopper #26787 for $12.50; Victoria
Centennial Book for $24.99; color slide of VGN Station at Merrimac, VA for
$3.97; VGN adz with no handle marked "Virginian Railway"  for $37.99; and a
VGN RY Star Battery Lantern for $36.00.

 The Jewel from the Past is from May 28, 2009:  "Greg Harrod's Grandfather,
VGN Engineer W. R. Bloyd, used waste 'to clean shotguns, fishing reels and
stubborn bug juice off his car'.  VGN crews on the west end used water
dampened waste to breath through when going through tunnels.  Someone said
it is the best thing in the world to get lint off jeans.  Ruf said it is
'great for getting 'beggar lice' (hitch hikers) off your clothes after a
walk through fields.  WGN Carpeck, Mr. Brooks, would put his hand into
freight car journal boxes to see if there was enough oil laced waste in
them.  He was so 'oily' that he was asked how he got it off his hands for
eating his lunch.  He responded that he 'put his gloves ON when eating'.
Raymond East said there were barrels of oil about every 100 feet in the
yard for carpecks to use with the waste.  He also said waste made good
hen's nests for 'layers'.  Glen McLain said hobos would take the oil soaked
waste out of journal boxes to keep their fires going in the winter.  When
waste was soaked in oil for lubrication it was called 'dope'.  This waste
with oil, 'dope', was replaced with oil soaked pads that looked like mop
heads, and then only the journal boxes were oiled."

 Last night I handed out my new 2017 "Friends of the Virginian Railway"
calendar to the Brethren and friends who attended.  If you are interested
in getting one of the calendars, contact me off site at gkholine at cox.net
and I will sent you one.  This year I featured my favorite photo of the
this year...a burst of fireworks above the newly restored Virginian Station
in Roanoke.

 Then there's this:"While out walking along the edge of a pond just outside
my house in Florida, with my soon to be ex-husband, discussing property
settlement and other divorce issues, we were surprised by a huge 12 foot
alligator which suddenly emerged from murky water and began charging us
with its large jaws wide open. She must have been protecting her nest
because she was extremely agressive.  "If I had not had my little Baretta
Jetfire .25 caliber pistol with me I would not be here today!  Just one
shot to my estranged husband's knee cap was all it took...the 'gator got
him easily and I was able to escape by just walking away."

 Time to pull the pin on this one.

 Departing Now from V248,

 Skip Salmon

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