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

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Thu Oct 27 08:41:59 EDT 2016

Last night I had the pleasure of "Takin' Twenty" with seven of the Brethren
and Friends of the Virginian Railway. We signed a Happy Birthday card for
former Virginian Surveyor Dewey Houch who turned 82 on Monday.  I told the
Brethren about a Get Well card I sent from us to our good friend Tom
Marshall, who is now recovering from surgery at his sisters's home in

After we got through the discussions about the future of our nation and the
upcoming election, Halloween came up.  Several remembered, as boys,
participating in "real tricks" that were "required" back then by stout and
growing lads.  I asked if any special precautions were made by the VGN RWY
in anticipation of the pagan event, and Landon said "operators were
instructed to put out train orders for crews to 'watch out for debris on
the tracks'".  He knew of no major problems arising from the "debris".  We
all agreed that today's boys require no such precautions....

As we do almost every Wednesday night, we compare and discuss our RR
watches.  Greely Wyatt told us about his Hamilton that he "now has in a
drawer" with a fob that has a US "20 dollar gold piece" attached. Consenus
was that probably at the current price of gold, the fob with the gold piece
is worth more than his watch.  He agreed and promised to bring and show it
to us.

Greely told us about growing up near Penacle Creek, WV and walking ahead of
his Dad's horse drawn wagon from their farm to market.  "This was a custom
back then.  The trails were so crooked and narrow that someone had to walk
ahead to make sure if another wagon was met, we could find a place to

For Show and Tell I took the latest N&W (and VGN) Historical Society
magazine "The Arrow" which has a 10 page feature about "Virginian Railway
Station Restoration Complete in Roanoke".  This included several of my
photos taken during the work and several from their Archives including four
drawings from 1909.  This is a great article and if you know a member of
the Society ask to see it.  It occured to me that in October 1908, the last
time the Chicago Cubs won the World Series, the Virginian Station in
Roanoke was being planned....

The Jewel from the Past like those in an Illinoise size 18 with 17 jeweled
"Railroad King" is from June 4, 2009:  "Landon Gregory remembered early in
his career on the VGN, staying at a Boarding House in Altavista.  He said
there were about 20 fellows staying there with only one bathroom that had
no windows.  Meals were 25 cents and the room rented for 50 cents a night.
Showers were taken at the nearly barbershop for 15 cents..."

Then there's this:  Two rednecks go oh a fishing trip.  They rent all the
equipment:  the reels, the rods, the wading suits, the rowboat, the oar,
and even a cabin in the woods.  I mean they spent a fortune.  The first day
they go fishing, but don't catch a thing.  The same thing happens on the
second day, and on the third day.  It goes on like this until finally, on
the last day of their vacation, one of the men catches a fish.  As they're
driving home they're really depressed. One guy turns to the other and says,
"Do you realize that this one lousey fish we cought cost us fifteen hundred
bucks?"  The other guy says, "Wow! Then it's a good thing we didn't catch
any more!"

Time to pull the pin on this one!

Departing Now from V248,

Skip Salmon


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