"Takin Twenty" with the Virginian Brethren by Skip Salmon

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Thu Jan 5 08:48:29 EST 2017

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
Ronnie Victory, retired NS Clerk and son of Virginian Conductor Tom
"Cornbread" Victory.  Ronnie is 73.  We talked about the closing Tuesday of
Franklin Road Bridge in Roanoke, which spans the old Virginian South Yard.
A new bridge will be in place in about two years.  This prompted Wis Sowder
to tell about checking coal hoppers under this very bridge once when he got
a cinder in his eye.  I had to go to the Company doctor and "he raked it
out.  His office had one lone light bulb suspended by a wire from the
ceiling and he took his time".  He also recalled when checking cars if the
steam yard engine had a little trouble getting a cut of hoppers going,
sometimes the wheels would slip and cause the firebox to be jolted making
black smoke.  "It would be about 30 minutes every time, until we would get
a call in the Yard Office with someone saying "you all are making black
smoke again".

 Ernie Hubble, son of VGN Roundhouse Foreman Red Hubble,  remembered when a
lad seeing "a Studebaker Golden Hawk come up his driveway and it would be
VGN Roundhouse man Lee  Phenix to see his Dad.  Wis Sowder remembered VGN
Trainmaster Charlie Carter showing him his model train layout that "covered
several rooms in his house."

 The Jewel from the Past is from July 9, 2009:  " I showed the Brethren a
letter I found at the N&W (and VGN) Historical Society Archives this week
from Virginian Chief Engineer A. M. Traugott, dated December 7, 1945.  It
authorized the building of a 60 X 80 foot "Quonset" building at the Roanoke
Terminal but did not specify what the building use was.  Ruf Wingfield and
Wis Sowder remembered the building as being across the street from the VGN
Passenger Station and was used by Sands and Company as a 'Company Store'".

 For Show and Tell I took the February "Trains" magazine.  Page 5 Don
Phillips says that President Trump's plan shows good early promise for
America's Railroads.  Page 16 has "Get ready for driverless trucks".  Page
61 has a photo of our N&W Steam Queen #611 and gives the schedule for her
2017 excursions.

 Several of the Brethren admitted they have already broken their brand new
resolutions for 2017.  I shared with them the one I thought was the best
I've heard:  "To give my children wings and roots."

 Then there's this:  Two young boys are at the wedding of their uncle.  It
is his third marriage in ten years.  "How many times is a person allowed to
get married?" the first boy asks.  "I think something like sixteen," says
the other boy.  "How did you get that number?" the first boy asks.  "Well,"
he responds, "the preacher said it in the ceremony:  'Four better, four
worse, four richer and four poorer'".

 Time to pull the pin on this one!

 Departing Now from V248,

 Skip Salmon


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