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

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Thu Jan 26 16:28:17 EST 2017

Last night I had the pleasure of "Takin Twenty" with four of the Brethren
and Friends of the Virginian Railway. I was a little late because of
attending a funeral for an old friend Doug Lyle.  Doug served in Viet Nam
so he had full military honors.  The Mckee Family Cemetery is located just
a stone's throw from the Hardy Tunnel.  After the flag folding, as the
Honor Guard Commander was approaching Doug's widow with the flag, we heard
blasts from an NS diesel as the engineer was approaching the tunnel.  It
was almost as if it was a scripted tribute.  I visioned maybe once this had
already happened when a VGN PA engineer blew for the tunnel in years past
for some other hero...

 For Show and Tell *I took the newest "The Arrow" publication of the N&W
(and VGN) Historical Society.  Pages 6-11 has one of the very best articles
ever in this magazine, "T. R. Marshall's Virginian Memories".  These are
stories by our good friend Tom Marshall of Mullens about his Dad.  If you
are not a member of the N&W Historical Society, joining just to get this
copy would be recommended.  On page 9 Tom says "firemen were referred to as
helpers when they were working on electrics".  This prompted me to ask the
Brethren what did the N&W refer to their firemen when they worked on the
electrics.  Gordon Hamilton will research this.  Anyone out there know?
This issue also has Ken Miller's article about the VGN C-1 cabooses and N&W
signals of 1930-1959.

 Thanks for all of the responses I got from last week about the hickey
bought by VGN General Storekeeper V. W. Miller.  The first correct answer
was submitted by Roger Link of Newport, VA.  A hickey is a tool used to
bend electrical conduit.  I know this is an electrical device because it
was ordered from Graybar Electric Co.  I got several responses stating
another hickey was used to tighten brake wheels on timber cars but this one
was the electrical bender.  First answer for the second use was Kevin Byrd
of Chesterfield, VA.  The 2017 NS calendar was shipped to Roger Link today.

 The Jewel from the Past is from July 16. 2009:  "Our designated joke
provider brought the following paragraph that is probably typical of a lot
of the VGN Brethren:  "I've sure gotten old!  I've had two bypasses, a hip
replacement, new knees, fought prostate cancer and diabetes.  I'm half
blind, can't hear anything quieter than a jet engine, take 30 pills that
make me dizzy, winded, and subject to black outs.  Have bouts with
dementia.  Have poor circulation; hardly feel my hands and feet.  Can't
remember if I'm 85 or 92.  Have lost all my friends.  But, thank God, I
still have my driver's license."

 Then there's this:  An out-of-towner drove his car into a ditch in a
desolated area.  Luckily, a local farmer came to help with his big strong
horse named Buddy.  He hitched Buddy up to the car and yelled, Pull, Nellie
pull!" Buddy didn't move.  Then the farmer hollered,  "Pull, Buster, pull!"
Buddy didn't respond.  Once more the farmer commander, "Pull, Coco, Pull".
Nothing.  Then the farmer nonchalantly said, "Pull, Buddy, pull"  And the
horse easily dragged the car out of the ditch.  The motorist was most
appreciative and very curious.  He asked the farmer why he called his horse
by the wrong name three times.  The farmer said , "Oh, Buddy is blind and
if he thought he was the only one pulling, he wouldn't even try!"

 Time to pull the pin on this one!

 Departing Now from V248,

 Skip Salmon


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