Firemen on electrics

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Wed Apr 19 22:35:27 EDT 2017


Firemen on N&W "motors" were referred to as "helpers."

Grant Carpenter

On 1/26/2017 3:28 PM, NW Mailing List wrote:
> 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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