Fwd: [VirginianRailwayEnthusiasts] "Taking Twenty" with the Virginian Brethren

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Thu Aug 14 07:57:41 EDT 2008

Skip Salmon

To: VirginianRailwayEnthusiasts at yahoogroups.com
From: "Charles E. Salmon, Jr." <gkholine at cox.net>
Date: Thu, 14 Aug 2008 11:35:58 -0000
Subject: [VirginianRailwayEnthusiasts] "Taking Twenty" with the Virginian Brethren

Last night I had the pleasure of "Takin' Twenty" with 9 of the
Brethren and Friends of the Virginian Railway. We signed a Happy
Birthday card for Tom "Cornbread" Victory, VGN carpeck and
conductor. Tom will be 85 on Saturday. He retired from the "W" with
a total of 39 years service. I asked him what one event he remember
during the 39 years that stood out and he picked Neal Armstrong
walking on the moon in '69. I narrowed it down to his rail career
with the VGN and he said "I guess it was the 28 years I spent on the
Hoot Owl".

Speaking of Cornbread, last week he described a "chigger" on the
belly of his career that involved a runaway VGN coal hopper. I
relayed this event last week at the N&W (and VGN) Historical Society
work session to Louis Newton, their "walking enclyclopedia of rail
knowledge". Sure enough, on Saturday morning last, at the Lynchburg
Rail Day, Louis handed me a faded news article and photo of July 31,
1954 from the Roanoke World News (Roanoke's evening newspaper at the
time) entitled "Yard Mishap": "Two coal cars being shifted in the
Virginian Railway yards left the track around 6 AM today. One
overturned and the second smashed into the side of a passenger train
sitting on an adjacent track. No passengers were on the train, No. 4
which was scheduled to leave for Norfolk at 8 AM. The train was
delayed a half-hour by the accident. No one was injured". I have
posted the photo on this site under "Skip's Photos".

We made final plans for this Saturday's "road trip" to the 9th
Street Facility of the Roanoke Chapter NRHS to ride a caboose behind
their N&W Alco T-6 #41.

I passed around the August Norfolk Southern "Newsbreak" that was
mostly about the raising of tunnels in the Heartland Corridor for
double stack container trains. It also highlighed a new 5 year NS
plan "Track 2012" for safety, service, operating and financial
performance for the line. Also passed was Dave Stephenson's photo of
the old N&W 917 4-8-0 that sit in Virginia Scrap Iron for years and
is now in Bellville, Ohio already painted black.

Last Friday, I picked up our architect's rendering of what the
Virginian Station in Roanoke will be upon completion. This was shown
the Brethren along with a list of dates to complete the project by
October 2009. They really liked both and several expressed hoping
that they would be around for the completion...

Bob Rowland brought some "home grown tomatoes" from his garden
for us to enjoy with our meal. Just recently the restaurant had a
sign in place of tomatoes that explained why they didn't have any
because of ecoli. Bob's yellow "lemon" variety were very tasty.

Bob Rowland and Ruf Wingfield talked about VGN freight station
clerk Jake K. "JK" Brady who was famous for his ordering beer and a
glass of wine and embiding them together at the "Blue Goose".

One of the Brethren commented on what he wanted to happen after
his death. He said that he wanted to be cremated and his ashes
distrubuted at the local WalMart. This way "my two daughters will
visit me at least once a week".

Time to pull the pin on this one!

Departing Now,

Skip Salmon

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