"Taking Twenty" with the Virginian Brethren

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Thu Mar 19 17:55:55 EDT 2009

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 George "Rusty" Mann, Jr. who turned 79 yesterday.

Passed around was the latest "Turntable Times" with Jeff Sander's great
shot of the Barnum and Bailey Circus Train coming through Roanoke, on
the cover. Also passed was the latest "Bulletin" of the National Railway
Historical Society devoted entirely to O. Winston Link. The Brethren
really enjoyed the steam locomotive pictures. Raymond East commented
that he "really appreciated Mr. Link saving the memories of the old N&W
Steam engines".

The ebay report of recently auctioned Virginian items included: a 1907
Tidewater annual pass for $380.25; 2 1908 VGN passes for $104.75; 2 1912
VGN passes for $81; 2 1913 VGN passes for $68.79; 2 1914 VGN passes for
$55.56; 2 1915 VGN passes for $69.79; 2 1916 VGN passes for $93.79 (one
was a pass to VGN Club Car);1917 VGN passes for $19.99; 1918 VGN pass
for $19.99; 1931 VGN pass for $29.07 and a 35mm negative of photo of VGN
PA #210 for $18.29.

I also showed the Brethren Gordon Hamilton's article from the "Bluefield
Bluefield Daily Telegraph" of May 22, 1909, telling about all VGN trains
stopping for five minutes during H. H. Rogers funeral in his honor.

At the N&W HS Archives work session last week, Tom "Saltwater" Salmon
gave a great presentation with photos about his intense study of the
beginning of the Virginian Railway. Part of his emphasis is on debunking
the notion that H. H. Rogers built the line just because of coal rate
squabbles with the C&O and N&W. I passed on some of his comments to the
Brethren. Tom is planning a book on the subject and I am sure it will be
a "best seller" and "eye-opener".

The video shown was a continuation of my shooting Virginian locations
with NS trains for use at the Roanoke VGN Depot after restoration. Shown
last night were (1)shots of an empty westbound grain train leaving the
siding at Kumis (V261) and tripping the high green signal just east of
Lafayette (V262). (2)A special train being pulled by a red GenSet test
locomotive that included our own Steve Smith's NS Research car, one
loaded coal hopper and an NS GP38 at the diamond at JK (V243) and scenes
at the Virginian Station and NS power under the Jefferson Street Bridge.
(3) Shaffers Crossing Diesel Shop with various locomotives around the
turntable. I told the Brethren about shots taken but not shown: (1) NS
736 coal train in the rain at Salem Timber Truss (V251.3). (2)NS coal
train shot at Lafayette (V262.1) and Riverside (V260.5) near the road
going into the new Western Virginia Regional Jail.

I passed around an instruction sheet sent to me by my friend John
Snidow, director of the N&W HS Archives, that the Brethren really liked
and asked me to pass on to you. It is "How to Install a Home Security
System". You first go to a secondhand store and buy a pair of used men's
work boots, size 14-16. Put them on your front porch, along with a copy
of "Guns & Ammo" magazine. Then place a few giant dog dishes next to the
boots. Leave a note on your door that reads: "Hey Bubba: Big Jim, Duke,
Slim and I went for more ammunition, be back in an hour. Don't mess with
the pit bulls...they attacked the mailman this morning and messed him up
real bad. I don't think Killer took part in it, but it was hard to tell
from all of the blood. I locked all four of "em in the house. Better
wait outside. Signed "Cooter".

Time to pull the pin on this one!

Departing Now from V248,

Skip Salmon


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