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

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Thu Sep 2 07:30:06 EDT 2010

Last night I had the pleasure of "Takin' Twenty" with seven of the Brethren
and Friends of the Virginian Railway. We signed cards for Rufus Wingfield
and Raymond East, who are ill and could not be with us. We discussed the
passing away last Thursday of Richard L. "Dick" Williams, retired CEO of
Member One Credit Union, and a very good Friend of the Virginian Railway.
Dick took over the small N&W credit union and developed it into Member One,
with many branches in the Roanoke area. Dick helped us with the very first
"Friends of the Virginian Railway @ Milepost" event and served on the
Virginian Station Restoration Committee. As a historical connection, did
you know that the Virginian Railway had a credit union? Landon Gregory has
a VGN Railway Credit Union artifact in his VGN Collection.

Thanks for the great response from last week's description of the interview
at the Station, on our local TV news. I got email from Noah Tickle who
recognized my hand and arm holding the Virginian heart shaped lock and I
was informed that this interview "played well in New Zealand"!

Passed around were several items including the October "Trains" magazine
featuring Norfolk Southern on the cover, and the new NS ad "$25 for
$1(invested)" on the back. The issue highlights how "deregulation saved
railroading". A map of the NS Heartland Tunnel Project in VA, WV and KY for
the 20' 3" double stack operation was also shown. Passed around was Tom
Trencansky's photo of EMD GM10 electric #1976 (made from the frame of an
SD40-2 and GM10). This is an example of two "modern" electric freight
locomotives that took the place of former VGN EL-Cs on Conrail. To see what
N&W would probably have bought, if electrics had survived the N&W-VGN
merger, go to:

The Jewel from the Past, like one in Bill Daniel's father, VGN carpeck
George Daniel's Model 950 Hamilton 23 jewel with a double sunk dial, is
from September 2, 2004: "The meeting started with talk of tobacco. Seems
that the VGN hauled tobacco hogheads in box cars and most of the action was
near Kenbridge. Chewing of tobacco was widespread, and spittoons were
everywhere. "Slick" Inge mentioned that as far as he knew, the old Piedmont
Cigarette sign is still on the front of the store in Meherrin".

I put on display at our tables, a new logo banner of the Roanoke Chapter
NRHS. We needed something to identify our Chapter at fund raising events,
programs and train shows. I approached Ken Miller, our Chapter Historian
and a real good design artist, and he and I worked out what we thought
would represent our Chapter at this time. The banner (we have 4 in various
sizes) highlights the VGN AG #900, VGN Safety logo, the Chapter logo, our
new VGN Station rendering, N&W Safety logo and J-Class N&W 611. I have
posted a photo of this banner on this site under "patches and logos".

"Gibby" Davis told of his grandfather, VGN machinist Malcomb Vaughn, moving
his family, "furniture and all", from Victoria to Roanoke in 1923 so he
could work in the Roundhouse. "Gibby" still uses his grandfather's
sideboard that traveled from Victoria to Roanoke on #3.

I delivered the new 2011 Aubrey Wiley "Virginian Railway Calendars" to the
Brethren and they really enjoyed looking through them. If you haven't got
yours yet, better hurry...they are going fast!

Yesterday I was approached by the Big Lick Stamp Club in Roanoke. They are
doing a cancellation (cachet) to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the
Virginian Station in Roanoke. On September 25, they will have an event and
the US Postal Service will provide cancellations of this special
collectable. Landon Gregory and I plan to participate. We have provided
them photos of the Station, Pacific locomotives and our 100 year
anniversary banner. They will have an artist do a painting of the Station
with a Pacific steam locomotive nearby. This image will be reduced and put
on the cachet. More on this later.

Last Friday, my wife Judi and I rode north out of Roanoke on the Blue Ridge
Parkway. We had a nice lunch at the Peaks of Otter. After a short
rainstorm, the sun came out and we headed on toward Buchanan, VA. Ahead she
saw a large rock formation on the left at a wayside and asked me to stop so
she could observe it. I told her to sit on the rock and I would take her
picture. As I was taking the photo, it dawned on me that this area would be
a great place for a snake to sun itself. I looked down below the rock, and
sure enough there was a large copperhead, sunning himself. I calmly had her
step off the rock and showed her the snake. I never saw a person have a
conniption before, but I think that is exactly what she had! For a photo of
the snake under the rock, contact me off line...the Brethren loved it!

Time to pull the pin on this one!

Departing Now from V248,

Skip Salmon

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