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

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Thu Dec 8 08:32:50 EST 2011

Last night on the 70th Anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, I had the
pleasure of "Takin' Twenty" with nine of the Brethren and Friends of the
Virginian Railway. I asked each of the Brethren if they remember December
7, 1941. Landon Gregory lived at Callands, VA, "so far back in the sticks,
nobody lived behind us" said that "Dad only turned the battery radio on to
hear Gabriel Heater", heard the news on Monday. Glen McLain remembered
being in his kitchen listening to his plastic (Bakelite)radio hearing about
the attack. Wis Sowder and Raymond East were in high school and knew they
were about to go to war. The most unusual answer came from Frank Breedlove
who had no idea what Pearl Harbor was and "thought she was a girl from over
in Brookneal".

Eddie Mooneyham called me just before I left home yesterday and I passed on
to the Brethren Eddie's comments. On Wednesday a 7' diameter boulder
dislodged and crashed through a slide fence at Mile Post V353.1 between
Rock and Matoaka landing on the main line of the PD District. This
activated a track light that averted a derailment.

I reminded the Brethren about this Saturday's running of the Roanoke
Chapter NRHS "Candy Cane Shifter". The event this year will be at the
Virginia Museum of Transportation. Admission is $5 for adults and children
under 12 get in free at the Museum, which includes a ride on our train
pulled by the Chapter Alco T-6 #41. Trips from the Museum to 10th Street
and return will be on Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM, and Sunday from 1-4 PM.
We will be giving a very nice HO train set as a door prize. Come ride if
you can.

I passed out the 2012 Friends of the Virginian Railway "Takin' Twenty
one-page calendars to the Brethren. If you want one, contact me at
gkholine at cox.net and I will send it for download.

We talked about the strike that was averted this week by rail workers which
could have shut down our nation's rail lines. Engineers and Trainmen, and
American Train Dispatchers ("Lightin' Slingers" as Harry Bundy calls the
old Morse code-using version of these) agreed to "cool it" until February.

I got a lot of feedback from the VGN RWY double-barrel, and Illinois
Central riot shotguns. Therefore, I will pass this on to you as I did the
Brethren. Recently my son, the gunsmith, found on an auction, a Winchester
Model 94 once used by an N&W Special Agent. I inquired about this and found
out this .30-30 has a 26" octagon barrel and is in "like new" condition.
The seller has a letter stating that it was purchased from R. M. Gillispie,
Chief Special Agent for N&W, March 18,1968 for $125. I made him a $500
offer for it, but was told he couldn't take less than $5,500!

Passed around was the January 2012 "Trains" magazine. Page 9 has a
photograph of the three GP-30s (including Roanoke Chapter #522) that were
used on a Special in October to start the celebration of the 30th
Anniversary of Norfolk Southern. Page 13 has "Norfolk's light rail rolls
like The Tide" about Norfolk's new train whose "5,100 plus daily riders are
almost double projections". This Tide uses a section of the old VGN RWY
right of way!. The 10-page feature "Big Little Railroad" features the
Buckingham Branch Railway. Eddie Mooneyham, a Friend of the VGN RWY and VP
of the Roanoke Chapter NRHS, worked as an engineer for BB before being
hired by NS. Also passed was an email from the NW Mailing list announcing a
2012 convention of the America Association of Private Railroad Car Owners
Amtrak-NS train from Washington, DC to Chattanooga. The return on 9-30-12
to 10-1-12 will be through Bristol, TN/VA with an overnight stay in
Roanoke! Could there be steam on the horizon???

The Jewel from the Past is from August 11, 2005: "Keith Sowder said
operator Clyde Weatherly had a cocker spaniel named 'Buck' that he would
bring to work with him on the swing shift at the Walnut Street Tower (JK).
'Buck' would sit over in the corner and keep quiet. Clyde would bring a
lunch every day for him, 'Buck' and an un-named mouse, who lived in the
Tower. Keith said when Clyde would rattle his lunch bag, the mouse would
come out and he would feed 'Buck' and the mouse. I guess dogs and mice
'take twenty' too".

Time to pull the pin on this one!

Departing Now from V248,

Skip Salmon



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