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

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Thu Sep 27 08:31:37 EDT 2012

Last night I had the pleasure of "Takin' Twenty" with nine of the Brethren
and Friends of the Virginian Railway. Attending with us were Tom and Judy
Salmon. Tom, or "Saltwater" as he is called in the Virginian Nation, is the
well known VGN historian, author and collector of artifacts, photos and
preserver of anything else connected to our beloved fallen flag. Tom and
Judy live in Florida but he is from the Tidewater area of Virginia, thus
the "Saltwater" handle, vs mine of "Freshwater". They were passing through
on their way home from recent travels from Nova Scotia. They visited the
Boston area and H. H. Rogers libraries, as well as the W. R. Coe mansion on
Long Island. Tom told the Brethren about seeing H. H. Rogers' will, which
was several inches thick. I am sure he will be filling us in on these
adventures later.

Most of the talk of the night was about last Saturday's "Virginian Railway
Day" at the Virginia Museum of Transportation in Roanoke. Nine of Brethren
participated by answering questions during the day. The photo of them
posing with the NS Heritage VGN #1069 locomotive was unveiled and is now on
display. Also on Saturday, Ken Miller and several Roanoke NRHS Chapter
members, applied the "Virginian" stencils to the recently re-painted VGN SA
0-8-0 #4, the last VGN steam engine left, as museum patrons watched. Also
on display for the first time was the newly rewired and restored dispatch
panel that I "rescued" showing what is left of the former VGN from Demuth
(Tinker Creek connection) to Abilene, VA. I have posted a photo of the
Brethren with #1069 (Greely Wyatt)and the dispatch panel on this site under
"Skip's Photos".

Please note that I do NOT consider myself an historian. I like to initiate
discussion about the VGN, and when I am made aware of something I have
quoted incorrectly, I immediately revise my statement. I am grateful for
historians like H. Bundy and Louis Newton who let me know. The dispatch
panel now on display at VMT that I "rescued", served post-merger in the
Crewe Dispatcher's Office and not in JK tower as I reported last week.

The Jewel from the Past is from May 4, 2006: "I asked 'Scotty' Hunter, VGN
hostler, what was the most 'hair-raising' thing he ever seen on the VGN. He
said that once at Elmore, an engineer was 'blowing down' one of the 700s
when a pipe cracked sending water and steam into a nearby sub-station of
the 88,000 volt line. He said there was much 'fire, fear and excitement'".

Passed around was the Summer NRHS "Bulletin" for the Brethren to peruse.

The ebay report this time includes the following VGN items sold recently:
Article "Engineering News Magazine'" of 7-8-09 "Erection of the New River
Bridge at Glen Lyn, VA" for $48.83; H. Reid book hardback for $36.99,
$37.99 and one for $57.00; VGN Trainman and Yardman Book for $34.99;
Brochure on EL-2b $20.51; 1927 VGN 4-Day Excursion from mountains to
Norfolk flyer, for $113.61; 1956 Norfolk Division Timetable for $66.89;
1906 Article in Railway Age on "Tidewater-Deepwater water stations" for
$18.29; VGN RWY paperweight with a scene of the first Wasena Bridge in
Roanoke for $56.40; 1932 Timetable for $58.89; and a rare VGN trust plate
on City Bank Farmers for $141.63.

The Brethren enjoyed talking to Tom and Judy Salmon and I asked Tom if he
had a joke for us. This is what he gave: Two hikers were approaching an
area known for Grizzlies in west, when they spotted one running toward
them. One fellow immediately took off his back pack, removed his hiking
boots and put on his sneakers. The other one commented, "You know you can't
outrun that bear". "I know", he answered, "I only have to out run YOU!"

Time to pull the pin on this one!

Departing Now from V248,

Skip Salmon


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