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

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Thu Jul 18 08:26:10 EDT 2013

Last night I had the pleasure of "Takin' Twenty" with seven of the Brethren
and Friends of the Virginian Railway. For Show and tell I took a couple
photos from last week end's photo shoot at The Virginia Museum of
Transportation. This event was sponsored by Lerro Productions (see their
web site) and used the 1218 and 611 as well as other VMT rolling stock for
a staged photo shoot. There were photographers from all over the country
and overseas. The Roanoke Chapter NRHS moved the equipment around for
Friday night, Saturday morning and night, and Sunday morning scenes. There
were several actors from the RCNRHS, VMT and owners of period autos. The
setting was in the forties and fifties complete with 'Rosie the Riveter',
611 passing a 'wig-wag" signal road crossing, passengers boarding RCNRHS PA
coach #512 from a City Bus etc. Yours truly played a passenger conductor
and all of the buttons on my uniform were Virginian Railway. I have posted
one of the photos on this site. A photographer from Tokyo, Japan told me,
of the thousands he took, this was his favorite.

I also showed the Brethren a Bible track that is being distributed from a
new friend of mine, Rick Robinson, head baseball Coach of Young Harris
College in Georgia. I met Rick at the recent Commonwealth Games high school
baseball all star game in Salem where I was one of the official scorers.
Rick is a great rail fan, especially of the N&W and VGN and takes photos of
the NS Heritage units and puts them on his tracts to witness to others.

The Jewel from the Past like one in Gordon Hamilton's size 18 model 940 21
jewel is from June 7, 2007: "Rufus Wingfield told a story about Abe
Carnnel, a VGN Clerk who was quite a character. He was told once that his
writing was terrible and the switching list could not be read. His reply
was 'Son, they pay me to write 'um down, not read 'um'".

I showed the Brethren a copy of Virginian Standard drawing D-5a "Standard
Concrete Whistle Post". I recently dug this out for use in designing a bike
rack for the Virginian Station Restoration. I had never heard the
instructions on the drawing. In locations in West Virginia, the post was to
be "placed on the right side of the track approaching highway 12 feet from
center line of track at a distance of 990 feet from the place where the
railroad crosses any public street or highway". In locations in Virginia
however, the instructions were the same except the distance from the road
crossing is to be "900 to 1800 feet"!

In Monday's "Roanoke Times" under their regular "100 years ago today"
article was this snippet: "Woe unto the hobo who rides into Roanoke on an
iron-bound rattler-meaning a freight train".

Wis Sowder and Gordon Hamilton talked about several men who they remember
working with. Gordon and Landon talked railroad watches and Gordon told
about when he was young pointing out to friends "look at those "sum are"
cattle. Some are black and some are brown.

Then there's this: A social worker from Chicago recently transferred to the
mountains of West Virginia and was on the first tour of her new territory
when she came upon the tiniest cabin she had ever seen in her life.
Intrigued, she went up and knocked on the door. "Anybody home? she asked.
"Yep"' came a kid's voice through the door. "Is your father there?" asked
the social worker. "Pa, Nope, he left afore Ma came in," said the kid.
"Well, is your mother there?" persisted the social worker. "Ma? Nope, she
left afore I got here"' said the kid. "But" protested the social worker
(thinking that surely she will need to intervene in this situation) "are
you never together as a family?' "Sure, but not here", said the kid through
the door. "This is the outhouse!"

Time to pull the pin on this one!

Departing Now from V248,

Skip Salmon


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