"Takin' Twenty" with the Virginian Brethren by Skip Salmon 11-28-13

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Thu Nov 28 08:43:38 EST 2013

Last night, on the Eve of Thanksgiving 2013, I had the pleasure of "Takin'
Twenty with five of the Brethren and Friends of the Virginian Railway. We
all talked about what we are thankful for this year. Wis Sowder was
thankful that the new highway (US 221) is now complete up to his road and
he don't have to deal with the hassle of construction any more. Landon
Gregory was thankful for his brand new great grandbaby. I expressed thanks
that my grandson is doing OK at boot camp at Fort Leonard Wood. We all
agreed that we are thankful "for just still being here!" I shared one of
my favorite "Dennis the Menace" cartoons where Dennis was asked to say the
Blessing and he offered this: "Here's a prayer I heard my Mom say...Lord,
why did we invite all these people to dinner?"

We also talked about the recent $1.5 Million donation by Norfolk Southern
to the "Fire Up 611 Fund". The gift was generated by the sale of an NS
painting by Mark Rothko for $3.7 Million in New York at the famous
Sotheby's Auction. The painting is described as "amorphous forms that
float on top of each other". I took a newspaper photo of the painting and
showed the Brethen. One of them described it as resembling something an
artist got when he accidentally dropped his paint roller on to a canvas
twice and decided to frame it. We all studied the photo and could not see
the $3.7 Million...that's art. We all agreed it is going to help a good

For Show and Tell I took an April 1914 article from "Railway Age Gazette"
given to me by our good Friend of the Virginian Railway Jeff Sanders. This
article "Comparative Study in Operation-Virginian and C. C. & O" is about
the possible merger of the VGN and the Carolina, Clinchfield & Ohio. This
would have allowed the VGN to reach Spartanburg SC. There is no way to
comprehend what would have happened if this connection had been made in the
realm of what we have today. The Brethren agreed that it would have made a
merger with N&W a different ball game.

The Jewel from the Past is from September 20, 2007: "The recent torpedo
discussion on this site was bantered about. 'Cornbread' Victory remembered
once placing 6 torpedoes on the Walnut Ave. Street Car track and hearing
the explosions. One of the Brethren commented that if this happened today,
someone would suspect a "drive-by shooting" and every police officer in
Roanoke would be dispatched to the scene. Jimmy Whittaker said on New
Year's Eve, 1955, he and a Yard Crew 'connived' a scheme to welcome in the
new year. He placed about 100 torpedoes on the Main Line and when the Yard
Engine ran over the 'string of explosives' at midnight, it woke everybody
that was asleep on Clarke Ave. My introduction to this railway warning
device was shortly after I started working in the Roundhouse at Shaffers
Crossing in 1963. I will not admit to sleeping on the job, but if someone
did, it was a common practice to place a torpedo under the nearest wheel to
the cab, and when the hostler pulled the locomotive out of the Roundhouse,
the said person would be awakened with a large BANG!"

I told the Brethren about this Saturday's event at the O. Winston Link
Museum in Roanoke. Santa Clause will arive on a Norfolk Southern Caboose
about 5 PM at the Museum and there are activities for children with Santa,
in the Museum afterwards. Contact OWL for details.

Then there's this from my good friend Danny Gee and approved by a Catholic.
I disavow any referance to Obamacare: A man suffered a serious heart
attack while shopping, and a clerk called 9-1-1 when he saw the man
collapse to the floor. The paramedics rushed the man to the nearest
hospital where he had emergency open heart bypass surgery. He awakened
from the surgery to find himself in the care of nuns at the Catholic
Hospital. A nun was seated next to his bed, holding a clipboard loaded
with several forms, and a pen. She asked him how he was going to pay for
his treatment. "Do you have health insurance?" she asked. He replied in a
raspy voice, "No health insurance." The nun asked, "Do you have money in
the bank?" "No money in the bank". "Do you have a relative who could help
you with the payments?" asked the irritated nun. He said, "I only have a
spinster sister, and she's a nun." The nun became agitated and announced
loudly, "Nuns are not spinsters! Nuns are married to God." The patient
replied, "Perfect. Send the bill to my brother-in-law."

Time to pull the pin on this one.

Departing Now from V248,

Skip Salmon

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