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

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Thu May 22 08:19:27 EDT 2014

Last night I had the pleasure of "Takin Twenty with six of the Brethren and
Friends of the Virginian Railway.  We signed a Happy Birthday card for our
beloved senior member Russell R. McDaniel.  Mr. Mac attends as often as he
can with us with his daughter and son-in-law.  He is known far and wide as
the perfect living example of the VGN-N&W gentleman.  Several of the
Brethren commented last night about how much he was liked and respected
when he was Manager Motive Power and Equipment for the N&W.  He was the
Virginian Master Mechanic at Victoria in 1959 when the VGN-N&W merger took
place, so he is well qualified to fit the bill.  Russell is 92 today.

Landon Gregory brought a recent gift from a VGN fan.  It is an 8" X 16"
framed map from pre-VGN of the Tidewater-Deepwater Railway.  This map has
several locations on the main line that do now correspond to current names.
 Between Suffolk and Jarratt is AIDYL (Is this Walters?).  Between Jarratt
and Meherrin is shown TAYLOR (Is this Alberta?)  Victoria is NOT shown on
the map. On the New River side there is "Silver Gap" between Page and
Surveyor...what would this location be?  Also between Roanoke and West
Virginian there is SUMMIT (Could this be Yellow Sulphur) and BIG STONY
(Could this be Narrows).  Please respond with your comments about this
precious map that will be on display at the N&W Convention in Roanoke at
the VGN Station.  Also at the Station on June 28 Greely, Wyatt agreed last
night to be there to answer your questions about the "steam" coming from
VGN electrics, the "boost" 36 position throttle and other questions.
 Greely told the Brethren last night of first meeting Russell McDaniel in
mid 1945 when the VGN hired him (got him out of the Army early) to "help us
with the brand new electrics we got in November 1945".  We will have Greely
and several of the other VGN Brethren on hand at the Station during the
tour in June so make plans and bring questions.

The Jewel from the Past is from November 29, 2007:  "The Brethren recalled
the Princeton Shop facilities after the merger being used to repair MW
equipment, and for program work on freight cars, cabs and camp cars but
mostly coal hoppers.  In this discussion it was discovered that after the
merger the FM Train Masters did not do too well in 'pool service' with N&W
Alco RS-11s and EMD GP-9s.  Seems they developed water leak problems.
 Before the merger on the VGN, the FMs were serviced before every run and
were seldom shut down.  In N&W 'pool service', with much longer runs and
longer spans between servicing, and often shut down, the water leak problem
became reason to assign most of them to yard service in Norfolk".

I got many answers to the Andy Griffith Show question from last week.  I
had VGN Electric guru Greely Wyatt pick a winner from the hat.  He is
Roland Steorts of Rochester, NY.  Roscoe Darling said on the show that "it
takes 11 cap fulls to fill her up'.  He only used five so the winner was
picked from either answer.  Roland your VGN Safety First pin is on its way
to you.  For this week the question, for an N&W-VGN "Building to a Vision"
pin, is the following:  "What specific structure does one cross to get to
the Darling's cabin"  Be sure to send your answer along with your snail
mail address to gkholine at cox.net

This Saturday is free admission to the Virginia Museum of Transportation in
Roanoke.  There will much activity giving the J-Class #611 her send off for
steam.  We will have a lot of stuff going on about the VGN so come see us
if you are in town.

Then there's this:  A woman in a supermarket is following a grandfather and
his badly-behaved 3 year -old grandson.  It's obvious to her that he has
his hands full with the child screaming for sweets, biscuits, you name it.
 Meanwhile, Grandpa is working his way around, saying in a controlled
voice, "Easy William, we won't be long... easy, boy."  After another
outburst, she hears the grandpa calm say, "It's okay, William, just a
couple more minutes and we'll be out of here.  Hang in there , boy."  At
the checkout, the little terror is throwing items out of the cart and
grandpa says again in a controlled voice, "William, William, relax buddy,
don't get upset.  We'll be home in five minutes, stay, cool, William."
 Very impressed, the woman goes outside where the grandfather is loading
his groceries and the boy into the car.  She says to the elderly man, "It's
none of my business, but you were amazing in there.  I don't know how you
did it.  That whole time you kept your composure, and no matter how loud
and disruptive he got, you just calmly kept saying 'things would be okay'.
 William is very lucky to have you as his grandpa."  "Thanks," said the
grandpa, "but I'm William.  My grandson's name is Kevin."

Time to pull the pin on this one!

Departing Now from V248,

Skip Salmon


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