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

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Thu Jul 10 10:18:04 EDT 2014

Last night I had the pleasure of "Takin' Twenty" with six of the Brethren
and Friends of the Virginian Railway.  I told the Brethren about an inquiry
from our old friend Abe Burnett asking we any knew the first name of VGN
Engineer "Hustle-Bubble" Mattingly.  None could remember what the "J. L."
stood for. ( I found him on the seniority list as "J. L." Mattingly,
Fireman 11-21-41 and Engineer 2-5-47).   Abe sent an ad from during WWII
showing where the "hustle-bubble" came from:  "Save clothes in wartime!
 Just think! Ounce for ounce, Oxydol's new "Hustle-Bubble" suds are much
richer in washing power than before."  Wis Sowder remembered when he was
not present, he was called "Bottle-Ass" but he was one of the "smoothest
Engineers on the line.  He could pull a coal train out of the yard when
other Engineers had problems."

Landon Gregory brought his H. Reid Award, presented to him by the N&W (and
VGN) Historical Society at their Convention to show the Brethren.  I also
showed the Brethren a thank you letter sent by Ron Davis, President of the
Society giving a large donation to the Roanoke Chapter NRHS (owner of
restoration) and stating:Skip and his program at the Virginian Station were
well received.  Attendees appreciated meeting the Virginian Brethren after
reading about them in Skip's's "Takin' Twenty".

I passed around a photo of Mike Shockley of Peoria, IL holding his HO model
of the "JK" tower with the real one in the background of the photos.  I
have posted it on this site under "Skip's Photos".

No one got the right animal track that Opie drew on the ground and scared
Barnie.  It was an elephant track.  So this week's question  for the pin
is:  What is the name of the legendary silver carp in Tucker's Lake?  Send
your answer and your mailing address to gkholine at cox.net

Also passed around was my latest ebay purchase:  Virginian Railway Company
passenger traffic department local passenger tariff P-2049-B.  This booklet
shows fares for coach and parlor cars to all points on the VGN.  Wis Sowder
remembered using it to find the 24 cent fare from Altavista to Leesville
when he served as a Clerk there.  He said on Saturdays, many persons would
ride six miles back to Leesville after a day of shopping.  I plan to enter
a copy of  this book into the N&W HS Archives and have it on display at the
Station upon restoration.  I had in my briefcase a copy of Sam R.
Pennington's 1933 "Virginian Railway Feature with historical and
biographical listings of VGN officials.  Landon Gregory found T. A. Wooding
the man who hired him.  Wis Sowder and Raymond East also remembered many of
the officials whose bios are in the book.

Then there's this from VGN Clerk Bob Glass:  In a crowded city at a busy
bus stop, a woman who was waiting for a bus was wearing a tight leather
skirt.  As the bus stopped, she became aware that her skirt was too tight
to allow her leg to come up to the height of the first step of the bus.
 Slightly embarrassed and with a quick smile to the bus driver, she reached
behind her to unzip her skirt a little, thinking this would give her enough
slack to raise her leg.  Again she tried to make the step only to discover
she still couldn't.  So she once again reached behind her to unzip her
skirt a little more.  For the second time she attempted the step and once
again she could not raise her leg.  She reached behind to unzip a little
more and  again was unable to make the step.  About this time, a large
Texan who was standing behind her picked her up easily by the waist and
placed her gently on the step of the bus.  She went ballistic and turned to
the would-be Samaritan and screeched "How dare you touch me!  I don't even
know who you are!"  The Texan smiled and drawled, "Well ma'am, normally I
would agree with you, but after you unzipped my fly three times, I kinda
figured we was friends."

Time to pull the pin on this one!

Departing Now from V248,

Skip Salmon


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