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

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Thu Dec 4 12:09:00 EST 2014

Last night I had the honor of "Takin' Twenty" with four of the Brethren and
Friends of the Virginian Railway. Raymond East brought several old photos
of VGN employees and Wis Sowder did not notice one Brakeman who he worked
with for years.  "Never seen him cleaned up before" was his reason for not
recognizing him. We agreed that we will not meet on Christmas Eve and New
years Eve, last two Wednesdays in December.

For Show and Tell I took the January 2015 "Trains".  Page 6 has a great
photo photo of our Norfolk Southern Heritage Virginian #1069 in a consist
with BNSF, CSX and UP power near Laguna, NM in January this year. The
article "Is there still an urge to merge?" poses several concepts for
lash-ups of the remaining big rail lines in the US.  As for an NS-CP
lash-up the consensus was "less alluring today".  NS CEO Wick Moorman is
quoted concerning a BNSF-NS merger saying "few overlapping routes" stand in
the way.  As for a UP-NS one, Wick says "highly problematic".  The
Brethren's favorite would be the UP-NS one.  They also realized that old
Henry Huttleston Rogers would probably be in favor of a merger of any kind
because of the money made, and I added he would be surprised to see what
his Deepwater-Tidewater connection started.  This brings us to pages 38-39
in this "Trains" issue.  It is a map of the US with "Which Railroad rules
your state?" showing which line has the most route-miles in each.  Norfolk
Southern "rules" Alabama, Delaware, Georgia, New Jersey, North Carolina,
Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia.  The surprise in the group was quite a
question until Gorgon Hamilton expalined the Illinois Central connection to
Mississippi which is "ruled" by the Canadian Pacific.

Gordon then told us about a plumber he recently hired to do some work at
his home.  This plumber explained everything his craft needs to know about
plumbing in three sentences:  1. Hot is on the left, Cold is on the right.
2. Waste goes down hill and 3. Don't bite your nails.

The Jewel from the Past is from May 15, 2008:  "Cornbread was exceptionally
active at the session and told about his favorite Yardmaster, Bill
Whittaker, brother of our recently departed Jimmy Whittaker, VGN Clerk.
Seems Bill reminded him of the famous deputy of Sheriff Andy Taylor, Barney
Fife. Cornbread said Bill had the same swagger and aloofness of the famous
TV character.  Seems Bill, as Yardmaster, had little patience for one of
his Conductors, a fellow named Flannigan, who was extremely "long in the
tooth" when reporting derailments and such.  Once after a chiding for being
long winded, the Conductor gave this account of a derailment in the yard:
 "Off again, On again, Gone again, Flannigin."

I reminded the Brethren about the running of the Candy Cane Shifter this
Saturday (10 A to 5 P) andSunday (1-5 P) at the Virginia Museum of
Transportation.  Santa will be there and if you are in the area, come and
bring your children and grand children and ride behind the Roanoke Chapter
NRHS Alco Switcher T-6 #41.

This week's ebay report has two unusual sales:  An Alco Samhonosa model
brass unpainted EL-2b in HO set for $676.66.  A Virginian Railway Co.
Minter Shields match book cover sold for $52.69.  Anybody out there know
who the Minter Shields is?

Then there's this:  Attending a wedding for the first time, a little girl
whispered to her mother, "Why is the bride dressed in white?"  The mother
replied, "Because white is the color of happiness, and today is the
happiest day of her life".  The child thought about this for a moment then
said, "So why is the groom wearing black?"

Time to pull the pin on this one!

Departing Now from V248,

Skip Salmon


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