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

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Thu Jan 15 08:43:49 EST 2015

Last night I had the pleasure of "Takin' Twenty" with seven of the Brethren
and Friends of the Virginian Railway.  Doctor Gibson Davis brought three
more  photos for me to scan into the N&W (and VGN) Historical Society
Database.  One is another shot of the VGN #472 after she hit a boulder just
west of the Hardly tunnel and went down the bank beside the Roanoke
(Staunton) River on New Year's Eve 1933.  The other two are of his
Grandfather Malcolm "Mac" Sills Vaughan, who was VGN Roundhouse Foreman at
Roanoke, and Malcolm's father-in-law VGN Machinist Julianne Parish, who
served at Victoria.  When these and the others from last week are entered,
I will give intructions on this site for finding them.

For Show and Tell, I took a VGN drawing from the N&WHS Archives VGN 627-B
of the lettering and numbering diagram for VGN Scale Test Car SC-2.  This
was one of the 40-ton scale test cars that VGN had. SC-1 was made (about
1910) from VGN poling car P-1.  The poling cars were used to move rolling
stock on parallel tracks when the locomotive could not, or it was not
convenient for it to get into the siding or track. The poling cars were
built by Baldwin Loco Works in Philadelphia.  They had poles that opened up
similar to a Jordan Spreader on both sides to move adjacant track rolling
stock.  They were painted black with the interior of the cab green.  The
were 32 feet long, with a cab in the middle...what a great candidate for a
model!  This is why some of the short "platforms" used in yard service in
the '70s and '80s at such places as Roanoke Shops with a small cab for
weather protection and a barrel fire were called "poling cars".  The one in
Roanoke Shops even had a child's riding horse mounted on top...

The Jewel from the Past is from May 22, 2008:  "It came to our attention
that Cornbread Victory requested the state of Virginia remove the "DEER
CROSSING" sign from in front of his apartment.  He said "too many deer are
being hit by cars out there!  I don't think this is a good place for them
to be crossing any more!"

The ebay report this time has a 1945 public timetable sellinlg for $12 and
a model of an HO brass Alco E2-1A jack shaft squarehead #125 for $299.

Wis and Landon talked about the "beanery" at Sewells Point.  Wis said the
food was "pretty good and I think the man who ran it was connected with
starting Sands and Company (the Virginian Railway Company Store). Landon
recalled "Hustlebubble" Mattingly using Sands and Company a lot. Sometimes
he got NO paycheck!   Raymond said "Ole Hustle had a problelm with cash
staying in his pocket" and he "even went to West Virginia once to get his
paycheck...couldn't wait for the train to bring it to Roanoke."

I left the meeting early to attend a funeral home viewing of a very good
friend of mine, who passed away Sunday, Clifford E. Shelley. Cliff and I
came up through the ranks at N&W and NS together in the Mechanical
Department and he will be sorely missed.

Then there's this:  A rural couple, Earnest and Sue Anne, had nine
children.  They went to their doctor to see about "gettin' Earnest fixed".
The doctor gladly started the required procedure and asked what finally
made them make the decision.  Why, after nine children, would they choose
to do this now?  Earnest replied "Sue Anne saw on the TV where one out of
every ten children being born in the US today is Mexican.  We don't want to
take a chance on having a Mexican baby since neither of us speak any

Time to pull the pin on this one!

Departing Now from V248,

Skip Salmon


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