"Takin' Twenty" with the Virginian Brethren by Skip Salmon
NW Mailing List
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Tue Mar 10 09:26:10 EDT 2015
Hoyt Buck made the first Buck knife in 1902. The phrases referred to in
Taking Twenty were in use in the 1860s and referred to the buckhorn
handles that were common on hunting knives.
On 3/5/2015 5:58 AM, NW Mailing List wrote:
> Tonight I had the pleasure of "Takin' Twenty" with eight of the
> Brethren and Friends of the Virginian Railway. Attending with us was
> Mark Erickson, Norfolk Southern Pipefitter at Roanoke Shops who took
> the photo in the NS March 2015 calendar of the Southern and IT
> heritage units passing with a train in front of the old N&W General
> Office Building in Roanoke. Also with us was our friend Chip Oats who
> has a farm along the old Virginian at Lafayette, VA. Chip told us of
> work being done to raise the southern portal tunnel at Montgomery, VA
> on the N&W side and a lot of traffic being moved over to the old VGN
> Whitethorne side. He even observed a west bound single stack train
> lately there.
> Raymond East brought a recent purchase from a local antique store of a
> Michigan train station typical of the old VGN type to share with us.
> He and Landon pointed out several items in the photo including the old
> semiphore signal and telegraph lines that brought back some memories.
> We also talked about this Saturday night "springing forward" our
> clocks into Dayllight saving time. Raymond told of Virginian Railway
> Brakeman Chuck Ridgeway who carried two watches when DST was in
> effect. Landon remembered when the rail lines did NOT go on DST and
> it "messed up" the passenger train schedules sometimes.
> The ebay report this time has the follow VGN items sold: 5X7 photo of
> FM #55 at Elmore in 1956 for $36.00; 1931 Pass of C. H. Hix, VGN
> President, for $18.27; VGN Trust plate for $67.00 and a 1946 public
> timetable for $26.99.
> I showed the Spring "Classic Trains" magazine with a photo taken in
> Norfolk at Union Station of a VGN passenger train . Also shown was a
> 1954 VGN RWY Annual Report I recently purchased on ebay. This one has
> the VGN operating ratio at 61.8% ( took 61.8 cents to generate a
> dollars worth of revenue). That year the VGN had l3,003 employees
> with a payroll of $13.539,414.
> The Jewel from the Past is from June 12, 2008: " Bob Rowland
> remembered riding squareheads in the yard every chance he got. He
> said he 'loved the up and down motion of the side rods pounding the
> iron'. He also enjoyed standing beside one of the 900s as it started
> to pull a loaded coal train. 'It was so smooth and powerful, it would
> my make hair stand on end, and even then I didn't have much'".
> Then there's this: Gordon Hamilton send me a list of "I never knew"
> items that I shared with the Brethren. This one was the favorite:
> Most men in the early west carried a jack knife made by the Buck
> Knife Company. When playing poker it was common to place one of these
> Buck knives in front of the dealer so everyone knew who he was. When
> it was time for a new dealer the deck of cards and the knife were
> given to the new dealer. If this person didn't want to deal he would
> "pass the buck" to the next player. If that player accepted then "the
> buck stopped there".
> Time to pull the pin on this one!
> Departing Now from V248,
> Skip Salmon
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