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

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Thu Feb 4 08:56:17 EST 2016

Last night I had the honor of "Takin' Twenty" with four of the Brethren and
Friends of the Virginian Railway. We discussed the ever changing Norfolk
Southern stock situation and new tightening of the purse strings by NS,
with the CP situation.  Several of the displaced Pocahontas Division people
are now relocated in Roanoke and have talked to some of the Brethren.
Another topic discussed was the signing over this week of the deed to the
Belt Line by NS to the Roanoke Southern LLP group.  This is the beginning
of a great project for Roanoke using the old Belt Line from Franklin Road
through Wasena Park and on to near Walker Foudry for local excursion
trains.  The Roanoke Chapter NRHS will provide the operating people and
VMT, O. Winston Link and the N&W (and VGN) Historical Society will
participate in the project.  The future looks brighter now for rail fans in
the Roanoke area with the Belt line now a reality.

We also talked about the upcoming 611 excursion trains this spring.
April 9 "The
Virginian" will run from Spencer, NC to Lynchburg and retrun.  April 10 "The
Blue Ridge Special" runs from Spencer to Ashville, NC and is already SOLD
OUT.  April 23 and 24  "The Roanoker" runs from Greensboro, NC to Roanoke
and return. May 7 & 8 "The Powhatan Arrow" runs in the morning from Roanoke
to Lynchburg and return and "The Pelican" runs from Roanoke to Walton
(Radford) and return.  June 4 & 5 "The American" runs Manassas to Front
Royal, VA.  If all goes well, the Roanoke Chapter NRHS will have our very
own Powhatan Arrow car #537 on all of these trips as well as tool car
#1407.  Check with the Virginia Museum of Transportation for ticket prices
and ordering.

The Jewel from the Past like those in a Hampden 23 jewel "Special Railway"
size 18, hunting case with winding stem at 3 0'clock, and Fahys Monotauk
case, is from December 18, 2008:  "The Brethren were asked about the Leas
and McVitty Tannery in Salem.  Rufus and Raymond remembered receiving cars,
especially on Monday morning, that were routed on the "W" side for delivery
to the tannery by VGN.  Ruf said  one such Monday, when he came 'face to
face wih a cow hide hanging out a box car door'.  Ruf said 'it was still
dark and I almost had to change my drawers'.  Slick Inge recalled that most
of the cars designated for the tannery stunk so bad you 'needed no car
numbers to identify them'".

I gave the Brethren an update about progress at our Station.  Phase II
moving along nicely with plastering in progress.  We now have power and
gas, ceilings and the April-May completion seems possible.....

Then there's this:  A defendant was on trial for murder.  There was strong
evidence indicating guilt, but there was no corpse.  In the defense's
closing statement, the lawyer, knowing that his client would probably be
convicted, resorted to a trick.  "Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, I have
a surprise for you all.  Within one minute the person presumed dead in this
case will walk into this courtroom".  He looked toward the courtroom door.
The jurers, somewhat stunned, all looked on eagerly.  A minute passed.
Nothing happened.  Finally the lawyer said, "Actually, I made up the
previous statement.  But you all looked on with anticipation.  I,
therefore, put it to you that you have a reasonable doubt in this case as
to whether anyone was killed, and I insist that you return a verdict of not
guilty."  The jury, clearly confused, retired to deliberate.  A few minutes
later, the jury returned and pornounced a verdict of guilty.  "But how?"
inquired the lawyeer.  "You must have had some doubt; I saw all of you
stare at the door."  The jury foreman replied:  "Yes, we did look, but your
client did not".

Time to pull the pin on this one!

Departing Now from V248,

Skip Salmnon


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