"Takin' Twenty" with the Virginian Brethren by Skip Salmon
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Thu Feb 25 07:39:12 EST 2016
Last night I had the honor of "Takin' Twenty" with five of the Brethren and
Friends of the Virginian Railway. We signed a Happy Birthday card for
former Virginian Brakeman and Conductor Bill Turner. Bill turns 84 today.
As we were arriving at Country Cookin' it was raining "cats and dogs" but
the skies to our south were blue with only white clouds visible. Some
commented "the devil must be beating his wife". I hadn't heard that
expression since I was a kid.
I told the Brethren about last Saturday's "Rail Fan" day at the Virginia
Museum of Transportation where we safely gave rides to over 600 fans. A
lady there noticed my VGN Conductors outfit and commented she had a photo
she had seen in several rail publications of me and two other railroaders
checking our watches. It was taken at VMT several years ago when Roanoke
Chapter set up 611 and 1218 with fake steam and had members dress in period
clothing with vintage cars, buses etc for the event for Lerro Productions
(visit their web site for more). She sent me the photo and I have posted
it on this site under "Skip's Photos". Note the VGN logo patches on my
The Jewel from the Past like those in a BW Raymond Elgin 21 jeweled beauty
with Montgomery Dial is from January 15, 2008: "I showed the Brethren two
recent 'Roanoke Times clips. The first of 12-29-08 '75 Years Ago' reads
'John Luther Saunders, 40-year-old Negro farmer, was jarred from his sleep
and into the role of hero yesterday in the Virginian Railway freight
wreck.' This referred to the westbound that struck a rock slide just west
of the Hardy Tunnel where our own Greg Elam's grandfather was rescued from
the wreck by Mr.Saunder's. The second was '100 years ago"of 1-5-09 'The
first through-train over the Virginian railroad between Roanoke and Norfolk
was run yesterday".
For Show and Tell I took the December 2015 issue of "Progressive
Railroading" magazine with Norfolk Southern 8954 on the cover with article
"In line with expectations NS anticipates new business opportunities after
acquiring an old D&H route." This magi zine praises NS for the D&H
purchase and hails it as progress in the new scheme of things and big
picture of rail progress.
Then there's this: During the Great Depression of the 1930's times were
tight and farmers children had to "make do" with the cards they were
dealt. Most carried a metal lunch box to school unlike the Roy Rogers,
Dukes of Hazard or Star Wars we and our children had. One such boy was
raised on a farm whose primary crop was turnips. His Mom fixed them every
way a turnip could be cooked: boiled turnips, broiled turnips, stewed
turnips, baked turnips, fried turnips, turnip salads, turnip sandwiches
etc. This lad was completely sick of some sort of turnip in his lunch
pail. So one day at school he decided to do something about it. When nobody
was paying attention, he proceeded to go down the line of the other
students boxes,lifting each to find the heaviest one for a different meal
from turnips at the noon lunch. He pick one and when the time came to open
the box and see what his new delicacy would be, he discovered there was a
fellow student in more culinary distress than he was. He found in the box a
ball peen hammer and four black walnuts...
Time to pull the pin on this one!
Departing Now from V248,
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