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

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Thu Nov 15 11:35:19 EST 2012

Last night I had the pleasure of "Takin' Twenty" with eight of the Brethren
and Friends of the Virginian Railway. I told them about coming by the
Virginian Station on my way to the restaurant and seeing the remains of a
large buck deer in the area between the Station and Jefferson Street
Bridge. I found out from an electrician working nearby that it was an
8-pointer, but someone had already removed the antlers. We wondered if he
had been hit by a train, auto or just dropped dead when he saw the new roof
on our station......

Landon and I shared a lot of information to the Brethren about last
weekend's excursion trains out of Roanoke. We gave rides to over 800 people
to Abingdon/Bristol and Shenandoah/Vaughn-Summit. The most popular ride was
the short run from Shenandoah to Vaughn-Summit and 300 took that one. We
passed on to the Brethren that the engineer who brought us back to Roanoke
from Shenandoah on Sunday, Jimmy Lisle, was making his last run after many
years of service on NS. Jeff Sanders, President Roanoke Chapter NRHS, and I
presented Jimmy one of our trip shirts and had his old Road Foreman S. R.
Winegard pose with him for photos, before we left. We honored all veterans
on the trains by having Walt Alexander, Membership Chairman, give all
veterans a special red, white and blue ribbon with a golden star to each
one to wear during the trip. Walt passed through the train in his Navy
dress blues and recognized each hero personally.

Passed around was the Winter "Classic Trains" that has on page 41 a 1971
photo of the N&W train #301 the "Wabash Cannon Ball" that ran from Detroit
to St. Louis. Also shown to the Brethren were two photos of the newly
painted NS #6920 SD60E painted red,white and blue with flags, ribbons and
"Honoring our Veterans" on the side. This #6920 also has on the front under
the door a red white and blue star that the Brethren commented looks a lot
like the one on Mill Mountain in Roanoke.

>From last week, Louis Newton, author of "Rails Remembered Vol. IV 'The

Tale of a Turbine'" and world known source of information about the N&W
steam turbine TE1 #2300 better known as "Jawn Henry", knows of no train
pulled by "Jawn" down the Virginian. He remembered that the N&W considered
using him on the Winston-Salem "Punkin Vine" but officials decided not to
use him there.

The Jewel from the Past is from July 5, 2006: "Wis Sowder and 'Slick' Inge
gave us a first hand tour of the old Lane Furniture plant in Altavista
where the famous Lane Cedar Chests were made. Wis said that he went to the
plant every day to get the line up of what they needed. Usually there were
two box cars of cedar chests out each day and a tank car of glue came in.
'Cornbread' remembered the Silk Mill in Roanoke usually got 12 cars of coal
for their power plant each day, and a box car of some sort of salt-like
by-product was shipped out".

Felix Price and Bill Spencer, both veterans of WWII entertained us with
some of their "war stories". Felix directed large guns as a Navy gunner and
Bill worked in the radio room. Bill who was part of the occupation force
first landing in Japan, told us that they were issued 200 rounds of ammo
before leaving their ships, and then told to leave the ammo on board....

Then there's this from a good Friend of the Virginian Railway, Danny Gee:
When everybody on earth was dead and waiting to enter Heaven, God appeared
and said, "I want the men to make two lines. One line for the men who were
true heads of their household, and the other line for the men who were
dominated by their women. I want all the women to report to St. Peter".
Soon, the women were gone, and there were two lines of men. The line of the
men who were dominated was 100 miles long and the other line only had one
man. God said to the long line, "You men should be ashamed of yourselves; I
created you to be the head of your household! You have been disobedient and
have not fulfilled your purpose! Of all of you, only one obeyed. Learn from
him". God turned to the one man, "How did you manage to be the only one in
this line?" The man replied, "My wife told me to stand here."

Time to pull the pin on this one!

Departing Now from V248,

Skip Salmon


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