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

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Thu Apr 4 08:04:34 EDT 2013

Last night I had the pleasure of "Takin' Twenty" with seven of the Brethren
and Friends of the Virginian Railway. I told the Brethren about seeing the
new P. Buckley Moss painting of the Virginian Station in Roanoke, that will
be unveiled at a convention in Roanoke later this year. Prints from this
painting will be sold as a fund raiser for the Station Project. I was not
impressed with what the artist saw at the corner of Jefferson and
Williamson, until I researched some of the other PBM paintings. Her
painting of Mr. Jefferson's Monticello gave me more light into what this
artist visions are, and sort of explains the style. More on this later.

Several of the Brethren have seen the US flag on display at the Station now
that we have security and night lighting. Phase II is underway.

I have been told by two sources that the High Iron Southeast Explorers
Excursion train scheduled to travel down the old VGN portion of NS next
week has been canceled.

Passed around for the Brethren to peruse was the May "Trains" Magazine.
Most of this issue is about "Life or death checkup for steam" with a good
bit on the NS 21st Century Steam Program. One interesting article on page
16 is about the new six-axle units with only four AC traction motors being
tested. This A1A truck configuration brings back memories of the old days.
Page 63 has a great shot of the N&W J #611 at Clemson, SC promoting the
"Fire Up the 611" rebuild program.

For Show and Tell I took a coloring book that caused a chuckle since the
Brethren are fans of the "Pickles" comic strip in the newspaper. Pickles
grandson let him color in his coloring book but only gave him a white
crayon...then the dog ate it. The Norfolk Southern sponsored Roanoke
Chapter NRHS "Railroading in the Roanoke Valley" coloring book has become a
collector's item since the art work features a lot of N&W and VGN rolling
stock and done quite well. I have one extra if anyone is interested in
having one. Page 4 has VGN Caboose #342 (now at Victoria Rail Park); Page 5
has VGN #4 (last VGN steam loco left now at VMT) and page 26 has VGN ELC

Last week while working at the VGN Station, I observed a fellow walking up
with a camera and we started talking. He is Phillip Miller from Northern
Virginia, who is a VGN fan who reads this report and is interested in our
project. Also that day a gentleman from a Pennsylvania NRHS Chapter stopped
by to take photos.

Passed around was a photo that John McDaniel gave me last Saturday of a
track gang, about 1972. These men worked the Whitethorne District before
the merger and are shown with their N&W Dodge truck. I have posted this
photo on this site under "Skip's Photos" and would like to identify the
first three in the picture. The fourth from the left is Earle H. Doyle. The
Brethren could not ID the other three. If anyone out there can, please let
me know.

The Jewel from the Past is from December 7, 2006: "The story of the night
was told by 'Slick' Inge. Seems that twice each month, #3 would bring
paychecks to each location that had a station agent for payment to the
employees. On one of these days, the passenger train was making her way
through Elmore when one could see cars start up from nearby homes and head
toward Mullens to pick up paychecks, Eddie Lawson, VGN Shopman, was known
to 'tip an elbow with the fellows' on payday. This day when #3 was spotted,
he headed out the door and was handed a grocery list by his wife. Two days
later, he backed his truck up to the porch and started unloading bags of
groceries. His wife came out the door and exclaimed 'Where in the cat hair
have you been?' He calmly replied, 'I would have been home sooner, if you
hadn't gave me such a long grocery list!'"

Time to pull the pin on this one!

Departing Now from V248,

Skip Salmon


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