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

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Thu May 2 08:13:50 EDT 2013

Last night I had the pleasure of "Takin' Twenty" with five of the Brethren
and Friends of the Virginian Railway. Landon and his wife are on a train
trip to Connecticut, and Wis Sowder is vacationing at Branson, MO. The
first topic was a speeding ticket that our waitress Princess recently got.
She was clocked at 69 MPH in a 35 MPH zone. This is kinda bad but even
worse, if you are familiar with WHERE the State Trooper stopped her. It was
on the Franklin County side of Windy Gap Mountain, one of the crookest and
steepest mountains in Southwest Virginia...

More on our new friend Mickey Apgar whose father ran the Chevrolet
dealership near Lafayette (VGN MP 262) and was once a Waterboy on the VGN.
Mickey's grandfather was a telegraph operator at Singer on the N&W. This is
significant because when the Virginian was formed from the Deepwater and
Tidewater, the siding at what is now Kumis was also called Singer, but
changed to Kumis so there wouldn't be two Singers on two railways so close
together. Also Mickey told me that the Italians who helped build the nearby
Tidewater bought his uncle a pair of shoes. His uncle, who loved to go bare
footed, was appreciative.

Passed around for the Brethren to peruse was the June 2013 "Trains"
magazine. The lead news story "Coal's decline hits the East" is about our
neck of the woods. "The thickest, most accessible, and highest quality coal
seams were depleted years ago, so companies are now mining thinner or
deeper reserves that are more expensive per ton to extract. The most
significant reason for the shift is the enormous rise in domestic natural
gas production". The article points out that NS has reported reductions of
20 to 25 percent from 2011 to 2012. Also electrical utilities are
converting to gas because of the more stringent emission standards.

The Jewel from the Past is from January 18, 2007: "As a follow-up to the
story about the Superintendent's house at the corner of 9th and Lee in
Victoria (Russell McDaniel, VGN Master Mechanic live there also), 'Slick'
Inge said that when it was his home, his wife also made pecan pies. He said
the squirrels thought the pecans were theirs, and on occasion when she
'shook the tree to get some, the squirrels would race her to get them on
the ground'".

I told the Brethren that Jeff Sanders and I signed the contract yesterday
after approval from the City of Roanoke and VDOT to get the ball rolling on
Phase II construction at the Virginian Station in Roanoke.

My youngest son Joshua Lee is getting married this Saturday and I am
honored to be the "Best Man". During my toast I plan to tell a story
concerning one of the Virginian Brethren. More about this next week.

Then there's this from Glen McLain: Glen said in Indiana there are two
small towns just a few miles apart: Normal, IN and Oblong, IN. Once a small
headline on the social page read "Normal man marries Oblong woman". Raymond
East quipped "Wonder what kind of kids they had."

Time to pull the pin on this one.

Departing Now from V248,

Skip Salmon


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