50th Anniversary Reflections

Blue Ridge NRHS

Wayland Moore

 BRC Memories - Wayland Moore

Now that I have had a chance to think back to my association with the Blue Ridge Chapter, many memories return (yes, that’s what happens in getting older!!).  Several thoughts are right up there but one of the first is the state of the chapter when arriving in July 1974.  Attendance was poor and we were meeting monthly in several different places including the Fidelity building and the Appalachian Power auditorium (that’s right, no meals with the meeting)....

....So Charlie Long and I got together and sent out reminder postcards before the meetings.  And a number of us came together to sponsor Southern Railway’s “Best Friend of Charleston” visits down at Kemper Street station.  Additionally, due to the kindness of the Richmond chapter, we were able to piggy back on their one-way ferry trips of Southern Steam Excursions from Lynchburg to Alexandria with bus return.  While it did not bring in thousands of dollars it did help the treasury for a few bucks.  The tickets were not professional, just made at home, but that saved a few more dollars for the chapter.

And then there was some railfanning and train chasing.  One trip, due to the “leadership” of Ed Fielding to the Warrenton Railroad, we were treated as visiting dignitaries.  And train chasing became a new art.  To try to stay out of the pictures of some of the others, I ran behind the locomotive (no, I did not bark at the engine).  And for a time we had the nice opportunity to ride Amtrak from Lynchburg to Crewe and, after a short wait (tell me it was about an hour wait) we could return to Lynchburg.  
Many times I would go traveling with Dick Myers (he joined in about 1960 when he moved into town from NY with GE).  We made many trips to abandoned logging lines running out of Massies Mill, Woodson, and Cornwall, VA.  Is the cab of the 42” Climax still in Cornwall?  We also chased the NF&D with its Alcos, including #1 and #2.  And I got into trouble with his wife, Susan, because we would come home too late.  He was also involved in the trip to Abingdon in the early 60’s for the ride to West Jefferson, NC, on the mixed train.  One of his photos he liked the most was picking up the mail on the fly.  

There was also Jean-Francois Gervais who did a significant amount of research on the origins of the L&D [it started in bits and pieces and finally three lines were connected by Mr. Otey. Naruna and Gladys were named after his family members) before the N&W took it over.  

There have been a lot of good memories of the fun and association with the Blue Ridge Chapter members and I hope to be able to continue an active association with you even though I am now living in the Palmyra (east southeast of Charlottesville).