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Jerry & Darla Van Note_WEB.jpg

    In continuing to bring our readers new and interesting information about your friends and neighbors, we are presenting our “What’s Your Story” series. This is a Q & A panel of 20 questions that we ask Randolph County Residents. The information is fun facts and good advice from them on various topics. We are interested in seeing what we can learn about our readers in 20 questions! Hope you enjoy!

    If you would like to submit your story, send an email request to:

Featured this week is:  Jerry Van Note

From: Winchester

Occupation:  Owner/ operator Van Note’s Wrecker Service

1. Tell us about your family – spouse, children, grandchildren, pets, etc.

       My wife, Darla, is a nurse, we have been married for 42 years and have three children. Rocky Lane is 41 and married to Mandy Champ Van Note. They have two children an 11 year old daughter, Rochelle Amanda, and a 7 year old son, Lane Gregory. Our other son is Adam Wayne, who just turned 40, he has one 9 year old son, Drake Addison, and is getting married to Erica Clark on June 15. She has two daughters, 9 year old Kaylynn and 6 year old Brinly. Our only daughter is Nicole Renee who is 38. She has two daughters 17 year old Sydney Nicole is about to graduate high school. Her other daughter is 15 year old Taylee Renee. She has a son Connor Lane who is 13 and is married to Matt Tam who has a 16 year old daughter, Madison Ingals. We have one dog named Meathead.


2. What is your occupation?

    I am owner and operator of Van Note’s Wrecker Service. I started the business in 2000, in my garage. In 2005, I purchased our Main Street location and began employing two mechanics.

3. How many jobs have you had? Favorite one? Least Favorite one?

    I have had many jobs. As a teenager, I worked as a pizza maker, a short order cook, a furniture maker, and as a mechanic at a garage. As an adult, I worked for my father as an upholsterer. I also worked as a spray painter and bucket-truck repairman for Lewis Painting and Sandblasting. For a short time I worked for the Union City Body Company. I also did maintenance work at Frank Miller Lumber until I decided to open my own business. Throughout my life, I have always worked on vehicles. My favorite job would be having my own business as a tow-truck driver. This has been a life-long dream. My least favorite was working at a sale barn as a teenager.

4. Other than your family members, who in your life do you most admire?

     I most admire Kenny “Dutch” Lewis and Rusty Symmes who were both business owners and strived to make their lives better.

5. If you could change the world, what would be your first move?

    Get free healthcare for the elderly.

6. What is your best advice for someone to experience happiness?

    Look at the bright side of things. Always look at the cup as half full not half empty. Be optimistic, always think that things will work out. Not “what if it doesn’t work?”

7. You just won millions in the lottery. What will you do with the winnings?

    As most people would say, take care of my family. Then retire so that I could travel and drag race my ‘55 Chevy that I have spent the last three years building. Having this car and living long enough to enjoy it has always been my dream come true.

8. What are 3 things remaining on your bucket list?

    The only two remaining are to race my ‘55 Chevy gasser and win the lottery.

9. What is the best technological invention from the 1950’s forward?

     Probably the microwave oven. That way, everyone can cook.

10. What is something that very few people know about you?

    In 1980, I got to work on an Indy racing team with driver Tom Bigalow. We won the fastest pit-stop competition, and our team had three cars finish in the top ten.


11. What is your biggest pet peeve?

    People who drive slowly in the left lane.

12. What is your favorite memory?

     Working with my uncle Bob on the Indy racing team.

13. If you found a time machine that would take you back for one day, when would that be? Why?

    My uncle Bob passed away 2 years ago. I would go back before then so that I could talk to him and spend one more day with him

14. What is the biggest misconception about you?

    The biggest misconception about me is that my hair is really blonde and not white or grey.

15. What is your favorite place to dine within the boundaries of Randolph County?

    Bouser’s Barn in Union City.

16. Have you always lived in the Randolph County area? If not where else?

     I have not always lived in Randolph County. As a teenager and young adult I lived in Adams and Jay Counties in the area around Portland, Bryant, and Berne. The first year we were married, we moved to Kansas. We missed Indiana, and our family, and moved back after just three months.

17. Your biggest contribution to society?

    Helping people in need. Helping those who are stranded with car problems, or those who have locked their keys in their vehicle. I have had some distressed women call me their hero. Trying to help those that are not as fortunate financially when they are already stressed out due to accidents, injuries, or the loss of loved ones.

18. Most important rule in life?

    Treat others as you would want to be treated. Not everyone is having as good of a day as you, so be understanding. Keep laughter in everyone’s life.

19. Biggest “Game Changer” in your life?

    When I met and married my wife 42 years ago.

20. Will you retire from your current job?

    Probably not retire, just be more laid back and enjoy life.


Can you dance?

    I can’t dance anymore.

Dream vacation?

    Wherever there is a drag racing track.

Favorite food?

    Greasy Cheeseburger, and the candy orange slices.

Dream car?

    My 1955 Chevy gasser that I just finished building.

Favorite type of music?

    Classic Rock and Roll.