Just about as certain as there is to be coffee on Saturday, members will find one of Van Harrington's Corvettes parked at coffee call and Van inside visiting with other members.
Born in Orange, Texas in 1953. (He notes with pride that he and the Corvette were born in the same year, 1953)
His dad was a school principal in Orange. At age 14 the family moved to Waco, Texas where Van attended and graduated high school. At age 15, he bought his first Corvette - a 1961 Vette.
"Dad had one and my brother had a '63, so I just fell in love with them. I drove both my 1961, and also my brother's 1963 all over the area, putting thousands of miles on them. I consider my brother's Vette to be my 2nd Corvette."
Van graduated from high school in 1971 and went immediately into the U.S. Air Force and following recruitment camp, was stationed in Wichita Falls at Sheppard AFB where we worked as a mental health tech.
His 1st son was born while he was stationed at Sheppard and his 2nd son was born while he was at Norton AFB in California. In 1978, he changed from hospital care to data systems and was stationed at the Air force data systems facility in Montgomery, Alabama.
A relocation to Germany brought a top secret security clearance, Nancy his wife and a 3rd Corvette. This one was a 1979 model.
Returning to stateside to Langley, Va. a first daughter was born. Additional assignments in data intelligence , in the D.C. area afforded a stint at Andrews AFB where the Air Force 1 is based.
While at Andrews, a third son was born. Van retired in 1991 and he and his family (his wife was also career Air force) moved to Biloxi for her final assignment) and then in 1996, they came to Norman, Nancy's home.
Meanwhile, a 4th Vette had been purchased, this one a 2000 year model - unfortunately it was totalled in Norman in 2005.
Van and Nancy live west of Norman in what is known as the nine mile flats. A 5th Corvette was purchased , but Van did not like this 1996 C-4 and sold it shortly after buying it. Then there was the 6th Vette - a 2005 and a 7th Vette, a 1971 C-3 (which was the year of Van's graduation from high school).
Van got his mechanical ability by the well tested "trial and error" method.
Some of the interesting things you probably do not know about Van are:
- He has his hang glider license.
- He learned to water ski at age 6.
- His favorite sport is NASCAR racing.
- He likes to race ATV vehicles and has raced on the National ATV racing circuit. He even built an ATV track at his house in Virginia.
An active member of the cRc, Van joined the club about 2012.