Apple Valley man makes a $5,000 online scoreWesley G. Hughes, Staff Writer Posted: 04/16/2009 04:38:42 PM PDT
When I grow up, I want to be Jon Varley.
The 58-year-old Apple Valley man has too much fun and he tops it with good fortune. He signed up for an Internet contest figuring it's another one of those come-ons that tries to squeeze money out of you.
Not this time. Classmates.com sent him money instead - $5,000. I saw the check. He sent his picture to the sites Photo Album Sweepstakes and that's all it took.
He signed on with Classmates.com because he'd been out of state for a few years and wanted to see if he could locate some of his pals from the Class of '69 at Pacific High School. That paid off too.
Varley is somewhat of a renaissance man in a down-to-earth sort of way.
He's been a world-champion four-stroke dirt bike racer, schoolteacher, alcohol-dependency counselor, construction contractor doing concrete block and fancy rock work, he made some good money cleaning up and taking care of foreclosed homes and now with his wife Becky owns and operates a Web site called iwannatrade.com, which handles auctions, classifieds, trades and online stores.
The Web site is probably where the five grand will go, he said.
He has a life's ambition to open an Inland Empire trade school that would teach everything from construction trades to cosmetology but that would take more than five thousand bucks.
Varley landed in Pennsylvania for a couple of decades when he and his then wife went back to care for her grandfather. That's where he received his education in counseling at Penn State University and Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
He was motivated to become a counselor by the alcohol-related deaths of two brothers at age 17 and 19 in unrelated incidents. First he gave talks and then decided to go back to school to be a teacher-counselor.
The motorcyclist won his championships both here at Glen Helen and in Perris and in Pennsylvania in the over 40 class of off-road racing.
The business of maintaining repossessed homes has slowed, Varley said, but in the height of the economic crisis he maintained as many as 79 homes from Temecula to San Bernardino. The pay ranged from $100 to remove the inside trash and $150 and up for the outside trash to $300 to $400 for carpet cleaning.
He said he had to chase the squatters out of a place near 14th and Arrowhead and the kids used to throw rocks and break the windows of a place of Kendall.
Varley is a humorist. He even joked about his heart attack at age 49 but admitted it had slowed him down a bit.
"I like marriage so much I've done it three times," he said. It takes three times to get it right, he advised the writer, who calls himself a two-time loser. +
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