PITTSBURG — April Fools Day is a special holiday for Bob and Alice Nankivell.
It’s not a joke.
As of April 1, their company, Bob’s Garage and Wrecker Service, is celebrating 60 years in business. The month of April also marks 60 years of marriage on April 17.
“He took on two things at the same time, me and the business,” Alice said, with a laugh.
It was Bob who saw owning his business as an opportunity to make a living. Together, the couple has owned and operated several businesses alongside the wrecker service. They sold the other businesses as they got older.
“We were in the sanitation business at one time, then roll-off business another time, and the dump truck business at one time,” Bob said.
Bob didn’t get this trade from his family though; no one was in the automotive business.
In high school he drove a Model A Ford and he had to keep it running, perhaps the reason why he chose the career he’s in.
“I liked keeping it running so it’s kind of what I like to do,” Bob said.
Bob doesn’t work on vehicles anymore.
“I was old and I just didn't get into the later model of cars,” he said adding now that they only do wrecker services and U-Haul.
The wrecker service is kind of like being an on-call doctor, Bob said. He never knows when a call can come in because accidents and break-downs happen at any hour of the day and night.
It’s not always an easy job, Bob and Alice said, especially when dealing with car wrecks and weather.
“It can be below zero sometimes, if someone breaks down I have to pick them up,” Bob said. “At two or three in the morning I might get a call and might work an accident in the middle of the night and then get up at 8 o’clock in the morning to go to work.”
Alice, who stills goes out with Bob to tow vehicles, said the goal is getting the scene cleared of the vehicle so people can get back on the road again.
“We gotta get the car loaded up one way or another,” she said.
They try to help out any way they can, sometimes beating the first responders to the scene.
“I think that’s why we like it, if somebody needs us we’re there to help,” Alice said, adding that sometimes that can be difficult. “Sometimes you lay there a long time before you go to sleep, if you can go to sleep. But you know, after 60 years you’ve seen a lot and done a lot and you just keep going.”
The couple plans to keep business going until they can’t anymore.
“I know that’s what he will do, he will do it until he can no longer crawl out of that truck,” Alice said, adding that she’ll be right alongside him.