Here is just some of what they've got to offer at "the world's busiest truck stop" along Intersate Rte. 95 north of Richmond:
They've got room to pump diesel fuel into sixteen 18-wheelers at once, and they've got an "All Faiths Chapel" with videotapes of six-minute sermons for Protestants, Catholics, Jews and the deaf.
They've got 10 different ways for a broke trucker to get cash quick - including CASH DASH, and they've got the "Big John Trimble Show," an all-night radio show heard in 32 states starring Trimble who last year was voted the nation's second most popular trucker's disc jockey in Open Road magazine.
Then there is the man who, with the help of some of his kin, made possible "the world's busiest truck stop," also known as Jarrell's Truck Plaza about 25 miles north of Richmond.
Oran V. Jarrell is the one who turned $750 in 1945 into million-dollar-a-month conglomerate in 1978. He is known to most folks as OVJ, known to readers of The Baptist Review as "God's Truckstop Man" and knoen to Virginia politicians as a man who doesn't mind giving away his money to elect people who will preserve the right of a businessman to make a dollar.
It's Friday and OVJ, who is 55 years old and dressed in a maroon double-knit slacks and black wingtips, is telling a joke.
The joke is about OVJ's school days back in Mount Airy, N.C. His father was the school principal at Zion Hill Elementary. "I used to tell my father I don't mind goin' to school; it's just the Principal of the thing."
OVJ laughs thunderously. The phone rings.
On the phone is a man who works for Rep. J. Kenneth Robinson, a Republican who represents the district wehere OVJ makes his money. The caller asks OVJ if he would like to help raise money for Robinson.
"Totell you the truth," OVJ says, "I'm so busy building things I don't have time. I'll make a contribution to his camapign, but I'm going 18 hours a day for my business and I'm sittin' on so many different boards (such as Good News Mission and Braille Circulating Library) I got splinters."
The phone call ends and OVJ heads across the suite of executive offices on the second floor of his truck stop to receive a genuine Ecuadorean sheepskin inscribed with a flowery thank you for OVJ's generosity to Christian radio station HCJB in Quito, Ecuador.
OVJ gave $1,000 a month a to the station for 10 years, according to Steve Hunter, vice president for research and development with World Radio Missionary Fellowship Inc.
Hunter, who flew up to Jarrell's Truck Plaza Friday morning from Charlotte, NC., just to give OVJ the sheepskin, says the radio station would not be broadcasting God's Word to 85 percent of the earth's land area without OVJ's help.
"Well, isn't that nice," OVJ says. "I appreciate it." Hunter says, "We appreciate you, Oran.
OVJ says he believes his business - which include the truck stop, a campground, a motel, a gas station, a chicken franchise, a fast-food franchise, an oil delivery company, part ownership of two Holiday Inns and one Howard Johnson's and landholdings in three Virginia counties - will prosper if he gives away 10 percent of his earnings to God's work.
In 1948, when OVJ was pumping gas and making $35 a week, he said he gave $3.50 a week to the Baptist church. Now, OVJ says he gives $50,000, which is 10 percent of his earnings.
While OVJ is accepting the sheepskin upstairs, truck stop business continues down in the lobby and restaurant. Truckers ogle a while, $10,000 Bradley sports car that OVJ is raffling off to those who buy 40 or more gallons of diesel fuel. An insurance man from Pittsburgh is seated at a desk near the sports car, hawking trucker's insurance. "The Guiding Light" is playing on a giant television screen, showing a man in a hospital bed who has a tube up in his nose.
Past the cafeteria, with its walls painted in brightly-colored scenes of colonial Virginia, is the restaurant reserved for "professional drivers only."
There, Edward Davidson, a trucker from Chester, Pa., who drives for Mrs. Smith's Pie Co. and is heading home, chews a salisbury steak.
"Yeah, this is a pretty clean truck stop," Davidson says between bites. "I've never seen girls (prostitutes) walking around in the parking lot.
"It ain't like that in other truck stops. The place I was at last night, I had to leave there because I couldn't get any sleep. Every five minutes they knock on the door, 'You wanna date'"
Davidson, a truck driver for 25 years, says he used to stop at Jarrell's when the truck stop was on Rte. 1. Since 1964, when OVJ moved to 1.95 to be where the trucks are, Davidson said he has been a regular at Jarrell's two or three times a month.
"I got sick here 10 years ago. I hurt my back so I couldn't stand up. Mr. Jarrell offered me a room for free while my wife drove down to get me. When she got here, Mr. Jarrell put her and the kids up for a night, no charge," Davidson says.
Other truckers have similar stories about OVJ helping them with fuel permits. overweight fines and truck failures. But there are complaints too. Cecil Wright from Ashboro, N.C., justs eats at Jarrell's. The diesel fuel is too expensive, he says.
Like many other truckers, Wright buys his fuel at a cut-rate gas-and-go station where it is about six cents cheaper per gallon. OVJ knows what the truckers are doing, his daily volume of fuel sales which used to be over 40,000 gallons is down and he has taken steps to discourage truckers who visit Jarrel's for OVJ's generosity and not his fuel.
Truckers who don't buy fuel, pay $1 for a towel and shower, they pay $2 to get their truck weighed and they cannot cash checks. "I ain't goin' to give money to a trucker to go my competitor and buy fuel," OVJ says.
The truck stop business, OVJ tells the man who bought him the Ecuadorean sheepskin that he recently had a "vision" that told him to embark up on a new business, a business "bigger than everything else I've got put together." OVJ won't say publicly what the business will be, but he said he plans to turn over 10 percent of the profits to God's work. CAPTION: Picture 1, Oran J. Jarrell, Known as "God's Truckstop Man," has turned a $750 investment in 1945 into a million-dollar-a-month conglomerate which his Jarrell's truck Plaza located on I-95 some 25 miles north of Richmond. Photos by Mitch Koppelman for The Washington Post; Picture 2, Ernest Petty of Santee, S.C., prepares to leave "the world's busiest truck stop."; Picture 3, Truck driver Steve Fanning leaves the "All Faith's Chapel."; Picture 4, Oran V. Jarrell: "I'm going 18 hours a day for my business an' I'm sittin' on so many boards I got splinters."