​91-year-old fulfills unusual wish in daring fashion


WOODSTOCK, Ill. -- Aside from the occasional rousing game of pinochle, Dorothy and Walter Thomas of Woodstock, Illinois say their lives are typically ho hum. But that changed a few weeks ago when Walter, 91, decided to do something drastically daring.

He strapped himself inside a junk car and prepared to cross off the only thing on his bucket list.

Walter Thomas, 91 CBS News

"I'm glad he gets to do what he always wanted to do," said Dorothy.

And just what was that? You won't believe. First I've got to tell you how this got started. About a year and a half ago Walter was riding in the car with his granddaughter Becky, when he said something really strange.

He said, "Have you ever wondered what would happen if you drove through a garage door?"

"I told her it was one of my fantasies," explained Walter. "I'd just love putting it in reverse and backing right through the door."

Becky says a smile came across his face. And after hearing how much it would mean to him, Becky and the rest of the family found Walter a car and a garage that needed a new door anyway.

And so, with the coast clear, Walter Thomas went from pinochle to white knuckle, crashing through the door. And when he emerged, the smile was back, in spades.

"It was like he was a little boy again," said Becky.

Walter Thomas, 91, fulfills his wish of driving a car through a closed garage door THOMAS FAMILY

The video has now gone viral. And although Walter has inspired many, he has mostly inspired himself. In fact, during our interview with his granddaughter, Walter interrupted, saying something about skydiving.

"I'd try that," said Walter.

Sounds like a follow-up.

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  • Steve Hartman
    Steve Hartman

    Steve Hartman has been a CBS News correspondent since 1998, having served as a part-time correspondent for the previous two years.