Be honest. Do you have a bucket list?

That’s cool. Plenty of Americans do.

It usually lists the popular, run-of-the-mill “to-do’s”: skydive, dance in front of Rome’s Trevi Fountain, go to the Super Bowl, win a Super Bowl, write the Great American Novel, run guns to Cuba.

Okay, so that last one was bogus. It’s ridiculous. And probably never going to happen for most (especially with the fading embargo, but that’s for a whole other post).

Besides, it’s not even close to as good as what appeared on 91-year-old Illinois resident and U.S. Coast Guard vet Walter Thomas’ own personal register. Something that he crossed off recently, thanks to a few helpful family members and some serendipitous renovation.

Backing a car into a garage door.


This from the Woodstock Independent, Mr. Thomas’ hometown newspaper:

“[My grandfather] told me a long time ago that he always wanted to back a car through the garage door,” said granddaughter Becky Goers, of Woodstock. “He always wondered if the garage door would pop off, or if the frame would come down with it.”

Goers, a physical education and driver’s education teacher at Woodstock High School, recently shared her grandfather’s dream with her brother, Andrew Thomas, a deputy for the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office who happens to work as an accident reconstruction officer. Andrew Thomas wanted make his grandfather’s dream a reality.

“It’s been on his bucket list, and it’s been on the back of my mind,” Andrew Thomas said.

Andrew Thomas located an old car headed to the junk yard – a 1998 Isuzu Rodeo donated by Midas Touch of Woodstock owner Jeff McGrath – to use for the stunt. And in a fortunate twist of fate, Andrew’s brother Brian Thomas found the perfect garage for the setting. Brian Thomas’ friends, Nick and Jamielynn Wedoff, were planning to demolish their one-car garage, built in 1921, soon to make way for a new two-story addition at their Hill Street home. The couple quickly jumped into the plot.

The verdict? The Isuzu he drove (wearing a nifty helmet for safety, with his son wearing the same in the passenger seat) shattered the wooden garage door. But the frame? It stayed and remained intact.

Cross it off the list, Walter. Well done.

*Special thanks to Katelyn Stanek of the Woodstock Independent for her help in identifying Mr. Thomas as a military veteran*