101-year-old Hammond voter bicycles to the polls

November 8, 2011 (HAMMOND, Ind.)

Carl Deering bought the bike in the 1940s, and Tuesday's rain didn't stop him.

The life-long Hammond resident did what he does every year. He got on his bike and rode the three blocks to his nearest polling place. What makes his story so special is that Deering is 101 years old. And his bike is the same one he has been riding since he came back from fighting in World War II.

"I bought it for $10. I've put two sets of tires on it since," said Deering.

Deering and his bike are, according to neighbors, a familiar sight. His daughter Shirley Kowalisyn checks in on him every day, but shedoesn't worry about his riding.

"He's done it for years and years. He's very careful. And he goes down the alley and changes course quite often," Kowalisyn said.

"I go to the polling place. I go to the club. Nobody picks me up," said Deering.

Once at the polling place. Deering gets a warm reception and wastes no time casting his vote. He is a local legend among the inspectors.

"We've been watching him for the last few years. It's a pleasure to see him come every time. We look forward to it," said polling place inspector Doreen Brown.

"It's awesome that he comes down to vote. He's been voting since he was 21. More Americans should do that," said neighbor Casey Farrell.

Once he is done, Deering gets back on his bike and rides home.

Even with Tuesday's rain, the whole thing took Deering less than 10 minutes. He says only the snow will stop him from going out.

"You pick the days," said Deering. "When it's not too windy. If it is, it takes you there in a hurry, but coming back, that's the trouble."

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