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Riding a Harley at 99 years old

Carole Meekins

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Photo: Video by tmj4.com

Riding a Harley at 99 years old

By Carole Meekins. CREATED Sep 2, 2013

MILWAUKEE - It's a Harley-Davidson bash that lived up to it's theme: "You're never too old to ride."

Residents at VMP came decked out in their best Harley garb, from tricked-out cycles to bandannas. People were revved up. The celebration was called the "VMP Kick Start Party." It was a salute to seniors and heroes.

Organizer Jan Schneider explained, "We wanted to honor veterans. Whether they are riders or Harley enthusiasts, or have a Harley, we just want to honor veterans."

VMP Manor Park provides living and healthcare services to seniors. Veterans were excited about the Harley invasion. World War II Veteran Don Brockman exclaimed, "Very cool! We enjoy the roar and the beauty of the motorcycle Harley-Davidson!"

And one man stole the show - 99-year-old Chester Zawalich. He was the oldest rider at the party and even gave a lift to a 102-year-old in his sidecar!  
 
Zawalich was once a member of three motorcycle clubs, but everyone passed away.  But Chester reports, "Now I joined a new club. The HOG club, and I'm making friends all over again."
 
The Harley enthusiast has been riding for 82 years and has never had an accident. He admits that when many see his license they are shocked. He laughingly  says, "They see 1915, they say 'Holy mackerel! You're an old-timer' I go yeah, so what?"  
 
The VMP crowd was dazzled by Zawalich who admits when he's on the road he takes it easy. He let's the impatient drivers pass him. Zalawich smiles, "That's my motto that's how I survive!"
Carole Meekins

Carole Meekins

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Carole Meekins is the longest tenured 10:00pm anchor in the Milwaukee market. She has been at TODAY'S TMJ4 since November of 1991.