Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

'Grace's Glendale Bus Stop' Vandalized

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

'Grace's Glendale Bus Stop' Vandalized

Article excerpt

GLENDALE * A bus stop on Lockwood Avenue near Austin Place has become a local landmark, thanks to Grace Mehan.

Drivers know to look for elaborate holiday decorations she and her family place on and around the #56 Metro marker, including on a bench her dad made for her.

Grace Mehan, 23, has Down syndrome. She calls the bus stop her special place. And over the weekend, that place was vandalized.

On Friday night, someone pulled off the "Dream With Me" sign she put out for the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday, leaving just shreds of paper behind.

The poster that she had placed out in anticipation of the coming leap year met the same fate the following night.

Vandals also stripped down the wire strung with solar lights that connected a pole to the bus stop sign, and knocked over a timber that supported the bench.

"I have to believe it was a random act," said Colleen Mehan, Grace's mother. "Regardless, it was hurtful and disrespectful."

Her daughter covered her eyes in recent days whenever she went by, not wanting to see her beloved bus stop in such a state.

That bus stop, and the one across the street, are her gateways to important places in her life on Wednesday morning, it took her to her job as a hostess at Mike Duffy's Pub and Grill in Kirkwood. She also works at Kirkwood Station Brewing Co. and volunteers at the city's YMCA.

That afternoon, a Metro bus took her to St. Louis Community College-Meramec, where she's learning about managing time and money, and, to her delight, art.

Grace Mehan said she loves showing off her creativity at the bus stop, which borders the Westborough Country Club.

She and her family started decorating it in 2011. That's when her father, Tom Mehan, built the little bench next to the bus stop sign, mostly as a safe place for her to sit where she could be easily seen as she waited for the bus. …

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