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Grace's Glendale Bus Stop Takes Off on Facebook

How a one-of-a-kind bus stop and rider are winning the hearts of community members.

A Glendale bus stop is unlike any other. It announces holidays with elaborate decorations; it has a special name; and last week it got its own Facebook page. More importantly, it has Grace Mehan as a rider.

Last Monday, the 56 Metro Bus stop at West Lockwood Avenue and Austin Place became an online landmark with the launch the Facebook page Grace's Glendale Bus Stop. Within one week it has gained 200 likes. It's little wonder why.

Grace's Glendale Bus Stop tells the story of Grace Mehan, a Glendale resident with Down Syndrome who graduated from last May and now attends a Special School District post-secondary program at .

When Grace graduated KHS, she set the goal of getting around town on her own.

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"After a few short weeks, several rides with us and the ever-patient Metro trainers, Grace was an independent rider," Grace's mom Colleen Mehan says in an introduction to the Facebook page.

Grace's determination in learning how to ride the bus inspired her father to recognize and foster the accomplishment.

He built a bench at the stop next to the heavily trafficked strip of Lockwood, where there's only about three feet of space between the stop and the street.

"I wanted to give some definition to the space, so people would see Grace and recognize there's a person standing there," said her father, Tom Mehan.

On Oct. 1, Tom showed up at the bus stop with a happy birthday sign for Grace. For Halloween, Tom decorated the bus stop with plastic pumpkins. The decorations became increasingly elaborate.

In the past year, Tom has adorned the stop with hearts, garland, turkeys, an Irish flag and more. Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny have even surprised Grace at the bus stop with Tom's help.

"I'm like, 'Oh my gosh, Dad, thank you. It's so cool,'" Grace said.

Drivers honk and wave and Grace and her guests wave back.

"People have come to acknowledge that Grace is a member of the community. She's a bus rider and a student and they take part in that," Tom said.

For Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Tom strung a banner across the bus stop bench after a conversation with his daughter that read, "I too have a dream."

"It was a testimony to her eduction and striving to become a normal citizen and member of the community by taking the bus," Tom said.

In addition to riding to Webster University, Grace takes the bus to where she works as a hostess once a week. As a regular rider she knows the bus drivers by name and has met friends on her routes.

"The support has been nothing but just fun and recognition of her determination to become typical member of community," Tom said.

Grace rides the bus. She's just another adult getting from Point A to Point B, going about her business. In other words, there couldn't be more reason to celebrate. 

Congratulations to Grace and thank you to our readers; your support of this story will put Grace on the Huffington Post's "Greatest Person of the Day" page today.

Carol Jane Bickel April 16, 2012 at 01:07 PM
What a heart warming story. Everyone should be very proud of Grace. Next time I am at Duffys, I will make a special effort to speak to Grace and call her by name. cj C J
Carol Jane Bickel April 16, 2012 at 01:10 PM
Would you please remove the caps of my initials? It wouldn't let me delete them. Also, could I have your phone number? Where are you located?
Linda Arbogast-Tayoan April 16, 2012 at 10:03 PM
How wonderful Donna thanks for the link.
Nancy Blessing April 16, 2012 at 11:03 PM
I am so proud of you Grace! XOXO
Laura McBride April 17, 2012 at 12:42 AM
Hi Grace! I drive by that stop every day and wondered who was responsible for all the cute, festive decorations! We will look for you and honk next time we drive by! Take care, Laura McBride
Kelly Bick April 17, 2012 at 12:29 PM
You're awesome Grace! BTW so are your parents!
Carola Gloyd April 17, 2012 at 01:47 PM
What a wonderful story! I live far west in Kirkwood so I have never seen it, though I plan to try!
Dick Mehan, Jr. April 17, 2012 at 05:38 PM
Thanks Owen Skoler for this great story about my niece Grace Mehan! She loves taking the bus by herself to her programs at Webster University. And thanks to everyone who drives past her every day and takes the time to give Grace a friendly wave of support for her determination to do what other young women her age do as she grows in confidence and life experiences. Dick Mehan, Jr. ( one of Grace's "favorite" Uncles. )
Louise Lord April 17, 2012 at 08:10 PM
Love you Gracie and love your bus stop!! "Aunt" Louise
margaret kelly April 18, 2012 at 01:45 AM
I drive by that stop regularly and often wondered about the decorations. Thank you for writing this wonderfully inspiring story about an incredible girl!
GRACE CATHERINE MEHAN April 18, 2012 at 03:17 PM
Thank you uncle dick you are the best and the bomb. com and i love you mybe we can go to dinner sometimes okay because i want to talk to you
GRACE CATHERINE MEHAN April 18, 2012 at 03:18 PM
Aunt Louise lord you are my favorite because you like my bus stop and i love you can i come to your house soemtimes
GRACE CATHERINE MEHAN April 18, 2012 at 03:20 PM
Thank you so mush you love my bus stop i loved that my dad is good putting that up for me
sheryl April 18, 2012 at 05:07 PM
You are awesome. You are inspiring many and it is an honor to have you in this community! May God Bless you abundantly! Sheryl
Terri Johnson April 18, 2012 at 08:14 PM
Hey Grace - it's Terri from camp and I am SO proud of you and all your success - you go, go, go girl. I know you can do anything you put your mind to and look forward to hearing about your next accomplishment. Hugs! Terri
Annmarie Mulholland April 18, 2012 at 09:00 PM
I love this story. Gracie, this is your old neighbor, Annmarie Fitzpatrick (now married and am Annmarie Mulholland). I shared your story with my students and teachers in Virginia today. Your message and triumphs are spreading! Much love and cheers from Virginia!
Nichole Schlatter April 19, 2012 at 01:50 AM
Go Grace;0). Love all your teachers at KECC
Meg OC April 19, 2012 at 03:22 PM
Grace and the Mehans rock and roll! So proud of you Grace!!!!
Laurie Doyle April 21, 2012 at 08:41 PM
I am so happy for you Grace! You sound like a sweet young lady. It is obvious that everyone loves you so much! Laurie Doyle
Jim Krupp May 14, 2012 at 03:31 AM
Gracie, You are a very special person.Keep up your dream. The Krupp's

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