Sunday, February 27, 2011

More Concerning Grace Farrell

















According to Cowboy Stanley , late Saturday evening Grace Farrell quietly walked out of his apartment. She left the door open . Cowboy had fallen asleep and didn't notice her leaving .Grace left with her purse and Cowboy's pouch which contained $6 . She did not take either of her 2 coats . Grace did not return , she died several hours later on a cold early Sunday morning sleeping on the sidewalk next to St. Brigid's Church on avenue B .

Grace had been staying with Cowboy since late Thursday (February 17)evening .That night she had arrived at Cowboy's door around midnight  with a mostly empty bottle of Old Heritage Whiskey in her hand .She stayed with Cowboy until she left the following Saturday night .The story told here Cowboy claims to have volunteered to NYPD at the 9th precinct headquarters after he heard of Grace's death .

It has been reported that on the Thursday night that Grace arrived at Cowboy's door , Grace was in Tompkins Square Park on Crusty Row giving mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to a dying woman named Danielle .Though it is possible such could have happened before arriving at Cowboy's door I don't see it as very likely .In the enlarged B&W image here , it can be seen that there is a light haired woman in the midst of things(in the color version of this image  posted on Friday the color of the  hair can be seen).It is impossible to say who this woman is in this image . Given that Cowboy claims that Grace was very drunk when she came to his door at about the same time as the tragedy occuring on Crusty Row and given my experience knowing Grace and her alcohol impaired abilities it would not in my opinion  have been likely that she could have sucessfully managed such a complex task as performing CPR.

Grace and Cowboy had a history perhaps  4  years long . Neither an easy nor always pleasant history . Both Cowboy and Grace drank a lot .Perhaps that was the main reason for the bond they seemed to share .Grace was also often desperate for a place to live and Cowboy had an apartment , often with some booze on hand .

Where Grace spent the remaing portion of her time is unclear . She did have someone with whom she stayed occasionally ,with whom it is claimed she had a child .According to Grace this was not a good relationship .

I spoke with Grace in the street several times over a period of 3 or 4 years . She was always intoxicated , a bit incoherent , very anxious and afraid ... and at times shaking uncontrollably .One evening on avenue A Grace was shaking while seeing white bugs crawling all over her .Inspite of all the problems though there was never anything threatening about her , only a sense of  gentle vulnerability .

She never seemed able to care for herself . She often spoke of an older man ,with whom she lived at times , beating her .She often said something about a child she had and also how the older man sometimes gave her money

The last time that  I saw Grace was a couple of years ago , the night that Biker Bill fell and fractured his hip . Grace needing a drink , had the shakes and thus rode in the ambulance with Biker Bill to St. Vincents where she hoped that she would be helped . According to Bill the hospital threw her out to the street with out helping her in any way .

Grace needed help . Recently she had been in the hospital for 4 days for psychiatric care . On the hospital discharge summary two things stand out ,her response "I need help" and the cocktail of drugs prescribed for her .This cocktail includes an anti-convulsant , 2 anti-depressants and a micronutrient , not substances that mix in a healthful manner with alcohol .

New Years Eve of 2010 Grace arrived late at Cowboy's door . Grace had clearly been beaten by someone .According to Cowboy and his friend Spike her face was scratched , bloodied and bruised . Both claimed that Grace's nose appeared to be broken .

The next day Cowboy and Spike got Grace to take an ambulance to the hospital . Spike claimed that the medical technicians noticed the marks on Grace's face and asked her who had beaten her . I do not know her answer if she offered one .

11 comments:

EV Grieve said...

Thank you for continuing to look into this, Bob. Something about the mainstream news accounts never seemed quite right.

Goggla said...

"I need help." That is so sad.

Bob Arihood said...

Yes Goggla it is very sad . 2 women needed help and there was none . 2 women needed protection and there was none .

I didn't know Danielle so I can't say much about her but I did know Grace .A gentle helpless person who lived one tragedy after another .

Anonymous said...

Not only are the anti-depressants prescribed harmful with alcohol, but also harmful prescribed together.

Paxil and Topamax have interactions with each other (http://www.drugs.com/drug-interactions/paxil-cr-with-topamax-1800-1155-2216-1469.html)
and cause central nervous system- and/or respiratory-depressant effects together.

These meds should have never been dispensed together!This is not a shock to me for Prozac, Zoloft, and Paxil were among the top 15 prescription medications dispensed in the US. Of the 124 billion dollars generated by the US prescription sales market, these three antidepressants were listed in the top 10 revenue-producing medications. That's the business. A Good doctor would have picked up on Grace's alcoholism and known about the interaction of these two meds together. This is a simple example of the prescribing Dr.(Lili Rysz's)skill set as well as her business priorities.Shame it probability cost a life.

FreshPaintNYC said...

After going on your guys blogs often i'm starting to become famliar with alot of EV regulars that most take for granted. Here is a video I took of Cowboy Stanley last summer.
http://vimeo.com/11477516

Marty Wombacher said...

A chilling and sad tale. Thanks for posting the story and photos, it fills in a lot of the holes that the Daily News either left out or didn't uncover.

Anonymous said...

As a person who floats outside of crusty row and makes ever effort to help, I can't say I knew Grace. She was obviously abused. Reading other blogspots about Grace tell me that she was a mother. The photo of the hospital discharge indicates in b&w she sought help. I have know far too many folk who have perished in the way Grace did. Alone, abused, disenfranchised. Tompkins Sq. is a mecca. This will not be the last.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sparing time to publish information on Grace, despite it's desperate and harrowing sadness, it is comforting to know that she is being remembered. I was privileged to know Grace as a young teenager in her home town in Ireland and will always remember her as an intelligent, good hearted, popular and talented girl. Sadly when she left Ireland to be with her birth mother, she all but "disappeared", the last we'd heard a few years back that she was happily married, a mother, working with a nice apartment and that life was going well, sadly, only now we learn that only one of those things were true. Grace will never be forgotten by those who knew and loved her, may she finally now be at peace.

Bob Arihood said...

Anonymous ,I wrote this post about Grace because I knew her and it bothered me greatly that so little had been written about her that had anything to do with what actually happened the night she died .

Grace was an aquaintence , not a friend , not even someone that I often spoke with but I did know her and it was easily seen that she suffered greatly .

Cowboy Stanley is perhaps not a Prince Charming . His apartment certainly is not a palace . But for Grace it was a relatively safe and secure pocket of warmth in a very cold and hostile world and Cowboy was a friend .Grace stayed at Cowboy's apartment often.She had a place to stay on that cold night . I do not know why she left the apartment nor why she did not return.

Grace did have few folks that cared about her though there was not much that most of them could do to help her .

Bob Arihood

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your post. On a more positive note, Grace's friends from her youth have published a Facebook page at http://en-gb.facebook.com/pages/Grace-Cummins-2-feb-1976-20th-feb-2011/182989771742527 which reinforces the fact that Grace's passing will not go unnoticed and that she was loved and will be remembered with great affection by her friends back home

Bob Arihood said...

Good to hear of the Facebook page .

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