Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Belleville, Illinois
Thanked 22 Times in 17 Posts
OT The passing of a friend
Bob Farrow. I've mentioned him a few times on the board. He was about my age - 60 now - and I've known him for over fifty years. He had a terrific personality, was a great storyteller, and a lot of fun to be around in the old days. We palled around, drank together, and chased girls together when I was single. He helped me on several jobs, and came along on the Van Buren run once a few years ago. I worked on his house and his lawn mower and his truck. I winched logs out of his ravine for firewood and pulled out unwanted trees. He taught me a lot about welding and fabrication, and took me to a couple of his big ironworking jobs. We used to take my boat onto the Mississippi and camp, fish and water ski.
Several years ago he developed mental problems - was diagnosed as bi-polar. We tried to get him to stop drinking and take his meds, but he wouldn't listen. Oh, for a few months he'd be OK, but then he'd stop the drugs and start drinking, sometimes a case of beer at a time. He retired form the ironworkers a few years ago, when his fellows wouldn't work with him because of his erratic behavior, and his body was beat up enough to get a medical disability.
We had hoped that without the pressure he'd mellow out, but instead he spent more and more time brooding and drinking. I finally got an order of protection against him after he shot up his brother's house with a 12-gauge over a $50 dispute. For the last few years I've avoided him, both for physical safety and because it hurt so much to see him in his wild and crazy spells.
A couple of years ago his wonderful, smart, beautiful girlfriend left him, praise the Lord. Another girl moved in recently, about whom who I have heard only negatives. This morning about 2:00, they apparently got into an argument and he shot her in the head. She managed to get to a neighbor's and have an ambulance called. I don't know yet if she has survived. He tried to drive away in his truck, but the police blocked him in. For about 10 hours he refused to get out of his truck or talk with negotiators. Finally the cops shot a pepper spray into the truck. He put his pistol to his chin and blew his brains out.
I don't know why I'm writing this. I wish I could warn others, to prevent a similar episode, but I can't think of anything that could have been done. He had been locked up several times, spent a couple of months in a mental institution, had been to shrinks, had friends who loved him and tried to help, but he just wouldn't be helped. R.I.P. Bob. Finally.