Day 366: Steel town

Canadian spelling... gotta love it!
Canadian spelling... gotta love it!

I see many familiar faces along my route from the subway to the office each morning, along with some familiar feet – bare feet.

The feet are usually poking out from under a rumpled sleeping bag bunched up on the sidewalk.

One pair I see almost every day belong to a man who looks very ordinary, except that he’s catching a few Zs curled up on a busy corner. He’s got salt-and-pepper hair, long lean limbs and likes to read.

How do I know that? He often has a well-thumbed paperback neatly placed beside his head. His concrete nightstand, I guess. Today, his upside-down baseball cap (to which I added some coins) sat beside a Danielle Steel novel.

Not sure where he gets his books, but I think I know what I’ll leave him next time.

Did you know Danielle’s life rivals the plots of her novels?:

Danielle Steel has sold more than 550 million copies of her books. Her novels have been on The New York Times bestseller list for more than 390 consecutive weeks, landing her in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Born in New York City, raised in France, Steele’s parents were John Schulein Steel, a descendant of the founders of Löwenbräu beer, and Norma da Câmara Stone Reis, the daughter of a Portuguese diplomat.

Husband #1: When she was only 18, Steel married banker Claude-Eric Lazard. The marriage ended after nine years, just after the publication of her first novel.

Husband #2: Steel married again, in a jailhouse ceremony with Danny Zugelder. The marriage ended quickly and Zugelder was later convicted of a series of rapes.

Husband #3: Steel married her third husband, heroin-addicted William Toth, the day after her divorce from Zugelder was final, while she was 8 1/2 months pregnant with Toth’s child. This marriage ended within two years.

Husband #4: Steel married for the fourth time in 1981, to vintner John Traina.

Husband #5: She then married Silicon Valley financier Tom Perkins, but the marriage lasted less than two years, ending in 1999.

One of her children, son Nicholas Traina, committed suicide in 1997. He suffered from bipolar disorder. Traina was the lead singer of two San Francisco punk bands. In his memory, Steel wrote the nonfiction book His Bright Light, about Nick’s life and death. Proceeds of the bestselling book were used to found the Nick Traina Foundation, which Steel runs, to fund organizations dedicated to treating mental illness.

Maybe it’s not such a stretch to see one of her books on the sidewalk ….

P.S. My “New Year’s Resolution” good deed for my husband was to make Sunday a day of rest, blogging-wise. Rest assured, I will still be good deeding on Sundays, but I will catch up with you Monday. Have a lovely weekend!


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