Breakfast at Sally's: One Homeless Man's Inspirational Journey

( 29 )

Overview


Once a happily married businessman, avid golfer, and the proud owner of several luxury cars and three boats, conservative-minded Richard LeMieux saw his fortune change almost overnight. In this astonishingly heartfelt memoir, he describes his descent into homelessness and his struggle to survive personal and economic disaster. Evicted from his home in 2002 and living with his dog, Willow, in a beat-up old van, LeMieux finds himself penniless and estranged from his family and friends. He dines at the Salvation ...
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Breakfast at Sally's: One Homeless Man's Inspirational Journey

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Overview


Once a happily married businessman, avid golfer, and the proud owner of several luxury cars and three boats, conservative-minded Richard LeMieux saw his fortune change almost overnight. In this astonishingly heartfelt memoir, he describes his descent into homelessness and his struggle to survive personal and economic disaster. Evicted from his home in 2002 and living with his dog, Willow, in a beat-up old van, LeMieux finds himself penniless and estranged from his family and friends. He dines at the Salvation Army (aka Sally’s), attempts suicide, and is treated at a mental hospital where he is diagnosed with depression.

Writing on a secondhand manual typewriter, first at a picnic table in a public park, and then wherever he can, LeMieux describes his odyssey and the quirky, diverse, and endearing cast of characters found among the homeless people of Bremerton, Washington, and, by extension, every-where else. Breakfast at Sally’s is a rare inside-look at how the other America lives, and how one man, beaten down and alone, was able to reconnect, find good people, and ultimately, with their help, to persevere.

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Editorial Reviews

Danny Westneat - Seattle Times
““It’s easy to look from afar onto the world LeMieux writes about. People panhandling on corners. Living in cars. Most of us probably figure they’ve always been down. But how far did they fall? Maybe farther than we think.””
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
“"This inspiring,
eye-opening memoir is timely amid grim and grimmer economic news."”
The Olympian
“"LeMieux shatters the stereotypes any of us might have about the homeless . . .This simply-told memoir is easily a three-hanky read, but after you wipe away your tears, you'll be moved to do something — anything — to reach out to those in need."”
Harry Hurt III - New York Times
“The book reads like a novel. . . but it has the ring of truth, and an uplifting message that endures.
Mr. LeMieux's account of his homelessness is convincing . . . an authoritative advocate for the millions of Americans who are homeless or living in poverty.”
Terri Schlichenmeyer - The Daily Sound
“Graceful and dignified,
humble and un-self-conscious, gentle and cautious. . . an absolutely-can't-miss book everyone should read.”
Seattle Times - Danny Westneat
“"It’s easy to look from afar onto the world LeMieux writes about. People panhandling on corners. Living in cars. Most of us probably figure they’ve always been down. But how far did they fall? Maybe farther than we think."”
Christian Science Monitor
“For those who yearn to believe in the basic decency of most human beings, this book provides abundant evidence.”
Seattle Times
“It’s easy to look from afar onto the world LeMieux writes about. People panhandling on corners. Living in cars. Most of us probably figure they’ve always been down. But how far did they fall? Maybe farther than we think.”— Danny Westneat
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781620871799
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing
  • Publication date: 10/1/2012
  • Pages: 448
  • Sales rank: 176,474
  • Product dimensions: 8.80 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard LeMieux is a writer and ex-businessman and has been homeless to varying degrees for years. He is now a public speaker and travels to various events throughout America, talking about Breakfast at Sally’s and his experiences as a homeless person. He and Willow lived together in Bremerton, Washington, until Willow's passing on November 21st, 2009.
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Table of Contents

Preface to the New Edition 6

Introduction 9

Chapter 1 Sally's 13

Chapter 2 A Day with C, Campbell, Steinbeck, and Twain 27

Chapter 3 The Lady in Red 43

Chapter 4 Mr. C's Neighborhood 53

Chapter 5 Going Looking for Angels 65

Chapter 6 The Food Angels 73

Chapter 7 Sanctuary at the Hospital 85

Chapter 8 Dr. Z 111

Chapter 9 Oh, God! 123

Chapter 10 Off to the Mental Institution 129

Chapter 11 Andy, the Beautiful Weed 139

Chapter 12 Another Day in Paradise 149

Chapter 13 I Get Saved 161

Chapter 14 Angel of Prey 177

Chapter 15 David's Song 189

Chapter 16 Vinny 205

Chapter 17 Dumpster Diving 219

Chapter 18 Vinny Dies 225

Chapter 19 The Opera 235

Chapter 20 The Lucky Rocks 247

Chapter 21 The Hilton 255

Chapter 22 Andy Gets Lucky 267

Chapter 23 The Real Field of Dreams 279

Chapter 24 How much for that Doggie? 291

Chapter 25 Camping 299

Chapter 26 A Room with a View 315

Chapter 27 S'Ghetti 337

Chapter 28 Bank of America 353

Chapter 29 Hero Lost 367

Chapter 30 The Church Mice 381

Chapter 31 Just Another Headline 395

Chapter 32 The Holy Ghosts 403

Chapter 33 So much to Write 417

Epilogue 421

In Appreciation 425

About the Author 429

Book Club or Classroom Discussion Questions 433

Getting Involved 435

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 29 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(15)

4 Star

(11)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

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1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 29 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 8, 2011

    A great read for humanity!

    I loved this book!This book is the supremely written story of the author and his life on the streets. Richard opens your eyes to the stories of how and why people are or become homeless and the everyday simple struggles that they face. This story opens your eyes to the true help that is needed for people that don't have homes to go "home" to and the society of people on the "streets". Richard, I thank you, where ever you are for sharing this story of yours and the people of Bremerton,WA with the world. God bless you and those that don't have a roof over their heads tonight!
    P.S.- I believe "C" is a true angel!!!!!!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2014

    I Also Recommend:

    Breakfast at Sally¿s is a very addictive read. It starts a bit s

    Breakfast at Sally’s is a very addictive read. It starts a bit slow, but a few pages in you are hooked. Losing everything (financially and personal relationships) is a tough pill to swallow. Richard LeMieux has written a captivating book about going from being on top of the world to being homeless. It is very interesting and well written.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 20, 2010

    Fascinating other world

    So well written and almost impossible to put down. I won't look at a homeless person in the same way again. Ellen

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 28, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    An uplifting memoir

    Richard LeMieux had it all. He had been a successful sportswriter and owned a small publishing company. He had raised three children and travelled extensively with his partner of seventeen years. He lived the 'good life', eating out, spending lots on material goods. Until the bottom fell out - his business failed, his partner left and his adult children and former friends wanted nothing more to do with him. On Christmas Day 2002, despondent and suffering from severe depression, LeMieux attempted suicide. Thankfully he was unsuccessful.<BR/><BR/>For the next year and a half, he lives with his faithful companion Willow (the Wonder Dog) in his van. Taking many of his meals at the Salvation Army, (hence the title) we meet many of the other homeless and working poor that populate the city of Bremerton, Washington.<BR/><BR/>Drawing on his writing background and a donated typewriter, LeMieux begins to write a book about his journey. Families living in church parking lots in their cars, camps of young people living peacefully on the outskirts of town, the mentally ill, the addicted. But it is the caring and compassion shown by these downtrodden to each other that strikes such a chord with me. In particular a man only identified as C, who is so responsive to the needs of those in his neighbourhood. There are many, many other stories within this book.<BR/><BR/>With the economy the way it is, I am sure there will be many more people forced into situations that they would never have forseen or imagined. I am always inspired by memoirs such as Breakfast at Sally's. Not just by the authors, but those who choose to make a difference.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2009

    A Great Read!!!

    Please, by all means, get a hold of this book and read it. It affirms the saying, "The more you give, the more you receive." The repayment may not be monetary or material, but Richard is living proof that kindness from and to others will see one through tough times. Borrow it, buy it, lend it: You've got to get the word out about this book!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2008

    Why 'Breakfast at Sally's'?

    Just log off and read it. You may be moved to compose your own review.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2014

    Incredible

    It's been a while since I read this, but if you want a glimpse into homelessness (and we all could stand a glimpse), this book is incredible. You can't be lazy and homeless. It's a lot of work.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 16, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    This book was wonderful. I can honestly say that it reminded me

    This book was wonderful. I can honestly say that it reminded me that the homeless are people too, and it doesn't hurt to smile.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 4, 2012

    Highly Recommend

    I read this book as one of my book club selections. I truly enjoyed this book. It was well written and made me think about the human suffering in this country with homelessness. Unfortunately there are not enough "safety nets" for people who find themselves homeless as a result of losing a job, sickness in the family, their own sickness, etc. I believe this country needs to do more to assist individuals and families who find themselves homeless. Everyone deserves a warm dry place to sleep at night, a place to call their own. No man, woman or child should ever go to "bed" at night without having eaten. This was a great first book by Richard LeMieux, and I look forward to reading his next book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2011

    Really good book!

    I thought this book was so well written and very interesting to read. Richard's words were so honest and drew me in. I would highly recommend this book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2010

    eye opener

    Back in sophomore year in high school, my english teacher read us this book. this book is soo inspiration and i recommend it to anyone. it really makes you look at homeless people in a different light. bad things really do happen to good people. it's an easy read, it's not difficult. after our teacher finished reading this story, it made me want to go out and try to help some of the local homeless. I'm from the kitsap area so knowning that the author was from my area made me want to help out even more.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 11, 2009

    Opens your eyes to a problem many choose not to see.

    Breakfast at Sally's is at the same time depressing and inspiring. It opens your eyes to the sometimes hidden or ignored problem of homelessness in your hometown. Richard LeMieux speaks from the heart as a man more than "down on his luck" who lives for a length of time in his van with his dog, Willow. While you feel sorry for his plight, you begin to see that this journey for him is a revelation. His homeless friends begin to take their place in his life as a true "family." Perhaps all that he held dear in his previous life was not as dear as that which he finds when he has nothing. This book forces you to see that element of our society which you'd rather not see or think about. But it also inspires you to want to help these people you once thought we unworthy of your time/resources. This book is an authentic portrayal of a man who loses his material possessions, his family, and for a while, his sense of self worth. But through his journey he comes to see what his mission in life must be. Our book club read this book and invited Richard to speak at our meeting. He is soft spoken and truly authentic. We were inspired after reading his book and talking with him to donate over $700 to the local (Bremerton) Salvation Army in his name. I highly recommend this book; an easy and enjoyable and inspiring read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2009

    Memorable

    This is probably the most memorable book that I've read in a long while. It's touching, enlightening, and gives you a peek into what it is like to be homeless in America. This book will make you feel lucky for what you have and make you want to give to those less fortunate. An excellent job by the author - I can't wait to read his next book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    This book will haunt me for days to come.

    I could not put this book down. Living in southeast Michigan I've heard pleas from many members of our society in our troubled economy. This book brought the issue even closer into my heart.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2009

    Breakfast at Sally's

    I have lived in the Kitsap area all my life and this book really touched my heart. Once I started reading it I couldn't put it down and I couldn't stop telling people about it. Thank you Mr. LeMieux for sharing your story!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2014

    Very Inspirational Book

    Loved this book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2012

    Highly recommended!

    This book is a real eye opener. I felt I learned to know many of the people in the story and to have a greater empathy for them. It is interesting to see the caring and the indifference. And it could happen to any one of us.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 29 Customer Reviews

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