Toledo According To…Steve Steel

. March 28, 2018.
Steve Steel and his band, KRC.
Steve Steel and his band, KRC.
Steve Steel

Years lived in Toledo: 34
Occupation: Attorney – Widman & Franklin, LLC

My story in one sentence: It’s been a long, strange ride, and the bucket list is short indeed; if you haven’t been to the party yet, what are you waiting for? Was that a run-on sentence?

One song lyric to describe my ideal self: ‘For the love of land and country, for the nation strong and free, for the fate of the people’s struggle, may we fight and die for these.’ Die For These by Katie’s Randy Cat (KRC)

Most people know me for: Having been an elected official–President of the Toledo Board of Education, then President of Toledo City Council.

I wish more people knew me for: Being a musician–lead vocalist, accordionist, songwriter with KRC, plus my old improv jam band What’s Next, and of course, world music cabaret Raq the Casbah.

The best thing I have eaten in Toledo: … too many to count! Vegan street tacos at Poco Loco, Massaman Curry at Toledo Thai, everything at El Tipico, special vegan treats by Amelia at The Attic on Adams, plus Wei Wei!! (RIP)

The street I walk on most: Anything in and around the Old West End, around Fifth Third Field and the Huntington Center, and of course, Adams Street.

Best time in Toledo: Mud Hens Opening Day, Adams Street Block Party, St. Padraig’s Day, and every last Old West End Festival ever!

If I could change one thing about Toledo: Fill every public space with ever-changing bits of wonder and awe. And better mass transit.

If I knew I could get away with it: Run away to Hawaii for awhile.

Best view in Toledo: 21st Floor of Government Center, the City Council floor. Complete three-hundred and sixty-degree vistas of the wonderful city. So many trees from up there, plus you can see UT, church steeples, downtown icons, East Toledo landmarks. It’s incredible!

When I’m craving pie: You can find me at Schmucker’s, or Michael’s on Monroe Street.

Artists and musicians: So much talent in this town, so many wonderfully creative people, I can’t make a list for fear I will inadvertently miss someone I adore! You all know who you are!

The Toledoans I most admire: Jack Ford, pacesetter in all things politics; Baldemar Velasquez for creative and effective organizing; Gloria Steinem for social activism and writing; Art Tatum for sheer talent; Jamie Farr for never forgetting where he came from; Golden Rule Jones for practicing what he preached.

My ideal day would look like: Saturday of Old West End Fest. Parades, dancing, music, community, celebration, and joy!

Most proud of: Having set a goal (becoming an attorney) and reaching it, plus having an amazing family and group of friends!

Truly alive when: Playing music with my talented circle of musical fellow travelers, at one of Toledo’s great venues, before a responsive, appreciative crowd.

Three negative/three positive adjectives: Aging, gray, a but frazzled and in need of some TLC, but energetic and vibrant, hard-working, and evolving. Wait, were those supposed to describe me or Toledo?

Hardest decision: Probably several votes on City Council. There are always gray areas and nuances, and possible unintended consequences, but you vote Yes or No. There is no “if”, “possibly”, or “maybe”.

Last time I had a belly laugh: Just about anytime I’m around the smart, witty cadre of Old West Enders I usually hang out with. It’s improv at its finest. If I met my 16-year-old self, he would ask, “Why the heck are you still in Toledo?” And I would answer, “Just read the above, smart guy.”

Listening to: Gotta admit, mostly my own band, KRC

Place I’m most proud of: The Zoo, Toledo Museum of Art, UT, Great Lakes Museum, the Docks… hard to narrow down!

Favorite annual event: OWE Fest!!