Jean Ellen Whatley

A Woman With a Past Is Off the Leash

Jean Ellen Whatley

Jean Ellen Whatley
St. Louis, Missouri, USA
April 24
Subscribing to the notion that we're all more alike than different, Jean Ellen Whatley feels privileged in her self-appointed role of cockeyed purveyor of our human condition. She's both perceptive and profuse, sometimes profound, rarely punctual and given to alliteration. An Emmy award-winning broadcast journalist, Jean has provided countless hours of live reports on everything from murder to mayhem, and prize winning pickles at state fairs from North Carolina to New Mexico. Whatley never skipped on any restaurant tabs. She has attracted a growing following on her blog, A Woman With a Past: The Post Apocalyptic Approach to Men which will soon be available on Operators are standing by. Her current project, Off the Leash: Road Stories With My Dog is the next installment of her memoir, only this one REALLY moves, literally and figuratively. Jean earned critical acclaim for her screenplay, THE LOVE YOU NEED, in the Cinema St. Louis screenplay competition, but no movie deal. She was recently a finalist in a nationwide writing competition sponsored by, SheWrites, a Web-based women's writing forum with more than 15,000 members. She’s been published in, has been a guest columnist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Winston-Salem Journal and the Albuquerque Journal and a guest host on KMOX (CBS) radio in St. Louis. Jean is the proud parent of four, remarkably well adjusted, mostly grown-up kids and two mutts. In her spare time, she cleans up the poop, the dogs’ that is.


Jean Ellen Whatley's Links

AUGUST 15, 2011 5:05PM

My Cousin Benny

I had disregarded them for the longest time, my Texas cousins. Not out of disrespect, nor affection, it was that blood thing. When I learned at the age of 18 that Jim Whatley was not my biological father, something clicked … Continue reading

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Today class, we’re going to engage in a little chapter review. August 5th marked one month on the road so far and the half-way point on this journey, much in the same way the Midpoint Cafe in Adrian, New Mexico, … Continue reading

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Thank you all who snatched me back from the slippery soap scum of fear and loathing in the shower. Normally I just have that reaction because I can’t see my toes without bending slightly. Kidding. (not so much…) Tonight, I’m … Continue reading

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AUGUST 4, 2011 9:36AM

Shower Moment

You didn’t really know this, but I promised to be completely honest with you on this trip. It can’t just be la-la-la-la Chicken Soup for the Highway, Tales of Inspiration and Joy From the Construction Zone Across America. Shit’s rough … Continue reading

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AUGUST 2, 2011 12:35PM

Carolina Comfort

Before I roll into Texas and the historypalooza this immersion will undoubtedly prompt, I’d just like to tell you why I love North Carolina. I guarandamntee you I will choke up writing this. (now that we’ve clearly detected a pattern … Continue reading

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AUGUST 1, 2011 9:18PM

True Grit

I called his number, a little nervous.  It had been nineteen years since I’d see my former brother-in-law, Pat.  I’m thinking, “why in the hell would he want to see me?” the former sister-in-law, the outlaw, the one who’d asked … Continue reading

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It’s Day 24 of our little trek, and I’m in Douglasville, Georgia, just south of Atlanta, staying with my niece and her family. Libby’s getting another dose of country living, with her southern canine cousins, both females. There were a … Continue reading

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JULY 27, 2011 12:04PM

We Tried to Make Em’ Go to Rehab

I’ve needed to talk about this for a long time, my brother Garrett. Even though the death of my brother Don eleven months ago, weighs fresh on my heart, I lost another brother back in 2002. I still miss him … Continue reading

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I figure now is just as good a time as any, to talk about what’s it like to travel with a big, yeller dog, seeing how three weeks ago today we rolled out of St. Louie. Being prompt is not … Continue reading

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Today is day 21 on my coast-to-coast road trip with my dog. So far, I’ve stopped in: Springfield,(IL) Chicago, Holy Toledo!, Youngstown, OH, Philadelphia, NYC, Washington, DC, Waynesboro and Culpeper, VA and tonight, I’m in Winston-Salem, a lovely little city … Continue reading URead full post »
JULY 24, 2011 12:32PM

Get Another Dog

So one of my readers, Alysa from France inspired me this morning. Merci. I have never set eyes on this young woman who is undoubtedly young enough to be my daughter, who encourages me all the way from Europe, some … Continue reading

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With the breathless anticipation of the impasse between the millionaire football players and billionaire owners nearing an end, I’d like to share a little story about my experience with the former — and how, my darling daughter Lauren, in DC … Continue reading

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JULY 19, 2011 12:38PM

DC, Where Quarters Are King

Getting ready to roll out of our nation’s capitol and it’s been alternately fun and frustrating. Some lessons learned: 1. Me and my 86 pound mutt can indeed stowaway in the women’s dorm for three days. 2. The money I … Continue reading

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JULY 18, 2011 1:18PM

Saturday, a.k.a. Shudderday

I’ve been so lucky in my travels so far, sunny weather, cordial people. Well, the guy who nearly ran me over on Fulton Street in Brooklyn with his BMW wasn’t too friendly. But overall, I have no reason to have … Continue reading

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I’ve already gotten used to the rhythm, of Brooklyn, on Lefferts Place, in this particular corner of this teeming city — the morning sounds;  the sidewalk construction, kids shooting hoops out on the sidewalk, mothers pushing babies in strollers that … Continue reading

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JULY 14, 2011 12:54PM

Signs, Signs, Everywhere Signs

There were many, you know. To ignore them would be folly. One just has to be open to receiving them. Of course the first sign, the epiphany day, was like a billboard for a Triple XXX Adult Book store on … Continue reading

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JULY 13, 2011 5:48PM

Into the Light

I’m in Brooklyn, trying to write in a hipster coffee shop, with alternative music blaring, where hipster types (if you’ve been to Brooklyn lately, you know what I mean) have flocked to sip iced coffee and get out of the … Continue reading

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Sunset just west of Toledo last night and I was feeling all zenny, enjoying the late afternoon shadows laid across all manner of barns, big and small, old and new, red and weathered beyond all pallette recognition and my GPS told me I just eleven miles out from my  Motel 6… Read full post »

Libby digs it. In my next life, when I’m independently wealthy and can afford a condo in Chicago, NYC or L.A., she’ll fit right into the urban pace, a.k.a., nine walks per day.

Seriously. That’s how many times I had to take her outside to convince her that it was indeed okay… Read full post »

JULY 7, 2011 2:31PM

House By the Side of the Road

My mom, Beverly G. Garcia, who always insisted we include the “G” in her name so as not to mistake her for just any Bevery Garcia, died five years ago on July 5th, the day I launched this journey. I miss her and think about her every single day.

I didn’t… Read full post »

JULY 4, 2011 1:37AM

Windows, Gazing

Picture 1 

I took it as a sign, the special exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art when I was in New York in May. I trotted up the stairs to the Met and smack dab in front of me was a huge banner with this painting by
Caspar… Read full post »

JUNE 28, 2011 11:30PM

Fear and High Water

I  want to talk to you about fear --  fear over this impending journey.

It rises and falls like the water in my basement last night. I have an 82 year old house. We had torrential rain. Sometimes the storm sewers swell beyond capacity, and the water runs backwards, up through the… Read full post »

Standard Artificial Limbs

The sign in front of the Standard Artificial Limbs store always makes me think of my step-dad, Mike. On the day he died at the VA hospital in Albuquerque, after my mother and I summoned the rest of the family to tell them he’d passed, once everybody took turns

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Editor’s Pick
JUNE 15, 2011 1:07AM

Off the Leash: Road Stories With My Dog

I’m taking my dog on a road trip. Not a short one, a long one. It’ll be about 8,400 miles, more or less, by the time we get back home. Lord knows what I’ll find when I return. I planted drought resistant flowers just to hedge my bets. I hope they… Read full post »

MAY 8, 2011 1:32AM

Bearing Up, No Camelot

Caroline Kennedy’s  story on the Late Show Tuesday night about her mother’s character building exercises for her and her brother John, might be construed by some as child abuse. In case you missed it, Caroline told about Jackie’s penchant for adventures in self-reliance, andRead full post »