To Honor My Brother Don

Don on his Lambretta scooter

Last night Libby and I reached mile 8,000 on our journey across America. It was just about sundown, near Grainfield, Kansas. Could there be a more appropriate name for a prairie town? Grainfield? I pulled over and snapped a photo. It was a momentous day for a number of reasons - it would be our last night on the road, it was exactly one year ago yesterday that Libby inspired this little road trip, mocking me for not challenging the choke hold on my life. Reminding me … [Read more...]

U-turn in Utah

Nate - Walking Across America

I used to work with a great new shooter in St. Louis who said, "you know it's not really a story until you've had to make three U-turns." That was back in the day before GPS, when TV reporters, riding shotgun, were expected to read the map at the speed of spot news. This was typically about 80 mph, while the "shooter" (aka "videographer") at the wheel, was hollering "which way am I supposed to fucking turn?" They hated missing the flames. I was clippin' along at about … [Read more...]

My Brother Mike

Jean Whatley and her brother Mike

There just wasn't putting it off any longer. Hell, I'd had the phone number for two weeks. My niece Amy had tracked it down through tax records. Take that, Google and Facebook. But I had waited. Waited until I was in a quiet place, with nobody else around, so I could focus on what to say. What do you say to somebody you don't know but with whom you share the same father? "Hi, I'm your long lost sister, the one your daddy got in trouble with his wife over...." At the … [Read more...]

Tommy and Beverly Were Lovers

My mom, Beverly

I hate saying goodbye. I left my son Nate and his wife, Melissa, in Los Angeles and drove up the coast a few days ago, my melancholy usurped by nerves. I hadn't really felt this way yet. One would think a gal with a dog, who's not too adept at changing tires or reading GPS, facing a daunting journey of more than 8,000 miles would be a little jumpy from time to time. Well, sure, when the sun goes down and I've still got 162 miles to go until my next stop and my eyes … [Read more...]

The Best Day of My Life, So Far (by Libby)

Libby - Happy at Huntington Beach

Hello humans, I figure it's about time you heard it from the horse's mouth, well really the dog's mouth. And by the way, horses are huge and scare the crap out of me and sometimes they wear these scary masks!       Cows are worse. And elevators! OMG! So far no snakes, but we've got four more states to go, I heard Jean talking on the phone. But, what the hell? If Sean got a crack at a "guest post" then it's high time it was my turn. Nobody asked me if I … [Read more...]

Louie, Sean’s Beast of Burden

Sean and Louie

The absolute worst nights of this journey have been the ones in which I laid awake in some Motel 6 somewhere, or in the quiet of a friend's home and worried, "what have I done?"     I know this is old news, I've talked about it, you've encouraged me, I've appreciated it. I'm on Day 51 of this journey, thanks in large part to my backers and band of cheerleaders. Let me just say this for the record: This trip has changed my life. I have one hell of a book. Let me repeat … [Read more...]

When I Had to Draw My Weapon

Jean and Libby in San Francisco

In observance of taking the on-ramp onto EASTBOUND 80 last night out of San Francisco which signifies, ladies and gentlemen, that I'm St. Louis bound, after what will no doubt be a pivotal plot twist stop here today in El Dorado Hills, California, I wanted to deal with a little road trivia. These factoids will not garner you any prizes because they will never surface at any organized trivia night, UNLESS I get a best-selling book out of this little jaunt and the trivia … [Read more...]

Survivor: Albuquerque

Libby and Paul

We need to hook a U-turn so I can tell you about Albuquerque. Merely typing the letters, A-L-B-U-Q-U-E-R-Q-U-E evokes powerful emotions. That’s because I had to type that word 9,000 times in journalism school. And even though I’m holed up in yes, another Motel 6, this time in San Luis Obisbo, with a stunning view an aluminum warehouse and mid-coast California mountains, (more like humps on the horizon compared to the Sandias) from my balcony window, there’s important … [Read more...]

Laurel Canyon Doggie Diva, only in L.A. Dude

Judy the Laurel Canyon Doggie Diva - Schmuttles

Friday night in L.A. and I am WAY behind on my stories, y'all. BUT I did want to share this little clip to amuse you on a Friday night. Judy runs a service called Schmuttles. Check it out. I am SO homesick.... Love you all. Jean … [Read more...]

L.A. Inspirational

You and Me Thing - California

Hey everybody,  just wanted to post a quick update today, geographically, I'm out in front of the many stories I still have in my pocket about Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, but.... I HAVE NOW OFFICIALLY DRIVEN ACROSS THE UNITED STATES WITH LIBBY AND WE'VE LIVED TO TELL ABOUT IT !!!! I'm now at my son and daughter-in-law's (Nathan and Melissa)  humble abode in beautiful, downtown Los Angeles and I'll have a ton more stuff to write about, including a PHONE number and … [Read more...]