Jeanne K - Bio
I Was born in Morgantown, West Virginia, and grew up in Paden City, WV. I lived in Marietta, Ohio, for 20 years and worked as Financial Manager for a great law firm before moving to Charleston. I’ve lived in Charleston for about 14 years now. How did I go from a financial manager to a DJ? Simple! I was standing in the parking lot of West Virginia Radio Corporation and was asked to be the new Traffic Reporter. I replied that I had no broadcasting experience, and the response was that an experienced broadcaster was not what the company was looking for, but rather someone who was responsible, offered a friendly voice and was reasonably intelligent. I had lived in Charleston only a brief time and was lucky to make my way from downtown Charleston (without going the wrong way on a one-way street or ending up going through the KRT bus terminal) to Southridge. So how could I be a traffic reporter, especially when I was only “reasonably” intelligent? I did what I’ve always done to learn something new… I bought a book! A book of area maps. Although I pronounced Lucado “lu-COD-oh” and Hurricane “hurricane,” I made it work. I went from reporting on four of our stations to all seven, plus a TV station. A year later, I found myself working on V100 talking to air… at least that’s the way it seemed. So I ripped photos out of a magazine of women and men who looked to be my age, and pretended I was talking to them. I tossed those pictures soon after I began meeting folks in the community and realized I was talking to some pretty amazing real live people and playing music they liked. Whew!
I have two awesome children – a son in Indiana and a daughter in Mexico, children-in-law, and grandchildren, and a big kid I refer to as my husband, Ric. The kids that live with me are my pound puppies, Bodhi and Baylie, and my fat cat, Dot, and various foster dogs that come to stay a while until they get their fur-ever homes. I play piano and guitar, do watercolor and acrylic painting, read a lot, and study Spanish. The better the weather, the longer the walks I take with my dogs, but we walk, no matter the weather.
I’m a little OCD – labels all have to be facing out in my cabinets… towels have to be folded in the same shape with the folds facing out… I have to have different colors of pens, markers, and highlighters in my desk drawer… different colors of post-its too… and certainly the presidents on my paper money have to be facing in the same direction! After seeing the movie “As Good As It Gets,” I decided to own my OCD, because compared to the character in the show, I’m not all that bad!
I look both ways before crossing a one-way street.
I hug trees.
I lie about my weight on my driver’s license.
I’m scared of heights, yet love to fly.
I sometimes cry for people I do not know.
I sometimes laugh at a joke or situation for days.
I have naturally straight teeth and naturally curly hair.
I used to be so shy that I once passed out cold in a room full of teachers and students. While attempting to give a speech, I tried to talk and no sound came out. I was so humiliated that I simply fainted!
Although it had nothing to do with shyness, I fainted a few times in our high school marching band. I also fainted on stage in a school Christmas program.
I once fainted in a department store while waiting in a long line during the Christmas season. I was having a gift wrapped for the person who was with me, waiting in another place in the mall. A security guard walked me out to the center of the mall and told my friend what happened. My friend thought the guard said that I “got a little busy,” and was shocked to think I had been shoplifting! What the guard said was, “She got a little dizzy.” Some people still think I’m a little dizzy.
I’ve survived cancer (and the treatments) twice, but have always been afraid to sing out loud with people next to me.
8 QUESTIONS WITH JEANNE K
Q. Who would be cast to play you in a movie based on your life?
A. Diane Lane (the actress in “Under the Tuscan Sun”)
Q. What’s your favorite comfort food?
A. Picnic food – homemade potato salad, baked beans, hot dogs with chili sauce, and cherry pie
Q. What was your favorite childhood toy?
A. Barbie dolls. I hand-made tons of clothes for them.
Q. If you could invite any 3 people – past or present – to dinner, who would they be?
A. Maya Angelou, Ellen Degeneres, and Jesus
Q. What are your favorite places to vacation?
A. Mexico and Indiana (where my children live)
Q. What would be the title of a reality TV series starring you?
A. “Chasing the Ice Cream Truck in Mexico”
I really did that! It makes me laugh when I think about it. It’s an example of the kind of things I want to happen in my life – things that I would never even dream up to do. I also have a favorite restaurant in Mexico. Ten years ago, I would have never thought I would say that I have a fav restaurant in another country!
Q. How many pairs of shoes do you own?
A. Maybe 15. If you would have asked how many books I have, the answer would have been “over 100.” But sadly, you may never know that.
Q. If you won $1 million, what would be the first thing you would buy?
A. Hire someone to thoroughly clean my house.
And if you would have asked, “What next?” I would have said, “pay off my house, and the homes of my children, start college funds for the kids. Then I would do crazy-fun and unexpected things like buy a new car for someone who needed one, leave a humongous tip for a server at a restaurant, provide instruments and music lessons for kids who wanted them, buy art supplies and instruction for kids, fully stock local animal shelters, give someone an amazing vacation, stand on a street corner and hand out money for an hour…” Oh, but you didn’t ask! Sorry. Never mind. Gotta go anyway... out of the corner of my eye, I see some books on the shelf with titles facing the wrong direction and it's making me dizzy.
www.jkwatercolors.blogspot.com – “Watercolors by Jeanne K” – My art blog
www.mybcjournal.blogspot.com – “Going the Distance” – Journals I kept while going through breast cancer treatments
www.jeannekatkpcc.blogspot.com – “Jeanne K, connecting” – Writings of various kinds, including my story about chasing an ice cream truck in Mexico