Jackie Gravengood

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Jackie Gravengood
Female silhouette.png
Birth nameJackie Archer
Birth date1951
Birth placeSpearfish Lake
SpouseMark Gravengood
FatherWalt Archer

Jackie Gravengood née Archer is a major character in Rocinante and appears in many other stories in the Spearfish Lake Tales. She is the daughter of Walt Archer. She was born in 1951. Her mother (unnamed) had been institutionalized in Camden for a number of years due to a mental breakdown before finally dying on June 20, 1971.Roc3-3 She has two younger half-brothers, John and Josh, sons of her father and his second wife, Sarah. She is married to Mark Gravengood. Their wedding takes place at the end of Rocinante. Due to her fears of her mothers mental illness being genetic, she and Mark have chosen to have no children; see her Family Tree.

In the spring of 1971, Jackie was 19 years old and she is described her as "a tall, morose girl", and she is tall, 6 feet. Hjalmer Lindahlsen thought she kept herself looking plain, but that she could be rather pretty if she let herself, and got rid of her ugly glasses and let her hair grow. The combination of her height and her mother's condition, which was common knowledge, limited her high school dating experience. Jackie's hair was brown.SL1

Jackie had at least one good friend in high school, Kirsten Langenderfer, as mentioned on occasion such as the short story The Outlanding, and Rocinante , Part 2, Chapter 5, "I had a cigarette with Kirsten once". When Kirsten and Mike McMahon move next door, the two couples become very good friends, including sharing the McMahon's hot tub, and later their own.

Jackie has artistic talents, and developed those into a sign-making business, "Spearfish Signs" in Spearfish Lake which she runs out of her home on Busted Axle Road. "In time, she went to making plastic signs, the first one in the area, and ultimately wound up with much of the sign business in the area. That brought her a little more public contact than she'd expected, but she usually was pretty businesslike, and like Mark, not much of one on small talk."AF21 She once used her painting skills to repaint and re-letter a train set to match colors and logo of the C&SL Railroad for her nephews.FtS3 She also made banners, including sets for Jenny Easton Productions as sponsor for the dogsleds on the Iditarod.RM16

As Spearfish Signs was her own business, she had flexible hours and could volunteer to help out on things like watching the store at Spearfish Outfitters and handling mail orders while Josh and Tiffany are out of town.

When Mark and Mike get into dog sledding, she is supportive, although she enjoys making comments. Still, the first year the Spearfish Lake teams competed in the State Championships, she won the wives' race.

Jackie is also a capable pilot of a variety of aircraft, including Rocinante, the Cessna 140 that she and Mark own, and the glider that they rebuilt.

While Jackie and Mark continue to be best friends with Kirsten and Mike, the couple helped raise the McMahon's daughter Susan. "Though the Gravengoods had never had children of their own, in many ways Susan had been sort of a part-time substitute child to them."SU4

In the book Starting Late Mark and Jackie take in their Grand-Nieces, Rebecca (age 14) and Brianna Gravengood (age 12) when their mother Shannon Gravengood died in May 2007.SL1