Life was all about corn. Corn paid the bills, put food (usually something made of corn) on the table. Why didn’t the Visitors come to Iowa? They didn’t eat corn.
As a child, she couldn’t fathom that and the adults gratefully let the precocious, observant carbon copy of her mother stew on that while they whispered urgently in tight voices, held town meetings about evacuation and conducted weekly trips to the tornado shelters. All Jacey could think was…Who didn’t like corn? Corn was in everything.
After the Visitors were gone and the crops treated with red dust, when she was old enough to understand, Jacey finally learned why they never came to Iowa. So that was why and it made a lot of sense. Still, growing up presented her with too many things to do to be concerned about what had happened and life moved on. There were boys to crush on and hair to tease and stirrup pants to wear. Crops were still planted and harvested and like her friends and relatives, free time was spent on tractors and the farm. As a teenager, life became school, track and the one-stop-light town of Columbus Junction, IA.
A great place to live, with little crime. Mostly because the sheriff had gone to school with everyone’s parents and whatever trouble you got in got home before you did. Everyone knew when you did anything and nothing changed. Aliens came and went and Judd Temple and Irving Boatwright still held the same conversation every morning in front of Boatwright’s Drug and Dime: “Gonna be a cold one.” “Yep.” “Gonna be a hot one.” “Yep.”
For Jacey, the grass… to use an apt agricultural metaphor… was much greener on the other side of the fence. She worked hard in school, was a star track runner.. and for what? To waste all that effort away, here in ‘Cornopolis USA’?
No. Jacey worked her ass off, got accepted on a track and academic scholarship to Stanford University. She accepted and on the way there, Jacey left her old self at the state line. When she arrived at Stanford, she used her middle name on registration and Claire Putnam was born. It was Claire Putnam that graduated magna cum laude and who her roommate, Muffy Stowe, deemed high enough to date her brother. Like Muffy…or because of her, Claire was a whirlwind of popularity and she was instantly swept into the world of boyfriends who drove Jaguars and Beemers and who tossed money out of their pockets like it was lint.
Claire wasn’t Jacey; that farm kid so far behind her now. She was on her way, wasn’t she? Devlin Stowe, Muffy’s brother, heir to the Stowe Family fortune had asked her to marry him. On top of that, she was offered a junior partnership at the firm, the youngest woman to be granted such a thing.
Denial was a happy place for Jacey (so she told herself anyway). A good looking husband, money, a great condo that overlooked one of the many bays and on her way up the corporate ladder, through that glass ceiling. Yep. Everything was perfect.
Three years into her marriage, Jacey was confronted by reality, made that much more ugly by her denial of it. Her now sister-in-law, Muffy, finally broke it to her that Devlin had been cheating on her, had been since college. Not wanting to believe it, Jacey turned to Claire Meyers, who verified the claims. But they were on her side, although Jacey had to wonder how they’d let this go on if they were. Apparently, her bosses, old man Weinberg and old man Stowe were on her side too. She tried to resign but both of them talked her into staying.
She did.. and now, six years later, she’s glad for it. Although she remains Claire to her ‘side’, Jacey is finally starting to see through all their shit. Armani, Christian Leboutin heels and the nice Jaguar she got in the divorce… like Carrie’s boobs and Muffy’s nose, it’s all pretty damn false.
The need for acceptance had driven Jacey into a rut that left her mortified and ashamed. She struggled out it, finding in herself a strength she didn’t know she had. Now that she’s out of it, she remains quiet and reserved, though polite. She doesn’t always trust her judgement anymore, at least in her personal life. Professionally, she is dead on, intelligent and forward-thinking. Only lately, has she started to gain more confidence in herself personally.
- Mother - Louellen Putnam
- Father – Hank Putnam
- Brother – Hank Putnam Jr
A small scar here and there, evidence of a childhood spent running barefoot and growing up on a farm; her calf, from barbed wire fencing and a few faded ones on her hands from years of helping her mother can and preserve food.
Place of Birth: Columbus Junction, Iowa
Professional Occupation: Accountant, Junior Partner with Weinberg and Stowe, an accounting firm.
- BA, Accounting – Stanford University
- MBA, Stanford University
Created by Jenn