Child of violently broken home who took off on his own straight away after finishing, although without actually graduating from, high school. Hit the road, moving from here to there and back again, and in the process going nowhere fast. When he finally hit nowhere he hit it hard. He started a life that consisted entirely of hitching rides and going wherever the driver would take him, hoping for the best and living with the worst.
Finally, a day came when events pushed Jeff beyond what had, up until then, constituted his definition of “the worst”, taking him into territory of which he had been previously unaware, and from which he developed an immediate and intense desire to escape. He desperately focused all his energy on searching for a doorway that would lead to a way out, and so when the vehicle in which he was a passenger pulled into Dolly and Mona's gas station for a fill-up, a kind word from Mona that was accompanied by a concerned look was all it took to convince Jeff that this was the chance he had to take. He grabbed his bags and cast his lot with Fairvale, for he had not spent so much time living with the worst that he had forgotten how to hope for the best.
It was this retained ability to hope for the best that Mona both recognized and valued, and which, in turn, led her to invite Jeff to take the vacant apartment above their garage in exchange for helping out around the station. To this arrangement, Jeff readily agreed. Upon finding himself so ensconced, Jeff experienced a sense of security that he could not recall ever having felt before in his life. He thought then and there that he should try to do something special with his life. When it came down to actually figuring out what it was that he should direct his energies toward, however, he realized in short order that there was nothing that he was aware of ever having excelled at. So it was that when Mona happened to make an off-handed comment of how she was intrigued by one of the nervous doodles that Jeff was constantly if only half consciously engaged in drawing on whatever happened to be within reach wherever he happened to sitting whenever he wasn't doing anything else, Jeff grabbed a hold of Mona's words and planted them deep in his mind and waited for them to take root. Despite the evident frailty of this idea, the existence of fertile ground and the lack of competing ideas allowed it to grow. Eventually it grew to the point of forming within Jeff's mind the conscious desire of becoming an Artist and producing Art. His level of confidence in actually achieving this desire, however, is still quite low, causing him to be reticent, almost secretive, about his aims to all but Mona and the one friend he has made since arriving in Fairvale, Whit.