Jumpin’ is the man who runs the marina gas station and shop, and is one of Kya’s only friends. He remains faithful to her throughout her entire life, and Jumpin’ and his wife Mabel are the only people who never abandon or betray Kya. As a Black man, Jumpin’ is also ostracized from white society, and Kya and Jumpin’ have a bond built on living as outsiders. Like Tate, Jumpin’ is mindful of Kya’s unique needs and rather than forcing conventions on her, he helps her by meeting her on her terms. For example, instead of trying to give Kya charity or force her to go to school as some might, Jumpin’ “sells” Kya clothes for smoked fish. In this way, he honors her, tries to protect her, and cares for her without trying to control her. When Kya is about to be arrested by the police, Jumpin’ clandestinely tries to warn her away from his dock, even though his warning puts him at considerable risk. Throughout her life, Kya remains close to Jumpin’ and sees him as the closest thing to real a father that she’s ever had.