Monday, March 06, 2006

A Brief Background of the Ivey Family as told by John

My dad's full name was Wilber Vernice Ivey, though he went by the name of Bill. He was born August 30, 1914 in Sherman, Texas, a small industrialized town 60 miles north of Dallas.

My mom, Lillie Sue, or Sue for short, was born in the rural town of Carrollton, Georgia on February 16, 1924. She grew up dirt poor during the Depression.

With the advent of World War II, the United States boomed economically, and both my parents saw better times.

Sue, who grew up working in the fields for pennies a day, got dragged out on dates somewhat unwillingly by her older sister Nita (short for Juanita) because a guy that liked Sue had a car.

Bill, who had worked with on what he called CC camps (Civilian Conservation Corps), went to work for the more lucrative aircraft factories in California.

After the war was over, Sue got married to William Joseph Owens, Jr. with whom she had a child, William Joseph III or Joe for short. He was a womanizer, and Sue divorced him soon after. She got a room in a boarding house in Columbus, Georgia and went to work in a garment factory.

Bill, who had been working in an Army aircraft plant in Hawaii when the Japanese surrendered had taken a correspondence course in photography, and was a beckoned by his sister, Ollie, to come to work as a photographer in Washington, DC. Her husband, Vin, ran a profitable sightseeing company there and saw the potential for a photographer to take pictures of tourist groups and sell them copies of the photo.

Bill did just that and hired a fellow named Ralph to help him process the photos. During the slow season, Ralph took Bill to visit his family down in Georgia, and that was where he was introduced to Ralph's beautiful sister Sue. Bill fell in love with her, and he talked her into marrying him. They were wed in 1952. Bill was 38, Sue 28 and Joe six.

I was born in February 1955 and christened Johnny Lee. My brother, James Edward, came along in December 1958 and my sister Rosemary in November 1960. And thus the Ivey family was complete.

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