Alton Ivey
June, 2019
A lot of pride accompanies the last name ‘Ivey’ and I’d like to tell you how I learned about it. My father, Alton Ivey, is from rural Georgia about 90 minutes south of Atlanta. True to that area, he comes from a large family with many brothers and sisters who all were raised knowing that being an ‘Ivey’ means being a hard worker, person of faith, family person, and being self-sufficient.

My father, knowing those principles well, went north in search of growth and opportunities to provide for his family and ended up in the Bright Lights and Big City of Detroit, Michigan. I use those terms, “Bright Lights, Big City” specifically because one of my dad’s favorite musicians is blues singer Jimmy Reed. Knowing nearly every word to every blues song from the 70s and 80s still gives me a sense of nostalgia each time I hear them.

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Al Ivey, aka Big Al, aka Toothpick is a unique man. I know without a doubt I became the man I am because of the example of a man my father was to me. He taught me to never let a day go by without learning something … little did he know he was constantly teaching me. As a retired Chrysler factory worker and truck driver, he taught me more than I learned from any of my three degrees. To this day I have yet to meet anyone more patient with someone else’s learning process. With the opportunities he provided me at a very young age, I was able to learn about decision making and the consequences of those decisions.

Without a doubt I know what a real man is by the daily actions of my dad. He was, and is still, strong, loving, patient, tough, kind, and wise. No matter how crazy the world gets, it cannot manipulate or shake that which has been instilled in me by my father. My dad even became a ‘dad’ for many of my friends who longed for a better relationship with a real man of character. I learned how to be a good husband, father, and friend. My siblings and I, and the world at large, are truly blessed everyday he continues to be with us. Most importantly, he loves God and my mom!

Thanks Dad,
Happy Father’s Day


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