Ivora "Ivory" Shepherd (Maney, Black)
Aunt Ivory was an imposing handsome woman with a dignified manner even as she was warm and
welcoming to small nephews, always ready with a smile or a laugh. She had attractive brown eyes and
dark hair which she usually wore up, held in place by large tortoise-shell combs.
In later life, she spoke fondly of her earlier marriage to Vernon Maney. She said they had traveled west
and lived there for a time: among other more ordinary pursuits, they had both hunted jackrabbits.
Sadly, Vernon Maney died at an early age, in circumstances which remain mysterious.
In later life, when she lived with second husband Clay Black on Riceville Road, east of Asheville near
Oteen, she once was observed to bring out her rifle to shoot a threatening copperhead snake. That
seemed to leave little doubt about the jackrabbits.
They lived in a charming old house made of hand-hewn logs. There was a big yard with large maple
trees and across a little shady brook via a narrow footbridge there was a stone spring house. It was
stocked with home-canned vegetables and, as the residence lacked electricity until quite late in their
lives (long after most others had it), the spring house provided a means of keeping fresh foods cool,
supplementing the old ice box in Aunt Ivory's kitchen. When relatives visited in summer, she was known
to spread a generous table under the trees.
Once, when a small nephew stayed on for an overnight visit, there was a marvelous breakfast of eggs
and pork chops. Pork chops for breakfast!
In summer, there was a big garden in the open field west of the house. It included tall rows of dahlias as
well as more practical things like corn and beans. The outhouse was beyond, at what seemed a far
distance to the visiting nephew.
Aunt Ivory treasured a battery-operated radio which allowed her to listen regularly to the broadcast
preaching which she preferred over any that was available in local churches. Her sisters sometimes
worried that she was sending distant preachers financial contributions which might have been better
spent on comforts and conveniences for her daily life.
Clay Black was employed as an auto-body mechanic.
Ivora Shepherd Black is buried at West Memorial Park, Weaverville, NC.
- Dwight Childers, 22 Sep 2005
revised 27 Jun 2010