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Saturday, September 28, 2013

LISTER’S HOLLER Chapter 6


Widow Annie Doing the Best she Can
courtesy photobucket.com

 
Going back a few years I need to write about Annie and her life in the Holler. She was several years older than I was in fact she was considered grown by the time I was dropped.

She was a young black about sixteen when she got married to an old man. Some said he was white and others swore he was just part white.  In any case he owned a good size farm near the end of the Holler.

After about four years of married life he died from the flu.  Annie was pretty sick but being young and strong she pulled through.  

Her mother moved in after her Son-in-law died and tried to take over the place.  After a couple of years all of Annie’s money was gone and she was in deep debt.

When she realized how serious it was, she ran her mother off for Ma was trying to sell the place for half what it was worth.  As it so happened Annie did have to sell half of the farm to pay off the debt her mother had built up in Annie’s name.

Annie was broke and wasn’t able to do all the plowing and planting and everything else that it took to run a farm.  Winter was coming and she had the harvest coming with no money for paying the help.

She finally had to give half of her years harvest to another farmer for him to save the harvest.  She had to sell her part in order to pay for her seed and taxes on the place.

One day she was trying to cut some wood, but she wasn’t making any head way when a man came by and said he and another guy would cut enough wood to get her over into spring.  

She said she didn’t have any money and couldn’t pay them.  They said we know a way to solve that problem.  Later after they had cut and stacked enough wood for her she was set for the winter.

Every so often one or the other man would visit Annie during the winter,  and the grocer started delivering her some groceries and kerosene every so often.  He would stay and visit for some time.
          
Then there were men that came by to check on her and leave her some money to get by on.  Also some of the young men would do some ongoing chores that needed to be done.

All in all she had a lot of company (all male) and was getting along very well.  You might say she was prospering but there was a lot of suspicions talk going around about how she was getting all her money.

One spring Annie built a large chicken house and sold eggs and fryers. People would come from town to buy from her.  She also raised some terriers for sale.  They sold as fast as her bitches could have them.

When her mother heard Annie was making a lot of money she came back, sat down in the kitchen and started to tell Annie how she was going to take over and run things from now on.

As usual Annie let her rant on until the sheriff showed up and hauled Ma off to the county line, and said if she came back she would get ten years in the women’s prison.  
 
When the sheriff returned, she thanked him the usual way.

One of her dogs turned up missing and she didn’t know where it could be. She offered a large reward and she got a call from a person who said he knew where the dog was.  

She took the sheriff with her contrary to the instructions she had been given, and when the sheriff saw who it was who called her, he grabbed the man and shook him till he bit his tongue so bad it needed stitches in it.

He then told the whole story and where the dog was.  
 
Annie was glad to get her dog back and it didn’t cost her any reward.  As Annie came up with more ways to make money there were fewer and fewer men showing up.  She hired a couple of married men and paid them in cash to run the farm.

She increased her chicken and egg business and opened a chicken shack where she served the best fried chicken.  As she began to show a little of her age she sold everything and moved to the city with no worries at all.

To be Continued

 

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