THE disastrous marriage ended and Mrs. Annie was left with two toddling sons.
Mr.William Johnson had been secretly studying. He thought God was calling his name not only to preach but to do so in Enid, Oklahoma.
Mrs. Annie was over six feet tall, big-boned, decided that she would not go to work , and leave her precious babies to anyone else's care.
She made her plans meticulously and in secrets. One early evening to see if she was ready, she placed stones in two five-gallon pails and carried them three miles to the cotton gin. She rested a little, and then, discarding some rocks, she walked in the darkness to the saw mill five miles farther along the dirt road.
She offered to sale her meat pies at a nickel. Although business was slow, those first few days Annie was determined. She balanced her appearances between the two hours of activity.
For the next few years, on balmy spring days, blistering summer noons, and cold,wet, and wintry middays, Annie never disappointed her costumers, who could count on seeing the tall, brown- skin women bent over her brazier , carefully turning meat pies. When she felt certain that the workers had become dependent on her, she built a stall between the two hives of industry and let the men run to her for their lunchtime provision. In years that stall became a store where costumers could buy cheese, meal, syrup, cookies, candy, writing tablets, pickles, canned goods, fresh fruit, soft drinks, coal, oil, and leather soles for worn- out shoes.