“Grandmother, tell us about the time you and granddaddy met at the spring. “Oh, there was nothing like that”, she said. “Everybody wanted to be at the spring on Easter and the Fourth of July. You wouldn‘t miss going. Everybody flocked in there - they came on trains, wagons, buggies, any way they could. Everybody went. That was before the automobile came to this area. There was a pavilion where the people danced and a pavilion where they skated. Around the pavilions were seats so you could sit and watch the activities. There was also a tent with a preacher speaking to the people. There were ball games in the area and many other things to do ~ like horse-shoe games and such.
There was much said about the water from the spring. Everyone was crazy about that water. The people thought it could cure all kinds of diseases. Everyone had to drink the water. So there was plenty to do and many people to see.”
“Two girls who had lived in my neighborhood of Willow Spring had moved to Fuquay Springs, and I was looking forward to meeting them at the spring for the Fourth of July Celebration in 1910. When I arrived by carriage with Neal Johnson and his sister, my friends, who were now living in Fuquay, were there in the pavilion. They were with a group of boys. They introduced me to several, and Herbert Akins was in the group. We started out to walk, and Herbert walked with me. We walked together around with the others, and then we sat under the tent with the preacher for a while. We walked up the main street pass the Blanchard Hotel on the left where people came to stay and take the waters. We had a good time enjoying all the activities and seeing people we knew.”
“When it was time to go home, Herbert walked me to the waiting carriage with Neal and his sister. He said, ‘I will come down to see you sometime.’ I never thought I would ever see him again. Herbert was from Holly Springs and with Horse and buggy travel that was a long distance from Willow Spring.” “But not very long afterwards, perhaps a month or two, I was walking with my cousins, Susie and Beatrice Adams to Mt. Pleasant Church in Willow Spring to Sunday afternoon service. They held service in the afternoon at that time. I saw someone pass by driving a horse and buggy with a lady beside him. I thought that looked like the boy I met at Fuquay Spring on the Fourth of July.”
The Adams girls and I continued on our way to church and went in to the service. When it was over, a young lady came to me and introduced herself as Lizzie Rowland, first cousin of Herbert Akins. She said they would like to take me home and asked if I would ride back with them to my home. She and Herbert and I went in at my home and visited with my family for a while. That was the beginning of our courtship.”
“We were not married for a good while after that meeting because I was in school at Cary Boarding School. I graduated from Cary Boarding School in 1913 in a class of ten. I was getting my teachers certificate and planned to teach for a while, which I did.”
Annie Mae and Herbert Akins did marry and they reared four children on Broad Street in Varina. They were married for forty one years until Herbert‘s death in 1965. Annie Mae lived twenty years after his death.