Ann Massengill Ortiz

      Dr. Ann Massengill Ortiz, Ph. D., a.k.a. "Annie", and "Sassafras Sister" is a native of the Meadow community in Johnston County, NC. Daughter of tobacco and sweet potato farmers, James and Helen Massengill, she lives on the farm that has passed down through her family since before 1810. Her great, great grandfather, Josiah, fought as a Confederate, survived the Civil War, and lived up to his mid-80's. He was a member of the NC 18th Regiment Infantry and is buried at the edge of Cole Plantation at Bentonville.

      Annie grew up in the Meadow township where she helped with the family farming and has played piano in her home church since the age of 12. She attended East Carolina School of Music, where she finished her B.A. in Piano, proceeded from there to graduate school in Tucson, Arizona for Latin American Studies and after making her life as a career student, received her Ph.D. in Spanish American literature from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill in 1995. She currently teaches Spanish and Colonial Spanish American Literature at Campbell University in Buies Creek, NC.

      Annie joined the Huckleberry Brothers in March of 2004 after being introduced by fiddler Troy Parker, with whom she had previously played banjo in an Old-Time band.

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