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James Callow Folklore Archive

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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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FARMER BILL'S WILL

THE C.Y.O. BOY'S CAMP IS LOCATED AT PT. SANILAC, MICHIGAN.
MURPHY'S CREEK RUNS THROUGH THE CAMP AND AT ONE POINT, THERE IS A
LARGE SARCOPHAGUS SHAPED STONE IN THE MIDDLE. ON IT ARE A NUMBER OF
SCRAMBLED LETTERS AND NUMBERS. IT IS SAID THAT THIS IS BILL MURPHY'S
GRAVE. HE HAD OWNED AND FARMED THE LAND AT ONE TIME, IF ANY OF THE
CAMPERS STAYED OUT AT NIGHT ON A MOONLESS EVENING, THEY COULD SEE THE
COFFIN LID OPENED. IN THE DISTANCE
A SINGLE FIGURE COULD BE OUTLINED.
IT WAS OLD BILL PLOWING HIS FIELDS. I LEARNED THIS WHEN AT CAMP,
BUT NEVER SAW BILL.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; Port Sanilac

Keyword(s): Bill ; FARMER ; GHOST ; Haunt ; Legend ; Tale ; Will

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter

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BELIEF

THERE ARE CUFFS ON PANTS BECAUSE ENGLISH GENTLEMAN FARMERS USED
TO ROLL UP THEIR TROUSERS WHEN THEY WENT TO WORK IN THE FIELDS.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): Cuffed ; English ; Farmers ; Fashion ; Functions ; Menswear ; Origin ; Pants

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Work Commerce Business

Date learned: 11-05-1968

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TALK IS CHEAP

TALK IS CHEAP, BUT IT TAKES MONEY TO BUY A COW.

Submitter comment: CHILDHOOD

Keyword(s): {THIS IS WHY ALL FARMERS ARE MUTE.} {??!!}

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

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FORMULA SPEECH

ABOUT TWO IN A HILL.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT STATES THAT WHEN PLANTING CORN, ONE PLACES THREE GRAINS IN
A "HILL", IN HOPES THAT AT LEAST ONE WILL GROW. SO WHEN A FARMER IS
ASKED HOW HE IS, HE ANSWERS "ABOUT TWO IN A HILL", INFERRING
THAT HE IS PRETTY GOOD.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): CORN ; FARMER

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Formula

Date learned: 10-24-1971

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House-Demons

By a clean river, there grew oak trees from centuries before. Not far from there lived a Samogitian of many years. Together with im lived his beautiful and larg efamily. Their barns were full of cattle, the corn overflowed into the storehouse. No farmer, happier or richer than him, was around.

The other farmers, jealous of his success, started talking about him, that a house demon brought him all his riches. Many said that they saw the demons flying around the house.

The people's council, hearing such talk from the neighbors, sent an inspector over to the farmer's house; they ordered him to forbid the farmer, to tell him to finally learn to live with the other people.

the inspector, showing up at the farmer's house, told him directly that yhe should be ashamed to keep a demon in his house and that he should do only what is good for his neighbors.

the Samogitian only laughed at him. Still laughung he told the inspector that not a single of his demons has yet done wrong to any of his neighbors. Then the inspector told him to show him his demons. With that,. the farmer led the inspector by hand to his barn where all his farming tools stood.

-These- said the farmer, -are my demons that do good for me and my neighbors.-

Submitter comment:

Translated from Lithuanian by Ramune Stonys

An asterisk denotes a message for the word Samogalia, and explains that: Lithuania is divided into different regions. Samogalia is one region, located in Northern Lithuania.

On tha back of the card is an address for the translator:

R. Stonys

17276 Milton

Southfield, MI 48075

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Grammatical correction: Leave to Live.

Keyword(s): AGRICULTURE ; Demon ; Demons ; DISCIPLINE ; FARMER ; FARMING ; HARD WORK ; House ; Moral ; Neighbors ; Parable ; Relationships ; SELF DISCIPLINE

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Devil Demon

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Entry filtered.

Play on Words

Traveling Salesman:

There was once a traveling salesman whose car broke down in the rain. He ran to the closest farmhouse and quickly knocked at the door. An old farmer answered and the salesman pleaded for a place to spend the night.

"I'll give you board," the farmer said, "but I ain't got no daughter for you to sleep with."

"Oh." said the salesman. "Then how far is the next house?"

Submitter comment:

I remember this from Awrey's Bakery, where I worked this summer.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Submission card located in pile marked These don't sound traditional - Do Not File Yet.

Keyword(s): Anti-feminist ; CUSTOMS ; DAUGHTER ; FARMER ; HOSPITALITY ; HUMOR ; JOKE ; Rain ; Salesman ; Stranded

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Jest Anecdote
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