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CUSTOM FOR CHOOSING TEAMS

IN ELECTING SOMEONE FOR SOMETHING, OR FOR CHOOSING UP TEAMS, WE
USED TO EMPLOY A BASEBALL BAT. THE TWO CAPTAINS WOULD STAND
FACING EACH OTHER AND A THIRD PARTY WOULD TOSS THE BAT STRAIGHT
UP INTO THE AIR. ONE OF THE TWO CAPTAINS WOULD TRY TO CATCH IT
NEAR THE BOTTOM BY GRABBING IT WITH HIS HAND. THE OTHER PERSON
WOULD THEN WRAP HIS HAND AROUND THE BAT DIRECTLY ABOVE THE FIRST
PERSON'S. THIS WOULD CONTINUE UNTIL THERE WAS NO MORE ROOM AT THE
TOP OF THE BAT. WHEN THIS STAGE WAS REACHED THEN THE PERSON WHOSE
HAND WAS NEAREST TO THE TOP WAS THE WINNER. SEVERAL VARIATIONS
WERE ALLOWED. ONE WAS TO REST YOUR ELBOW ON THE FIRST PERSON'S
HAND AND THEN WRAP YOUR HAND AROUND THE BAT. ANOTHER WAS TO PLACE
ONLY TWO FINGERS AROUND THE BAT (BUT THE FINGERS MUST BE ABLE TO
TOUCH THE THUMB IN THIS CASE). FINALLY YOU COULD DO "EAGLE'S
CLAWS," THAT IS, WRAP YOUR FINGERS OVER THE KNOB OF THE BAT IN
THE MANNER OF A BIRD'S CLAWS. BUT IT YOU DID THIS YOU HAD TO
SUBSEQUENTLY THROW THE BAT FARTHER THAN TEN FEET BEHIND YOURSELF
OR YOU LOST. THESE MANEUVERS WERE USED TO SKILLFULLY TRY TO
SHORTEN OR LENGTHEN DISTANCES ON THE BAT SO YOU WOULD WIN.

Submitter comment: I LEARNED THIS FROM PLAYMATES IN FORT WAYNE, INDIANA, BUT ALSO
USED IT HERE IN DETROIT, ESPECIALLY WHEN CHOOSING TEAMS FOR
SOME GAME THAT REQUIRED A BAT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; INDIANA ; FORT WAYNE

Subject headings: 686 First / Once / One / Newness
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Game Pastime
BELIEF -- Entertainment Diversion

Date learned: 12-00-1963

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TO CURE HICCUPS, HOLD YOUR BREATH AND COUNT TO TEN.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; Wappingers Falls

Subject headings: 686 First / Once / One / Newness
BELIEF -- Method of Curing

Date learned: 00001950S

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PROVERB

A BIRD IN YOUR HAND IS BETTER THAN TEN ON A TREE.

Submitter comment:

THIS IS A PROVERB FROM PALESTINE, NOT THE USE OF TEN ON A TREE
COMPARED WITH THE AMERICAN PROVERB SAYING TWO ON A TREE. (SIC)

Data entry tech comment:

TWO IN THE BUSH

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SAINT CLAIR SHORES

Keyword(s): BIRD

James Callow Keyword(s): ANIMAL ; NUMBERS ; OBSERVATION ; PRIORITY

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
686 First / Once / One / Newness
PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 03-06-1970

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PROVERBIAL APOTHEGM

ONE ENLISTED MAN WORTH TEN PRESSED
THIS IS AN OLD PROVERB AMONG MILITARY MEN.
THAT DRAFTED MEN ARE WORTH ONLY ONE ENLISTED MAN AS SOLDIERS

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): NUMBERS

James Callow Keyword(s): MILITARY ; QUALITY

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
686 First / Once / One / Newness
PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim
PROVERB -- Blason Populaire

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LEGEND

THERE WERE 12 NUNS IN A CONVENT WHO MADE A VOW SAYING THAT AFTER THEY
DIED THEY WANTED TO HAVE A ROSARY WITH ONE LIVE PERSON FOR SO MANY
DAYS AND IF THE PERSON STAYED WITH THEM FOR TEN DAYS, THEY WOULD GIVE
THE PERSON THEIR CONVENT. A LADY WENT DOWN THERE NOT KNOWING THE
STORY AND ASKED AN INNKEEPER IF THERE WERE ANY MOTEL ROOMS SHE COULD
STAY IN. HE TOLD HER SHE COULD STAY IN THE CONVENT. SO SHE
STAYED THERE BECAUSE SHE THOUGHT IT WAS DESERTED. THEN THE 12 NUNS
ALL HOLDING CANDLES, WALKED BY HER AND INTO THE CHURCH. SHE
FOLLOWED THEM IN AND WATCHED THEM SAYING THE ROSARY, WITH ONE OF
THEM SAYING IT AND EVERYONE ELSE ANSWERING IT. THIS HAPPENED FOR TEN
DAYS AND EVERYDAY THE NUNS WOULD DISAPPEAR AS SOON AS THE ROSARY WAS
DONE. ON THE FINAL DAY, AS THE NUNS WERE WALKING OUT, ONE OF THEM
HANDED A NOTE TO THE WOMAN. THE NOTE THANKED HER FOR HELPING THEM
FULFILL THEIR VOW. THEN IT SAID THAT THEY GAVE THE CONVENT TO HER.
THIS IS A TRUE STORY. EVERYONE KNEW ABOUT IT AND KNEW IT WAS
TRUE. THIS HAPPENED IN THE 40'S IN MEXICO. THE WOMAN WENT BACK TO
THE INNKEEPER AFTER THIS WAS OVER AND ASKED HIM ABOUT IT. SO THEN HE
TOLD HER ABOUT THE NUNS, VOW.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT HAD SEVERAL STORIES WHICH WERE BASED IN MEXICO.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT ; CAMPUS

James Callow Keyword(s): NUMBERS

Subject headings: 686 First / Once / One / Newness
686 Seconds / Twice / Two
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Religious hero
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Death Funeral Burial
SPEECH -- To Be Seen

Date learned: 11-00-1975

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BELIEF/NUMBER

FAMILY BELIEVED THAT IF THERE WERE SEVEN CHILDREN OF THE SAME
SIX IN SUCCESSION, THE SEVENTH CHILD WAS ENDOWED WITH
SOMETHING SPECIAL. AT TEN YEARS OF AGE, THE SEVENTH CHILD
WOULD GO TO THE PARISH PRIEST AND HE WOULD GIVE THE
CHILD A SPECIAL BLESSING.

Where learned: TOLD AT ; SAINT RITAS

Subject headings: 686 First / Once / One / Newness
686 Seven / Sevenths / Several
Prophet / Seer / Soothsayer
BELIEF -- Birth
BELIEF -- Prayer

Date learned: 03-01-1970

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NUMBER

THE NUMBER TEN (10) IS CONSIDERED EVIL
OR BAD LUCK IN VIETNAM

Where learned: HOME

Subject headings: 686 First / Once / One / Newness
BELIEF -- Fate Destiny Luck Chance

Date learned: 11-15-1968

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WARDING OFF GHOSTS

GHOSTS DON'T COME IN TENS. WHENEVER YOU SEE ONE, SAY:
"TEN, TEN, THE BIBLE TEN," AND THEY WILL GO AWAY.

Submitter comment:

INFORMER DOESN'T BELIEVE IN THIS STRONGLY.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT

Keyword(s): BIBLE ; GHOST ; Haunt ; RELIGION ; Repel ; SUPERSTITION ; Ward Off

Subject headings: 686 First / Once / One / Newness
BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter

Date learned: 01-26-1972

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TECHNIQUE FOR PASSING OUT.

INHALE DEEPLY AND THEN RAPIDLY PUSH THE AIR IN AND OUT
TEN TIMES. ON THE TENTH TIME HOLD THE BREATH AND YOU WILL PASS OUT.

Submitter comment: THIS HAPPENED TO MY BROTHER WHEN WE WERE IN GRADE SCHOOL.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; KALAMAZOO

Keyword(s): CAUSE ; FAINTING ; NUMBERS

Subject headings: 686 First / Once / One / Newness
Favorites
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 11-12-1971

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HICCUPS

DRINK TEN SWALLOWS OF WATER WITHOUT BREATHING.

Where learned: DETROIT

Subject headings: 686 First / Once / One / Newness
BELIEF -- Method of Curing

Date learned: 11-22-1968

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HICCUPS

HOLD YOUR BREATH AND COUNT TO TEN TO CURE HICCUPS.

Submitter comment: HE PROBABLY LEARNED THIS FROM HIS MOTHER.

Where learned: COLLECTORS HOME

Subject headings: 686 First / Once / One / Newness
BELIEF -- Method of Curing

Date learned: 03-24-1967

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HICCUPS

HOLD YOUR BREATH AND SAY YOUR BOYFRIEND'S NAME 10 TIMES.
DRINK A GLASS OF WATER UPSIDE DOWN.
IF SOMEONE HAS THE HICCUPS SCARE THEM AND THE HICCUPS WILL GO AWAY.

Submitter comment: I LEARNED THESE THINGS WHEN I WAS VERY YOUNG ABOUT 1950.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SOUTHFIELD

Keyword(s): FEAR

Subject headings: Person / Nickname
686 First / Once / One / Newness
BELIEF -- Method of Curing

Date learned: 00-00-1950

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HICCUPS

TO CURE HICCUPS HOLD YOUR BREATH AND COUNT TO TEN

Where learned: NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR

Subject headings: 686 First / Once / One / Newness
BELIEF -- Remedy

Date learned: 10-28-1967

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TO GET RID OF THE HICCUPS, COUNT TO TEN, HOLD YOUR BREATH AND THINK
OF TEN BALD MEN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ROCHESTER HILLS

Subject headings: 686 First / Once / One / Newness
BELIEF -- Body part Senses Head, physiognomy, face
BELIEF -- Number P686.3.10
BELIEF -- Method of Curing

Date learned: 00-00-1970

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PURPOSE OF GARLIC

EATING FOODS SPICED WITH GARLIC WILL INCREASE YOUR LIFESPAN
APPROXIMATELY TEN YEARS.

Submitter comment: THIS IS A SERIOUS BELIEF AMONG SICILIANS.

Where learned: SICILY ; PALERMO

Subject headings: 686 First / Once / One / Newness
Food Drink -- Flavoring Herb
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: CA00001930

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TEN LITTLE INDIANS

ONE LITTLE, TWO LITTLE, THREE LITTLE INDIANS. FOUR LITTLE, FIVE
LITTLE, SIX LITTLE INDIANS. SEVEN LITTLE, EIGHT LITTLE, NINE LITTLE
INDIANS. TEN LITTLE INDIAN BOYS.

Submitter comment: THIS CAN BE USED TO TEACH CHILDREN HOW TO COUNT TO TEN. WHILE THE
SAYING IS SAID AT THE SAME TIME THE CHILD IS RAISING THE FINGERS
THAT CORRESPOND TO THE NUMBERS IN THE GAME.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WESTLAND

James Callow Keyword(s): FUNCTION

Subject headings: 686 First / Once / One / Newness
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- C531

Date learned: 00001940S

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MARY MCINTOSH

AT MIDNIGHT ON HALLOWEEN GO INTO A ROOM ALONE AND STAND IN FRONT OF A
MIRROR. NEXT SAY MARY MCINTOSH 10 TIMES WITH
YOUR EYES CLOSED. THEN STAMP
YOUR RIGHT FOOT 10 TIMES. NOW OPEN YOUR EYES AND IN THE MIRROR YOU
WILL SEE HOW MARY MCINTOSH DIED. SHE STABBED HERSELF IN THE HEAD.

Submitter comment: THIS WAS TOLD TO ME IN NEW ORLEANS IN THE 1960'S.

Where learned: LOUISIANA ; New Orleans

Subject headings: 686 First / Once / One / Newness
Spirit / Mind / Body
Observation
Favorites
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- October 31 Halloween

Date learned: 00001960S

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COUNT TO TEN

IF YOU HAVE FORGOTTEN SOMETHING WHEN LEAVING YOUR HOUSE AND HAVE
TO GO BACK FOR IT, BE SURE TO SIT DOWN AND COUNT TO TEN BEFORE
YOU LEAVE THE HOUSE AGAIN, OR YOU WILL HAVE BAD LUCK.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): CONVERSION ; NUMBERS: TEN ; SUPERNATURAL: COUNTING TO TEN ; TRAVEL: RETURNING HOME FOR FORGOTTEN OBJECT

Subject headings: 686 First / Once / One / Newness
BELIEF -- BELIEF
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Number P686.3.10
BELIEF -- Conversions P883.2

Date learned: 00001965 SUMMER

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HOLY THURSDAY

MRS. KEHOE'S FAMILY ALWAYS VISITED TEN CHURCHES ON HOLY
THURSDAY. IT USED TO BE A CATHOLIC TRADITION.
THE CHURCHES WERE SET UP WITH BEAUTIFUL FLOWER ARANGEMENTS
ON THE ALTARS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BLOOMFIELD HILLS

Subject headings: 663 Holy Thursday
686 First / Once / One / Newness
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Church

Date learned: 12-03-1982

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NEVER CROSS A BLACK CAT'S PATH OR YOU WILL HAVE
TEN YEARS OF BAD LUCK.

Submitter comment: SHE BELIEVED IT THEN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; HIGHLAND PARK

Subject headings: 686 First / Once / One / Newness
BELIEF -- Mammal
BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: 00-00-1976 ; 00-00-1985

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