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TALE: CLEVER ALICE

THERE WAS A YOUNG GIRL NAMED ALICE WHO WAS GETTING MARRIED. SHE
WENT DOWN TO THE CELLAR TO GET SOME WINE AND WAS GONE FOR A VERY
LONG TIME. FINALLY HER FATHER SENT THE MAID DOWN TO FIND OUT
WHAT WAS WRONG. THE MAID SAW ALICE SITTING THE THE CELLAR CRYING
AND ASKED HER WHAT WAS THE MATTER. ALICE SAID, "SEE THAT AXE
STUCK IN THE BEAM IN THE CEILING? ONE DAY OUR SON WILL COME DOWN
HERE, THE AXE WILL FALL DOWN AND CHOP HIS HEAD OFF." THE MAID
SAID, "TRULY YOU ARE CLEVER, ALICE," AND SHE TOO SAT DOWN AND
STARTED CRYING. WELL, PRETTY SOON THE BUTLER WENT DOWN TO FIND
OUT ABOUT THE MAID, THEN THE MOTHER, FATHER, AND FINALLY THE
BRIDEGROOM. THE SAME THING HAPPENED TO ALL OF THEM. THE BRIDE-
GROOM SAID, "TRULY YOU ARE CLEVER, ALICE. LET'S GO UP AND GET
MARRIED RIGHT NOW."
THEY GOT MARRIED AND ALICE TURNED OUT TO BE THE TYPE THAT SAID TO
HERSELF, "SHALL I BAKE OR DUST? I DON'T KNOW, SO I'LL SLEEP FOR
A WHILE." SO SHE WOULD FALL ASLEEP ALL DAY AND NEVER HAVE ANY
WORK DONE WHEN HER HUSBAND CAME HOME. ONE DAY HER HUSBAND TOLD
HER TO GO ROUND UP THE GEESE. WHEN SHE GOT OUTSIDE SHE SAID TO
HERSELF, "SHALL I ROUND UP THE GEESE OR FIX MY HAIR?" SHE SAT
DOWN TO THINK IT OVER AND FELL ASLEEP IN THE HAYLOFT. HER HUSBAND
GOT WORRIED AND WENT TO FIND HER. WHEN HE FOUND HER SLEEPING IN
THE HAYLOFT HE PUT A HAIR NET WITH BELLS ON HER HEAD. WHEN SHE
WOKE UP AND HEARD THE BELLS SHE WENT BACK TO THE HOUSE. SHE
KNOCKED AND ASKED FOR CLEVER ALICE. THE HUSBAND SAID, "YES,
SHE'S ASLEEP IN HER BED." THEN ALICE SAID, "WELL THEN, WHO AM
I?" THE HUSBAND SAID HE DIDN'T KNOW. SO ALICE USED TO GO FROM
DOOR TO DOOR ASKING WHO SHE WAS, AND SHE HAS NEVER BEEN HEARD OF
SINCE.

Submitter comment: MISS DAMIN HEARD THIS TALE FROM HER HUNGARIAN GRANDMOTHER, MRS.
JOSEPHNE (JOSEPHINE?) DAMIN, WHEN SHE WAS A CHILD.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; HUNGARY ; DETROIT

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Ordinary Tale
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Stupid man or woman
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Daily Life
BELIEF -- Marriage

Date learned: 01-00-1964

View just this record

THE ELMORE GHOST

NOT TOO LONG AGO IN ELMORE, OHIO, A GROUP OF DRUNK TEENAGERS
RAN INTO AND KILLED A POLICEMAN ON A MOTORCYCLE. THIS WAS
WITNESSED BY A PERSON LIVING IN A HOUSE NOT FAR AWAY. THE
PERSON DIED OF SHOCK. IF YOU GO THERE YOU CAN SEE CAR LIGHTS
COMING AT YOU, FEEL THE BUMP-BUMP OF A MOTORCYCLE ON YOUR CAR
HOOD AND SEE A LIGHT MOVE FROM WINDOW TO WINDOW OF THE NOW-
DESERTED HOUSE.

Where learned: OHIO ; TOLEDO

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Outlaw Criminal Bandit Pirate
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Product or activity of man or animal
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Daily Life
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Means of transportation Vehicle propelled by mechanical or other force on land
Food Drink -- Alcoholic beverage
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 00-00-1968

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HAIR FIX

DON'T SAY THANK-YOU TO SOMEONE WHO HAS DONE YOUR HAIR. SAY MORE
HAIR, OR LESS HAIR.

Submitter comment: THIS ITEM WAS LEARNED DURING MY STAY IN DETROIT WITH PEOPLE WHO
LIVED THERE A LONG TIME.
THIS VERSE IS CONNECTED WITH SAYING SPECIAL WORDS FOR THE PURPOSE
OF GETTING OR FOR HAVING HAD SOMETHING DONE TO YOUR HAIR.
THIS MIGHT IMPROVE THE CONDITION OF YOUR HAIR, BE IT LONG OR SHORT

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Daily Life
BELIEF -- Body part Senses Hair, on head, mustache, widow's peak
SPEECH -- Formula

Date learned: 00-00-1972

View just this record

CUSTOM ; BELIEF

OUR FAMILY NEVER LEFT DISHES IN THE SINK AT NIGHT BECAUSE IF THEY DID
MOTHER MARY OF CHRIST WOULD HAVE TO DO THEM, AND IT WOULD PLACE A
BURDEN ON HER.

Submitter comment: THIS COMES FROM THE SLAVIC CHRUCH TRADITION (VIA MOTHER) AND IS
FOLLOWED IN INFORMANT'S HOME.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; COLLECTORS HOME

Subject headings: Favorites
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Daily Life
BELIEF -- Religious hero
BELIEF -- Measure of time Working

Date learned: 01-00-1979

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PENNSYLVANIA GERMANS (NATIONALITY GROUP)

A COLONY OF AMISH PEOPLE NOW LIVE IN COLON, MICHIGAN. THEY MOVED
HERE FROM PENNSYLVANIA TO ESCAPE PROBLEMS WITH THEIR TEACHERS NOT
HAVING CERTIFICATES. NOW THEY ARE HAVING THE SAME PROBLEM IN COLON.
ONE CAN TELL AN AMISH HOUSE IN COLON, MICH. BECAUSE THE WINDOWS
NEVER HAVE CURTAINS. THEY ONLY HAVE SHADES. THERE IS NO ELECTRICITY
OR LUXURIES IN THEIR HOUSES. THE PEOPLE OFTEN TAKE THEIR
HORSE AND BUGGY TO THE LOCAL SUPERMARKET, LEAVING THE HORSE TIED
TO A HITCHING POST OFF TO THE SIDE. THEY WILL NEVER BUY FOOD WITH
PRESERVATIVES AND PREFER TO EAT A RATHER THICK TASTING BREAD.
THE INFORMANT SAID THAT SHE TASTED THE BREAD AND COULD NOT STAND
MORE THAN A FEW BITES BECAUSE IT WAS SO RICH.

Submitter comment:

THE INFORMANT FIRST LEARNED OF THE AMISH WHILE GOING TO A FAMILY
COTTAGE IN COLON, MICH. IN 1978. HER DESCRIPTION SOUNDS TYPICAL OF
THE CLASSIC PENNSYLVANIA DUTCH ATTIRE AND ATTITUDE. SIMPLICITY
AND KEEPING TO OLD TRADITIONS ARE INHERENT TO HER DESCRIPTION.
UPON VISITING COLON WITH THE INFORMANT, THE COLLECTOR NOTICED THE
SAME CUSTOMS. ONE HEARS ON THE NEWS ABOUT THE CURRENT PROBLEMS
WITH TEACHING, STRESSING THAT NEW DIFFICULTIES ARE ALWAYS ARISING
WITH THE AMISH.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ALLEN PARK

Keyword(s): Amish ; BREAD ; Buggy ; Curtains ; GERMAN ; HORSE ; Preservatives ; Shades ; Simplicity ; Technology

Subject headings: Favorites
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Daily Life
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- School
Food Drink -- Plant food Cereal
BELIEF -- P439

Date learned: 10-00-1980 ; 00-00-1978

View just this record

BLANKET PARTIES

WHEN MEN ARE OVERSEAS, CROWDED ABOARD A SHIP, IT IS
FREQUENTLY THE CASE THAT TEMPERS RUN RATHER SHORT, AND
FLARE UP OVER DAILY OCCURRENCES. ONE SUCH INSTANCE
INVOLVES THOSE SAILORS WHO LACK GOOD HYGIENE HABITS,
THERE BEING A SOURCE OF AGGRAVATION TO HIS FELLOW
COMPARTMENT MATES. THERE IS A REGULAR NAVY TRADITION
FOR THE HANDLING OF JUST SUCH A SITUATION. FIRST,
THE GUILTY INDIVIDUAL IS GIVEN VARIOUS HINTS THAT HIS
"FRIENDS" ARE NOT PLEASED WITH HIS CLEANLINESS (BARS OF
SOAP UNDER HIS PILLOW, WET WASHCLOTHS IN HIS BUNK, ETC.)
AND IF THIS DOES NOT SOLVE THE PROBLEM, THEN A "BLANKET"
PARTY IS THE LAST RESORT. IN THIS, A BLANKET IS THROWN
OVER THE GUILTY INDIVIDUAL, AND HIS ROOM MATES BEAT HIM
FOR ABOUT FIVE MINUTES. THE NEXT MORNING, IT IS USUALLY
THE CASE THAT THIS INDIVIDUAL IS THE FIRST ONE IN THE
SHOWER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ALMA

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Daily Life

Date learned: 03-09-1970

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REMEDY FOR SPILLS

IF YOU DON'T WANT TO SPILL SOMETHING THAT IS
VERY FULL, HUM TO YOURSELF AND YOU WON'T SPILL A
DROP WHILE YOU'RE CARRYING IT.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; HOLDEN HALL

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Daily Life

Date learned: 03-00-1968

View just this record

LONGFELLOW-SHAKESPEARE

WHEN TWO PEOPLE HAPPEN TO SAY THE SAME WORDS OR GROUP
OF WORDS AT THE SAME TIME, WHILE IN EACH OTHER'S
PRESENCE, THIS IS WHAT THEY DO:
1ST PERSON: (PLACES HIS INDEX FINGER OF HIS RIGHT
HAND ON THE OTHER PERSON'S NOSE AND THE 2ND PERSON
DOING LIKEWISE) "LONGFELLOW."
2ND PERSON: "SHAKESPEARE."
1ST PERSON: "WHAT COMES OUT OF A CHIMNEY?"
2ND PERSON; "SMOKE."
THEN BOTH PERSONS SHAKE THE INTERLOCKED PINKIES OF
THEIR RIGHT HANDS.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Daily Life

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

View just this record

A FINNISH TRADITION SAYS THAT TO STIMULATE THE SKIN DURING
A SAUNA BATH, YOU BEAT YOURSELF WITH CEDAR BOUGHS,
WHICH HAVE BEEN SOAKED IN COLD WATER. EVERYONE GROWS
THEIR OWN CEDAR.

Where learned: NOT GIVEN

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Daily Life

Date learned: 11-17-1968

View just this record

DON'T PUT A HAT ON THE BED.
(BRINGS BAD LUCK)

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Daily Life

Date learned: 10-30-1968

View just this record

NEVER WALK UNDER A LADDER THAT IS STANDING AGAINST
A BUILDING.

Where learned: ROCHESTER ; NEW YORK, ASSUMED

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Daily Life

Date learned: 03-11-1972

View just this record

SEALING WAX

WHENEVER I WRITE A LETTER OR SEND A CARD, I ALWAYS
USE SEALING WAX AND AN IMPRINT OF MY INITIAL, J.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Daily Life

Date learned: 03-03-1970

View just this record

POLITENESS IS A SOCIAL CUSTOM IN JAPAN THAT HAS BEEN
CULTIVATED TO ITS FINEST POINT. POLITE RESTRAINT IS
SEEN IN TWO WOMEN ABOUT TO ENTER A DOOR, AND WHO
SPEND TEN SECONDS OR SO, BOWING AWAY, URGING THE
OTHER TO GO FIRST. IT LITERALLY GOVERNS EVERY PHASE
OF JAPANESE LIVING.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT LEARNED THE ABOVE WHILE GROWING UP IN
JAPAN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WARREN

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Daily Life

Date learned: 08-01-1964

View just this record

JAPANESE DO NOT PRAISE ANY MEMBER OF THEIR FAMILY AS
THE EXPRESSION OF APPROVAL IN ANY FORM IS CONSIDERED
BAD FORM. IN FACT, WHEN SPEAKING OF A DAUGHTER OR
SON (HOWEVER BRILLIANT OR DUTIFUL) A PARENT WILL
DEPRECIATE HER OR HIM.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT LEARNED THE ABOVE WHILE GROWING UP IN JAPAN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WARREN

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Daily Life

Date learned: 08-01-1964

View just this record

IT IS A JAPANESE CUSTOM TO HAVE A "SHADOW TABLE" FOR
ONE'S ABSENT FIANCE OR HUSBAND (AS DURING THE WAR) OR
A DEAD HUSBAND, ETC. THAT IS A PLACE WAS ALWAYS SET
AND FOOD SERVED AT MEALS FOR THE ABSENT AS IF HE WERE
ACTUALLY PRESENT. IN THE CASE OF THE FIANCE, IT WAS
A METHOD BY WHICH THE BRIDE-TO-BE LEARNED TO GROW
AWARE OF THE NEEDS AND COMFORTS OF HER HUSBAND-TO-BE.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT LEARNED THIS WHILE GROWING UP IN JAPAN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WARREN

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Daily Life

Date learned: 08-01-1964

View just this record

JAPANESE CHILDREN (EXCEPTING THE LOWER CLASSES) DO
NOT EAT ON THE STREET OR IN PUBLIC PLACES; ONLY AT
THE TABLE.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT LEARNED THIS WHILE GROWING UP IN JAPAN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WARREN

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Daily Life

Date learned: 08-01-1964

View just this record

JAPANESE EATING CUSTOM

BEFORE THE JAPANESE START EATING WITH THEIR
CHOP STICKS THEY RUB THEM BRISKLY TOGETHER TO
ELIMINATE ANY SPLINTERS THAT MIGHT BE THERE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Daily Life

Date learned: 01-16-1968

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CLOTHING CUSTOM

IT IS THE CUSTOM FOR MEN TO LEAVE THE BOTTOM
BUTTON OF THEIR SUITCOATS UNBUTTONED.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; GROSSE POINTE WOODS

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Daily Life

Date learned: 01-30-1971

View just this record

DRESS

THE MEN FROM THE MIDWEST, (OHIO, MICHIGAN, MISSOURI,
ILLINOIS, WISCONSIN, ETC.) WHEN DRESSING, LET THEIR
UNDERSHIRT HANG OUTSIDE OF THEIR UNDERSHORTS. MEN
FROM THE EAST (PENNSYLVANIA, NEW YORK, NEW JERSEY, ETC.)
TUCK THEIR UNDERSHIRTS INTO THEIR UNDERSHORTS. I FOUND
THESE HABITS EXISTED ALMOST UNIVERSALLY IN BOTH
SECTIONS AND EACH GROUP WOULD RIDICULE THE OTHER
FOR HIS MANNER OF DRESSING.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Daily Life

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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DAILY LIFE FLOWER CUSTOM

IN HAWAII THE NATIVE GIRLS WEAR A FLOWER OVER THEIR
LEFT EAR IF THEY ARE SINGLE AND ARE MARRIAGEABLE.
THEY WEAR A FLOWER OVER THEIR RIGHT EAR WHEN THEY
ARE ALREADY MARRIED.

Where learned: HIS HOME

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Daily Life

Date learned: 01-21-1968

View just this record

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