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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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ON BOARD A NAVAL VESSEL, IT IS BAD LUCK TO WALK UP
A LADDER ON THE PORT SIDE OR DOWN ON THE AFT
SIDE OF THE SHIP.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ALMA

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Means of transportation Water craft or boat propelled by human, wind, mechanical or other force
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Bad luck Objects

Date learned: 03-09-1970

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IT IS BAD LUCK TO GO BY A GRAVEYARD OF DEAD
SHIPS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): MARITIME

Subject headings: ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Means of transportation Water craft or boat propelled by human, wind, mechanical or other force
BELIEF -- Bad luck Objects

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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IN THE OLD DAYS OF SAIL, IT WAS DEEMED UNLUCKY BY
THE SAILORS TO HAVE ANY WOMAN ABOARD SHIP.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

James Callow Keyword(s): MARITIME ; SEXISM

Subject headings: ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Means of transportation Water craft or boat propelled by human, wind, mechanical or other force
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Bad luck Sex

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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DON'T SPIT OVERBOARD, BECAUSE IT'S BAD LUCK. REAL
REASON, IS THAT IT BLOWS BACK IN YOUR FACE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): MARITIME

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Game Pastime
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Means of transportation Water craft or boat propelled by human, wind, mechanical or other force
BELIEF -- Bad luck Activities

Date learned: 00-00-1968

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IT IS CONSIDERED VERY BAD LUCK TO TRIP ON A GANGPLANK
THIS ESPECIALLY HOLDS TRUE BEFORE GOING ON LIBERTY
AND SHOULD THIS OCCUR, IT IS BELIEVED THAT A VERY BAD
LIBERTY WILL RESULT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ALMA

James Callow Keyword(s): LIBERTY=LEAVE, VACATION, TIME OFF ; MARITIME

Subject headings: ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Means of transportation Water craft or boat propelled by human, wind, mechanical or other force
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Angular forms
BELIEF -- Bad luck Activities

Date learned: 03-09-1970

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SAILORS DON'T LIKE TO MAKE TRIPS UNLESS THERE'S A CAT ON BOARD
BECAUSE THEY BELIEVE THAT A CAT WILL HELP THEM TO HAVE A
LUCKY AND SAFE TRIP.

Where learned: BARRETT RD ; NASHVILLE ; TENNESSEE, ASSUMED

Subject headings: ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Means of transportation Water craft or boat propelled by human, wind, mechanical or other force
BELIEF -- Good luck Leaving Entering Returning home Travel
BELIEF -- Good luck Animals

Date learned: 07-30-1968

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WHEN SHIPS ARE BEING BUILT, WORKMEN PUT A COIN UNDER THE MAIN
MAST TO BRING GOOD LUCK TO THE SHIP AND MONEY TO ITS OWNER.

Where learned: NOT GIVEN

Subject headings: ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Means of transportation Water craft or boat propelled by human, wind, mechanical or other force
BELIEF -- Measure of quality Medium of exchange
BELIEF -- Good luck

Date learned: 07-00-1972

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LEGEND: WHY BURNT CHIPS ALWAYS FLOAT UP ALONG SHORE ON LAKE

SOMEWHERE AROUND THE 1920'S A MAN WHO WAS QUITE RICH SAILED IN HIS
YACHT BETWEEN BENTON HARBOR AND PORT HURON. HIS WIFE HAD DIED,
AND HE WAS VERY DESPONDENT. ONE NIGHT NEAR BENTON HARBOR, HIS
BOAT, WHICH HAD HE AND HIS THREE CREWMEN ABOARD, CAUGHT FIRE.
RESCUE EFFORTS FAILED AND THE BOAT FINALLY SANK OFF GLEN,
MICHIGAN. EVEN TODAY BURNT CHIPS STILL FLOAT UP ALONG THE SHORE
OF THE BIG LAKE.

Data entry tech comment: BENTON HARBOR AND PORT HURON, MICHIGAN, ARE ON LAKE HURON,

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; Lansing

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Air Weather Fire
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Product or activity of man or animal
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Means of transportation Water craft or boat propelled by human, wind, mechanical or other force

Date learned: 11-00-1968

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THE CALIFORNIA FOG

IN CALIFORNIA THE FOGS ARE SO THICK THAT SHIPS OFTEN SAIL RIGHT
ACROSS THE COUNTRY TILL THEY HIT THE SIERRA NEVADA MOUNTAINS.
IT EVEN GETS SO COLD AT NIGHT THAT YOUR SHADOW FREEZES ON THE
WALL AND THEY HAVE TO USE BLOW TORCHES TO THAW IT OUT.

Where learned: NOT GIVEN

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Lie Tall tale
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Means of transportation Water craft or boat propelled by human, wind, mechanical or other force
BELIEF -- Sign or prediction through

Date learned: 07-00-1964

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NAMING MUSKEGON

ONCE AN INDIAN BRAVE WAS PADDLING HIS CANOE ALONG THE SHORE OF LAKE
MICHIGAN. HE HAD LEANED HIS MUSKET AGAINST THE FRONT THWART SO
THAT IT WOULD BE HANDY IN CASE HE NEEDED IT. WELL, IT WAS A
PRETTY STORMY DAY AND THE WAVES WERE KICKING UP SOMETHING FIERCE.
FINALLY ONE WAVE TUMBLED OVER THE BOW OF THE CANOE AND ALMOST
CAPSIZED HIM. HE SAW HIS MUSKET BEING CARRIED OVER THE SIDE OF
THE CANOE AND HE LEAPED TO CATCH IT. WELL, HE LOST IT AND THEN
HE EXCLAIMED, "OH NO, MUSKIE-GONE!" AND FROM THAT DAY FORWARD
THAT PLACE HAS BEEN CALLED MUSKEGON.

Submitter comment: THIS TALE, CONCERNING THE NAMING OF MUSKEGON, WAS PASSED DOWN TO
MY DAD FROM HIS FATHER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; Lansing

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Explanation of a name
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Occupation
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Means of transportation Water craft or boat propelled by human, wind, mechanical or other force

Date learned: 11-01-1968

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